My new Cannondale road bike :-)

Discussion in 'Road Bikes' started by John Burns, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. John Burns

    John Burns Guest

    None of my mates are cycle nuts so I'm telling this group instead, have
    to tell someone! :)

    So my new (used) Cannondale R800 got it's first run today! Arrived on
    Friday but bad weather meant we had a weekend of mountain biking
    instead. Got it on ebay second hand, not used much and a real bargain.
    Many of the used bikes on ebay seem to have been bought with good
    intentions and then left in the garage for a year or two, lots of
    bargains if you're bike savvy.

    Anyway, it's the slightly older CAAD5 frame, mainly Shimano 105
    groupset, carbon forks and seatpost. Cannondale weren't really on my
    radar for road bikes but after reading a few reviews I've been
    impressed. I'd have loved a Specialized Roubaix but they're out of my
    budget. I needed a triple because it's so hilly up here in the
    Highlands, an awful lot of the ebay bikes were doubles which limited
    choice a bit.

    The frame is a work of art. I looked at a Merida in my LBS, the frame
    could have been welded by a monkey. No attempt to clean up the welds, by
    contrast this frame is super smooth at the welds and a real craftsmans
    piece. Not that ugly welds made a bike and slower but it's nice to see
    something done properly. The fit and finish is first class.

    One unusual feature are secondary brake levers, they're Cannondale so
    may be standard. I was going to bin them but they work really well, last
    time I came down Cairngorm mountain on my tourer I was half terrified
    (it doesn't have good brakes), so I might leave them on. That said, the
    normal Shimano 105 brake levers seem to work better than the Sora on the
    tourer and afford a bit more purchase.

    The Shimano 105 gearchange is certainly better than Sora, not that's
    Sora's bad but the 105 just seems a lot crisper and lighter.

    Bike is a lot lighter than what I'm used to, it's certainly a bit
    quicker up the hills and better brakes make me more confident down them.
    It has a basic Cateye computer and according to it I'm certainly quicker
    than before. I'll be fitting a Shimano Flight Deck though, I have one on
    the tourer (Edinburgh Country steel frame, been a superb bike over the
    years) and like it's cadence and gear indicators.

    Saddle is harder than I'm used to but we'll perceviere with that and see
    if I can get on with it. The riding position is a lot more bent over, I
    inverted the angled stem tonight and raised the bars a bit, I'm 41 and
    maybe not as flexible as I used to be :)

    I'm glad I didn't follow my initial idea of buying a new bike, I've got
    a lot more for my money and a better level of kit that I'd have afforded
    on something new.

    Anyway, all I need now is some nice weather to use it......

    Who needs a life when you've got Unix? :)
    Email: , John G.Burns B.Eng, Bonny Scotland
    Web : - The Ultimate BMW Homepage!
    Need Sun or HP Unix kit? - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible price
    John Burns, Nov 17, 2009
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  2. John Burns

    Danny Colyer Guest

    And a kitchen to photograph it in?
    Danny Colyer, Nov 18, 2009
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  3. John Burns

    John Burns Guest

    John Burns, Nov 18, 2009
  4. John Burns

    Tom Crispin Guest

    Tom Crispin, Nov 18, 2009
  5. John Burns

    Jim A Guest

    I know everyone used to lambast them but I used to really like the
    Weinemann extension levers and never had any problem with them (although
    my riding style rarely requires heavy braking). Those separate levers
    on your Cannondale look a lot more suitable for heavy braking!
    Something like that might even convert me back to a cycle with drops again.

    It's a lovely looking bike, and I envy you your Highlands location to
    enjoy it in.
    Jim A, Nov 18, 2009
  6. John Burns

    Ian Guest

    Ian, Nov 18, 2009
  7. John Burns

    Simon Brooke Guest

    Simon Brooke, Nov 18, 2009
  8. John Burns

    Clive George Guest

    The brakes imply otherwise - dual-pivots, not cantis. Yes, it's got
    cyclocross levers, but you can fit them to a non-cross bike.
    Clive George, Nov 18, 2009
  9. John Burns

    John Burns Guest

    I know everyone used to lambast them but I used to really like the
    I had a Raleigh Routier in the late 80s, it had L shaped extensions that
    went into the side of the brake levers to act as secondary levers. They
    flexed a lot but they did work. Cannondales solution is a LOT better.
    I'd never seen anything like these before I bought this bike.
    And I envy you your non-Highland weather :)

    Who needs a life when you've got Unix? :)
    Email: , John G.Burns B.Eng, Bonny Scotland
    Web : - The Ultimate BMW Homepage!
    Need Sun or HP Unix kit? - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible price
    John Burns, Nov 18, 2009
  10. John Burns

    Ian Jackson Guest

    I have separate (`cyclocross') levers for the tops on my Thorn Audax
    mk3. They're wonderful and completely suitable for heavy braking
    (which is sometimes needed as I usually ride in town, quite fast).

