Strengths: Frame, wheels, Ultegra set-up, and black frame.
Weaknesses: Don't skimp on components. Replaced factory Omega brakes with Ultegras and sturdier cables for superior braking. Hutchison tires kept getting flats compared to new Conti Attack & Force tires. Love the relatively inexpensive Look A3 pedals. Lastly, replaced seat with a Wilderness Rocket V for better comfort. Now its happening!
Returned to road biking since the early 90's and was pleasantly surprised by this sturdy and light framed bike with mostly desirable equipment. Conservative geometry and wide handlebars holds up well for this large 250 lb. guy in short spurts as well as metric centuries.
Strengths: CAAD 7 Frame is awesome. As stiff as any steel frame I've ridden and light! Made me love to climb again (especially when I'm pulling Ti bikes). Kysrium wheels are sweet! Great mix of quality components for a resonable price.
Weaknesses: The saddle, which is easily replaced. Sure 105 isn't as good as Ultegra, but the 105 components have worked fine for me. Brakes are for stopping, and I bought this bike to go.
It had been so long since I upgraded bikes that I didn't believe that it would make that big of a difference. This bike is built to go! Once I changed the saddle, I was able to easily go 50+ miles alone. Bike is really stable to be so responsive. Corners great, descends quick with confidence and climbs a hill like a cat up a tree (with a dog after it)! People who could equal me on my Bianchi can't hang now when the road turns up.
So easy to ride that I put on a 1000+ miles in just over 2 months. If you don't want to spend the money, then don't test ride one. If you do, you'll have to have it!
I'm an avid mountain biker. I ride about 50 to 75 miles/week and I haven’t owned a road bike for about 12 years. My mountain bike is a 1998 Klein Attitude with a USE Alien suspension seat post. I've been thinking about buying a road bike off and on for about a year, and then came an opportunity to ride from Bergen Park to the top of Mt Evans (14,200 ft). 66 miles round trip, 7,300 ft of climbing. Slicks for my mountain bike was my first choice. Then I started demoing some road bikes. I thought for sure I wanted a steal frame for riding comfort. I was very surprised to find that the all aluminum Cannondale was by far the most comfortable ride for me. I guess a more fair comparison would be to ride all of the frames on the same wheels and tires. The second time I tired the Cannondale I took a tire pressure gauge because I couldn’t believe how good the ride was. The Continental Grand Prix 3000 tires were at 110 psi. I returned the slicks and bought the Cannondale. I’m 34, 5’10” and 160 lbs. The saddle was a bit narrow for my behind so for the Mt Evans ride I put my mountain bike saddle on the Cannondale. I’m a decent climber on my Klein Attitude and it appears the same is true for the Cannondale R1000. 1 hr 37 min Bergen Park to Echo Lake. 1 hr 48 min Echo Lake to the top of Mt Evans. There is no air up there! The ride back down was a blast. After a broken collarbone from descending loose gravel on single track on my mountain bike, I consider myself a cautious downhiller. The other 3 riders I was with were behind me most of the way down and I wasn’t really trying. The Cannondale delivered a very smooth predictable ride. 66 miles and 7,300 ft of up and 7,300 ft down for my first ride on it, hopefully the rest of the miles will be just as good.
The Klein Q-Carbon Team Triple was my second choice. I has bit harsher ride, especially in the front. The handling of the Klein was the best of the bikes I tried.
Similar Products Used: Demo'd Lightspeed Anteres, Gunnar Roadie, Lemond Buenos Aires, Klein Q-Carbon Team Triple.
Bike Setup: All Ultegra except brake calipers and bottom bracket, which are 105. And yes the Cannondale web site says that the R1000 is all 105 except for a few things. The only thing I changed was the front derailleur. For $12 I swapped the 105 FD for an Ultegra. Added Time Atac pedals.
a Recreational Rider
from Norcal, Ca
Date Reviewed: June 2, 2003
Strengths: Frame/Fork/Wheelset-Silver/Red Color
Weaknesses: 105 Shifters/Brakes-if you want to get picky!
Purchased this recently and am completely hooked. Had trouble working today on Monday after being on the bike all weekend. Two rides so far over Mt. Tam and have cut my times substantially.
I'm a big rider at 6'0" 210lbs and this bike holds up well to the weight as well as offering suprising comfort! Light years past the Klein that I was on before. I'm not kidding when I say that recovery time after riding this is much much shorter! I am also surprisingly satisfied with the stock saddle.
With my size I opted for the triple Ultegra crank(just flat out getting old) and do not regret it at all. The mix in of 105 shows a bit in the brake levers (they rattle) but the shop has promised to replace them to their credit!
Frame and Fork-AMAZING. Really makes a HUGE HUGE difference in the climbs. Wheelset-AMAZING. The extra speed I'm carrying now actually is a bit scary.
Bike also looks sweet (Silver/Red)-I am getting a lot of compliments from my normal riding crew.
Bottom Line: I test rode quite a few bikes in this price range, and none of the frames came even close. I will probably upgrade the 105 shifters/brakes/front someday-but am not in a rush. Ultegra remainder is beautiful.
Did I mention this bike is beautiful? Work of art-selling my Klein at next bike swap.
Similar Products Used: Klein Quantum, Lemond Zurich, Bianchi etc.
Bike Setup: Fully Stock-Nice right out of the Box!
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: December 6, 2002
Strengths: Frame, components (most of them -esp. the Kysrium Elite wheels and GP3000 tires), paint (I was going to get an R2000 but the color choice was awful) - you can get the cool white one or the Saeco team colors on the R1000), Price (blows everything away in the $2K range). Light, Fast and Compliant. Same Frame that the Saeco Team rides.
Weaknesses: Just minor stuff - it's great right out of the box but: 105 parts mix (I upgraded to full Ultegra/DA Der. for an extra $200), Seat (couldn't they spec a leather Flite instead of the vinyl Fizik?). Cannondale's aren't as sexy as the Italian bikes - sort of like driving a Chevy (but then Chevy makes a pretty fast Corvette).
This is an awesome bike! Very fast (but stable), handles like a sports car and sprints like a rocket. For the money you can't buy a better, faster bike, especially if you want to race or just be speedy. I recently went downhill at 43 mph and the bike was perfectly calm, stable and confident. The frame is super light, very, very stiff, yet is very compliant. The C'Dale marketing people would like you to believe it rides like steel, which it doesn't, but it is probably the best riding aluminum frame you can buy and is not very harsh at all. I was going to get a carbon bike because I was afraid of aluminum harshness, but once I rode the CAAD 7 I was sold. I also own a Fisher Big Sur Al. Hardtail mtb, and that thing is heavier, flexes like a rubber band and is way harsher than the R1000. How the engineers at C'Dale made this frame is beyond wonder - it's soo light and so stiff and so easy to ride. It's amazing. Do yourself a favor and simply test ride one, you'll be blown away, especially at how the frame transfers all of your power to the wheels and yet doesn't beat you up. If you have the engine, NO one will be able to beat you on a sprint with this frame.