There was one point that I left out of my post yesterday that exacerbated my not fitting on my beloved Cannondale and that was the style of frame. My Cannondale frame is of the Criterium Geometry (not to be confused with the more modern “Compact” frame). In English, that means two things – a shorter wheel base and a higher bottom bracket. The theory behind the higher bottom bracket is that the additional clearance would allow a racer to pedal through turns where other cyclists would be required to coast and lean (though this is not in the Cannondale marketing material). In reality, contrasting my Cannondale to the Trek, the bottom bracket does sit higher off the ground, but only by 6 millimeters or roughly 1/4″.
The shorter wheel base did make the marketing material. Cannondale claimed that the shorter wheel base allows for more aggressive handling and over all, it is about 8 centimeters shorter than my Trek, a racing bike. Of course, when I bought my Cannondale last September, just six months ago, I didn’t even know what the hell all of that meant. It’s a small, but important part to the equation.
Now this is the important part, and the reason for this addendum: had I gone to my local bike shop first, instead of trying to research my way into this, I’d have saved myself at least $400 because I never would have bought that bike (that’s a lot of Chamois Butt’r right there). In addition to the $400, I would have saved my beloved wife, who to this day still thinks I’m full of s#!t about this whole 56/58 cm bike ordeal, a lot of confusion and angst (she thinks I got the Trek because it’s cooler – and I understand why she would come to that conclusion, it IS). I would have saved several contentious months worrying about whether or not I was built for distance riding because that bike, while much faster and more comfortable (for road riding) than my mountain bike, still hurt a lot after 30 miles (specifically lower back and hands).
On another note, I stopped in to Assenmacher’s yesterday evening with my oldest daughter to look at bikes yesterday… She’s got her eyes on a Trek 1.2. Another couple of years and she should be tall enough. I can’t wait.