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Can it be true(14 posts)

Can it be truelott
Apr 9, 2001 12:12 PM
I'm looking primarily for a bike that is more comfortable for long rides(100) than fast. I've been concentrating on either Steel(a little cheaper) or Ti. On a ride yesterday, I stopped at a LBS and the salesperson told me that Alum Cannondale, spec. r2000(caad5 frame) is just as comfortable as steel,ti, or Carbon. I have a trek Alum now and I now it can be rough in the saddle after about 60 miles. Can this be true that some alum bikes are comfortable???
re: Can it be truegrz mnky
Apr 9, 2001 12:40 PM
The sales guy is telling you what you would like to hear so that he can sell you the C'dale. Put an equal or better carbon fork on the other quality built frame materials and you'll still notice the difference. Make no mistake about it the new C'dales are better than the older ones and should be comfortable for centuries and beyond, but they are still a racing quality frame. I just built a CAAD 4 (same as CAAD 5 but w/out the integrated headset) for a buddy and while it's a nice ride both an OCLV and a Ti Serotta are smoother. Even though we'd like things in a black and white world it's a matter of degrees. Ultimately it comes down to the rider and their preferences - some riders find the C'dales to be harsh, while others find them quite pleasing. YMMV. It isn't like you're going to suddenly hit a wall of discomfort at 60 mi. or some other magic number.
re: Can it be truelott
Apr 9, 2001 1:06 PM
Thanks...You mentioned the "Ti Serotta" as being a nice frame how about the steel Serotta(not the CSI - "too expensive" - but the colorado,2001 frame)??? I'm also considering the Lemond Zurich(even cheaper) if it fits me.
re: Can it be truegrz mnky
Apr 9, 2001 2:21 PM
Dunno about the Colorado 2001 frameset nor the Lemond Zurich - I haven't ridden either one. My comment was more focused on the C'dale and the bikes that I do have first hand experience. You should cruise the reviews and see what you find - they are a good source of info. Also talk to lots of people: different folks at the same shops and people that you meet riding. It's always a good way to start a conversation if you find someone attractive..... ;-)

To echo the poster down below - it is best to focus on the fit first, what the frame is made of follows the fit. A poor fit on an otherwise great frame is still a bad trip. The Serotta folks have trained fit specialists and even if you go with another make the fit info is still relevant. Check their website ( for more info.
Aluminum is just as soft as steel. Especially a CAD5!NMSteel_Lover
Apr 9, 2001 12:59 PM
re: Can it be truepulver
Apr 9, 2001 1:41 PM
Go and ride it for yourself and then compare. YOU really need to be your own judge because you are the one that will be riding the bike in a century. While the LBS could be of highest integrity, they are providing their professional opinion and when the rubber hits the road it will then be your bike & your decision. Also fit can mean EVERYTHING to your comfort level and the fact that you are experiencing some discomfort on your Trek may be more indicitive of fit rather than the material your bike is made of.

I can tell you that ti has been great for me, very stiff, very responsive, and very comfortable. I ride centuries several times a year. Take your time, educate yourself, digest the information you gather, test ride as many as you can, and link yourself with a good qualified LBS to guaranty a good fitting.
re: Not true for me.....BillieJo
Apr 9, 2001 5:11 PM
...I'm 6' and 145 pounds. My CAAD4(same as 5 but without the integrated HS) is much better then my previous Cdales ,but not nearly as good for long rides as my Moser TK-1, Carrera Zeus EL-OS, or Colnago Master Light.Even my older and much less expensive Tomassini built with SLX has the CAAD4 beat easily for comfort and no flex,but it's a tank for weight.Comfort depends alot on your size and weight and how you define it.Many Al frames have gotten alot better.....
re: Can it be trueCliff Oates
Apr 9, 2001 5:13 PM
A guy I know rides a Raleigh R800 (aluminum) and did the Death Valley Double in February on it (he put 28mm Contis on it first). He rides quite a few centuries each year on his bike and he is very happy with it. I'm not sure of his exact size -- maybe 5'9" - 5"10" and 160 - 170 pounds. FWIW, he looks like he's in his late 40's or early 50's.

