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Who is Cannondale trying to fool?? what kinda trash is this?(66 posts)

Who is Cannondale trying to fool?? what kinda trash is this?rogerinbalance
Nov 9, 2003 5:45 AM
I handed a 'supplement' disclaimer out of a Cannondale manual by a dealer. It is unbelievable! It says "YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THAT CAAD7 IS INTENDED TO GIVE AN AGGRESSIVE RACER A COMPETITIVE EDGE FOR A SEASON OR TWO OF RACING" -- they are saying buy a new frame every year or two? What a joke!
Cannondale goes on the warn "PLEASE UNDERSTAND YOU ARE CHOOSING LIGHT WEIGHT AND SHORT FRAME LIFE OVER MORE WEIGHT AND A LONGER FRAME LIFE". What I say is Bull Hockey! Cannondales are not even all that light -- ROAD magazine just compared a $2600 Cannondale to a $2600 Motobecane -- and the Cannondale was about 4 lbs heavier! A Cannondale at that level is like 18lbs - that is more than the Trek 2300 -- and Fuji has a $2000 bike that weighs 15lbs. Who are they fooling here - Motobecane, Trek, and Fuji do not limit their warranties as Cannondale does.
This Supplement also says "ALL FRAMES THAT ARE VERY LIGHT NEED FREQUENT INSPECTION FOR CRACKS THAT WOULD INDICATE THAT THE FRAME IS WORN OUT FROM FATIGUE" -- Worn out, my heiny! It needs FREQUENT inspection if it poorly made! Quality frames can last a lifetime; even if they are light -- and a CAAD7 frame is not all that light. In fact, there are lots of lighter frames out there with full warranties. No wonder people have nick named these things crackendales.
re: New owners at Cannondalehudsonite
Nov 9, 2003 6:18 AM
Cannondale went chapter 11 and the new owners are a financial group with probably lots of lawyers. The lawyers are trying to minimize the company's long term risk and liability to frames cracking or breaking. They think they are being smart, but obviously they are not being too smart as more and more consumers are saying 'forget Cannondale'.

The CADD7 frames are strong and light, but they are not going to last a very long time. If you cannot live with the warranty and expected liftetime of the frame, then look to the other quality American company, Trek.

Trek sets the standard for customer service and warranty support. As consumers, we vote with our cash. If you want to support good service and warranty policies, look to Trek.

Other companies also offer good warranties, it is just that Trek is the best in respecting the warranty with speed, business integrity and customer satisifaction.

The other comapnies that I have heard that offer good customer service is Giant, Marinoni and Fuji.

It is too bad really, as in the past I purchased Cannondale bikes. I will be looking at other brands until Cannondale is run by bike people instead of bean counters and lawyers.
Bingo. Cannondale is being run by bankers and lawyersDave Hickey
Nov 9, 2003 6:28 AM
It's a shame. I've worked for a couple of companies that were purchased by financial groups and not one had a good outcome.
"mona lisas and madhatters ....jbean
Nov 9, 2003 6:49 AM
sons of bankers, sons of lawyers, turn around and say good morning to the night"
these people who tried to save Cannondale by buying it out of Chapter 11 do not understand they are ruining the company. And they probably do not understand bike riders or the bike community.
It is too bad; but Cannondale has always been marketing driven -- with marketing strategy taking front seat and actual bike performance being the forgotten step child.
We can hope that after the next Cannondale Bankruptcy, the price for the company goes down and the bankers and lawyers will be replaced with bike folks.
But for now; customers do not a lot of other great bikes to pick from -- maybe more than ever.
Warranty Support - good with lots of companiesbikeshopguy
Nov 9, 2003 6:33 AM
Our experience is that lots of bike companies have goo to great warranty support; including Fuji, Giant, Motobecane, Trek, Jamis, KHS, Specialized, Bianchi, and Electra.
Some companies like Felt and Cervelo are too new for anyone to know yet.
But sadly Cannondale has an awful record with warranty. And worse it looks like the new owners after the Chapter 11 are try to change that by making everything that goes wrong the customer's fault. Every year that goes by, we see fewer Cannondale dealers - I wonder why.
Warranty Support - Here's a good one for you Giant ownersbugleboy
Nov 9, 2003 9:14 AM
you complain about Cdale and their so-called "provisioned" lifetime warranty. Giant only offers a 5 year warranty on their Carbon and I think their high end Aluminum frames. So I guess they actually force you to buy every 5 years don't they. Make sure it's cannondale that's bad about warranties and not the shop your trying to deal with. Cdale as a company hasn't failed us yet when something was wrong.
And they know the names is still worth $$$$jrm
Nov 9, 2003 4:31 PM
so theyll prop it up till some rich dumbass comes around and viola you are mr. cannondale.
mostly WRONG....C-40
Nov 9, 2003 7:21 AM
If you read ALL of the owners manual supplement, it says that the frame has a lifetime warranty to the original owner. That is a "full warranty" to use your terms.

If you can document a significantly lighter FRAME, please post the info. I think that you'll find the CAAD7 frame to be about as light as anything on the market.

The fact that C'dale warns of the delicate nature of ultralight aluminum frames is just good business practice.
In reality, ALL ultralight aluminum frames are on the fragile side. The tubes are quite thin and can be dented easily. To make a frame ultralight, the tubes have be very thin. It doesn't matter who makes the frame.

No matter how well these frames are welded, abusive riding conditions can lead to stress related failure. If you think that other brands of ultralight Al frames are less fragile, you're mistaken. The manufacturer may choose not to post warnings to the consumer, but every brand carries the same type of failure risk.

