Strengths: Durability, stiff frame, smooth ride and quite responsive after 10,000 + miles
Weaknesses: bottom bracket is weak for a fat guy, I'm 5'10" and 210" but still like to fly.
I have ridden the hell out of this bike, granted I made a few additions from stock over the years [wheels, tires, bars and crank]and I still come back to the dame thought, I love this bike. Occassionally, I consider a new bike but really I love the one I got.
Bike Setup: 105 shifters, ultegra rear, FSA carbon crank, rival brakes, mavic race wheels, conti 4000S tires, and easton ec90 bar.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: November 30, 2009
Strengths: - the frame's finish and durability is unparalleled even in newer bikes I've ridden, with my $500 in upgrades i wouldn't trade it for a new trek and it rides better than a freind's 2003 r500 triple
Weaknesses: - stock wheels are mavic cxp10, 105 shifters and derailers are meh, the seatpost and stock seat are pathetic
Great frame, not much else. Stiff, fast ride. Steering is responsive but doesn't handle great at the limits
Strengths: - Frameset of superlative quality & looks.
- Paintjob simply fantastic and durable.
- Responsive and a nice ride.
- Proven reliable over 12 years.
Weaknesses: - Frame : Fork combination not ideal, making the C'dale 600 understeer.
- Steep rear triangle gives a boneshaker ride over the rough stuff - modern C'dales are much better.
- Steering head is very basic and (probably..) very heavy; bike steers OK though.
- Shimano 105/RX-100 combo is a real 'bitsa'...but very hardwearing & reliable.
- Saddle and minor finish items at the cheap end of nasty..
WANTED - Fast road bike, class aluminium frameset, designer good looks..
Cannondale 600 ticked the boxes, delicious alloy frame, carbon fibre forks, a paintjob to die for...Ultraviolet and black. Shimano groupset - a mix of 105 & RX-100 - seriously unflash, but proven very, very reliable over the last 12 years. Wheels very basic on the stock bike, but upgraded to Rigida Constrictors in 2001, which made a difference.
From delivery, the 600 has been use for a mixture of commuting and recreational rides, rain or shine. Wear and tear has been minimal - tyres, brake blocks, chain mainly - with the original wheel spindles running out of adjustment in 2001.
Handling is crisp and responsive, the upright rear triangle paired with carbon forks with a lot of rake & trail, giving a hard ride on the one hand (bum..) and understeering tendencies on the other. This was never more apparent - or potentially lethal.. - than on the penultimate Sunday in July 2000, the magic carpet ride of l'Arrivee du Tour...the randonnee comprising the last stage of the Tour de France! Peeling off at speed off rue de Rivoli into Place de la Concorde, stumbling onto the pave and adverse camber of the right hand curve, the front wheel went for a walk, whilst I was trying to overtake a dozen similar nutters up the inside! Got away with it and was able to indulge l'Avenue des Champs Elysees, at my pleasure!
Summed up, a class product that lacks a few frills and wasn't quite bespoke when it left the shop. However, 12 years down the track we still have fun and remains a personal favourite for commuting and chilling out in the lanes.
The 600 does nothing really badly - but the modern derivatives with 'hourglass' rear triangles are a much smoother ride when the blacktop gives way to cobbles. My 1995 version would be a pain in the butt in the Tour of Flanders!! But it's stood the test of time.
Similar Products Used: Colnago 'Ovalmaster' titanium.. This is a lot better than the C'dale in almost every way. But this doesn't make the 600 poor, the Colnago is nudging great across the spectrum of characteristics...Ooh la la (or Bellissimo!).
Bike Setup: - Big bore aluminium frameset.
- Ultraviolet + Black finish.
- Carbon fibre forks with plent of rake & trail.
- Shimano 105/RX-100 groupset.
- Wheels correspond with the group.
- Continental 'gatorskin' clinchers (these days..)
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: April 21, 2007
Strengths: Very sharp looking, Frame is stiff, Takes downhills fast
Weaknesses: Back rim came out of true .
This was my first road bike and I love it.
It is light and can go fast.
Strengths: Super strong, long lasting, and even came with "good enough" components! Super rigid feel on hard takeoffs.
Weaknesses: Ow, that bump gave me carpal tunnel!
I bought this bike in 1995 or so as an upgrade from my steel Specialized I was riding at the time. At the time, it was the fastest, most stable feeling bike I'd ridden yet, and I love it to this day. As a few other reviewers have already pointed out, with Cannondale, it's the frame you're buying, and that surely holds true in this case; I've always planned on eventually upgrading the components from the relatively cheapish 105 group, but it's all worked well enough to where I just can't bring my self to actually do it!
The front deraileur is a bit on the flaky and obnoxious side, but I practically never need to use it so it's really not that big a deal. I actually like the stock seat (it's more comfprtable than the stoclkone that my old Specialized came with).
The original Mavic wheels were the 1st to be replaced, as I too broke a spoke on the rear wheel, and bent the front one enough to make me grouchy - but really, talk about all these other parts is not relevant to the Cannondale R600, which really is the frameset. It's a splendid, highly rigid, excellent handling frame, and I ride it 15 miles to work every day. I have to hold the bars just so over the bumpy parts, because what they say about jarring impacts transmitted through the frame is true, but it's worth it I think. The nay-sayers who warned me that aluminum frames are brittle and will crack if used on our nasty LA pothole-disasters we call streets have been proven wrong. Over a decade later and this old warhorse is still going strong.
Don't tell her I'm checking out the Six13... it's just SO gorgeous.