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Cannondale CAAD8 - good starter bike?

Darrenhirst81Darrenhirst81 Posts: 17
edited September 2012 in Road beginners
From what I've read about it the position should be a little more upright than a standard roadie. Having been a MTB'er for many years, this is what I'm looking for in a road bike for now. See how I get on.

Also I see there are several different set ups for this bike - Sora, Tiagra (?) etc. Any recommendations on set ups? Pedal wise I won't be clipping in for a while as I've fallen foul to them before, i.e. fallen off at traffic lights. They may come back with time.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated

Posts

  • Duffer65Duffer65 Posts: 341
    Firstly, get the best bike you can afford. Cannondale are well regarded and it would be a good starter bike and the alu frames are fine. Don't go for Sora or 9 speed, Tiagra is now 10 speed and as the rest of the Shimano series is also 10 speed it would make future groupset upgrades easier than going from 9 speed. We've all fallen off at least once when clipped in, it's part of the learning curve!
    Where would you be if you fell down a hole?.. Stuck down a hole... in the fog... Stuck down a hole, in the fog, at night... WITH AN OWL!
  • djhermerdjhermer Posts: 328
    Absolutely right it is. A lot of beginners would love to have one as their first bike. I bought mine approx 2.5 yrs ago now - it was my third road bike after a £200 Claude Butler and a £500 Giant OCR. I went for the 105 - well worth the additional pennies in my opinion.

    The good thing is that as the frame is so good, the bike is very upgrade-able. I have upgraded the wheels and tyres (Kysrium Elites and Michelin Pro3) and saddle to date. Many objective reviews will tell you that the CAAD8 frame will give you a great bike for a long time as you improve.

    I can't comment on how it compares to similarly priced bikes as i've never ridden one, but it's done me for a few thousand miles and i have no intention of replacing it. I will upgrade components as i see fit and to satisfy my penchant for spending money on cycling gear, but i intend to keep the frame for a few more years yet.
  • ProssPross Posts: 25,473
    Duffer65 wrote:
    Firstly, get the best bike you can afford. Cannondale are well regarded and it would be a good starter bike and the alu frames are fine. Don't go for Sora or 9 speed, Tiagra is now 10 speed and as the rest of the Shimano series is also 10 speed it would make future groupset upgrades easier than going from 9 speed. We've all fallen off at least once when clipped in, it's part of the learning curve!

    This pretty much.
  • OldfieldOldfield Posts: 32
    How much are you looking at CAAD8s for? How tall are you?
    I just picked up a CAAD10 for 999 and I'm very happy with it. It has a lower ride position than the 8, apparently, but I've flipped the stem upside down to make me a bit more relaxed and it's great. I've had a bit of pain with neck, but that's from having to look up and I'll get used to that in time :)

    I was considering an 8, too, but I really do love my bike!
  • davecaradavecara Posts: 109
    I picked up a used Sora CAAD 8 a couple of weeks ago, and I'm very happy with it. The Soras censored and I don't like the shifters, but its got nice aftermarket wheels plus a few other bits and bobs and it rides nice, just seems to need re-indexing every 100 miles.
    if you get the chance of a Tiagra or 105 bike, go buy it.
    All IMO of course :D
  • GATESGATES Posts: 53
    i ordered a caad 8 105 for 890quid on sale they dint have it in stock so sent me the caad 10 105 for the same price and i love it its a great bike really responsive, how ever it looks that good that people look at me as if to say why are you riding so slow haha

    deffo get one
  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    Its a good bike - period..never mind for a beginner, get it .... you know it makes sense ;-)
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • Ive been cycling since feb and was lucky enough to jump into a 2011 CAAD8 Tiagra in the cycle to work scheme. I'm far from an expert but i ride with an experienced cyclist and he rates it. I love it and it's served me well so far with no problems whatsoever. If your budget means you can avoid Sora then do so, Tiagra and 105 will see you right, go for 105 if you can!
  • deadfalldeadfall Posts: 32
    I love my caad8 105. I only got it at the beginning of the month, first road bike since I was a kid, and it's really fun to ride. I originally test rode a Tiagra for the sizing, but I'm glad I spent a bit more on the 105. I'd prefer the colour scheme of the Tiagra though. It's very agile and you can quickly flick it out of the way of obstacles/potholes.

    First thing I did was swap the brake pads out for some swisstop greens as I found the stock pads pretty useless, it made a massive difference in stopping power and has given me more confidence on descents. I've also changed the tyres for some red Rubino pros (gift), they didn't have any impact on speed, but cornering feels more secure and the bike handling feels a bit more responsive and the styling is even louder than before. Next year I'll put some new wheels on and maybe upgrade the pedals.