As for the weight comparison of different complete biekes, the weight difference is due to the choice of componentry, not the frame weight. There are also manufacturers that list complete bike weights that are not accurate. A 15 pound bike would have the very smallest frame and not include pedals, bottle cages or a computer. A complete bike is more likely to weigh in at 16-17 pounds. I own a Colnago C-40 with Campy Record 10, Eurus wheels, carbon bars, 125gram stem, 185 gram saddle and speedplay pedals and it weighs in the 16-17 pound range.
mostly WRONG.... YES Cannondale life is until it cracksrogerinbalance
Nov 9, 2003 7:51 AM
Yes, - I read the entire warranty; and I do know how to read a legal document.
It also says "PLEASE UNDERSTAND YOU ARE CHOOSING LIGHT WEIGHT AND SHORT FRAME LIFE OVER MORE WEIGHT AND A LONGER FRAME LIFE". -- this is sitting up customers for a refusal of claims after a year
In addition, it is misleading at best; since not all light weight frames need frequent inspection.
The warranty process and warranty protection of Cannondale speaks for itself.
Let me ask anyone this; if you buy a 15lb Fuji and it cracks after three years of riding -- do you think Fuji will give you for free a new frame? or do you think that Fuji will claim the frame is worn out and turn down your warranty claim?
Now the same question except change the company to Cannondale.
Everyone with much experience in bicycles knows the answers to this question.
And for the now for the attempt to exempt Cannondale from any responsibility to make a quality frame and stand behind it --- "YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THAT CAAD7 IS INTENDED TO GIVE AN AGGRESSIVE RACER A COMPETITIVE EDGE FOR A SEASON OR TWO OF RACING"
I would call Cannondale before bad-mouthing them.High Gear
Nov 9, 2003 8:28 AM
They are a great company and have helped my friend by replacing a 10 year old frame free of charge. I think everyone knows that the bike manufacturers are pushing light weight frames to the limit, just to stay competitive. I don't think this is done by choice but by demand. Good for them for being honest about the limits of todays light weight frames. Most riders would be better off loosing a few pounds on their own frame and riding a bike thats stronger and more safe. Just my 2 cents.
Alredy checked with dealer - it is true - no warranty on cracksrogerinbalance
Nov 9, 2003 8:44 AM
Call any Cannondale dealer; I think you will find the same. Your frame cracks its your problem.
Alredy checked with dealer - it is true - no warranty on cracksbugleboy
Nov 9, 2003 9:09 AM
if the frame just cracks Cdale will warranty it.

read the following from an owners manual.
Your Cannondale frame is warrantied against manufacturing defects in
materials and/or workmanship for the lifetime of the original owner. Under this
warranty we will repair any defective frame or, at our discretion, we will replace a
defective frame with the same or comparable model (due to product evolution). See
the standard Cannondale Owner's Manual for more details.

Basically it reads like every other manufactures warranty. If it's your fault the frame failed then no they won't replace it, but no one does. I have seen trek refuse a warranty on an OCLV frame because a friend of mine didn't watch the torues specs on the seatpost collar and cracked the seat tube. Make sure you do all the proper research before slandering a company, it only makes you look bad.
Dude, you're cracked. Or your on some. (nm)zero85ZEN
Nov 9, 2003 11:07 AM
Speaking to rogerinbalance. Not bugelboy. (nm)zero85ZEN
Nov 9, 2003 11:08 AM
Nov 9, 2003 1:40 PM
I can hardly read that without laughing; DUDE?
thanks funny

But the point is; I did not come with a warranty; so if I am cracked I will just have to deal with it.

And a Cannondale comes with a warranty; but if it is cracked; "that would indicate that the frame is worn out from fatigue" and warranties only cover 'defects' not things that are worn out.
mostly WRONG.... YES Cannondale life is until it cracksbugleboy
Nov 9, 2003 8:58 AM
I would have to agree with C-40. With the issues as far as warrrany are concerned being a dealer Cdale is just as good as any of the others listed. What do you expect when you buy an ultralight frame. What about the ultralight ti or carbon frames that have rider weight limits? Do you think that they were designed for durability, yeah right. I don't know about you, but I do inspect my equipment pretty regularly. It's just smart and preventative. Plus I would love to see a stock 15lb fuji, especially one that is only $2000. I wouldn't even put them in the same category as Cdale,trek,specialized. The new trek 5900 out of box for a 56 is just over 15(no pedals or cages) and it retails for about $4300. The team edition Cdale for 2004 for a 60cm out of box is 15.5 they had one at Interbike on a scale and it's right at $4800. What do you plan on doing with this bike that makes you worry so, are you Cipo? Chances are you or most of us aren't strong enough of a rider that we can torque a frame to it's limits anyway.
Cannondale is a good companyzero85ZEN
Nov 9, 2003 10:37 AM
I worked in a shop that had been a Cdale dealer since the early 80's. They also carried Trek. Both companies have excellent warranty policies. Trek may be slightly better because they would, without hesitition, replace frames or repair them cheaply (if it was obviously not a warranty issue) with a very liberal policy of, in most cases, giving the benifit of the doubt to the consumer. Cannondale was excellent as well but they were more likly to offer a very cheap replacement cost on a frame if it was likly a non warranty issue. If it was a defective frame or defective paint job etc. they would warranty right away.

One thing I think most people need to keep in mind with all of the ultra light weight equipment flooding the market these days is that this stuff is light becasue it is on the cutting edge of both technology AND durability limits. How can you honestly expect a 2.5 pound frame to last forever. This stuff has a finite life span. Another thing to consider is that the high end stuff is being developed and tested by professional riders. Check out the average weight of a pro road rider. 170lbs is on the heavy side. Most of those guys are in the 150lbs range. If you weigh 200lbs you are a fool if you think you can use a lot of the super light weight stuff. I have to disagree with bugleboy on one point...if you are a large rider you will put extreme stress on equipment even if you don't generate the power output of a Cipollini.
Cannondale is a good companybugleboy
Nov 9, 2003 10:41 AM
I'm a larger rider at 200Lbs. I was generalizing, but point well taken.
Cannondale is a good company? What is your definition of that?rogerinbalance
Nov 9, 2003 1:35 PM
A good company is one that takes Chapter 11; blows out its shareholders, socks it to its creditors, passes the costs of its mistakes on to competitors and customers, lays off its crew and blames everything on someone else?
Did you read the article by the sales manager of Bianchi, it was in one of the bike magazines? It kinda summed up the situation -- Cannondale made everyone in the bicycle industry pay for its mistakes.
I do not call that a good company and I am surprised that anyone else does either.
You may like the product; thats fine; thats an opinion; but to say they are a good company flies in the face of the facts.
if defective...warranty right away. of course they have to.weatherx
Nov 9, 2003 2:01 PM
just go check out how many product recalls cannondale has made in the past years (other than recalls on products of other companies, like 3ttt). it averages out about one frame (spanning an entire category sometimes) or one fork every year.

if they don't warranty defective frames, their court bill will likely go through the roof. so they better warranty any defective ones right away.
Fuji bike weight is accuratedgangi
Nov 9, 2003 8:38 PM
The Fuji Team Super Lite weighs in at 15.0 pounds. Check the website and click the "specs" button:,88,89,90,91,92,93,106,102,94,95,105,96,103,97,104,99,98,100,101,107,108,109,112,110,111,113,114&myArrayID=2&yr=2004

And should you counter this with "that can't be the real weight", friend just bought the 2003 Team Super Lite and the weight is accurate. His 54 cm bike weighed in at 15.6 pounds (claimed weight for the '03 was 15.7 pounds for the 56cm frame, a tad heavier than the '04 model). And since Fuji's '03 weight is accurate, I am sure the '04 weight is accurate too.

