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Old 04-29-07, 04:03 PM   #1
WillisB
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Fuji Touring vs Cannondale T800

I am buying a new bike this year.

The Fuji is steel the Cannondale is aluminum with steel forks. Both use Tiagra Brifters. I can get both for about the same price.

I like them both. They both seem to fit me pretty well. Anyone have any strong opinions on one vs the other? Good or bad experiences with either? I read a post that complained about the Fuji's wheels. Is there still a problem.
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Old 04-29-07, 04:44 PM   #2
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Nah, the Fuji wheels are pretty good-- not great, but good. Loaded touring bikes trash wheels and you have to be realistic about the wheels on a $1000 bike.

Both your choices are nice bikes....both are from good companies wirh a long history of touring bikes. I'm a Fuji guy, but C'Dale makes a heck of a bike. Hand built in the USA even!

So it comes down to the local bike shops--- who do you like the best, who do you think will support their bike the best. Pick your shop favorite, and if something goes wrong, hope they stand by their bike.
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Old 04-29-07, 05:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacomee
So it comes down to the local bike shops--- who do you like the best, who do you think will support their bike the best. Pick your shop favorite, and if something goes wrong, hope they stand by their bike.

Same shop sells both. The owner is a good friend.
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Old 04-29-07, 05:20 PM   #4
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I'd go with the full steel over aluminum. Call me prejudiced but I've found in general steel soaks up bumps better than alu.
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Old 04-29-07, 06:03 PM   #5
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I'd go with the full steel over aluminum. Call me prejudiced but I've found in general steel soaks up bumps better than alu.
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Old 04-29-07, 07:28 PM   #6
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I was on a long tour with a person with a fuji touring and a t800, I had a t2000. The fuji broke spokes on an almost daily basis and had to get the wheel rebuilt and then still broke spokes. The t800 did not break a single spoke.
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Old 04-29-07, 09:01 PM   #7
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The number one reason touring bikes break spokes is that the shop that sold the bike didn't stress, tighten, stress, true and stress the wheels the right way. I would go on any long tour without trueing the wheels!

Because WillisB knows the shop, the odds are there are going to assemble the bike the right way and tune the wheels. I don't see either bike busting a lot of spokes on the road. These are quality bikes from a good shop.

Bikes Direct sells closeout Fuji bikes super cheap-- some people who don't understand why these bikes are such a *good deal* and ride bikes with low spoke tention, ungreased and loose headsets, loose cranksets and unstressed cables. And the bikes break down. Then they post here that Fuji bikes are crap....

And that isn't true!
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Old 04-29-07, 09:41 PM   #8
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A year ago I bought an 05 Fuji Absolute, then sold as a flat bar road bike, from Bicycle Spectrum. It had Forumula hubs and Alex 550 rims. Within 300 miles I broke a spoke, drive side rear. I replaced the spoke (the only silver one in the wheel), did my best to tension and true the wheels myself. Later I had a bike shop check it, so far so good with over 1000 miles on the wheels.

Fuji has been making bikes for longer than Ford has been making cars.
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Old 04-29-07, 10:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillisB
I am buying a new bike this year.

The Fuji is steel the Cannondale is aluminum with steel forks. Both use Tiagra Brifters. I can get both for about the same price.

I like them both. They both seem to fit me pretty well. Anyone have any strong opinions on one vs the other? Good or bad experiences with either? I read a post that complained about the Fuji's wheels. Is there still a problem.
I have a T800 and my daughter has a Fuji Touring so I've been able to compare them side by side. Both are pretty good bikes. However, if you can get the T800 for the same price as the Fuji, the Cannondale is a better bike. First, the T800 has a slightly longer chainstay, which can be helpful if you happen to have larger feet. The aluminum frame is stiffer but that can translate into a better ride loaded because the frame doesn't flex as much. More of your power goes into the pedals. Handling is a little better on the T800 with a load because of the frame rigidity. It has less of a tendency to develop speed wobble. I also find that I can stand up and pedal up hills with a load...something I could never do on steel bikes. It's not a big deal but it's nice to stretch your legs from time to time.



The gearing out of the box is better on the T800 from a touring perspective. It uses a good mountain bike crank with an oversized large chainring. You can even swap the 26 inner for a 22 inner.

The T800 also comes with a threadless headset which greatly simplifies on road repairs. It also allows for more options in terms of stems, too.
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Old 04-29-07, 10:37 PM   #10
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I bought a 2005 T800 last year and took it across southern Ohio. I had the thing loaded down with 4 saddlebags and a bunch of crap on the rear rack. I was flying down a hill at 41 mph and the thing was rock stable! It's really a blast to ride. If you can find an older year model, you'll save a couple of bucks.
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Old 04-30-07, 10:32 AM   #11
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You will always find debate over steel vs alu -suffice to say, and IMHO, it's the design and components (wheelset, saddle, handlebar grips, etc) and tyre pressure that can make considerable difference rather than just the material. I'm definitely far from convinced you should make a choice based on (both proven) frame materials.

The best thing you can do is ride both bikes and see which you prefer. If you can't decide then, get the one with the colour you prefer (not kidding!).

To put my two cents worth in, assuming all other things equal, I'd take the C'dale just because it's made in the USA.
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Old 04-30-07, 05:55 PM   #12
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One more thing is that the T800 comes with a Fizik Rondini saddle IIRC which is unbelievably comfortable
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Old 04-30-07, 07:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillisB
I am buying a new bike this year.

The Fuji is steel the Cannondale is aluminum with steel forks. Both use Tiagra Brifters. I can get both for about the same price.

I like them both. They both seem to fit me pretty well. Anyone have any strong opinions on one vs the other? Good or bad experiences with either? I read a post that complained about the Fuji's wheels. Is there still a problem.
Stiffer frames are preferable in a touring bike. Better control. They feel more solid when heavily loaded. They are easier to control on fast, rough descents.

Newer model aluminum frames, especially touring frames, are much less likely to fail than some of the early and lightweight aluminum frames. The Cannondale frame is plenty strong.

When the bike is loaded, aluminum is unlikely to be any less comfortable than steel. The load will provide vibration damping for the bike as a whole. Larger tires will also help with comfort.

I've heard good things about the Fuji also, but I would lean toward the Cannondale. They are both good bikes.

Last edited by Niles H.; 04-30-07 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 04-30-07, 09:22 PM   #14
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You sure those bikes are the same price? If so, either Fuji charges a huge markup in the US or (more likely) Cannondale charges more in Australia. When I was shopping (2005/06) the Cannondale T800 had better gearing, better STI (105 vs Tiagra) and nicer gear all around. It was also about 40% more expensive.

The Cannondale rides really well loaded. Unloaded I thought it was more responsive than the Fuji.

Ride the bikes, look at the components, decide 1st on fit, 2nd on frame, last on componentry (which your friend may be able to swap out for you).
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