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SO CLOSE to buying a Cannondale R800...i need a little help(12 posts)

SO CLOSE to buying a Cannondale R800...i need a little helpsalz
Nov 25, 2003 2:17 PM
I've decided on the Cannondale R800, but I'm trying to choose between the 2003 model vs. the 2004 model. Besides some slight sizing issues (whether to have the 60cm frame or the 63cm frame...both feel pretty comfortable, but I need to do some more test rides), the biggest issue is the frame type. The 2003 model has a CAAD5 frame, and the new 2004 model now has the CAAD7 frame. The 2004 model is $1450, and I can get the 2003 model for about $1120. In terms of components, the two models are almost identical, the main difference is the frame. Is CAAD7 worth the extra money? I'm talking with two LBS's, and of course, one guy says it's worth it (the store that doesn't have the 2003 in my size), and the other guy says it's negligable (the store that has a 2003 in my size...and probably wants to get rid of it). Can anyone help me out? If it wasn't for the frame, I wouldn't be having such a problem deciding, but it's so important. Thanks.

durability difference.....C-40
Nov 25, 2003 4:09 PM
The CAAD7 might be a couple of insignificant ounces lighter, and less durable, due to the thinner tubing.

Note that Cannondale does not consider stress cracking of the thin-wall tubing to be a warranted-covered failure, merely the end of the frame's normal life.

Might be better to get the CAAD5 and save the extra for future upgrades, particularly if you're a heavy rider.
I've owned both...biknben
Nov 25, 2003 6:06 PM
I went from a CAAD5 to a CAAD7 this past summer. The 7 is 4 ounces lighter and it's geometry is ever so slightly different. I could not tell a difference. Nothing, nada, zipp.

I was completely happy with the 5. I'm just as happy with the 7. In hindsight, I probably should have spent that money elsewhere.

My $.02
So I think the 2003 is going to be the winner...salz
Nov 26, 2003 9:29 AM
Thanks guys, that's just what I needed to hear, although anyone else's input will still be helpful. I weigh about 235, so I'm a big guy, and I thought about the durability issue as well, but I really wasn't sure which frame would be more durable. Thanks for clearing that up. And thanks biknben, you took care of the other issue which was the weight difference between the frames, and I was hoping someone would respond who had ridden both. It looks like the 2003 R800 is what I'm leaning towards now, and maybe I'll take the extra cash and add on a little bit of ultegra. :P
I've had both as wellK-Man
Nov 26, 2003 10:07 AM
I was riding a 2002 R900 CAAD 5 and just sold it and replaced it with a R2000 CAAD 7. Same story as the far as the frame goes geometry is "slightly" different. Ride is difficult to say since my new bike is a good bit lighter due to components. I can definately say the lighter bike has a much faster acceleration and hill climbing abailty, but as I said probably not much due to the frame, just lighter components and a better wheelset. At your weight I would probably stay with the CAAD 5 as long as the bike fits you well, if not I would not buy it. The only thing I can say I like better about the 7 over the 5 is the cable routing. The 5 had the cable routing right along the underside of the down tube and on rough roads the cable would clatter against the tube....very annoying. If this is the route you go make sure the shop installs some rubber o-rings on those cables to avoid the slap. The 7 has the cables routed differently so the cable if further away and more to the side of the tube to eliminate this slap.

Good Luck and enjoy!
Thanks for the tip...salz
Nov 26, 2003 10:53 AM
I'm about to go to one of the two shops I'm working with in the next hour to work on sizing again. I'm pretty comfortable in both a 60cm, or a 63cm (depending on stem lengths for both). The interesting thing is, if it turns out I really need a 63cm frame, then the 2003 might be out of the question because both shops have it in a 60cm, but not a 63. I have one shop saying 60cm is fine, one saying they like the 63, and I feel good on both. We'll see what happens.
always pay for the better frame...eyebob
Nov 26, 2003 1:53 PM
you'll have both for many years and as parts wear out and you replace them you will want to upgrade them. It's dopey to hang dura ace/ultegra stuff off of a CAAD 5 frame when you could (for $300 more had a better frame....