And, get this...he paid $1095 for his 2003 Fuji bike at the Cycle Spectrum in Gilbert, AZ.

So you're right. You can't get a 15 pound Fuji for $2000. You can get one for $1100.

What does their warranty cover?bugleboy
Nov 9, 2003 9:16 PM
What does their warranty cover?dgangi
Nov 10, 2003 11:18 AM
5 years on the frame, 1 year on all parts. I had the rear free wheel go out on the stock Ritchey rims and the shop replaced the part on the spot. Great service from both the shop and Fuji in my opinion.

I think the only big-name company that offers a lifetime warranty on the frame is Trek, who I would gladly support if their road bikes were in my price range. But for the 50% savings I got on my Fuji, I'll take my chances on the 5 yr warranty vs. Trek's lifetime warranty.

thats what I wantedishmael
Nov 10, 2003 6:55 AM
but you have to buy them at their shop, no shipping allowed. An amazing deal. You can get an overpriced italian piece of xxxx for a frame or a a whole, great, bike.
Still wrong....C-40
Nov 9, 2003 10:29 AM
I read that C'dale provides a lifetime warranty. Of course if the bike is wrecked, they won't replace it and no other company would either.

I would not expect any different treatment from C'dale than Fuji with reagrds to replacement of a cracked frame. I would expect either one to replace the frame if the crack was from fatigue and not a wreck.

You're living a fantasy if you think that other brands of ultralight frames have any less risk of failure.
Still wrong....weatherx
Nov 9, 2003 1:11 PM
life time warranty refers to "defective material or workmanship". normal frame fatigue is not defective--it is designed so--thus such failure is not covered.

so: if the company (any company) decided that the frame ended its life by being fatigued to the limit by normal load, legally the frame is not covered under warranty.
oh, forgot the referenceweatherx
Nov 9, 2003 1:23 PM
lifted right from cannondale's warranty policy page (


b This warranty is not meant to suggest or imply that the bicycle cannot be broken or will last forever.
It does mean that the bicycle is covered subject to the terms of the warranty.

Damage resulting from normal wear and tear,
b including the results of fatigue,
is not covered.
b Fatigue damage is a symptom of the frame being worn out through use. It is one kind of wear and tear.
See sections 5, A and D.
re: Don't buy a Bianchi Carbon then either....teoteoteo
Nov 9, 2003 7:33 AM
I had a hearty laugh at the Bianchi catalog last year when I read the Bianchi catalog statement about their carbon frame. It said the bike was meant for racing/racers who want the ultimate performance AND that replace their frames every 2 years. I don't recall if the verbage was part of a warranty statement or somewhere else in the catalog.

No bash intended. It didn't even sway me from liking them--I still love 'em and since I trade bikes often it didn't really me sway me.
Much todo about nothing............Len J
Nov 9, 2003 8:13 AM
This is a laughable thread.

First of all, most bike warranties have a "crash while racing" exclusion. No warranties will cover racing related damage.

Secondly, all Cannondale is doing is being honest about the tradeoffs between weight reduction and longevity. Let's beat them up for being honest.

I can't wait until your Fuji cracks & Fuji gives you the run around.

I'm really glad that we would rather have a manufacturer lie to you than tell the truth.

Get into the real world, will you.

Unless YOU are one of the many that are Burned by Cannondalerogerinbalance
Nov 9, 2003 8:42 AM
I am going to take the implied suggestion and call my area dealers for Trek, Motobecane, Fuji, Specialized, and Giant and tell them I have a 2 year old bike from that brand and that it has developed a crack in the downtube without ever being crashed and see what they say.
I know what the Cannondale dealer says; as does everyone on this message board.
I think I know what the others will say - but I will know for sure by tomorrow.
Here's one for you Fuji troll.....divve
Nov 9, 2003 9:17 AM
They don't even have the balls to run their own frames in a racing team.

"Teschner is well known in Australia, but his frames have done well in international competition as well. From 200 to 2003, all of the ""Team Issue" Fuji frames used by the Mercury Pro Road Team were built by Teschner. If you watched US racing during those years, you saw Teschner frames crossing the finish line in first place many times."

BTW, some basic research will show that all pro teams (in Europe at least) replace their most often used frames 3 or more times a racing season (got this info from the Rabobank/Colnago team). Since you're not an aggressive racer and probably won't even log the mileage in 5 years what a pro does in a single season, you won't have to worry about any of it. The warranty did make that distinction, or didn't get to that part yet?
Sheesh, lighten up.............Len J
Nov 9, 2003 5:49 PM
what is your beef anyway?

You don't feel comfortable buying a Cannondale, don't buy it. Did God come down and say you needed to protect the world from Cannondales honesty?

Buy some other lightweight aluminum frame, and in 2 or so years of hard riding, when the frame cracks, make sure you let us know what kind of warranty protection you get from that other company (no matter what their warranty says).

Remember, what they say they will do & what they do, might not be the same thing.

You have obviously made up your mind, and nothing anyone says will affect your view, so you just keep sucking on what ever resentment you harbor about C'dale. Me, I'm going to recognize that you sacrifice something for "stupid light" bike frames & components and buy and set my expectations accordingly. It's called being reality based. Try it some time.

