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choosing a bike-Cannondale or Gunnar?(4 posts)

choosing a bike-Cannondale or Gunnar?dawgcatchr
Sep 20, 2003 9:24 PM
I would like to build up a 'cross bike this fall-I will be doing some racing, some winter riding on the roads, some commuting, and some gravel/dirt trail riding as well. I would like something that is fairly versatile for lots of uses (this will be my first season racing 'cross-if I get super serious, I can always buy a race-specific bike). Hopefully this bike will hold it's own on bad-weather road rides, as living in Oregon subjects your bike to alot of crap.

My choices are either a Gunnar or Cannondale Cyclocross Disc. I work at a C-dale shop, and Gunnar will extend employee purchase on frames to any shop employee, so those bikes are the two obvious choices (I am hoping my build will be under $900). Any opinions on what I should build up? Go with a double 'cross crankset, or a triple for more versatiliy in varying terrain? (much of the singletrack around here is non-technical, so I may try to get away with the bike in those situations as well). Also, I am 5 foot 8, with an 85.5cm floor to pelvic bone-I am assuming I will be riding a 52cm (I ride a 54ish road frame most of the time). Thanks in advance!
Steel vs Beer-Can!??phatlizard
Sep 21, 2003 3:18 AM
I think that is what you have to ask yourself first!
Your question is a little bit like "Should I eat a cake or a pie?" - well what do you like better ... ???

If you buy the GUNNAR make sure they send the T-Shirt with it - and it answers all your questions as well ... :)

phaty
re: choosing a bike-Cannondale or Gunnar?dugmn
Sep 21, 2003 5:52 AM
I got a Kona Dr. Dew and put a drop bar and STI levers on it to get a cross bike with disc brakes, and I think it's overkill for racing. Definitely heavy, my 60cm weighs in at over 25 pounds. Granted it is probably much heavier than a Cdale due to beefier aluminum tubing, but I really wish that I would have gotten a bike with canti brakes. In fact, I probably will and use the Kona for a dedicated commuter. I've already put a flat bar back on it for a more upright position, and I'm drooling over the '04 cross bikes already.
Do you see any cross racers using disc brakes? The only one I've heard of around here is a Cdale rep. There have been many discussions on this board about whether the speeds in cross racing warrant using discs. True an extra pound or two doesn't seem like a lot, but if you are constantly having to move that extra weight by pedaling or carrying your bike it's going to take a toll over the course of the race.

On the question of aluminum versus steel, that is a personal preference. I own steel, aluminum and Ti bikes and I like them all, but I'm inflicted with the disease known as Bikus Addictus. I own a Waterford 2200 TT bike, same fine folks that make the Gunnars. The ride quality of this bike is simply amazing. It is very comfortable without being noodly, very stable steering and it just wants to go fast. I'd buy another Richard Schwinn product in a second.

I've test ridden the '02 Cdale cross bike, it feels very light and fast. Sure aluminum won't rust, but steel is very durable if you take care of it with Frame Saver and regular maintenance. Don't forget about the '04 Cdales, they have a carbon fork and look very nice.

Gee, I have just rambled, but hopefully I've offered some things to think about in my morning caffeine-induced rant.

Bottom line, ride them both. Borrow a customers if you can't test ride the new shop bikes. Then you'll know which one to get!
a little gas to the fire....buffalosorrow
Sep 21, 2003 7:54 AM
Okay I am not going to say one material is superior to another, but they are different.

I own a steel singlespeed cross geometry based on a IF and a colnago cross, the geo is made to race.

I honestly like both equally for differnet reasons. Steel frames are steel and act accordingly, ride tends to be a bit more plush (forgiving). On my situation this can be the combination of the steel frame, relaxed geo (72 seat tube, 43cm chainstays...). I race both, next weekend is the seasons first for my area, I plan to race my steel singlespeed.
On to the colnago, I feel faster on the couse, better lap time, tighter corners, better acceleration and a pound or so lighter. Wonderfull race proven ride!

A few pro's for steel...
Can be repaired with ease, unlike aluminum.
Today's steel tubes are equally light, stiff and responsive as aluminum.
Asthetics, some people like narrow "classic" tubing. While other like "oversized", really your choice.
I would have to give steel frames a longer life span, they tend to fatigue less. (But really most live in a disposable world, 3-5years and most get a new ride)
Better re-sale value, I would by a used steel frame over an aluminum one.