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and then there were 2: lemond BA vs C'Dale R600(13 posts)

and then there were 2: lemond BA vs C'Dale R600marklorie
Aug 7, 2001 8:06 AM
i must choose and I'd like to do it soon. here's the bikes:

1. '02 lemond buenos aires, which now comes with a mix of 105 and ultegra and bontrager wheels
2. '01 cannondale r600 with a 105 crankset.

i think i'd prefer steel, but some seem to insist that the c'dale CAAD4 is a smooth ride and not bone jarring like other aluminum frames. any thoughts? how much should i test ride each before i decide? 10 minutes? 30 minutes? 1 hour?

re: and then there were 2: lemond BA vs C'Dale R600jtolleson
Aug 7, 2001 8:25 AM
Yes, the CAAD4 is about as good as Al gets, but I'm partial to steel and also partial to Lemond if the geometry is right. It is also slightly better spec'd for the dough.

If you can get each bike out for at least 12-15 miles you'll get a better feel (find some rough pavement, ride on the brake hoods and in the drops, vary your speed, shift a lot) for each.
re: and then there were 2: lemond BA vs C'Dale R600notes_clp
Aug 7, 2001 9:36 AM
It should come down to which bike "talks" to you when you ride it. I rode a CAAD3, CAAD4 and a Zurich.. For me it was the Zurich, I just knew it was the one after testing ridding all.

This link has some good tips along with allot of others at the bottom.
I just made this EXACT decision....HamSammy
Aug 7, 2001 10:04 AM
....and in one hour from now, I will go to pick up my brand new, black-on-black R600.

In the end I used the price as an excuse to make a decision. Even though the 2002 BA was only slightly more expensive, I had already stretched my budget to get to the $1350 price range. Other than that, I wrestled with this decision to the point that it actually kept me up at night.

Price aside...I rode both bikes for a short amount of time,(if you can actually take yours out for extended rides, you should definately do that)and I found the Lemond to be slightly more comfortable, but not enough to be the dealbreaker, and the caad4 handles like a great sports car...tight, nimble, fast...

Oh yeah, and it's great to look at !

Good luck making your decision...if you can find an excuse to go one way or the other it will help with the post-purchace cold feet, but I don't think you can really go wrong with either bike. I can't wait to get out there on mine...the wait has been unbearable !
something to considerak
Aug 7, 2001 10:42 AM
someone's gotta say it because lots of us are thinking it. A brand doesn't get nicknamed Crack-and-Fail for no reason. Sure, they offer a huge warantee on the frame, but if you break one like so many other people have done, do you really want to go through the trouble of getting a replacement frame? To give them their credit, their warantee department is one of the best there is, the frames are immediately sent to the bike shop and the riders are often back on the bike in less than a week. For me, I'd rather have a bike from a manufacturer that is known for something other than frame failure.