GO LEN J!bugleboy
Nov 9, 2003 9:15 AM
Much todo about nothing............al0
Nov 9, 2003 1:08 PM
This C'dale warranty statments has benn discussed in this forum (or "Components" - don't remember for sure) some time ago - that time it has been mentioned that frame is not warranted against "normal wear and tear". In conjuction with "1-2 seasons" statment it means 2 year warranty. It makes me laugh over their "lifetime".
apparently, lifetime = (designed) lifetime of frame. nmweatherx
Nov 9, 2003 1:56 PM
Why is this such a big deal to you???russw19
Nov 9, 2003 9:54 AM
The company is telling you the straight and honest truth! That frame that you are so interested in was never designed to be anything other than a super light climbing bike for Gilberto Simoni and the rest of Saeco team to help him win the Tour and the Giro. Simoni is a tiny guy.. about 140 lbs or 64 kilos for the metric folks. They are designed as a pure racing frame. Period! If you want a frame that will last you 10 years of cruising along on the MUTs, get a CAAD 6. For christ's sake, the company desinged a bike for their top pros, the market demands they release it to Joe Public and his overweight donut eating butt, and they know it wasn't built for him, so THEY TELL YOU IN THE WARRANTY! At least they aren't lying to you.

Besides, do you actually race? If so, you really should get new stuff about every two years anyways. Even if your stuff isn't broken, it is getting old enough to not be an advantage to you anymore. If you want a frame that is built to last a lifetime, get a Litespeed Ultimate or Vortex, a Lemond Ti, a Merlin... any Ti frame will last longer, but won't be as light. But if you are going to rant about the lifespan for Joe Public of top end frames, be fair and include all the frames that fall into that catagory. The Derosa UD has a weight limit and a time limit on its warranty. Pinarello tells riders under 180 pounds to not ride the Prince SL and recommends them the Opera instead. Colnago would tell you not to ride a C-40 if you are over 175 lbs as you won't get any benefits out of it above that weight anyways and you should move to the Dream or the CT-1. Fondreist, Giant, Trek, they all build super light frames that Joe Public shouldn't ride except that if Joe Public wants to buy them, they will sell them to him, but with a nice hefty disclaimer about the bikes intended purpose.

I fail to see why this is such a big deal. Cannondale is simply informing you of the bike's intended purpose... if you use it as such, you should know that it will only give you 2 years of racing. If you are the type to be buying this bike anyways, then you are the type to want the next new latest and greatest bike 2 years from now anyways and can afford to replace your now obsolete CAAD 7. But if you are the type who wants a frame for the next 5 to 10 years, have a custom built steel frame from a reputable builder made for you. Get a Strong or a Sachs and quit complaining about Cannondale being honest and up front with you.

My opinon, take it for all you paid for it.

Hey! I weigh 135...zero85ZEN
Nov 9, 2003 10:48 AM
when I'm in "riding form". I'm 5'11" and don't consider myself a "tiny guy".


And I would have to say that Russ is right on in everything he stated.
Why is this such a big deal to you???dgangi
Nov 9, 2003 9:02 PM
I think this is a big deal to anybody who wants to spend some cash on a bike. If you are correct about the intended use of this frame being so limited, then why is Cannondale marketing it to the general public? If it is such a weak bike that should not be in the hands of the "improper" audience, then why doesn't Cannondale sell this only to their race team?

The point is that Cannondale is marketing and selling this high end frame to the public, and with a hefty price tag. And for that they should stand behind their product. By "stand behind", they should not expect their frame to descontruct after a short period of time and stick it to the consumer in the event of a failure. They should warranty the frame for stress cracks for a reasonable time period (5 years is the norm).

There is no right or wrong to this debate -- it's all about where you want to spend your money. When I spend a lot of money on a bike (or car or anything), I expect the manufacturer to take care of me rain or shine. If Cannondale wants to be nit-picky with their warranty policies, then so be it. Consumers can vote with their dollars, and I will spend my dollars elsewhere. It's that simple.

Honestly, I am saddened to see a "great" American bike company bite the dust. Cannondale was a great bike company that decided to get into the wrong market (motocross), and ended up killing the company. Now that the company is in the hand of a bunch of bean counters, it's only a matter of time before they either completely disappear OR become another Trek brand.

Why is this such a big deal to you???russw19
Nov 10, 2003 10:43 AM
Doug, good points, but what I think everyone here who is complaining about this is missing is that this bike is specifically marketed to people who race. Not the general public. That is specifically why the disclaimer is in there. They don't want some uneducated MUT riding cyclist to buy this bike and think it will last a lifetime. IT WASN'T DESINGED TO! That's what they are telling you. A bike with a "reasonable time period of 5 years" that you are referring to is the CAAD 5 or 6. There is not the disclaimer on that bike.

How is Cannondale marketing this bike to the general public? Just because your average joe can buy it doesn't mean that's who it's intended for. Hell, I can buy a Formula One Ferrari if I had enough money, but it's not like they are marketing that car to me. And if I bought that car, I certainly wouldn't expect the alloy and ceramic engine to last 10 years of stop and go driving. I wouldn't expect the carbon brakes to last that long either. It's a design specific car, and a good analogy to what the CAAD 7 is as a bike.

The simple truth to this is that the general public likes to have things that the pros have. And cycling is a cool sport in that you can actually go out and buy the exact same bikes that your heroes are riding in races. The catch is that we often only do this once and we expect the bike to last forever. Our heroes only ride the bike a few months before they replace it and they have full-time mechanics to look after their bikes. So it stands to reason that if we buy the same things, they will not last much longer. We may not put the bike under the same amount of stress, nor ride as many miles per year as the pros, but we also don't strip our bikes and overhaul them after every single ride either.

The thing about this debate is that people are equivilating a top end racing machine with your everyday mid-level road bike. It seems that the people here who race and understand that high end racing components have a very finite lifespan don't seem to see the problem with this. Nobody here complains about how Campy Hyperion wheels are $1600 a pair and are super light and have no warranty... why is this frame any different? I'll tell you why.. it's because the guy who originally started the whole complaint was trying to compare this frame to a $400 Fuji aluminium frame. That's like me comparing my Honda Accord to an Acura NSX. It's an unfair BS comparison. Put in the proper perspective and this is not a big issue.. but put unfairly like the original poster did, and it's suddenly a shocking issue. Compare the CAAD 7 to the Derosa UD and see where the two differ. Nearly the same weight, nearly the same cost, and nearly the same restrictions on use. Not a big deal.

