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Cannondale road feel question(13 posts)

Cannondale road feel questionochsen
Oct 11, 2001 4:36 AM
O.K., I'm a newbie to roadbikes and am planning on buying one in the Spring, so I have lots of time to shop around and save more $$. Currently, I've been considering Cannondales.

My question:
Assuming the bike fits, how does a CAAD5 frame handle the long rides?

I keep hearing how the CDale road feel has improved, etc., but on the other hand, I still hear the "aluminum is harsh" generalizations and wonder how much they apply. I'm questioning my own judgement on feel, as I haven't ridden one on long rides which is my main concern.

Thanks in advance.

p.s. I'll admit it, I'm considering the CAAD5 over steel based on weight and CDale's claims of smooth road feel. I have no intentions of racing, but lightness intrigues me.

p.p.s. FWIW, I'm 5' 11", around 160 lbs.

p.p.p.s. I'll definately have more questions for you folks in the near future.
what do you consider a 'long ride' ? nmraboboy
Oct 11, 2001 5:05 AM
Oct 11, 2001 5:50 AM
I would consider 3+ hours long, but I will be doing much longer rides, as in 7+ hours.

I have done these longer rides on my mountain bike w/ slicks, and definately know what it feels like to be uncomfortable. The non-road geometry played a role in those rides though.
re: Cannondale road feel questionmorey
Oct 11, 2001 5:40 AM
My wife has a CAAD5, and I have a CAAD 6. We have ridden Centurys, but mostly 30 miles @ a clip. It is harsher than our previous steel bikes, but not much. They are very comfortable, and light. Beg to be ridden fast!
I am 5'10 and 200 lbs.
Don't let the generalizations scare ya!jtolleson
Oct 11, 2001 6:34 AM
That's all they are, generalizations. The vast majority of riders on bikes costing less that $1500 are riding aluminum, and they are riding centuries and more happily.

The CAAD5 frame is a huge improvement and stiffness has its benefits in terms of responsiveness for climbing and sprinting. You are not a huge rider, but will certainly be getting say, a 56 cm frame (approx.) and weighing 160, getting a nice saddle, etc. my guess is you could be very happy indeed with a Canny or aluminum Trek, Klein, etc.

The proof will be in the test rides.
"like riding on rims"Ed
Oct 11, 2001 7:52 AM
"like riding on rims" is how a buddy described his CAAD4 before he sold it to me. I also think Cannondales are stiff and harsh for longer rides (60-100+miles) but they make an excellent crit bike.

You should determine what type of riding you plan to do and how important comfort is to you and base your purchase on those factors and not frame weight.
Cannondale R2000si CAAD5 -- A oKy!!jagiger
Oct 11, 2001 8:13 AM
I completed my 1st century on my Canny with no problems at all. The bike is tight & fast!!! The TI fork helps dampen any harshness. This big was a huge jump from my '75 Peuget & I really don't miss it at all!!

I was also looking at the Treks. You have time shop around & find the one that feels right & looks good.
Cannondale R2000si CAAD5 -- A oKy!!morey
Oct 12, 2001 7:04 AM
My wife has a r2000si and I have an r4000si. So far, after 1 year, we love them!
re: Cannondale road feel questionJax
Oct 11, 2001 8:47 AM
I just bought a Cannondale CAAD5 (R1000si). When I did my test rides, I thought the Cannondale felt much better than a Lemond Buenos Aires. I've been on some 2 and 3 hours rides, and I have never felt better. I used to ride a steel MTB with slicks. The road shoes hurt my feet a bit, but that's not the bikes fault. I highly recommend the CAAD4+ frames. I think that vertical compliance crap is for real. One caveat though, Im 230 lbs, so that might be why I dont notice any harshness.
re: Cannondale road feel questionnorm
Oct 11, 2001 9:50 AM
Just bought a CAAD4 frame.

I'm 5'10, 155lbs....ride a 55cm

Don't know how CAAD4 compares to the CAAD5, but compared to my steel bike (Davidson), its definately harsher over rough roads.

I would characterize the Davidson as a middle of the road bike as far as geometry (73s/74h). It has a very smooth feel and is very stable.

However, I love the ride of the Cannondale, its so light!!!. Its much more responsive than my old bike and I think its a good tradeoff to the harsher ride. Uphill out-of-saddle sprints is where the bike really shines. Sprints on bumpy roads takes more attention, since I feel the rear wheel is not as planted as the steel bike (this could be because of the lighter weight).

On long rides, the bike doesn't beat me up but I would say its not as comfortable as the steel bike.

If you are primarily doing long steady rides...a steel bike my be more suitable....but I'm addited to the responsiveness of the Cannondale.

p.s. I had a Cannondale back in 1984...that thing did beat me up! Cannondale is much improved.
re: Cannondale road feel questionWoof the dog
Oct 11, 2001 10:28 PM
for long rides like that (7 hours you said) you'd be better off buying a steel frame. You can get a great steel frame that will be only a pound heavier that your Cannondale, will last longer and will be more comfortable. Weight matters more in the wheels. Wanna lighten up your bike? Get Durace for extra 300 bucks (i think) over Ultegra. Would that save a pound? or less?


Woof the dog.
Thanks everybody...ochsen
Oct 12, 2001 8:02 AM
I'd like to say I've made a solid decision based on your comments, but can't. It's just given me more food for thought, all useful info.

The CAAD5 is the only aluminum frame I've considered so far. I've heard good things about it and thought about it and decided to ask the question. I haven't, however, heard anyone say it rides like steel, and I wasn't expecting that either. But if it's light, gives a reasonably smooth ride and affordable then it's going to be on my list.

There are just so many bikes out there in my price range (which also changes every other day, currently it's back up to 2,000ish) that I'm getting overwhelmed. I'm now also considering building up a bike, which presents a bunch of other issues. When it comes time to serious test riding though, I will still give the CAAD5 a spin.

Thanks again.

p.s. Like I said, more questions to come.
re: Cannondale road feel question540nova
Oct 14, 2001 2:31 PM
I have an r4000si, CAAD 6 frame, and it's more comfortable than my Columbus SL (steel) Gios. I often do 2.5+ hour rides. They definately have improved them alot.
You'll love it.
By the way, mine weighs 17.4 pounds, with Dura-Ace and Look pedals (56cm).