a Recreational Rider
from Memphis, TN
Date Reviewed: December 19, 2000
Strengths: Quality frame, quick
Weaknesses: Harsh ride if your over 25,slow cornering. It has rack/fender mounts, H2O bottle mounts, why not go ahead and put a pump peg on it too?
I bought the frame from Cannondale and built it up with mostly spare parts. Cannondale's choice of their CAAD3 frame for a cross bike is basically a sound one with one exception. They used the rear triangle from the CAAD3 MTB frame. That wishbone design with square chainstays makes for one rough riding bicycle. Thats fine with me for cyclecross because I suffer for the entire 50 minutes no matter what I'm riding. Its not so great for commuting unless you run some fat tires on it. 8 speed stuff if you can find it works better in the mud. WTB saddles have that droopy nose, making it easier to get on and off without snagging your shorts. Raceface pays Shimano to use their pickup ramp/pins design for their chainrings so you can get decent front shifting and still have cross friendly ratios. Stick with cantis for your brake choices, I tried v-brakes w/pulleys, I switched back. Cdale, like other cross bikes from big companies, added features to make the bike more commutable friendly. Thats great but why not go all the way with the idea? Give me a cross race bike (i.e. Look's offering) or give me a cross/commuting/touring/sell as many as these things as possible while its still trendy bike but put a pump peg on it. Pump pegs rule.
a Road Racer
from Indy, IN
Date Reviewed: December 4, 2000
Strengths: The cost was cheap. It feels pretty light weight and fits me well. It tracks very straight.
Weaknesses: This is my first aluminum bike. Frankly, I like steel better. When putting it into a turn at speed, it wants to continue straight. After muscling it in, it feels as if a threshold is reached where it turns too easily and feels too eager. This is not a problem off road where speeds are reduced. I don't care for it as a road bike though.
Try before you buy. I'd recommend it, but anyone who's ridden a good steel/ti road frame won't like it's on road manners.
Similar Products Used: many road and cyclocross setups
Bike Setup: Shimano XTR/Dura Ace combo
a Road Racer
from San Francisco
Date Reviewed: October 11, 2000
Strengths: Stiff (when hammering by someone on a flat), Light, good geometry (for me) High quality construction, nice slow predictable handling.
Weaknesses: Stiff (when getting hammered by in the bumps). Bright and obnoxious.
I got the frame really cheap, so that was my original reason for getting it. The bike builds up pretty light and handles great. I have been using it for cross racing and fire roads up in marin. After a year on the bike though, I wish I had something less stiff. Probably because of my weight - #145. Overall a good bike, probably better for the heavier rider. Oh, they run big too, try before you buy...
Similar Products Used: Lots o' Mountain & road of differing materials, an ALAN screwed and glued cross frame.
Bike Setup: Single (44) ring up front, 8speed XT/XTR drivetrain, 105 for the rest, Ultegra Bar-con, Canties.
a Road Racer
from Redwood City, CA
Date Reviewed: August 4, 2000
Strengths: light weight and stiff, value=bang for your buck, nice colors, versatile road, touring and cyclocross.
Weaknesses: Silly brakes. Pedals are weird but preferred ATAC. Had a problem in a cyclo cross race where the chain jammed betwen chainring and frame. The circular nut holding the 5 chainring Bolts are not flush and when the chain fell off the lower chainring, the cirular nut caught and carried the chain up into the frame.
I have never looked back with this bike, used it to ride 22 miles into work everyday with paniers, raced season of cyclocross, race two road races too to boot.