And I personally think this bike is a great thing for Cannondale. They have always been at the forefront of American cycling technology. This frame should help them stay there, and hopefully get the company back on track with their consumer products.

probably the new ownership took a look at cannondale's booksrufus
Nov 9, 2003 10:16 AM
and saw just how much cannondale was losing in warranty repairs and frame replacements, and decided that they didn't want to bear those costs anymore. hence, they are tightening their policies for warranty coverage.
Have you seen the books?bugleboy
Nov 9, 2003 10:38 AM
That disclaimer as far as I'm concerned has nothing to do with tighening the warranty policies. Unless you have access to that information why would you even mention it? Think about it.
Nov 9, 2003 11:19 AM
FOR YEARS. Everyone b$#ches and moans about Litespeed being overpriced, but yet so many people will drool over a Pinarello, Colnago or Eddy M aluminum frame that costs almost or just as much but will not last within 20 years of a well made ti frame.
Cannondale make a good bike, but not a durable one. They didn't get the "Crack N Fail" nickname for nothing. Aluminum is for soda cans. Buy a nice steel, carbon or ti frame and in the long run, you will be better off. Alum should never cost that much.
rA warranty has specific language; it is easy to readrogerinbalance
Nov 9, 2003 1:53 PM
Cannondale has a warranty.
Cannondale says clearly that the warranty covers defects.
Cannondale attaches a supplement to the owners manual for CAAD7 frames.

All bike companies agree as do consumers; worn out items are not defective; they are worn out.

Therefore, Cannondale is telling us that a light weight (CAAD7) frame that cranks is not a defect that will be covered by warranty.

I understand that and I am telling them with my dollars that I can get a lighter bike that does have a warranty which will cover a cracked frame; if one occurs.
That is all I am pointing out; and each buyer of course must decide what is important to them -- and everyone seems to agree that if long life is important, a Cannondale CAAD7 frame is not a good choice.
do you understand aluminum's fatigue properties?yeah right
Nov 9, 2003 7:07 PM
Any aluminum structure will fail from fatigue eventually, regardless of applied load. Remove more material (i.e. caad 7) and guess what? It fatigues faster.

Have a problem with aluminum? Get a steel bike. steel has an infinite fatigue life if loads are low enough.

FWIW I have a caad 7 and a waterford, I like them both.
You are incorrect about aluminum fatiguedgangi
Nov 9, 2003 8:50 PM
Sometime ago somebody posted a URL for a website that listed the results of a series of stress tests on various road frames: aluminum, carbon, and steel.

In the 8-10 frames (all high end, lightweight frames), only a few passed: one of them was aluminum (maybe 2), and the other was a Trek OCLV carbon frame. NOT 1 STEEL FRAME PASSED -- they all cracked at some point in the test.

So what does this mean? It means that the myths about aluminum have serious fatigue are untrue given the frame was properly engineered in the first place. Obviously you still subscribe to this myth. I have friends with 80's vintage aluminum road bikes and they are still going strong.

nope. YOU are incorrect about alu fatigueweatherx
Nov 9, 2003 9:16 PM
fatigue limit defined: The maximum value of the applied alternating stress which a test piece can stand indefinitely.

aluminum alloy does not have a fatigue limit--not myth, but fact. go check a metallurgy book (sometimes the term is used for the largest stress that this particular material can stand w/o fail after say 1 million or half a million cycles). at any given stress after a certain number of cycles it will break. so alu frames, well engineered or not, will break sooner or later. the catch is that the lower the stress, the higher number of cycles it can withstand.

steel and titanium alloys have this fatigue limit, however, and if engineered well, i.e. no high stress spots anywhere on the frame, they WILL last forever. this is the inherent property of material. note that the condition is that there are no high stress spots.

that test you cite is specific to the frame design and not to material properties in general. if an alu frame is engineered so that at any point on the frame the stress is low enough to withstand a large number of cycles, the frame will last a long time. (however, this usually entails a very harsh ride, since the easiest way to reduce stress spots is to disallow deformation of any sort.)

about that test:

1) the test is not carried out indefinitely. it was like 500,000 cycles if i remember correctly. so you cannot say that any alu frame will not break or that any steel one will. what you can say is that those alu frames that passed the test are engineered well to withstand 500,000 cycles of alternating stress that is typical of cycling usage.

2) steel frames in that test were not engineered as well in this aspect.
nope. YOU are incorrect about alu fatiguedgangi
Nov 10, 2003 5:17 AM
You are right that aluminum has a fatigue limit -- I did not mean to imply that it didn't (sorry if I did). But for somebody to state that an aluminum frame cracking apart is strictly due to the inherent weakness in aluminum is just plain wrong. The fact that some high end, lightweight aluminum frames passed this 500,000 cycle test is testament to the durability of aluminum *if engineered properly*. And if a Cannondale frame cracks apart, what does that tell you about their frames? Either Cannondale makes then with very poor grade material or they engineer them poorly. Other brands make aluminum frames that are as light as the Cannondale that have not earned the reputation of cracking apart.

Either way, you can't tell me that an aluminum frame isn't as durable as a steel frame in real-world conditions. Yes, the metallurgy numbers may state that steel and titanium have a higher fatigue/stress rating, but if engineered properly, then they should all last a lifetime (or at least longer than any of us care to own a bike).

Lastly, your comment regarding steel frames failing the stress test because they were poorly engineered is interesting. If the 2 or 3 steel frames in the test (all high end, high dollar, high zoot frames, not a Huffy) failed relatively quickly (<100,000 cycles), that tells me that either (a) steel has a low fatigue rating (which it does not) or (b) steel frames are generally not engineered very well. Either way, I don't get your point -- the steel frames broke when the aluminum frames didn't when put under the same stresses. This indicates the real-world durability of aluminum can be as good as any other material if properly engineered. And that's what this debate is all about, right??

Just for the record...divve
Nov 10, 2003 7:23 AM
...Cannondale is top dog in fatigue test stats, including their CAAD7. They even go as far to claim their CAAD7 is the strongest road frame they ever built.

This doesn't however mean the results are directly proportional to real world durability and longevity. In very simplistic terms a very light frame can be extremely strong with-in certain specific parameters. The catch is it becomes increasing vulnerable to forces effecting it outside those strict circumstances. Examples are impacts from rough roads, falls, or simply from excessive rider weight.

