CAAD10 - time for an upgrade?

I have two bikes - my fast bike, a CAAD10 with HED Belgium Plus wheels and 11 speed ultegra di2. I also have a steel road bike that I use for commuting and sloppy conditions - Milwaukee Bike Co, Enve 1.0 fork, rim brake, SRAM Force 22, fenders, and some mediocre wheels I bought cheap years ago.

The majority of my riding consists of spirited group rides. I don’t need to be the fastest, but I’d like to think I’m getting better. Might throw in a road race or two or the occasional century ride.

Anyway, I’m tempted to upgrade the CAAD10. If I’m honest with myself, I think I just want something new or at least new to me. Bike tech has changed a lot in the past 11 years. The CAAD has served me well over the years and it has plenty of scars to prove it. I was never going to outgrow it. Any aluminum harshness never bothered me but I’ve never ridden carbon so I might not know what I’m missing. I’m looking for a bike that will last me 10+ years.

My budget is flexible, but I can buy sooner if the price is lower. I’m mostly interested in finding a price / performance sweet spot. Cannondale and Specialized brands appeal to me as a starting point.

Frame - the current CAAD generation, the CAAD13 looks like an outstanding deal. IMO its hard to justify the price of carbon in comparison. Looks like CAAD13 framesets can be found for less than a grand. Carbon frames look to be 2-4x that.

Groupset - I’ve been a fan of SRAM - AND I love the idea of wireless but the small cogs leave me cold - they suck watts! Am I being crazy? I know a lot of people love their AXS but I find the increased drivetrain loss compared to di2 kind of crazy. I get it for 1x but I’m building a 2x. I’d go AXS no question if they offered it in standard gearing. Anyway, tempted to go Ultegra 12 speed di2. Looks like this would cost about $2.5k.

Wheels - $1500 seems like a good budget but I’m trying to figure out if there’s sufficient reason to get something fancier than the HED Belgium Plus (now R?). Carbon and aero would be nice. 25cc looks to be the ideal width.

Ideally, I’d take a number of bikes on hour plus rides but I’m not sure how possible that is.

I’m curious what experience others have had making similar choices and upgrades.

I doubt you’ll be faster on a new bike. People go nuts for the older CAAD’s and someone would snap up your bike in a second for crits.

If you want a new bike though please don’t let me dissuade you! Disc brakes, electronic shifting and wider tires are great.


I have a CAAD10 disc and a Super X (carbon). The Super X definitely feels less harsh but it’s probably the bigger tires and Save seatpost talking there. The Super X for sure feels more solid and “snappier” out of the saddle though.

I’ve been really wanting to upgrade my CAAD as well but ended up dumping a bunch of money into the Super X and my mtb this year instead. Actually since you mentioned it, most of that was going Sram wireless on both lol.

I’m not quite sure why you’d want to upgrade. You have a relatively recent groupset, and you didn’t mention that frame or components are nearing EOL. Yes, bike tech has advanced over the past few years:

  • disc brakes
  • wider tires
  • more aero features
  • slow move to 1x
  • groupsets become electronic and wireless

Are any of those things you want? If not, I’d just stick with your bike.

Just one more comment regarding SRAM’s gearing: the smaller efficiency of the 10-tooth cog is a marginal gain that won’t matter to most of us. Just being able to hold a proper aero position for long times or wearing tight-fitting clothing, especially a skin suit, will give you significantly more gains than that.

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I gave my CAAD10 a respray, new group and a new cockpit and fell head over heels in love again. Just an option for you. It is a classic and fast and still turns heads.


It could always be time for an upgrade. I still use my original systemsix with 10 speed SRAM, rim brakes, and 25c tires. Love that bike. Ride what you love not what you think you’ll love

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True. @mattkime’s drivetrain seems reasonably new and is electronic already. Going for 2x12 speeds isn’t much of an upgrade on Shimano, I certainly wouldn’t.

The CAAD10 is a classic, a local has a nice CAAD12 special edition in a delicious dark purple. The only thing that would keep me from a CAAD13 is Cannondale’s questionable choices of colors, I just couldn’t. The thing about road bikes is that compared to mountain bikes, especially fullys, there is very little that can break or wear.

I don’t disagree that a good aluminum frame is amazing and offers pretty much the same performance in most areas. Just one nitpick: what is and isn’t worth it is highly subjective. You got an electronic groupset, for example, and you could say the same about that.

I would also recommend that you look beyond the CAAD13. I’m not saying the frame is bad, I just can’t do Cannondale’s colors.

E. g. BMC has an aluminum team machine, the top-end model comes with an electronic groupset and the better carbon fork. I really love their (carbon) Teammachine, one of the best allround bikes out there. Spec’s aluminum crit bike is also great, but very stiff.

I only upgraded my CAAD9 to take advantage of wider tires. There’s nothing wrong with the frame and it’s still my favourite road bike I’ve ever owned. It had gone through a few component and wheel upgrades of course. I also powder coated it a metallic purple. It’s mostly on the trainer now though.

