After making the impulsive decision that I needed a new road bike, I went to my local bike shop to check out the CAAD 10's they had in stock. I'd heard a lot of good things about the CAAD 10, and LBS was able to get me a sweet deal with my team sponsorship.
Most notable changes from the old Trek road bike:
*Frame Size! With a 54cm frame, the old Trek 1500 road bike was too large for me. The bike store I bought it from only fit me from the legs down, and I was too much of a bike newbie to know any better. Apparently I have disproportionately long legs, because I was crazy stretched out to reach the bars, even with the teeniest stem available. Black Beauty has a 50cm frame... no more stretching to reach the bars!
*Weight! Black Beauty weighs in at just over 16 lbs. The Trek weighed around 21 lbs. 'Nuff said.
I have never named my bikes aside from referring to them as "Little Trek" and "Little Giant" with the same affection that I use in referring to my car as "Little Mazda" and "Little Zoom". (Though, I should mention here that after Black Beauty came home, the nickname 'Fatty' was immediately bestowed upon the Trek. I know, I am the worst bike mommy ever.)
I'm not exactly sure why I immediately decided the new bike needed a name, but Black Beauty got her name for several reasons. On the more obvious level, she is black and she is gorgeous. Anyone can see that :) When I was growing up, one of my favorite books was Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, and Black Beauty was all black with a white star on his forehead and a white foot. My bike has a white "C" on the front and white "feet". Also, I picked her out on Derby Day. Not that Sewell's Black Beauty ever ran the Kentucky Derby, but, whatever, it fits with the horse theme.
Isn't the resemblance obvious???
I brought Black Beauty home the day before I left for the Columbia tri and couldn't resist taking her out for a 20 minute spin around my neighborhood. My initial reaction was that I felt really scrunched up and that she handled funny. However, I was amazed at how incredibly smooth the Dura Ace shifting was... I can totally see why people make such a big deal about it now!
The week after Columbia, I took her out for a second ride one evening. I don't know what happened in the few days between rides - maybe this is how muscle memory works? - but I felt like Black Beauty and I were made for each other. Climbing was easier and faster (duh - she weighs almost 5 pounds less than the Trek). The shifting was ridiculously smooth. It handled like a dream: Descending and fast cornering were sooooooo much more comfortable and it seemed like the bike knew exactly where I wanted to go and how to react. I am pretty sure I had a goofy grin plastered across my face for the entire 2.5 hour ride.
Black Beauty has displaced the TT bike's spot as my favorite bike, and the Trek has been relegated to commuter bike/nasty weather bike complete with SPD pedals. I don't think I can express in words the affection I have for this bike... it is just freaking awesome!
The technical info, for anyone who's really interested..