Featured User Review: Cannondale CAAD8 Optimo 1 Road Bike Review

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Featured User Review: Cannondale CAAD8 Optimo 1 Road Bike Review
by Steve Harper

Price: $2488.00 at Bike & Run, London
Overall Rating: 5 of 5
Value Rating: 5 of 5

Bike Setup
Felt Aero wheels with ceramic bearings, Shimono Ultegra groupset – interchanging compact 50,34 chainset and 1-30 cassette in the hills and 54,42 11-25 for fast flat stuff

Favorite Ride:
CAAD8 Optimo

I’ve been moved to write a review because I’ve loved this bike ever since I got it. I’ve ridden numerous sportives in the Alps, Dolomites and Pyrenees… I’ve even taken it round the Tour of Flanders, across the cobbles, twice (so the ride’s not as harsh as some people say) – and it’s been incredible. But like all cyclists, I started to wonder if I shouldn’t upgrade.

So I’ve been testing loads of carbon bikes; a Wilier, which tuned out to weigh a pound more and had a dead feeling in the ride, a Ribble Nero (actually quite nice but certainly not better), brand-x carbon from Taiwan (also turned out to be heavier) and several others, including a Trek Madone 5.9 – and I can honestly say, I wouldn’t swap for any of them.

My bike came with Ultegra – which has been flawless – Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheels (since upgraded to Felt Aeros), Fizik Arione saddle (perfect). The only thing I might upgrade now are the forks and headset, which are not as light or as good as the ones on the CAAD10 – but even that’s more to satisfy the cyclist’s mania for upgrades not because it actually needs it.

This is a blindingly fast bike that out-climbs, out-accelerates and corners better than anything else I’ve tried and pretty much anything I’ve come across on the road. Got to be the cheapest way to experience that elite bike feeling. If I’m slow, it me, not the bike.

Light, stiff, stable, beautifully balanced. Not flashy, just fast – and not expensive for this level of quality

People on carbon frames will look down their noses – let them

Similar Products Used:
My winter bike is a CAAD2 105 road bike. Totally bullet-proof

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About the author: Thien Dinh

Thien Dinh gained most his cycling knowledge the old fashioned way, by immersing himself in the sport. From 2007 to early 2013, Thien served as RoadBikeReview Site Manager, riding daily while putting various cycling products through its paces. A native of California, Thien also enjoys tinkering with photography and discovering new music.

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