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Old 01-15-09, 04:27 AM   #1
Zweibel
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Do I really need such a good bike?

I've come across Cannondale's touring bikes and really quite like them. I'm sure they are very good quality.
I particularly like the Classic one:

http://video.cannondale.com/images/0...ge/9TR_BLK.jpg

I am planning to go on some self-sustained tours (2-3 weeks) in the spring/summer and am wondering whether it is really worth getting such a bike. As I am sure you all know, these bikes are rather expensive - over 1000 GBP here in the UK.

At the moment I have an old Raleigh race/touring bike.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...m=190278589791

I haven't been on any major tours with it so far and am wondering whether this bike is suitable for the tours I am planning. Would you invest in a good new touring bike or do you think my old Raleigh will do?
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Old 01-15-09, 05:00 AM   #2
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The Raleigh should be fine. Put a better saddle on her and send the rest of the money you saved to Unicef.
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Old 01-15-09, 05:12 AM   #3
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It didn't look like there were any front brazeons (screw holes to connect racks to), and I couldn't see the ones on the rear either, but there is probably one set back there. You want to do self-supported touring so you need to carry panniers, which means you need racks. If your existing bike doesn't have brazeons to screw the racks into, it's not gonna work. If it does, it's probably decent enough to handle 3 week tours. Just buy some front/rear racks and head out. If it doesn't have the mounting points, consider the Cannondale below.

Onto the Cannondale Touring Classic. This is a serious touring bike.

The bike you linked to is a Cannondale Touring Classic. I'm assuming you are from somewhere in Europe, because this model of bike isn't available to us in America or Canada, probably elsewhere as well. In America I know of the Cannondale Touring 1 and Touring 2, but they are different from the bike available in Europe. I have looked over the bike you mentioned and know a bit about it.

The components on the Cannondale are mostly Shimano 105 models. (Want to learn more about Shimano Component Levels and what all the names and numbers mean? Check out my blog post about it.) Here's a link to part one of that article on Shimano components. Click here. These are your 'getting serious' components. They aren't quite top of the line, but unless you are a serious cyclist, you'll never need an upgrade from these components. This means you are getting some quality components with the Cannondale model you like. One step from professional. Components: A-

Extras. Cannondale Tape, Tubus Logo rear Rack Tubus Dio front Rack, SKS Fenders, Tacx Bottlecage/Bottle. Ok, the Tubus Logo rear rack is worth about $100USD and is very well-respected on these forums. The front Duo rack is worth about $110USD and is also well-respected. The bike also comes with SKS fenders which are great, I ride with them and love them. They are about 40USD a set I believe. All together that is over 200USD of accessories. Extras: A+

I saw the Cannondale Touring for 950 pounds, only about 1400USD. Considering that I paid 1,000USD for my Surly Long Haul Trucker and it has inferior Shimano components (mostly deore), and i had to add front and rear racks, water bottles, cages, fenders, and more, I would not be scared of this price tag. Compare your Cannondale price without accessories, $1150USD to a Surly 1,099USD with inferior components, or a Raleigh Sojourn $1,099. These are the low-price touring bikes. Most touring bikes have price tags between 900-1200USD. Seems the Cannondale is a decent deal. You definitely don't need the Shimano 105 components, but having them isn't a bad thing.

I'd suggest you visit my blog and have a read over my most recent post, which includes some things to consider when choosing a bike, a type of tour, and accessories for your bike. It might help you decide on getting the Cannondale or not. here is the link: Choosing a bicycle tour
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Old 01-15-09, 05:19 AM   #4
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very informative

Thanks recklesscogniti, that was all very informative and I will definitely check out your blog.
Could you tell me where you found the Cannondale for 950 quid? That really would be quite a good deal.
Thanks.
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Old 01-15-09, 05:26 AM   #5
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My apologies, I was quickly zipping through the sites to get a price and I priced an 08 model that had recently sold out from

http://www.evanscycles.com/categorie.../touring-bikes

I did see an 08 model at http://www.cycle-heaven.co.uk/tour_bikes.html for 1,099 pounds.
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Old 01-15-09, 10:07 AM   #6
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Hi,

I don't think that Cannondale is a good touring bike at all. No way I'd shell out 1000GBP on it. Typical example of a big manufacturer entering a niche market and spending most of their $$$ on marketing.

Front Crank Truvativ Elita Tandem 52/39/30. Is that suitable for loaded touring??? 52 is too big IMO. Also, isn't 105 more road stuff... although I'm sure it's fine for touring.

Are the racks included. Not mentioned in the spec on the Cannondale site.

Aluminium frame? Don't like the rear triangle at all.

A touring bike needs to be designed for touring. Don't think that Cannondale has really been designed for its intended purpose. Of course that's not to say it's a bad bike. I'm sure its good and you could probably take it touring with no problems. It's just that for 1000GBP I don't think it's good value.

