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Old 05-14-08, 07:17 AM   #1
LondonRob
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Thoughts re: Cannondale Touring 2 bike? also, which size?

Howdy!

I also cross-posted this on the "commuting" forum, as I plan to use the bike for both touring and commuting. Sorry for the cross-post!

I'm strongly leaning towards buying a Cannondale Touring 2 bike, which I hope to use for a mix of urban commuting, weekend leisure rides and more extended touring/"bike-camping" trips. Would love to get your advice/input!

Here is my dilemma. I'm in Paris at the moment (poor me! ), and relocating to London. The Cannondale touring bikes are not sold in Europe. (Cannondale sells other "touring" bikes exclusively in Europe, but they're extremely expensive and don't seem to be as good for my purposes.) Also, bike shops in the USA don't seem to have the Cannondale touring bikes available in the store. I plan to be in Florida for a few days, so my plan is to pre-order the Cannondale Touring 2 over the phone with a LBS there in Florida a few weeks before I arrive, then pick up in person and fly back to London with the bike.

The 2 issues are therefore: is this right bike for me? and which size should I buy? I realize it's generally ill-advised to buy a bike without test-riding it, but given my particular constraints, I'm willing to take a chance on this. If I don't do it this way, I'll probably pay 3- or 4-fold for a bike the UK that is not as appealing to me based on the website, and I can't afford to that. The Cannondale T2 is about $1300 plus tax. The T1 is about $1800 plus tax. They share the same frame, but the T1 has better components, apparently. I looked a bit at the Trek bikes, but I'm leaning heavily towards the Cannondale T1.

As for size, the T1 comes in S, M, L, XL and Jumbo. I'm trying to decide between the M and L. (I have to ask the LBS order the correct size for me.) I'm about 5'9.5" tall, weigh 150 lbs, have a 32" inseam. According to Cannondale's website, the M has a 21.5" Top Tube Length and 30.1" Standover at Top Tube Midpoint, and the L has a 22" TTL and a 31.5" Standover. I have spoken with several bike shops on the phone and they seem to be divided equally as to whether I should get a M or a L. Any advice for me?

I'm totally new here (though I've read lots of threads!), so if I'm making a fool of myself, please be gentle!

Cheers,
Rob
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Old 05-14-08, 08:30 AM   #2
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Hi LondonRob, I have a T2000 which size wise is the same as the T1/T2. I am 6'1" 225lbs with a 32" inseam and I have a large frame and am quite happy with the fit. As for availablity, I'm sure that I have seen the new T1/T2 in Canada. You really should test ride one before you spend that kind of money on a bike.
I hope you like your Cannondale as well as I like mine and it will work well for touring and commuting.
Happy cycling
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Old 05-14-08, 09:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LondonRob View Post
I'm strongly leaning towards buying a Cannondale Touring 2 bike, which I hope to use for a mix of urban commuting, weekend leisure rides and more extended touring/"bike-camping" trips. Would love to get your advice/input!
I know you are asking about Cannondale, but have you checked out a Thorn? Made/sold in the UK, in Somerset?
http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/

If you look at their sister site -- SJS Cycles -- they frequently seem to have lightly used / factory samples available at good prices. You can get very pricey with their Rohloff models but their derailleur models seem to be reasonable.
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Old 05-14-08, 02:22 PM   #4
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Hi Cyberpep!

Muchas gracias! Very reassured to hear you're happy with your T2000! I think I'm leaning towards buying the T2 with a large frame, even without testing it first. I figure, worst case scenario, if I really don't like it, I could probably resell it used in London without taking too much of a loss. Since I won't be back in the US (or Canada!) for a while, I think I'm going to take advantage of buying it now while I can and hope for the best.

I'll report back and let you know how it turns out... :-)
Rob
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Old 05-14-08, 02:26 PM   #5
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Hi Bengeboy!

