Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Deep South
Bikes: Cannondale SR's and ST's from the '80's
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Cannondale 63cm and the Tarantula Tester
Shorter riders always complained about the harshness (read "stiffness") of Cannondale's original '80's design.
As a Clydesdale, I found the 63cm racing and the 27" ST to be very responsive and not at all harsh.
There have been references that this criticism was leveled against the 3.0 series as well.
I have read (on more than one occasion) about Cannondale's 3.0 frame being the (laterally) stiffest frame tested on Bicycling Magazine's "Tarantula" frame tester. I actually remember reading of these tests when they were first performed. (Seems to me that they had a bit more linear give for a more comfortable ride, but I could be off on that point.)
I have also read that this pertained to a frame size of 56cm.
I have searched the web for any data from these tests and have yet to find any.
Can anyone point me down the proper path?
The question that I have is: did Bicycling Magazine perform the Tarantula tests on a larger size, say 63cm?
If so did they achieve similar results?
What was the stiffest 63cm frame ever produced?
I purchased a 63cm Cannondale 3.0 bike new in 1989.
Having ridden the previous design with the oval seatstays for several years prior, I did not care for the
ride characteristics of the 3.0. I considered it to be less rigid then its predecessor, especially
when out of the saddle. I continue to ride the '86 to '88 design to this day. (I still have the
3.0 frame hanging in the garage. Maybe I should build up and re-try it?)
It is interesting to note that Cannondale never translated this design into its lineup of touring bikes.
Rather, they maintained the late 80's frame and changed the fork in '92. (But, they dropped the
27" Mega Clydesdale size after 1990.) :-(
They stayed with this design until '96, when they called their Touring frames CAD2, although from
the pics in the catalog, they don't appear to have changed (I've not seen one,tho.)
Anyway, point being that the late 80's design must have handled more load (maybe stronger?)
What other reasons would predicated staying with the late 80's design? I do understand that touring frames, being longer wheelbase and more relaxed angles have ride characteristics that differ from those of racing frames. Hence, maybe the beefier design was good for touring applications.
Can anyone shed some light on the topic?