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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Heya,

I'm in the market for my first real road bike and I had narrowed things down to a CAAD 9 6. However, upon asking for advice from a couple veteran cyclists...both told me the same thing: The aluminum frame that cannondale uses will "tear me up" on long rides. One of the two guys works at a LBS part-time that sells Trek..so I didn't take him too seriously, but the 2nd guy is objective enough (owns a Cdale too).
I'm 5'10-'11 and weigh 160.
Is the aluminum frame on a 6 very uncomfortable for long rides? If so, how can one compensate? I haven't test ridden one yet and don't imagine I can test ride a bike for the 50+ miles that constitutes a long ride.

So any thoughts from C'dale owners would be appreciated. Thanks
 

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I rode a CAAD7 for several years before buying a SuperSix. I've not been back on the Aluminum frame since. The carbon fiber frame is much more comfortable, but still stiff and responsive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
jlyle said:
I rode a CAAD7 for several years before buying a SuperSix. I've not been back on the Aluminum frame since. The carbon fiber frame is much more comfortable, but still stiff and responsive.
Well, for a first bike, carbon is out of my price range (~$1200 max).

And the 6 is ahead of the Trek 1.5 or 2.1 for me at the moment...with Spec and Giant behind at the moment.
 

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Give it a try you be suprise how Cannondale alum frame stack up with other low end carbon frame.
 

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Xanlact said:
Well, for a first bike, carbon is out of my price range (~$1200 max).
And the 6 is ahead of the Trek 1.5 or 2.1 for me at the moment...with Spec and Giant behind at the moment.
Well if the carbon is too expensive then why even ask if carbon is better?

CAAD 9 is the best aluminum frame out there.
But you cannot compare the CAAD 9 to carbon at all.
Carbon is much more comfortable on the long ride, stiff, and responsive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hooben said:
Well if the carbon is too expensive then why even ask if carbon is better?

CAAD 9 is the best aluminum frame out there.
But you cannot compare the CAAD 9 to carbon at all.
Carbon is much more comfortable on the long ride, stiff, and responsive.
;)
My original question doesn't mention carbon frames.

I just wanted to hear opinions from those that ride CAAD 9s if the bike was a bit rough on the body for longer rides. I suppose I should have put a comparison down... So compared to other entry level aluminum bikes (Trek 1.5, 2.1 - Spec. Allez)
 

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Xanlact said:
Heya,

Is the aluminum frame on a 6 very uncomfortable for long rides? If so, how can one compensate? I
I have both a CAAD9 and a Super6. While the Super is a bit more comfortable, the CAAD9 is by no means a harsh ride at all. I've done 60+ miles on it with no problems whatsoever on it.

If you want to improve comfort, run your tyres at 95 psi. What more comfort? Run 25mm tyres instead of standard 23. That'll do the trick.

cheers
 

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This is one of those things I see alot on forums - the idea that there are certain bike frames you can't use on long rides. Fact is, you can ride an aluminum C'Dale as far as you want. I have done several dozen 100+ mile rides on my CAAD3 frame. Does it beat me up? Probably yes, compared to a carbon. But the frame is what I have and I don't let it hold me back.

The aluminum frames are very smart if you are on a budget. The best way to compensate is with a good carbon fork (a given on frames today) and wheels and tires. Consider tubeless tires as the comfort can help make up for the harshness of the Aluminum 'Dale.
 

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ride it and decide.... u can definitely tell the caad9 is pretty smooth, even on a test ride...

much better than what i'm riding now, but eh, does the job.

man not the machine.
 

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I used to ride and race on a Cervelo Soloist Team, which was all alum, except the fork, and that thing was plenty unforgiving after 60 miles. I just grinned and beared it in century type rides, but eventually it was not so bad. I've test ridden CAAD's, never owned one, but they feel similarly stiff to my Cervelo on a short ride (10 miles), so it is likely that after a long one, it may be the same. I think that all alum bikes are generally harsher than carbon, and tube shaping and geometry can somewhat make it less or more forgiving. CAAD's have as a traditional racing geometry as you're going to get, so don't think you will ride as comfortably as say an aluminum Synapse. But you can dampen your ride by lowering tire pressure, using Bontrager Buzzkill bar end plugs (gel bar wrap or maybe double wrap your bars too), maybe a carbon handlebar, and of course changing your hand position often and riding more on the tops of the bars keeping your arms loose as a shock absorber. Also a saddle with a bit more padding and better chamois shorts (use chamois cream too!).

I would say that if you have some solid miles in your legs, ride several times a week, and don't have any body/pain issues after a long ride on your current bike, you should be fine on the CAAD.
 

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I have a CAAD 9 it is the best riding aluminum frame I've ever ridden and I have ridden a LOT of bikes. Not as smooth as steel or carbon but you get ten times more for your money with the CAAD 9 (no I don't work for Cannondale :D )
 

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I regularly ride my Cannondale 3.0 from the late eighties 60+ miles and survived. I agree with LeDomestique. Put 25mm tires on it and give it a go. You will notice more of differance with the tires than you would with a change in frame material.
 