Additional evidence for this can be found when you compare the EFBe tests of road bikes against MTBs. Both types of bikes undergo identical stress testing. Yet no one would claim that a CAAD7, which succeeded all tests, would be just as durable off-road as an MTB that only passed the minimum test standard.
think about this.weatherx
Nov 10, 2003 8:54 AM
remember what is the load in that test? 1200-1300 newtons ON THE PEDAL each cycle. that roughly translates to a 264 lbs person stomping on the pedal. now how many here are in the clydes class or sprint that much?

remember that

0) there are only 3 steel frames in the test. can you generalize that to all, or even most, of the steel frames?

1) frames are engineered with a specific range of rider characteristics in mind

2) the weight game is all the rage now

3) to get a light steel frame you need to remove materail from somewhere

4) so if you are the designer of the steel frame, how do you achieve light(ish) weight?

5) first you realize that not all of those bikers actually do put that much force (1200N) on each pedal stroke.

6) even if they do, they probably won't be putting that many such strokes (>50,000) on the frame over the service period--not fatigue life but the time period the buyer expect to use that frame--of that frame (roadies are spinning most of the time, aren't they?)

7) so the steel frame is engineered to take a MUCH smaller average load (than tested) so as to be as light as possible. if biker stress it beyond that load, of course it will fatigue faster. you can see this trend in the test: lighter steel frame goes first, the least expensive and the heaviest goes last. if (and it's not necessarily so) the lower price tags of cheaper steel frames reflect the amount of engineering put into them, it's pretty apparent that the higher end, light ones are specifically engineered to be light instead of durable.

8) for alu frames, they are not engineered to have any deformation anyway.

9) and if you are an alu frame designer, you would need to take into account of how fast (or rather ho much faster) alu frame fatigue if stressed over designed level. point is, to achieve a good safety margin, alu frame designer needs to take into account a larger range of loads. alu frames aren't meant to be comfortable anyway, so why not make it stiff?

in a real world situation, you have all other situations where you can do damage to the frame that will easily reduce the fatigue life, such as scraping, denting, etc. alu is a lot softer than steel (surface hardness). those superlight alu frames are very easily dented.
I don't understand...dgangi
Nov 10, 2003 9:46 AM
your last post. In essence you went on to say that the reason the steel frames failed is because designers of these frames have lightened them up to the point that they are too weak to take the stress of a heavy rider (264 pounds) over 50,000 cycles...yet aluminum frames can?

This is completely contrary to how this discussion started. Somebody posted earlier that aluminum frames crack apart because they cannot take the stress over time, so I posted that a European company ran stress tests on ~10 frames and the aluminum frames beat out the steel frames. And now you are admitting that the steel frames failed but are defending this property? Now I'm confused.

Furthermore, MTB frames are all made of aluminum today, and I would dare say they are some of the most bulletproof frames on the market. My Trek 800 hardtail is 6 years old and I have beat the living crap out of that bike with nary a stress fracture or hairline crack. At the time it was one of the lightest hardtail frames out there and it has withstood the years of abuse.

Anyway, I think we are both agreeing on one point: a bike frame, if well engineered, should last the lifetime of any rider. My point is that this fact holds true for all materials being used today: steel, titanium, carbon, AND aluminum.

If an aluminum frame cracks apart, I still say it is faulty engineering, NOT the properties of aluminum, that caused the defect. And for that simple reason I feel that a bike manufacturer should owe up to that fact and fix or replace the bike. Stating that any frame should crack apart within a few years of the purchase date is ridiculous IMHO.

Did you know...divve
Nov 10, 2003 12:30 PM
...a professional Japanese SLR camera only lasts about 250,000 shots and mechanical Leicas around 150,000? That's a lifetime for an amateur but only 4-5 years for a pro.

My point is whatever you feel or think how things should be won't change the reality of mechanically constructed objects. Everything will eventually wear out and the more you use it the fast it will happen. No manufacturer should have the obligation to replace failure due to wear and tear, even Trek states that in their warranty terms.
it's easy to understand if you are math-inclined.weatherx
Nov 10, 2003 12:49 PM
at lower stress, especially when closer to the fatigue limit of steel, steel
frames fatigue at a MUCH LOWER RATE than alu does. remember that if
the highest stress on the steel frame is at or below the fatigue limit of the
steel used, it lasts forever. but for an alu frame, it will crack sooner or later.

if you still can't understand what i'm saying, think about the imaginary
case of a person and his fat level.

suppose that the persons in this example do not store any extra calories.
person A eat 1000 calories a day, have a fat stock of 500g at day 1. he
work out less than 1000 calories most of the time, so that the daily intake
is enough to compensate the work out, thus he can last forever
(analogous to steel below its fatigue limit). but if occassionally he works
out more than 1000 calories, and above this level he consumes 1g of fat
per 100 extra calories (1g at 1100 cal, 2g at 1200 cal, etc--fatigue in steel
frame above fatigue limit). if he work out 10000 calories per day, he
breaks down right away (this is the yield limit). if he work out 1000 calories
9 out of 10 days and the remaining day he work out 2000 calories (normal
daily use, vast majority being spinning and occassionally
sprinting/hammering), he will last 500 days before he run out of fat.

person B is different: he consumes 1 grams of fat for every 100 calories
he works out, and 4 grams per 100 calories for every 100 calories above
500--regardless of how much he ate (aluminum does not have fatigue
limit and fatigues faster than steel). he breaks down if worked more than
2500 calories per day (alu yield limit is less than 1/4 that of steel).

suppose A and B both work out 1000 cal per day most of the time, and
maximally 2000 calories per day for no more than 1 such day out of 10
days. how much fat do A and B need to store to last 500 days?

need to be conservative in this case: for A, he can get away with 500
grams of fat he has. what about B? to last 500 days, with maximally 50
days of 2000 cal workout, he will need 14500 grams of fat (do the math if
you feel like it).