Thanks for the suggestion! I hadn't heard of Thorn before. I'll be sure to check it out as well, especially if the Cannondale doesn't work out. :-)

Cheers,
Rob
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Old 05-15-08, 12:16 AM   #6
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Large

Hi Rob,
I'm your height (31" inseam) and 180 lbs and have a Large T2000. I like the fit and handling. It is slightly roomier and more upright than my 21" Trek 520 but not too big. I will say however that the Trek has a more comfortable (compliant) ride when unloaded due to the steel frame, and the Cannondale should be a better (more stiff) loaded tourer, although I haven't toured on it yet.
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Old 05-15-08, 04:50 AM   #7
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Hi Mtnroads,
Thanks! This has all been reassuring for me -- I'm going to order the bike today and pick it up in 2 weeks. :-) I've decided to go with a Large Cannondale T2. I'm hoping for the best, and if even if it's not ideal for me, I think it will be good and I'll learn a lot from this bike. I also hope to outfit it with some Arkel panniers and do a bit of touring/camping this summer. Fingers crossed! :-)
Thanks again!
Rob
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Old 05-15-08, 05:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LondonRob View Post
As for size, the T1 comes in S, M, L, XL and Jumbo. I'm trying to decide between the M and L. (I have to ask the LBS order the correct size for me.) I'm about 5'9.5" tall, weigh 150 lbs, have a 32" inseam. According to Cannondale's website, the M has a 21.5" Top Tube Length and 30.1" Standover at Top Tube Midpoint, and the L has a 22" TTL and a 31.5" Standover. I have spoken with several bike shops on the phone and they seem to be divided equally as to whether I should get a M or a L. Any advice for me?
Depends... Given you measurements I would choose the Medium, but many like bigger frames. Can you try some similar dimension bikes before ordering?

BTW: To me the T2 looks like a much better choice than the T1.
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Old 05-15-08, 12:53 PM   #9
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Hi Staehpj1,

Thanks! I definitely feel more comfortable about buying the T2 over the T1. I actually just bit the bullet and ordered the T2 in Large. I will be picking it up in 2 weeks. I would have much rathered had the opportunity to test it out first, or indeed even try out similarly sized bikes, but realistically it was not going to happen, and it will probably be another 4 months before I'd be able to buy the bike in the USA again, and I really wanted it over the summer for weekend trips, commuting, etc. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best! :-)

I also just ordered a set of Arkel Dolphin 32 panniers and an Arkel Tail Rider. I'll be sure to report back on all of this stuff.

Cheers,
Rob
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Old 05-15-08, 01:06 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by LondonRob View Post
Hi Staehpj1,

Thanks! I definitely feel more comfortable about buying the T2 over the T1. I actually just bit the bullet and ordered the T2 in Large. I will be picking it up in 2 weeks. I would have much rathered had the opportunity to test it out first, or indeed even try out similarly sized bikes, but realistically it was not going to happen, and it will probably be another 4 months before I'd be able to buy the bike in the USA again, and I really wanted it over the summer for weekend trips, commuting, etc. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best! :-)

I also just ordered a set of Arkel Dolphin 32 panniers and an Arkel Tail Rider. I'll be sure to report back on all of this stuff.

Cheers,
Rob
I hope it works out well for you. I think that more touring riders like a larger frame so you will probably be fine.
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Old 05-15-08, 06:43 PM   #11
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Why a Cannondale if you're in Europe? There are heaps of UK and German brands that are good, eg. Thorn, Orbit, Dawes, Fahrahmanufactur. You would probably get a betted deal buying local.
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Old 05-16-08, 06:03 AM   #12
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Staehpj1, Thanks for the vote of confidence! I feel good about the purchase, and can't wait to get my hands on that bike! :-)

Cave, as to your question about why a Cannondale in the US versus buying something in Europe -- it's partly because the US dollar is incredibly weak right now, partly because I felt more comfortable trusting American names I already knew, partly because there was more information/reviews readily available online for American bikes, and partly because -- based on my research -- it would cost me at least twice as much to get a similar quality bike in Europe as it would in the US. I hope I made the right decision, but I'm certainly spending less money than I would have in Europe.

Cheers,
Rob
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Old 11-11-08, 05:32 AM   #13
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So how is it?

Hi London Rob,

I was reading your thread and have been in the same dilemma about buying the Cannondale T1 or T2. I live in Beijing and will be touring in the US next summer. I want to order the bike and pick it up when I go over to the US at Christmas. However, I am really umming and ahhing about which frame size to order. Was the Large frame the right one to go for? I'm slightly taller than you but not by much, so I'll be interested to hear your experiences.
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