But my Bianchi, which cost much more, isn’t that much faster if any.

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There ya go. So you want a new bike even though you don’t need one. I’m in the exact same boat.

What do I want?

  1. I want to be able to run 28 or 30mm GP5000s so I’d like modern clearance.

  2. I’d like the 15-20 watts an aeroish frame/cockpit nets me (The Tarmac SL7 and Emonda go to the top of my list).

I’m 50/50 on whether I want an integrated cockpit. I want the watts savings and they look cool but I’m not sure I want the PITAness of changing stems or raising/lowering the bars.

I’m 50/50 on electronic shifting. It’s nice and has some features but costs an extra $1000 (at least).

I’m 50/50 on disc brakes. I could take them or leave them.

Frankly, I’m tempted to grab another rim brake bike. I have tons of parts and spares.

Aero makes little to no difference when you’re in the draft most of the time (group rides). Your helmet might make a bigger difference if you’re tall and the guy in front of you is short.

Discs make a big difference in long descents and wet conditions.

If you flat a lot, tubeless is nice.

If money is burning a hole in your pocket, get equipment to start waxing your chains.

I run 28mm GP5k TLs on my CAAD10. It’s tight but it works.

Also, you’ll pry my CAAD from my cold dead hands if you want it. :stuck_out_tongue:

Never gonna give you up…….


Rickrolled! Or is that Caddrolled?


Still makes a difference. Even in the draft you’re pushing air, so being more aero still saves you watts. And higher group riding speeds means when you are on the front you’re dealing with more wind resistance than when you’re solo. E.g. A “spirited group ride” to me is one where you’re pulling on the front at threshold or higher. Somebody above mentioned a 15-20W saving with an aero bike. That sort of watt saving could well be the difference between holding the group speed comfortably on your turns vs pushing into the red (or slowing the group down).

Whether an aero bike actually saves you 15-20W is a whole different debate of course! And certainly there’s cheaper aero gains to be made in position, clothing, helmet, etc. But if it’s a fast group ride and I want to be one of the stronger riders (or think I’ll be one of the weaker riders and need every advantage I can get) then I’m absolutely going with tight fitting kit (I draw the line at skin suits for group rides, that’s not cool…), aero road helmet, race bike and wheels, etc.


Sure, but I think the difference is exceedingly small. All of the aero gains combined probably amount to less than the difference between a 6" gap and an 12" gap to the wheel in front of you.

Racing’s a different story since it’s hard to avoid eating wind when you have to move around within the pack.

As for pulling in the front, I don’t know what it’s like in your area, but down here in Socal with the big fast groups, at least half the riders never take a pull, and everyone’s totally fine with that.

Ah, very different group cycling culture then! I’m in southern UK, roads round here tend to be pretty busy in places, groups tend to not be more than about 10 riders as a result or they get a bit unwieldy. Maybe more like ~6 is optimal for a spirited ride. Skipping turns is fine if you’re having a bad day, or maybe if you’re in an unfamiliar group and find the pace is higher than expected. But it’s the exception not the norm, in my experience at least. Most people show up intending and wanting to do their turns. I guess with much bigger groups then having people who don’t pull isn’t an issue and might even be seen as a good thing by the stronger riders as means they get a better workout with more time on the front? I’m a bit jealous, must be nice having roads where you can ride like that!

My group ride is like the socal rides. 20 riders show up, half don’t take pulls, and the strong guys are drilling it @ 300-500 watts up every short climb. Half the riders get dropped. It’s always a quasi race ride.

half don’t take pulls, and the strong guys are drilling it @ 300-500 watts up every short climb. Half the riders get dropped. It’s always a quasi race ride.

Thats a good description of the rides I’m doing. There are some gifted riders in the group - they’re happy to get their exercise taking long pulls and I’m happy just to hang on to their wheel.

This thread has done of a good job of dissuading me from unnecessary upgrades. It seems I’m missing out on less than I thought I was. I’ll continue to upgrade as parts fail, but that might take multiple years.


I feel like this thread has gone far too long without a picture of your bike. CAAD frames look soooo good :star_struck::star_struck::star_struck:


Still completely happy with my CAAD9. If you’re looking to part out that Di2, hit me up.

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A few years ago I did an aero makeover on my 2014ish Colnago C59. This frame is an aero as a brick but I did:

aero road helmet
race fit jersey
50mm aero wheels
fastest tubeless tires GP5000, aero optimized
waxed chain

I believe that that is the low hanging fruit for aero gains. All in, about $1000. This setup led to a good number of PRs and Strava KOMs.

Depending on which article you read, this could be anywhere from 20-60 watts saved depending on the speed.

It felt like a meaningful amount of watts as I felt faster everywhere. Saving 10-20% of your FTP watts at threshold speeds is definitely meaningful.

The next level would be an aero frame and aero bar/stem combo but that costs $,$$$ and probably saves less total watts that all the other stuff.