    One point to note is that they have less mechanical advantage than the
    main levers on the drops (which I rarely use, as I use the drops
    mainly for battling fierce headwinds). This is fine for me as I have
    plenty of strength in my hands.

    But in any case they're massively better than the extension levers I
    used to have on my last bike, which meant I had to keep the brakes
    (particularly the rear) very carefully adjusted to provide good
    braking performance.
    Ian Jackson, Nov 18, 2009
  11. John Burns

    Rob Morley Guest

    In that case the rear back brake cable stop is in a bad place.
    Rob Morley, Nov 18, 2009
  12. John Burns

    The Luggage Guest

    True. Now you just need to be careful in the wet so you don't fall off
    it like I did with my new ebay bike last week (see Oops... thread).
    The hip bruise is a nice shade of purple, but at least I can sleep on
    that side again.

    The Luggage, Nov 18, 2009
  13. John Burns

    John Burns Guest

    True. Now you just need to be careful in the wet so you don't fall off
    Easy, don't intend riding this one in the wet :) It's the "good
    weather" bike (so will get very lightly used!). If it's raining I go
    mountain biking or take the tourer.

    Hope you hip heals soon, in time for better weather!

    Who needs a life when you've got Unix? :)
    Email: , John G.Burns B.Eng, Bonny Scotland
    Web : - The Ultimate BMW Homepage!
    Need Sun or HP Unix kit? - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible price
    John Burns, Nov 19, 2009
  14. John Burns

    rob Guest

    Never had them myself, but my partner has an old Raleigh with the Weinemann
    extensions which I've ridden occasionally, and I've found them dreadful.
    She asked me to improve the braking on the bike. A brief investigation
    showed that it was impossible to reach the main levers. If I moved the main
    levers round to where they were usable, the extension levers were no longer
    usable. She only uses the extension levers, so that's how they've been
    left. Oh, and the bike has steel rims BTW. Good job she doesn't go very
    I have them on my Dawes.
    +1 on all points. I find them particularly useful in town where I prefer to
    ride on the tops because observation is easier. Other traffic is fairly
    predictable, if I need emergency braking it's usually because of a
    rob, Nov 19, 2009
  15. John Burns

    Simon Brooke Guest

    They're common on Cross bikes and have been for a while. Yes, in-line
    brake levers really work!
    Simon Brooke, Nov 19, 2009
  16. John Burns

    thirty-six Guest

    I use my tektro levers with single pivots, no problems. Actualy I
    dont use them much, it just means I am able to use a higher riding
    position under difficult conditions with the security of having the
    brakes here instead of there. On downhills it means I can go faster
    because of shorter stopping distance although I generally still grab
    the drop position because of the better steering control..
    thirty-six, Nov 19, 2009
  17. John Burns

    rob Guest

    rob, Nov 19, 2009
  18. They brake better, but they're not so versatile.
    I've never used the tops of the bars much, and my standard variation
    position (in suitably relaxed environments) was hands on the outer top
    curve of the bars. With "suicide levers" I could squeeze the levers
    with my fingers to brake gently, for example while pootling down a
    very gentle slope. With cross levers, I can't reach any brake lever in
    that position.
    Julian Bradfield, Nov 19, 2009
  19. I've found the tektro useful for times when I want my hands on the tops
    of the bars so, pottering though town or very steep and greasy lanes
    when having my weight more balanced seems wise.

    Roger Merriman, Nov 23, 2009
  20. John Burns

    thirty-six Guest

    I think you've hit the nail on the head. My bike seemed perfectly
    balanced for me and the additional levers cannot improve on this and
    so that is why I rarely use them. They seem to be most useful when
    going slow around other road users and maitaining a good all round
    vision. Sometimes the extra couple of inches of height makes all the
    thirty-six, Nov 23, 2009
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