Always pay for the better frame with the idea that you can upgrade the components...

always pay for the better frame...divve
Nov 26, 2003 3:27 PM
CAAD7 probably sounds cool and bla bla for the moment cause it's Cannondale's top dawg roadie frame...that is until January - February when their ultimate synergy between aluminum/carbon & humanoid arrives. Then the CAAD7 will be nothing more than what the CAAD5 is made up to be now. In this particular instance, if you're not after the latest and greatest, you won't be any worse off going for the older frame model.
There is some backwards logic going on here...russw19
Nov 26, 2003 9:46 PM
First off, the CAAD 7 is the frame with only a 2 year warranty, the CAAD 5 is lifetime... which one you wanna bet is still around in many years?

Second, Mario Cippolini won a Tour stage and held the Maillot Jaune on a lowly little ol CAAD 3.

No offence eyebob, but you buy into a lot of marketing hype don't ya? The CAAD 7 isn't inherently a better frame... it's simply lighter... if you read the posts from the two guys here who have actually replaced the 5 with the 7 you would see both of them said it may not have been worth it to spend up. Both said they could not tell the difference between the two. But the 7 has a higher number so it must be better, huh?

Go with what the other two guys who had both said... get the 5 and spend the extra $300 on something else to make your bike more fancy than the rest of the guys you ride with.

where do you get your info russ19bugleboy
Nov 26, 2003 10:01 PM
The whole warranty thing for cannondale has been a debate for a while. The owners manual does state that the frame comes with a lifetime warranty for the life of the "ORIGINAL OWNER". Yes there is a statement that says that the CAAD 7 is a frame designed to give a competitive cyclist an advantage. In no way does that void the warranty. They are merely warning that you should take care of your bike and inspect it. Read it sometime and see if you can find the statement that says that the warranty is void. If you think any other ultra lightweight bike is going to be better then you are on crack. Cannondales have passed some of the most stringent tests and a lot of other bikes failed.
Ok guys, it's been done...Tomorrow I'll have itsalz
Nov 27, 2003 4:03 PM
I ended up getting the 2003 today and I'm very happy I did. For $1150 (instead of $1120,) I got the bike with an ultegra rear derailleur (which was 105) and a 105 front derailleur instead of the stock Tiagra. I've ridden the bike a few times and it feels great. In terms of CAAD7 or CAAD5, saving the money just seemed to make much more sense for how much money I was saving. If the difference was $100 instead of $300, then I might have ended up with the 2004, but since the difference is $300, that's quite a lot of money. This is my first road bike (I've had a mountain bike for years), and as I've learned through building my first computer two years ago, you're always gambling whenever you go with the latest and greatest. I felt more secure with CAAD5 since I'm a heavy rider and CAAD5 has been around for years. Anyway, the main reason was how much I saved compared to the overall difference in the frames. Now I need to go get something to put me to sleep, because I'm getting so excited I won't be able to sleep tonight. :P Thanks for everyone's help!
where do you get your info russ19russw19
Nov 28, 2003 1:55 PM
You're right, I misread the warranty. I did mistake where they said it was only designed to last for 2 years as them saying it was only warrantied for 2 years. There is no other statement otherwise, so I must believe that although they design it to last 2 years, it is in fact warrantied for life.

That said, and yes, I was wrong there, that still wasn't the point of my post. My point was that the CAAD 7 is not inherently better than the CAAD 5 as eyebob is making it out to be. He states that it's "dopey to hang dura ace/ultegra stuff off of a CAAD 5 frame" and I think that is a silly statement. I fully agree with you that Cannondale makes some of the best bikes in the world. I have a CAAD 3 still and I used to race for Cannondale. I love their stuff, but I don't buy into the hype that the CAAD 7 is any "better" of a frame than my CAAD 3. The 7 is lighter, but my 3 is stiffer and more dent resistant.

My point wasn't saying anytihng negative about Cannondales, just that the new CAAD 7 is not right for every rider. To think so is buying into marketing hype. If you are a Cannondale owner, settle down, I wasn't dis'ing your bike. I have to admit that my source of info for the warranty came from here until you pointed out what you did, then I went to Cannondale's site and read it for myself. But that doesn't change my point of view that the 7 is not inherently better than the 5. And anyways, it's all moot as Cannondale has dropped the CAAD designation from their frames for 2004 and now only has the Optimo and the Optimo Si frames.

All I am sure are fine frames, but is the 7 really "better" than the 5?