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I own a CAAD5, which rides better than CAAD3 & about as nice as CAAD9. I still ride it regularly. I also own a carbon Synapse & Tarmac Expert (all carbon). I ride 5k miles/yr & have done centuries on each bike. The CAAD9 will NOT beat you up. Don't let the carbon craze get ya down. For perspective- the smoothness of all carbon frame is real, but slight. I agree with LeDomestique. When I put 25c tires (95psi) on my CAAD5 with old-school 32-spoke Ultegra/OpenPro wheels it is just as nice riding as my carbon Synapse with 23c (105-110psi) & Ksyrium SSC-SLs. And I say that having done centuries with each configuration.

Properly fit CAAD9 is still a GREAT bike by any objective standard, and prob the best value in cycling right now. Fast, responsive, and reasonably comfortable with a heritage like no other "entry-level" roadie. Don't EVER let the carbon-or-nothing crowd make ya feel bad about getting one.
 

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It also depends on your fitness level. The CAAD has a racing geometry, and depending on your fitness, you might not be as comfortable on it as say, a Giant Defy, Cannondale Synapse, or Specialized Roubaix, which all feature a more upright geometry.

The main questions you need to answer are:
1. How does the bike feel as far as fit goes?
2. What style of riding do you prefer?
 

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"ride quality" as it were, is effected WAY more buy tire pressure and size. Case in point; my CAAD9 is "smoother" with a 25mm 320TPI Open Corsa than my Super 6 with a 23mm tubbie. I owned a custom aluminium frame a few years back that was built with strtaight gauge tubbing and an ISP. The thing was built to race crits and not flex, comfort be damned. Assuming I had a nice tire on at the correct pressure, I could do back to back centuries if I had to on it with no ill effects.


The tubbie-cement-myth of "harsh" aluminium frames was conjured up years ago to help sell steel when it was dying............. That's not to say that an alloy frame is going to ride like a steel one. In general, "ride quality" is hugely over-stated with respect to frames.

Buy a nice alluminium frame and buy some nice tires and you shoud be set.

Starnut
 

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STARNUT said:
"ride quality" as it were, is effected WAY more buy tire pressure and size. Case in point; my CAAD9 is "smoother" with a 25mm 320TPI Open Corsa than my Super 6 with a 23mm tubbie. I owned a custom aluminium frame a few years back that was built with strtaight gauge tubbing and an ISP. The thing was built to race crits and not flex, comfort be damned. Assuming I had a nice tire on at the correct pressure, I could do back to back centuries if I had to on it with no ill effects.


The tubbie-cement-myth of "harsh" aluminium frames was conjured up years ago to help sell steel when it was dying............. That's not to say that an alloy frame is going to ride like a steel one. In general, "ride quality" is hugely over-stated with respect to frames.

Buy a nice alluminium frame and buy some nice tires and you shoud be set.

Starnut
Totally agree.
 

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fontarin said:
It also depends on your fitness level. The CAAD has a racing geometry, and depending on your fitness, you might not be as comfortable on it as say, a Giant Defy, Cannondale Synapse, or Specialized Roubaix, which all feature a more upright geometry.

The main questions you need to answer are:
1. How does the bike feel as far as fit goes?
2. What style of riding do you prefer?
Agree that flexibility matters when choosing. That's why I mentioned proper fit- which is too often ignored or 'cheated' in favor of brand/material/grouppo, etc.

And do check the geometry for yourself to cut through the marketing BS. Synapse & Roubaix are both "plush road" but they have MUCH different fit. The Roubaix has more relaxed geometry (slacker head tube angle, longer wheelbase, taller head tube). Before I got my Synapse I was seriously looking at a Roubaix, but it felt too upright for my taste so I passed. OTOH- My 'pre-riser' (but still BB30) carbon Synapse (56cm) has the same head & seat tube angles as the same size 09 SuperSix with very similar wheelbase (99.2 vs 99.8cm) and actually a shorter head tube (15.5 vs 16cm). And I find the Synapse plenty stiff for sprints (even if I ain't no Boonen).
Keep in mind that all these are great bikes which can (and are) used to race at pro level. Personal preference means a lot. Ride the bike, not the marketing.
 

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I have a caad5 that I have ridden a century on - it's now a single speed. It's a great riding frame - I am sure the caad9 is too. I would not pay any attention to the nay sayers. IMO the c/dale caad frames are tops. Go for it - you will not regret it.
 

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Xanlact said:
Well, for a first bike, carbon is out of my price range (~$1200 max).

And the 6 is ahead of the Trek 1.5 or 2.1 for me at the moment...with Spec and Giant behind at the moment.
I had a Trek 2.3. Good bike but it did not fit me well. I was not impressed. I also has a CAAD8 Dale. Great bike, but not real smooth on bad roads. At this time I have a System 6 with Rol SL wheels.Very stiff at the crank, but plenty comfortable to do Centuries. My Specialized Roubaix should be more comfortable than the 6 but it is not. Why? The wheel set on the specialized is an old Mavic Heliums. When I put the Rols on They are not as strong as the Rol SL wheels and allow a lot of movement and vibration to affect the ride quality. The System Six is the best frame I have ever on. Period!
 
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