    I put Keo plus pedals on my bike and am glad I did. I found it a bit hard to get used to after SPDs, flipping the pedal took a bit of work to get right, but I usually clip in on the first attempt now. I've never fallen off due to a clipping problem as I was paranoid about it and practiced by leaning against a wall and then taking it slowly in the local park.
  • If you don't want to use SPDs yet, get some good clips and straps. MKS clips with some nylon straps (leather is preferable but more expensive). Less than £20 for the lot. Used to full effectiveness (cycling shoes with old-style cleats, double straps pulled tight), clips and straps are almost as good as clipless, but if you use no cleats (few people do these days) and keep the straps loose, they are a great way of having most of the benefits of foot retention with no difficulty of removal. :)

    But a £50 old banger from Ebay is good enough for a beginner, so anything you buy will spoil you. Make sure you allow enough for all the other stuff though!
  • notlongnownotlongnow Posts: 176
    From what I've read about it the position should be a little more upright than a standard roadie. Having been a MTB'er for many years, this is what I'm looking for in a road bike for now. See how I get on.
    The Cannondale synapse is even more upright than the Caad 8
    http://www.paulscycles.co.uk/products.p ... 7b0s6p4331
  • ianbarianbar Posts: 1,352
    i have a 2012 caad 8 tiagra and it has been a great bike! i have upgraded wheels saddle too etc with my magic aksiums on ( a sensible upgrade) it came even more alive! i will be using the bike in the future as my winter bike too.
    enigma esprit
    cannondale caad8 tiagra 2012
  • Cheers for the replies folks, really appreciate it.

    I think I'm going to go via the Cycle to Work scheme. Was looking at shelling out £800 but just had a nice hefty bill through for the car unfortunately.

    I admit the green and white colour scheme was the first thing that attracted me to the bike, but the longer head tube is helping to sway me. The advice on avoiding Sora and strapping in are really helpful. Think my next port of call will be Edinburgh Cycles in Sheffield. I pass it most days on the way home from work, so I'll get in and see what they can offer.

    Cheers

    P.S. 5"8
  • Why do people come out with statements like, Dont go for Sora and Dont get a 9 speed :x :(

    There is nothing what so ever wrong with Sora or having a nine speed , especially if your just wanting a really nice road bike,

    You can get the most experianced rider without him/her looking at what the Bike is Tiagra or Sora 105 they would be very hard pushed to tell the difference , cadd8 sora few months ago would set you back around £750, This week you could pick one up for £575-600, also the standard wheels on this bike is as good as any , they all spin round , it annoys me on forums like this, you get people acting as sales reps for bike manufacturers and dealers, I have had some top notch bikes over the years, not just through wanting Bling! it was just because I was able to have them,

    What you do need is a good pair of strong of legs with what ever bike you got.
  • top_bhoytop_bhoy Posts: 1,421
    lhawkins wrote:
    Why do people come out with statements like, Dont go for Sora and Dont get a 9 speed :x :(
    Completely agree. While always wanting the best and greatest, its easy to keep adding uneccessary extra features on a bike in turn pushing the price up. My mate has just got his first road bike (a Scott) which came with Sora. He's loving it and from what he tells me, he doesn't have any issues changing up/down gears. Where's the downside, particularly if looking after the pennies? That bike and Sora groupset should easily do him a few years before he needs to consider anything.
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    Edinburgh Bicylce are a good chain. They do "own brand" accessories and they're pretty good. Your cycle to work payment can include clothing, lights, etc so stock up and they'll maybe do a wee discount.

    I have a CAAD5 and it's a great bike, CAAD8 is excellent. Main reason to go ten speed is that if you ever upgrade things like wheels you'll find many of the nicer ones won't take a 9 speed cassette.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • top_bhoy wrote:
    lhawkins wrote:
    Why do people come out with statements like, Dont go for Sora and Dont get a 9 speed :x :(
    Completely agree. While always wanting the best and greatest, its easy to keep adding uneccessary extra features on a bike in turn pushing the price up. My mate has just got his first road bike (a Scott) which came with Sora. He's loving it and from what he tells me, he doesn't have any issues changing up/down gears. Where's the downside, particularly if looking after the pennies? That bike and Sora groupset should easily do him a few years before he needs to consider anything.

    I bought a 2nd hand CAAD8 from 2010 with Tigra 9 speed which I think is equivalent to 2011 or 2012 Sora? Anyway it's brilliant, I really don't need 10 speed for the commute...
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • My experience, albeit limited, was/is that a bit of time spent adjusting any gear train carefully brings 100% improvement. I have a Cannondale Hybrid and although not massively expensive, it runs as sweet as a nut.

    Of COURSE a 5k superduper will run better, but just ike Hi-Fi, only if very well set up...

    Changing to a stainless chain has reduced my maintenance and improved my smooth running...
  • lhawkins wrote:
    Why do people come out with statements like, Dont go for Sora and Dont get a 9 speed :x :(

    There is nothing what so ever wrong with Sora or having a nine speed , especially if your just wanting a really nice road bike,

    You can get the most experianced rider without him/her looking at what the Bike is Tiagra or Sora 105 they would be very hard pushed to tell the difference , cadd8 sora few months ago would set you back around £750, This week you could pick one up for £575-600, also the standard wheels on this bike is as good as any , they all spin round , it annoys me on forums like this, you get people acting as sales reps for bike manufacturers and dealers, I have had some top notch bikes over the years, not just through wanting Bling! it was just because I was able to have them,

    What you do need is a good pair of strong of legs with what ever bike you got.

    Calm down... Theres nothing wrong with Sora but if his budget means he can get tiagra or 105 then why settle for sora?
  • Great bikes. Mate has just bought one. Been out a few times with him and it shifts. It has a reasonably racy geometry though - the Synapse is the more upright model in the 'dale range.
    FCN 3 / 4
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