My riding bud has an aluminum Marin (Vicenza). He did a half dozen centuries on it last year and will be doing more this year. I talked myself out of doing the Davis Double this year, so there's no double in his immediate future. He's built like a beer keg - maybe 5'7" and 205 pounds. He's very pleased with his bike, which replaced a Masi 3V. He says this bike fits him much better than the Masi did.

So, to answer your question, yes, some people find aluminum bikes to be comfortable. Have a fit-kit or size-cycle fitting done, then see if the dealer will let you test the bike on a real ride so that you can make up your own mind.

p.s.: I ride a 19 pound steel Waterford that I am in love with.
Aluminum can be comfortablelook271
Apr 9, 2001 6:52 PM
I had a Raleigh R700. Rode several centuries on it (including a 100mi 1 day and then 75 the next), It didn't "beat me up". However, my Look kg 271 Cf is much more comfortable.
Aluminum can be comfortableCliff Oates
Apr 9, 2001 7:22 PM
My LBS sells Kestrels and the owner of the shop thinks enough of me to let me borrow one for a day. I've never ridden a CF bike, so one of these days I'm going to get the full experience. I have to say now that I would not buy one. I am very pleased with my Waterford, and I have to buy my own garage with an attached house (I live in the SF Bay Area, so these things are not cheap) before I can allow myself to buy another bike.
I agreeboy nigel
Apr 9, 2001 8:23 PM
The way aluminum's being tweaked and tooled these days, framebuilders have really made aluminum frames totally rideable. The pros ride hundreds of miles on these bikes day after day in tours and classics, and over the nastiest cobbles on Earth. Add a carbon fork to the finely tweaked alu, and you've got some quality shock-absorbing going on.

Very believable. Maybe titanium does it a bit better, but alu is a lot more reasonably priced and does a very good job these days.
01 CAAD5 hereJohnG
Apr 10, 2001 6:00 AM
I've got about 300 miles on my 54cm 01 Caad5 build and I can say that it IS a relatively comfortable ride.... albeit 'NOT' nearly comfy as the OCLV that I test rode. If you are specifically looking for a COMFY ride then I suggest getting a test ride on an OCLV or similar carbon bike. Hmmm.... The Caad5 frame is HUGHLY better in terms of ride comfort than "older" Dale frames but it is still primarily a racing oriented frameset. Also, keep in mind that your personal weight and frame size will have a big impact on how a bikes "feels".

FWIW: The Caad5 feels pretty similar to my 853 steel bike and my Ti bike... maybe just a bit stiffer in the front end only. Again.... if you primarily want comfort then go with carbon.

good rides JohnG
Al. is plenty comfyMass Biker
Apr 10, 2001 1:30 PM
for this lightweight. My frame experiences have run the gamut. In my time, I have ridden old-school steel (Columbus SL), new school steel (Reynolds 853), carbon fiber (tubes joined with Al. lugs), and old school aluminum (a '92 'Dale). I now ride a '00 Giant TCR (thinwall aluminum) and find it comfortable on rides of any distance. Keep in mind that chosing a good set of tires and a good seatpost does make a difference to your comfort level. Based on my two experiences with Al. bikes (old school 'Dale vs. new school Giant), the difference is night and day. Buck-for-buck, ounce-for-ounce, the new generation Al. frames are hard to beat. - MB
weight makes a big difference....dave
Apr 10, 2001 1:50 PM
Those who can tolerate the ride of Al frames are often 180+ in weight, and ride relatively large frames. If you weigh 140 (or less) and ride a 55cm, like me, I wouldn't even look at Al. I've owned three C'dales and will never get another.

I'm now riding a Colango C-40, which is great, but pricey.

If you want a great riding steel bike, consider the Tommasini Sintesi at Colorado Cyclist. A fantastic frame for $900. I rode four seasons on a Sintesi, and always liked it. The Douglas Ti also looks like a good deal for $1100 (frame & fork).