And for all those who will curse the bike because of one comment Greg Lemond made about a friend of their hero, he has nothing to do with the bike company, they pay him for the name and the image behind it.
something (else) to considerMike K
Aug 7, 2001 11:14 AM
If cracking and failing was such a big problem Cannondale would no longer be in business, sued out of existence a long time ago by enterprising lawyers, and dropped by their liability carriers.
I have had 6 Cannondales (MTB & road) starting with the old tooth-rattler beer can 80's big tube experiments and while that comments about bone jarring rides of early bikes are dead on, the crack and fail deal, as a major issue, is bull...........
I would love to know what the failure rate, per unit, is for any other manufacturer (regardless of material)? People talk about CF Treks cracking, and Litespeeds coming apart at the welds, I'm sure there is someone who has broken something or other on just about any brand of bike. I broke a steel Raleigh years ago - I can't say that I hold it against the company and I just can't come up with a cute, crack and fail type jingle to go along with the Raleigh name...
And if you know more people who have had a cracked C-dale or a bad Trek frame it might have something to do with the fact that these are probably the two most common bikes on the road.
If these things were having catastrophic failures with some sort of regularity than your critique would be warranted. As it stands its about as valid as the bad name Audi earned a decade ago for cars that supposedly "accelerated by themselves".....
What ???Crash
Aug 7, 2001 11:24 AM
First of all, unlike most of the people that bag on Cannondale, I have actually owned them. Three for a total of 10 years. I have never had ANY damage to any of my frames. I'm sure there are people that have broken them, but if you look at the number of breaks vs. bikes sold I'm sure they are close to the industry standard for the type of frames they make (AL). A lot of people just don't like Cannondale I think because of their popularity, and Crack-and-fail is a cute name that rhymes. The bike and ride may not be for everyone, but I do think they make a quality product.
By the way, I did ride the Zurich before I bought my R2000si. Nice enough bike, but I really liked the Canny better.
something else to considerMel Erickson
Aug 7, 2001 11:31 AM
I'm not aware of any manufacturer that provides statistics on it's frame failure rate. I don't know of any other organization that produces statistics on bicycle frame failure rates (like, say, Consumer Reports does for automobiles). Without this type of information it is impossible to determine how frames from different manufacturers (and different materials) stack up against each other. I do know of a couple of studies that tested frames from different manufacturers and different materials and aluminum frames came out quite good. This type of testing produces valuable information but is not a substitute for a large statistical sample. Absent this type of information it is virtually impossible to draw meaningful conclusions. They are based on conjecture and anecdotal information which is very unreliable. It's easy to apply a witty nickname to popular, mass produced product manufacturers. It's often done to successful companies who's products were once considered unique and desireable but are now in wide distribution. Everyone wants a uniquely personal product to express their individuality and separate themselves from the masses. If everyones got it then it's difficult to be unique. Witness Litespeed, once a darling and now often pooh poohed. We're just kidding ourselves if we think reliable conclusions can be drawn without reliable data. So, buy what fits, is in your price range, does what you want it to do and trips your spiritual trigger.
I assume you've all heard this already..ak
Aug 7, 2001 12:44 PM
but I'll repeat it for those who haven't
I guess this is just conjecture too, but FYI Cannondale grinds down the welds on their frames to make them smooth. They say (and I don't not arguing with it) that a smooth weld is stronger than a beaded one. Most of the companies that make smooth-welded frames do so with multiple passes of the welder. This takes significantly more time, but produces an extremely strong weld. Cannondale takes the cheaper shortcut; to weld once and then grind down the excess. I am not so green as to think that Cannondale is the only company that takes shortcuts, surely all companies to to some extent. Here is what I do know: Cannondale owns significantly less than 50% of the market share of higher-end Al frames, yet of all the broken Al frames I've seen in my short lifetime, significantly more than half have been Cannondale. Until two months ago, none of the shops I've worked in have sold Cannondale and this one sells very few. I admitt that this is not reliable data since I do not have a complete cross-sample, but it is data none the less.
as for whoever said that Cannondale would not exist anymore if any of this were true: I'm not talking about catastrophic failures where riders are dying left and right. Most all of the frame failures I see are ones where the rider makes it home on the bike and occasionally doesn't know of the crack until they hear the clicking later. So I don't know where you see the opportunity to file a law-suit, but if you find one let me know because my (non-cannondale) frame has a flaw where they welded the seat clamp to the frame and I lost about a square millimeter of really expensive paint because of it, and they havn't gotten back to me about the warantee yet.

I have no more reliable evidence that cannondale makes weak frames than any cannondale owner has that they don't make weak frames, so all I can post on are my observations. Until there is an accurate study done Cannondale wins because in this country the burden of proof is not on accuser. Oh well, so much for giving a guy something to think about before he buys a bike.
I think we could sum it up this way:Mike K
Aug 7, 2001 1:25 PM
Your statement is pure conjecture, buttressed by anecdotal evidence build up on a preexisting prejudice.

Guess what you win:

Mine just cracked on the way home from the bike shop !HamSammy
Aug 7, 2001 4:14 PM
JUST KIDDING ... But I know a guy who's brother met this dude who had a Cannondale in college and he said he bought that Cannondale from a guy who had five Cannondales and he wanted to sell one of them so he could afford a new belt buckle that matched his fancy cowboy boots with the metal tips on the toe, and that belt had a crack in it.

I love my new bike. I'm sorry so many of you don't approve of my purchase. Oh well you can mock me when you see me out there.
oh boy... ;-) (nm)ak
Aug 8, 2001 5:15 AM
re: and then there were 2: lemond BA vs C'Dale R600Roy Zipris
Aug 8, 2001 4:19 AM
I had the same choice this past spring. I went with the BA because, after several test rides (15-30 minutes), I liked the feel and fit better (for me) and, for no objective reason, I wanted to avoid the proprietary Cannondale components. Either way, enjoy.