Now A has 500 grams of fat, B has 14500 grams. their expected bonk
time is 500 days (assuming that the two frames are designed for the same
fatigue life, over-estimating daily usage to ensure safety margin)

now, suppose we put them to test of 1500 calories of workout per day. A
consumes 5 grams per day so he will last only 100 days. B will consume
45 grams per day so he will last 322 days. (this is the test you
cited--frames subjected to higher than normal load)

if we put them to test of less than 1100 calories per day, A will last a whole
lot longer than B (do the math if you want to) and if
daily expense is less than 1000, A will last indefinitely. B will burn out in
625 days under 1000 cal/day (this is the frame fatigue life under normal
the deal with mountain bikesweatherx
Nov 10, 2003 1:10 PM
is similar. high stress activity bikes where weight isn't a concern, like those rigid (hardtail) dirt jumpers, bmx bikes and such are mostly made of steel for its high strength and durability. full suspension frames have a shock to take care of most of the deformating load, so they don't really need to be steel. using alu on full suspension frames will reduce weight and manufacturer cost.
the deal with mountain bikesdgangi
Nov 10, 2003 10:09 PM
BTW - you are incorrect about MTB's being made from steel. Rigid MTB's are all aluminum these days...and have been for many years. I haven't seen a single steel MTB since the early 90's, with the exception of a few rare bikes. Even the hucksters that jump the hardtails use aluminum bikes.

Trust me - I'm an MTB junkie and there is no steel to be found on any MTB (full suspension, rigid, or anything in between). Yet they still take one hell of a pounding and always come back for more.

My Trek 8000 hardtail is vintage '97 and is made from lightweight Easton aluminum tubing. That bike has seen thousands of miles, lots of races, jumps, plenty of crashes (have the scars to prove it), and it has never had a stress crack anywhere. And this is not a rarity -- it's the norm.

And even with all this abuse you still find manufacturers hanging 5 year warranties on aluminum MTB frames. Trek offers a lifetime warranty on their aluminum and carbon MTB bikes.

no. read my post again.weatherx
Nov 11, 2003 8:34 AM
i'm probably more of a mtb junkie than you are. cheap rigid mtbs are made of alu because of the cost benefit. however, if you check out the dirt jumpers and bmx (these are the highest stressed frames bceause they are rigid, unlike the dh bikes), they are mostly steel. please do that. and there are plenty steel xc frames out there. saying there's no steel out there in the mtb world is simply being ignorant.

where weight is concern, like xc frames, alu has an advantage in weight and cost. it is much to the manufacturer's advantage to use alu rather than the heavier, more costly steel.

as i said, it's just a matter of engineering to take specific range of loads. if you want steel to be light, you need to engineer it to guard a smaller range of loads that covers the normal load of everyday riding. for alu, because it's low density, it's easy to make it very stiff without very heavy.
I get the math...dgangi
Nov 10, 2003 10:03 PM's your argument I didn't understand. You clearly stated at one point that aluminum has a lower stress/fatigue limit than steel, which nobody disagrees with. I then countered your point with the results of a well-publicized test, where the aluminum frames in the test beat out the steel frames. [Yes, I also understand that a handful of frames is not enough for the test to be statistically significant - a higher population of frames is required to get enough points to rule out any anomolies in the frame choices...regardless, I still think these tests point out something of value].

Regardless, you then countered that it was the faulty engineering of the steel frames that caused the premature failures. But you went on to state that the aluminum frames were "over engineered" to counter for the inherent weakness in the material, and that is why the aluminum frames beat the steel frames in the test.

My point of the entire debate is that an aluminum frame, if properly engineered, should never break based on the demands a person would put on the frame. And given the results of the 500,000 cycle tests, it appears that aluminum frames *are* well engineered and can stand the test of time.

Yes, if you take 2 frames with identical engineering (specifications and tolerances) one out of steel and one out of aluminum, the steel frame will probably outlive the aluminum frame. This would assume that your experiment has everything identical with only 1 control - the material (steel vs. aluminum). But we both know that steel and aluminum frames are never engineered the same. And we also know that, since aluminum is a lighter material, you can do things with aluminum in terms of engineering that you cannot do with steel strictly because of weight (i.e. oversized tubes). Therefore, you will never have any frames engineered the same when you are talking the two different materials.

And given the differences in engineering, you can't directly compare steel vs. aluminum. Again, it goes back to the what the 500,000 cycle stress tests prove - proper engineering is as much a factor, if not more, than the build material itself.

Your mathematical explanation about metal fatigue assumes identical engineering between 2 frames of different materials, and we both know that is extremely unlikely in the real world. Even brands that build both steel and aluminum frames (such as Specialized) engineer them differently.

Let's put this debate to rest. It is apparent that we aren't going to change each other's mind.

I get the math...weatherx
Nov 11, 2003 8:47 AM
no apparently you didn't get the point.

1) the failures in the test are not "premature". they are due to undue overload for undue number of cycles.

2) frame design is specific to a range of loads. over that load, frames fatigue pretty fast.

3) because steel frames fatigue slower than alu frame near the normal load you put on them every day, they last a lot longer than alu in real life (in general).

4) to make steel frames lighter you need to narrow the specific range of loads to the minimum allowable to reduce weight (i don't like this idea)

i But we both know that steel and aluminum frames are never engineered the same. And we also know that, since aluminum is a lighter material, you can do things with aluminum in terms of engineering that you cannot do with steel strictly because of weight (i.e. oversized tubes). Therefore, you will never have any frames engineered the same when you are talking the two different materials.

you can still talk about engineered fatigue life at a certain load, because this is the fatigue life at the highest stressed spot on the frame under given load. it's both measurable and calculatable (if this is a word). so comparison between frames are possible.

i Your mathematical explanation about metal fatigue assumes identical engineering between 2 frames of different materials, and we both know that is extremely unlikely in the real world. Even brands that build both steel and aluminum frames (such as Specialized) engineer them differently.

no i did not assume that. as said above, fatigue life is determined by the highest stressed spot on the frame (think "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link"). every frame has one and it's not hard to find it (and determine the fatigue life at that point) if you have the finite element and failure analysis tool. so my mathematical model stands.

sorry, your arguments are not working.
i saw it on the internet, it must be true...yeah right
Nov 9, 2003 11:17 PM
guess i paid $180k too much for college ;)
What kind of warranty do you getspluti
Nov 9, 2003 4:11 PM
with a hydroplane or indy car? "Once it's wet" or turn the key"?
I think we as consumers are lucky to get any warranty at all on a high end, light weight, engineered to the limit, bicycle frame. Make your best choice and if you break it go get another one.
Interesting Discussion; At least we can all agree on some pointsjbean
Nov 9, 2003 4:22 PM
It is always interesting to hear other views; and the topic of Cannondale always evokes much emotion. But at least there are a few facts we can all agree on

1) Cannondale took Chapter 11 protection
2) When Cannondale went bankrupt; many suppliers & shareholders lost money
3) Most of us have not seen Cannondale's books; but we all have the right to see the pre reorganization books under the freedom of information act
4) Cannondale may go bankrupt again as many reorganized companies do; but maybe not

5) Cannondale states that cracks in very light frames are an indiction that the frame is worn out.
6) Cannondale would like buyers of CAAD7 frames & bikes to understand that the item may only be good for one or two seasons.
7) Cannondale does not make the lightest bikes available; but many of their bikes are very light.
8) Some companies with very light bikes have full life time warranties; some companies with very light bikes have only 1 year warranties.

