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New bike dilemma(10 posts)

New bike dilemmaMVN
Jan 5, 2002 3:36 PM
A friend of mine who runs a bike department in a sporting goods store offered to sell me a Cannondale of my choice at employee discount. I just bought a Trek 1000 six months ago to get into road riding and hadn't planned on getting another so soon. I'm not a racer but I would like something a little better than the Trek and Sora. I don't know much about C'Dale except I heard that they had frame problems several years back. He says he hasn't had any problems with them in recent years. I haven't picked out a model yet, just looking for thoughts on the brand. Any thoughts or opinions on their longevity and sturdiness?
Cannondale commentsKerry Irons
Jan 5, 2002 4:19 PM
Nothing wrong with these bikes. Durability is not an issue. Reasonably light and a reasonable value, so if you really are getting a good discount, this could be a great deal. The main knock you hear on Cannondales is that they are too harsh, particularly in smaller frame sizes. A lot of this can be smoothed out with wider tires and lower tire pressures. Key question: does the proposed bike fit you?
Cannondale commentsTig
Jan 5, 2002 5:40 PM
We always hear about aluminum stress cycle fatigue, but I have yet to see a Cannondale road frame fail outside of a hard accident, and there are many where I live. I've had 3 road and 3 MTB C-dales of various designs and all have been quite durable. I know from riding many other road bikes that C-dales, especially the older ones, do ride a bit harsh in the smaller sizes. I finally got to test ride a friend's R-3000 Si CADD 5 and was impressed with the improved comfort. I'd recommend it over their past bikes but chose a different mfg for my new frame. Sure, it doesn't ride as smooth as well made steel, but it shouldn't! Go for the good deal on the best CADD 5 model you can aford.
Cannondale commentsCT1
Jan 5, 2002 6:40 PM
I had a Cadd5 ride early in 01. I kept it for a skosh over 1K miles. I sold it because I didn't like the "relatively" harsh feel of the front end. The "rear" felt fine though. My next bike was a Colnago MXL which also had a harsh front end. :-(

I then built a LOOK KG 281.... ah..... very sweet feeling bike. Lively, stiff.... etc.

I also built a TCR in the Fall of 01 and I think also has a very nice "feel". I'm currently switching off between the 281 and the TCR and find them to be fairly similar in road feel. OK... the TCR is a tiny bit "sharper" but not by much. FWIW, I'd take the TCR over a Dale ANY day of the week.

Bottom line here is that you should ride the Dale for some distance before buying it. As a parting shot, IMHO I doubt there really is much difference between your current TREK and any of the mid price Dales. I'd wait and develop a "taste" for something better. I might add also that any particular bike will have a fairly small impact on your speed .... albeit they do all feel different and it is nice to get something new once in a while.

Good luck
re: New bike dilemmaLee Nelson
Jan 5, 2002 5:39 PM
I've ridden everything from Italian steel to carbon fiber. I can tell you clearly that I don't like Trek particularly, but I really don't like Cannondales. There is a certain loss of feel and magic that comes from mass production, and aluminum, despite its light weight, and the use of carbon forks to dampen vibration, is too friggin stiff to use as a frame material. It isn't noticed on a mountain bike, but with the closer connection between road and rider on a road bike, it is very noted. After 5 years on a French lugged 753 steel bike (Gitane), I "traded up" for an aluminum 1200 Trek. It was the most beautiful paint job I had ever seen. Great welds, etc. But it rode like a 2x4. I sold it after 5 months and got a prestige steel bike which I kept for 10 years.

If you want my advise, if you fit a 54 or 56 cm, go for a Cervelo Prodigy from SUPERGO ($1499); my personal steed. Or, spend a little more and get one of the very price competitive titanium bikes from Macalu (Excel Sports); built by Litespeed) or Douglas Titanium (Colorado Cyclist)
After several years of dealings with both outfits, I'll put one of these rigs up against anything from the mass manufacturers within 20% of the price (often even more).

Just one person's opinion.
Cannondale is fantastic- buy it.Lewis
Jan 6, 2002 10:26 PM
Loss of magic and feel? Maybe that is a material preference you have against aluminum.
Cannondale is one of the very few handmade, made in the USA framesets. It is a proven racing machine (Team Saeco) and is very well balanced.
It is the only "mass produced" frameset I know of that is checked for alignment down to the mm before they sell it (more than can be said of the out of whack Giant TCR-which otherwise is a great bike). and offer custom frame sizing.
The CAAD5 and CAAD6 have had excellent reviews and I respect Cannondale for avoiding the supermarket sales companies like Supergo and internet companies that kill the LBS.
Cannondale is a class act all the way around. They have a strong philosophy on what works and mantain competitive prices despite the higher cost of being made in the USA.
In my opinion, it is not just a great bike but a pretty great company too.
Cannondale is fantastic- buy it.John-d
Jan 7, 2002 2:32 AM
I agree with Lewis, I bought a CAAD 4 last summer. Model is R800 - 2001 version which is equipped with 105 and a very nice set of wheels.

It weighs around 19 lbs and rides like a dream. It really is smooth and comfortable and it has increased my average speed over my old steel bike.

It has been said before but the most important things are the fit and a good solid test ride.
re: New bike dilemmaRandyMH
Jan 5, 2002 6:08 PM
I personally ride a Cannondale. I bought my first bike back in July, a Cdale r400 with a CAAD3 frame. It rode fine to me. However I was new to the sport and had nothing to compare it to. I recently due to a good deal sold my r400 and bought an r3000. It had the CAAD 4 frame and carbon forks. It rides like a dream. I find it to be very light and very smooth. But look what I came from. I ride a 60cm and also tried the 63. I found the 63 to ride like a brick, maybe it just the size thats pushing the limits on comfort ability. From what Ive heard Cdale is the leader in aluminum frame building technology. Depending on the deal and what you want to spend, I would look at at least a R600. Last years model was rate the best bike under $1,500.00 by bicycle mag. As always make sure it fits you well. If it does fit and you have a hook up, your not going to get a better bike for your money.
My 0.02
re: New bike dilemmamorey
Jan 7, 2002 5:17 AM
I have a Canny r4000si. I love it. It is harsher than my old steel bike, but not so much that it is a problem. I have had it for over a year with absolutely no problems. I have SpeedPlay pedals, anc changed my tires from conti supersonics (which came with the bike) to Michelin Axial Pros. I have put over 5000 pleasant miles on my CAAD 6.
re: New bike dilemmaRayBan
Jan 7, 2002 9:11 AM
I think Cannondale makes a VERY well built LIGHT bike, that is a great deal for the money, especially if your getting it for below retail! I owned them in the past and they are light and stiff. The carbon fork will, and does dampen the ride quite nicely.