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CAAD7 vs. Lemond Victorie vs. Merlin Extralight(7 posts)

CAAD7 vs. Lemond Victorie vs. Merlin Extralightdawgcatchr
Jun 16, 2003 10:23 AM
Hi. Looking to purchase a new frame-the options are the Cannondale CAAD7, Lemond Victorie, and Merlin Extralight. I work in a C-Dale/Lemond shop, so I would be paying about the same for either of these two frames. The Merlin would be a 2002 slightly used model from a guy I know-it would be $300 more than the others.

What I am looking for: I ride at a decent speed, about 18-22 mph average for most of my rides. Usually I ride about 1.5-3 hours at a time, about 7-12 hours per week (when my knee isn't hurting). I don't race, but am planning on it in the future (I just started cycling 2 years ago, but I have an endurance background-I have run low 14 minutes for 5K.). I am 5 foot 9, 148 lbs, and am looking for a lightweight, agressive bike (I love steep climbs and challenging terrain). I am not as interested in crits as I am road races.

My current bike is the Colnago Dream Plus. I love the ride (so fast but comfortable as well, esp. with tubulars), but at 57cm it is a touch big for me. It is probably the most responsive bike I have owned. I also had a Litespeed Vortex for awhile-it was good but not as spingy nor with the acceleration of the Dream-felt heavier and more neutral, not as aggressive.

Anyways, based on the above info, which bike do you think would best suit me? Right off, I would think the CAAD7 would be the best choice for fast training and racing-what are your opinions?
My $.02Jer77
Jun 16, 2003 12:16 PM
I have not been on the new CAAD 7, but rode a CAAD 5 for a couple years. If performance is your number one priority than I don't know if you will find a stiffer more responisve ride than Cannondale. They climb and accelerate like mad, but the ride beat me to death. If you are looking for a performance and comfortable ride, than I don't think you can beat titanium. I went from a CAAD 5 to a Merckx ti and am more than satisfied. I race both road and crits and the titanium is plenty stiff, light, and most of all comfortable. I would definitely take a look at the Lemond and Merlin and decide which geometry fits you the best. The Cannondale and Lemond will fit a lot a like as they both have long top tubes, not sure about Merlin's geometry. I guess you can't go wrong with any of your picks, especially getting them on a pro deal. Get the one that fits!
Cannondale gets my voteLeroy
Jun 16, 2003 2:44 PM
yet I have not ridden the caad7. I take it on faith. I have a caad5 and love it. I like the ride [but I've got a brooks saddle]- it is not harsh, and doesn't beat me to death. It is a different, lively feel. You're in touch with the road - not numbed out. The caad7 has got to be at least as good as the caad5. If you want an aggressive bike ask the guys at saeco, they ride them and do pretty well!
In my opinion the CAAD7...divve
Jun 17, 2003 1:38 AM
...is really a different compared to the CAAD5&6. The BB stiffness is similar. However, the total frame feels more compliant and smoother. It's not as quick feeling any more and the slightly lower BB is also a contributing factor to that. Over all I feel that it's a nicer coursing bike.
I have a Caad 7 and totally agree........Ligon
Jun 17, 2003 4:59 AM
I have a Caad 7 and think that it is very different than the 5 or 6. I have ridden all of them and find the 7 to be very comfortable. I went from riding a steel bike to aluminum and though there was a noticable difference the Caad 7 was not a brutal as I thought it was going to be. So, I vote for the Caad 7 it is extrememly stiff yet compliant and very fast on accelerations.

Ligon
I bought the C'dale.newridr
Jun 16, 2003 6:42 PM
Just got a Cannondale R2000 after much research and test riding. The R2000 has the Ksyrium SL's and in a sprint or up a hill, it just rockets ahead. You're looking at some very good bikes and each has it's own characteristics. The C'dale CAAD7 is a very fast frame - but it's still Al so you give up some in the area of ride comfort. I was willing to give that up to get the extra speed and snap of a great frame like the CAAD7, though, and have been incredibly happy since buying it. The only thing I may change, other than switching the Fizik Poggio saddle out which was splitting me in half, is change the seatpost out for a more compliant carbon fiber post.

Good luck and have fun. Let us know what you end up getting.
re: CAAD7 vs. Lemond Victorie vs. Merlin ExtralightSteve Bailey
Jun 17, 2003 6:31 AM
I've been riding Klein Quantums since '91 (2 frames - 25,000 miles ?), a steel Heron Road (3,000 miles) and now a Victorie. The Lemond Ti is a factory replacement for the most recent Klein, which itself is a factory replacement for the first Klein, which say's something right there, in that while neither Klein had major catastrophic failures, instead had either corrosion due to sweat (something I've also seen on C-Dales) or had a frame part break that left the frame useless. Thus I went with the Lemond Ti instead of a new Klein, under the impression that titanium may well be a more durable material. I was not happy about the integrated headset, but am of the thinking that titanium will prove to be the least likely material to develop problems with the integrated cup design.

I LIKED both Kleins. They were very stable, very fast, good accelerating bikes. The more recent had a carbon fork that I added that did help the ride a tad, but as I'm a heavy rider, I never felt pounded by aluminum. One thing I was convinced was that Klein makes the finest aluminum bikes out there, paying attention to the tubing and frame alignment. They really were very stable bikes.

The Victorie feels closer to steel then aluminum. I am now keeping the tire pressure up around 130psi or so, something I wouldn't have done on the Klein. Indeed, I eventually went to 25mm tires at 115 psi on the Klein. Now I'm back on the Forteza's and very comfortable. The geometry on the Lemond gets you a slightly longer TT and longer chainstay's, which I like anyway as it makes for fewer problems with chain angles and chainrub.

I'm also finding that the Lemond accelerates and climbs as well as the Klein, while being almost as comfortable a ride as the Heron, which has 27mm tires at 110psi. Sort of a "rich man's steel". After 500 miles, I'm sold on titanium.

My $.02

Steve B.