9) Cannondale uses a shock inside their headset; other companies do not do this.
10) Cannondale makes forks with only one leg on one side; this does not seem to be the tend with other companies.
11) Cannondale states that special shaped rear stays of aluminum can make a bike ride smoother than carbon rear stays -- not many in the bicycle industry seem to support this view.
12) Cannondale bikes are different from most other bikes in many ways.

13) Cannondale uses many nonstandard components; which are not readily available in the aftermarket - except thru Cannondale.
14) Other bicycling companies using nonstandard parts have folded or left the USA.
15) Cannondale bikes that use nonstandard parts may become a problem; if Cannondale cannot continue to support the product.

16) Many people in the bicycle industry call Cannondales "CRANKNDALES" - this slang name seems to has some staying power.
17) Dealers who sell Cannondales and some riders that own Cannondales swear by them.
18) Dealers that do not sell Cannondale tend to knock them more than they do any other competing brand.

and last; I bet this is not the last time we will see a heated discussion on Cannondale
So in summary - it is riasky to buy a Cannondale - is that it?pecangap
Nov 10, 2003 12:01 PM
This is one of the more interesting posts I have read. I do not have a Cannondale; I can not think of a single dealer in our town and I never see any. So I really have never thought about them until reading this posting.
And I am very sure I do not understand all of it -- but it seems everyone is saying this brand is risky -- but life is full of risks - so if you are a risk taker OK - if not, stay clear
Is that about right??
MY fatigue life has been met.Mel Erickson
Nov 10, 2003 7:11 AM
That's why I have FAILED to respond to this thread. I do like to read it, though. It's good entertainment.
Yes, highly entertaining...even for this CAAD7 owner (nm)biknben
Nov 10, 2003 7:38 AM
Hopefully some clarificationoddsos
Nov 10, 2003 10:01 AM
There seems to be a general misunderstanding of how warranties and fatigue work.

First the warranties. All bikes (and other goods) I have purchased exclude wear and tear from normal use in the provisions of the warranty. Fatigue of a bike frame is normal wear and tear however most warranties do not specifically state this as it tends to attract bad publicity.

I expect that Cannondale would offer a good deal on replacement of a frame that failed through fatigue to ensure their continued good name. They would also study the trend in failures to gain a better understanding of where material should be shaved or replaced. However making it known that they are under no obligation to replace the frame is an honest approach that I admire.

Secondly onto fatigue. The test in Tour magazine is widely promoted as proving the fatigue resistance of aluminium. The test is good at comparing reistance of frames to a specific type of cyclic loading however that loading is not representative of the forces experienced by a bike.

In cycling 1000 km a bike will experience some where near 140,000 revolutions of the crank. This test would imply that most frames available on the market should fail within the first year (month in some cases) of use if the loadings employed in the test are representative of loads experienced in use.

In other forums I have read that the typical force exerted by a rider is about 200N and this compares well with my back of envelope calculations. If this is compared to the loadings that are applied during the test of 1200N for 100,000 cycles followed by 1300N for a further 100,000 cycles it may be seen that the loading of the test is far more severe than likely service loads. This means that the stresses in the frames will be higher than those designed for. This means that stresses are likely to be above the fatigue limit of steel and titanium therefore the testing procedure does not allow for the one of the most important material properties of these metals.

As aluminium does not have a discrete fatigue limit frames are designed to limit deflections (and consequently strains and stresses) giving a characteristically stiff frame. A test such as this one with a large force and small number of repetitions favours the properties of aluminium. A steel or titanium frame can be designed to permit greater deflections on the understanding that the fatigue limit of the material will ensure that nothing breaks. In this testing regime steel frames will be stressed in a region of the stress strain curve which tends to initiate cracks

The test is useful in showing that a well designed frame can sustain high loads without failure due to fatigue and that failures generally occur at stress risers such as braze ons, holes in tubes and tube junctions. However it should be realised that it is not representative of normal cycling.
Yes, highly entertaining...MShaw
Nov 10, 2003 12:17 PM
From reading this thread through, it seems that someone has an issue with C-dale's warranty policy on their lightest weight racing frame. Simple answer is just don't buy one!

If you aren't willing to sacrifice weight for durability, this frame's not for you. Buy a Trek. Trek has publically stated that they'd rather have a little heavier frame that'll last than a super-lightweight race-only frame that won't.

Re: Litespeeds lasting forever. Better talk to a few of my friends. Almost every one that has one has had a crack somewhere in the frame. One guy's had two... The material the frame is made of may last forever, but I'm not so sure about the welds.

Personally, I'd rather go to my local framebuilder to get a custom-made AL bike, painted to my specs, designed to fit me, custom tubing to match my weight, and for less than C-dale charges for their CAAD 7s. Yup, Russ Denny kicks arse!

Nice thing about being a consumer: WE decided where to spend our hard-earned $$/Euro/DM/etc. Don't like a particular product? Don't buy it! Willing to live with the POSSIBILITY that your super-light frame MAY crack? Great. You can buy that too. Its up to you.

If GM came out with a super-high performance car that was $10k, but designed to last only one year of stoplight drag races, would you buy one? Probably not. There are some people out there that would because that is what they think they need and are willing to fork over the $$ every year to have the fastest, lightest thing out there. Same thing but the engine's different.

That's my $.02. Take it for what its worth...

I would bet that most cracks are at weldsfracisco
Nov 10, 2003 11:57 AM
I would bet that most cracks are at welds, or where a frame has been dented due to dropping or piling another bike on top of it (or a crash....). I wonder how many frames, from any manufacturer, have cracked at a place other than a weld.