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Ready to buy, carbon or alum. fork? R700 Cannondale(10 posts)

Ready to buy, carbon or alum. fork? R700 CannondaleSSgt Jeremy in Germany
Jun 17, 2001 4:22 AM
Well it looks like I am about to buy my first road bike. My LBS has a Cannondale R700 Cadd 3 frame, yellow with red decals, any idea what year? He doesnt know the year, its new, never been built up. It must be older than 97, thats as far back as the cannondale website goes. He is willing to sell it to me with the yellow aluminum fork on it with a quill stem, or put a carbon slice fork with a different headset, the kind with the spacers, which would be a little more expensive. What is better, quill stem or other? He is going to get back to me on the difference in price. My question is how much of a difference will a carbon fork make? He says it matters on long rides. I have ridden both and cant tell a difference. I am not a heavy rider 160#, gunna loose 20# though. Also, does anyone anything good or bad about the R700 frame? I figure this will be a good first bike, ultegra components for under a $1000. Thanks to everyone for all the help given in selecting a first road bike!
re: Ready to buy, carbon or alum. fork? R700 Cannondalegot2ryd
Jun 17, 2001 5:51 AM
id go with the carbon fork....better bump absorption. but, is there anyway you can get a caad4 frame? i think you would be happier with the caad4 over the caad3 because of the rear triangle. much more comfy ride because of the hourglass seat stays on the 4.
cadd4=more money, worth it?SSgt Jeremy in Germany
Jun 17, 2001 6:54 AM
I can get cadd4 R1000, 2001 model, or a R2000 model left over from last year for about $500-600 more, worth it? Not sure, pretty much the same components, ultegra. Since this is my first road bike, I am hoping to do it with minimal cost, but I want a good bike to build on. Perhaps the cadd4 is the way to go, I will just have to decide if it is worth the extra cost. Thanks for the suggestion.
cadd4=more money, worth it?got2ryd
Jun 17, 2001 7:09 AM
i think its worth it. the frame is the most important part of any bike. i never would have thought an al frame, esp from c'dale, could be so comfortable. but after test riding it made a believer out of me. i chose the c'dale over trek's 5200 and the lemond zurich. anyway, all i can say is test ride, test ride, test ride. good luck! where in germany are you?
cadd4=more money, worth it?SSgt Jeremy in Germany
Jun 17, 2001 7:28 AM
I am in the southwestern part, close to Luxemburg, Belgium, and France. A great location, lots of stuff close. Next weekend I will probably go to the Paris Air Show, and in July, I may drive over to Belgium to check out the TDF, if not this year, next year the Tour will pass on the Luxemburg side of the the German-Lux border, about 10 miles away or so, I will be there for sure. But about the bike. I may go for the more expensive cadd4 after all, I will let you know. But how do the other companys like trek, giant, and any other company out there make there frames compliant to the buttox without hour glass seat stays? Giant has a carbon seat post, so I guess that helps. One plus about cadd4, it looks cool, but that wont be why I decide on it.
cadd4=more money, worth it?got2ryd
Jun 18, 2001 5:13 AM
other bike companies, if not using shaped seat stays, use different frame materials such as carbon fiber, ti or steel and benefit from a compliant ride. test ride as many different makes and frame materials if you can before you buy.
re: Ready to buy, carbon or alum. fork? R700 CannondaleAkirasho
Jun 17, 2001 6:13 AM
Cannondale code the year of manufacture in the serial # stamped on the bottom of the BB shell (though I can't remember what each character stands for). Other clues would be certain frame characteristics...

If the down tube flares as it approaches the BB shell, then it's at least an R2.8 or CAAD3... if not... it's probably a CAAD2 (though in Cannondale's older designation, the R700 indicates a CAAD3 frame).

If the rear stays are cantilevered (the seat stayes meet the rear dropouts about an inch and a half before the ends) and the downtube flares as it approaches the BB shell, then it's an R2.8 and has a stiffer rear triangle than any of the other CAAD designated frames.

Also, if it's got a quill stem and fork already, it's got a 1" steerer and is probably pre '99.

A carbon fiber fork makes for a much more compliant ride on aluminium frames in general... and specifically the R2.8 and CAAD3 frames (I've got 2 R2.8's and a CAAD3). I've never ridden CAAD4 or higher, but further tube manipulation is said to smooth the ride even further...

Ride qualities are mostly subjective, and I like the stiffness of my R2.8's (with Kestrel EMS and Coda Slice forks) as well as my CAAD3 (with an Easton EC70 fork) though I outweigh you by a bit...

Cannondale frames are well engineered and built to last (though as with any aluminium frame... you'll have to keep an eye on it for signs of fatigue) and probably would make a great first ride... even with older Ultegra (I'm guessing cuz of the sub grand asking price)... this could be a nice ride out the box... and while you'd be limited to 1" steerers in any future fork upgrades... the rest of the frame will accept and is worthy of virtually ANY upgrade you'd care to add.

The only other matter to note... make sure that the frame fits YOU! While low cost can be a strong lure... all is for naught if it doesn't fit. If you've already got your anthromorphic measurments then you can verify that the frame will fit (two of the characters in the serial # DO indicate the frame size). If you have questions about fit, you can visit a local LBS or these links.

http://www.coloradocyclist.com/BikeFit/index.cfm
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing.html
http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/frameinfo/Frame_Sizing.htm
http://cyfacusa.com/frame_fit.htm

Note too, that you loose some adjustability (with respect to handlebar height) with threadless forks and stems... not a bad thing if you're sure of your position and fit. Spacers will only make up so much... so measure twice (thrice) and cut once...

Be the bike.
re: Ready to buy, carbon or alum. fork? R700 CannondaleSSgt Jeremy in Germany
Jun 17, 2001 7:10 AM
Wow, great post and info, thanks! It says cadd3 on the frame, so that I am sure of. I will check out the bottom of the BB shell for the year in the serial#. Yep, your right, it has a fork already, and a quill stem, so I guess its 1", I am sure its atleast a pre 99. I have been measured and sized, and this frame will fit me, its a 54 and I can ride 52-54. Thanks for the advice on the stem, I like the adjustability and lower cost of keeping the factory fork, but the carbon fork would be great for comfort. Some issues I will just have to weigh and decide on. Thanks!
re: Ready to buy, carbon or alum. fork? R700 CannondaleJohnG
Jun 17, 2001 8:30 AM
If you are under 170# definately go with the 4. Keep in mind Dales are pretty stiff frames so the comfort level isn't the best.

For my 150# I found that even the 4 (with full C fork) a bit too stiff in the front end for my tastes. The rear was OK though. My older caad2(?) frame was horrid.

YMMV JohnG
if you live in Germany..cyclopathic
Jun 17, 2001 4:18 PM
you should be O'k with AL fork I suppose, roads so much better there!

down here you need carbon fork (or Silk, this is Cdale!), fat gloves, 2 layers of tape, Ti frame, suspention seatpost, pain killers..