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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was wondering if any Cannondale riders out there had any thoughts on buying a used CAAD4 upgraded w/ full Ultegra and a Slice fork vs. a brand-new CAAD9 outfitted with full 105s (and whatever stock carbon fork it is sold with). The difference in price would be about $400 ($800 v. $1190) based on what the sellers are telling me.

Any advice would be helpful! Thanks!
 

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I don't think there is much of an argument for the CAAD4 with Uletgra. Yeah, sure, the components are superior to that of the CAAD9...they are lighter, shift smoother and may last longer; there is definitely something to be said for longevity. I'd pay closer attention to the framesets, however.

There are many similarities between the CAAD4 and CAAD9, but long story short is the CAAD9 is here to take the place of the dated CAAD4. Both frames are constructed of high quality materials, by quite possibly the best aluminum frame builder on the planet, featuring current trends in competitive road geometry. Where they differ is in ride quality and stiffness; the CAAD9 has generations of refinement to make it a more pure-bred performer than the likes of the CAAD4. The CAAD9 features more aggressively engineered seat stays for improved ride quality; CAAD4 had more conventional seat stays, offering a ride like what one would expect of an aluminum frame. Furthermore, the CAAD9 has increased frontal and bottom bracket stiffness over the CAAD4; the added stiffness will do nothing but help you go faster and ride more stable and confidently as you do it.

Parts are just parts; they are easily changeable and upgradeable. Your frame, however offers much of the performance and character your bike will take on; I'd argue this is more important. Both will be great bikes, but I'd say the CAAD9 is superior. Why wouldn't you want a faster, better handling and smoother ride?
 

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The CAAD4 is still a Cannondale and the CAAD9 is still an aluminum frame. The differences in ride quality and stiffness are minor at best. I would pick based on the overall condition of the bikes, with the edge going to Ultegra all else being relatively equal. If the CAAD4 has a ton of miles on it, I might have some reservations.
 

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PeanutButterBreath said:
The CAAD4 is still a Cannondale and the CAAD9 is still an aluminum frame. The differences in ride quality and stiffness are minor at best. I would pick based on the overall condition of the bikes, with the edge going to Ultegra all else being relatively equal. If the CAAD4 has a ton of miles on it, I might have some reservations.
So what, every aluminum Cannondale rides the same? Yes, there are a lot of similarities, material and construction between the CAAD4 and CAAD9, but that doesn't say they ride anywhere close to the same. I suggest you ride both before drawing that conclusion, because there are distinct differences in how they perform.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all of the help/advice guys. I think the Ultegras on the CAAD4 are likely 2006/2007. I will definitely ride both bikes for feel and responsiveness and make the best call I can - though I am definitely leaning CAAD9 now, if not only for the guaranteed work, but also the service packages my LBS will likely include with the purchase. I've tried to do a bit of recon over the net, but initially, it seems that a $1199 tag for a 105-equipped 2008 CAAD9 might be the way to go. Let me know if I'm getting hosed!
 

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mlang0622 said:
Thanks for all of the help/advice guys. I think the Ultegras on the CAAD4 are likely 2006/2007. I will definitely ride both bikes for feel and responsiveness and make the best call I can - though I am definitely leaning CAAD9 now, if not only for the guaranteed work, but also the service packages my LBS will likely include with the purchase. I've tried to do a bit of recon over the net, but initially, it seems that a $1199 tag for a 105-equipped 2008 CAAD9 might be the way to go. Let me know if I'm getting hosed!


I'd bag the ultegra if it's got an octalink bb
 

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If it's down to those two bikes....I'd go with the CAAD9 frame. I have 2006 Ultegra components on one bike and 2008 105 on another and the difference between the two is only weight. Performance wise they are pretty much equal. The Ultegra shifters might be a slight bit smoother but reality is you are not going to notice it on the bike in the middle of a ride.

The difference in the frames will likely be noticeable over a long ride, much more so than the components.

Spend the extra and get the new bike and the warranty that comes with it.
 

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new caad9 vs second hand caad4.... NO CONTEST...

NEW !!! - if something happens to the used frame u are SOL, cannondale likely wont talk to you.... otoh, new = lifetime warranty. the diff b/w teg vs 105 is over-rated. functionally the same... i'd get the new 'dale, sell off the wheels complete 'as new- take offs'...and get something nice instead... nice custom 1500g wheels can be had for just a few hundred on top and will more than negate any weight diff b/w the gruppos...
 

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I have owned a CAAD 5, CAAD 7 and CAAD 8. I can't speak for the 9 or the 4, but I have to say that the frames have gotten stiffer. I like that, because I like to feel nothing but pedals going up and down when hammering. As I've gotten newer and newer as time has gone by, I could tell a big difference in the stiffness of 5 to 8, so I have to think that there will be a big difference between the 4 and the 9.

Components wise, buying today's 105 grouppo is a good move. It might not have the bling appeal of Dura-Ace, let's say, but it's a great component group, works well, and looks awesome.

Congrats on deciding on a C-Dale in any event!
 

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used both a 9 and a 4

Both are great race frames. Subjectively, the significantly newer 9 is a bit stiffer and lighter, but I actually preferred the more nervous-handling 4. Also, despite major claims about ride improvement, I don't think the 9 is strikingly different from the 4 (based on what I can remember with a several year gap). The performance difference between the two frames is certainly much smaller than the difference between most brands. I'm not sure I'd pay $800 for a second hand, 8? year old frame though.

If the caad4 was in excellent condition and being sold for $3-400, you'd have a tough decision. But given your prices, it's no contest - go with the caad9 and get the warranty support.
 

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mylesofsmyles said:
So what, every aluminum Cannondale rides the same? Yes, there are a lot of similarities, material and construction between the CAAD4 and CAAD9, but that doesn't say they ride anywhere close to the same. I suggest you ride both before drawing that conclusion, because there are distinct differences in how they perform.
Read again -- I did not say they were the same I said they were minor at best. As a owner of a CAAD4 and having ridden just about every version since, I can assure you that your personal opinion is wrong. :thumbsup:
 

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That's commedy!!!!

mylesofsmyles said:
Both frames are constructed of high quality materials, by quite possibly the best aluminum frame builder on the planet, featuring current trends in competitive road geometry.
Now that is funny...best aluminum frame builder on the planet...LMFAO

I guess that is why as a warranty manager for a large bike shop that included Cannondale, Trek, Klein, Specialized, and many small builders, I had the most warranty issues with Cannondale...by a significant margin.

Good aluminum frame builders don't need to use a grinder to make their welds look good:idea:
 
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