A Thorn Sherpa might be a better bike for around the same $$$ and less if the racks aren't included on the Cannondale.

Shop around. It's a buyers market out there and I'd say don't be shy to drive a bargain.

For the record I've got a Thorn Raven. Good bike but around 1,500GBP all up when I bought 2 years ago and I think the price has gone up since then.

Good luck with your purchase if you do decide to upgrade from your Raleigh, but shop around

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Old 01-15-09, 10:17 AM   #7
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I haven't been on any major tours with it so far and am wondering whether this bike is suitable for the tours I am planning. Would you invest in a good new touring bike or do you think my old Raleigh will do?
It could be made to work. Depends on you. It currently has a rack. Is that rack beefy enough? How much stuff were you going to carry. Were you going to put on a front rack?

The biggest deficiency I see is the gearing. Looks like a standard alpine double set up. You don't have any really low gears. If you are very strong this might not make a difference. If you will be touring in flat terrain, this might not make a difference.

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Old 01-15-09, 12:50 PM   #8
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Hi,

I don't think that Cannondale is a good touring bike at all. No way I'd shell out 1000GBP on it. Typical example of a big manufacturer entering a niche market and spending most of their $$$ on marketing.
Except for the crankset, I disagree entirely. My first reaction was "why aren't US touring bikes spec'ed this way?" The saddle, racks, and fenders are included (see the "Extras" line) and they're all quality name-brand parts. Compare to the throwaway racks and fenders on the Trek 520. Not to mention the 26" 36h rims and Schwalbe Marathon tires. All you have to do is put on panniers and you're set.

The road crank is probably fine in the flat roads of the UK, but it would make sense to go lower if you were headed abroad.

To the OP, you don't need that bike for what you want to do, but, assuming it fits you, the price is reasonable for what you get, and it should work well. You could also make the Raleigh work for a lot less money. It depends on your preferences.
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Old 01-15-09, 12:52 PM   #9
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You really don't need much of a bike. This young lady did it on an old Motobecane mixtie.
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Old 01-15-09, 01:45 PM   #10
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I see your point Stedalus. It is quality components all the way and with racks and fenders included (I missed the extras line... don't know how I didn't see it right there at the bottom of the spec) that adds up to a fair amount of $. Still, don't like the frame. Don't think it would take much punishment. Then again the op doesn't sound like he'll be doing any major touring, so...
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Old 01-15-09, 02:06 PM   #11
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I see your point Stedalus. It is quality components all the way and with racks and fenders included (I missed the extras line... don't know how I didn't see it right there at the bottom of the spec) that adds up to a fair amount of $. Still, don't like the frame. Don't think it would take much punishment. Then again the op doesn't sound like he'll be doing any major touring, so...
I don't have extensive experience with the Cannondale touring frames, but the couple people I've met who have them liked the frame and didn't have trouble with heavy loads. Of course that's only a couple people with relatively new bikes, so who knows. I agree that a steel frame would be more reassuring, especially since it's readily repairable.

I'm just amazed that it comes stock with such nice accessories. Their US models have no fenders and what looks like a no name rear rack. I guess British tourers have more refined tastes.
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Old 01-15-09, 02:22 PM   #12
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Still, don't like the frame. Don't think it would take much punishment. Then again the op doesn't sound like he'll be doing any major touring, so...
Actually, I think they give lifetime warranty on their touring frames.


Lifetime Warranty. Choose a Cannondale touring bike, and we'll guarantee your new frame for as long as you own it against defects in either workmanship or materials.
http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/04/cusa/model-4TR8.html

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Old 01-15-09, 02:24 PM   #13
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If your existing bike doesn't have brazeons to screw the racks into, it's not gonna work.
This just isn't true anymore. There are several very solid racks that can be installed without braze ons and will hold up well.
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Old 01-15-09, 02:32 PM   #14
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Actually, I think they give lifetime guarantee on this frame.
OK. Maybe I'm being unfair to Cannondale. Really I guess I'd have to see the bike, but just personally for my needs/wants I wouldn't buy an aluminium frame. It's more to do with the feel and looks than repairability because let's face it if a tig-welded steel frame breaks, unless it's high end lugged like Rivendell or something, most people would just buy a new frame.

Anyway, best of luck with it if you do decide to buy. All in all it may be just the kind of bike your looking for
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Old 01-15-09, 02:47 PM   #15
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Thank you everybody. I'll let you know what I eventually decide to buy .
Hardtail, I've been looking at the Thorn Sherpa. It's certainly a bike I will consider when I make my decision.
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Old 01-15-09, 04:20 PM   #16
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Hi,

I don't think that Cannondale is a good touring bike at all. No way I'd shell out 1000GBP on it. Typical example of a big manufacturer entering a niche market and spending most of their $$$ on marketing.

Front Crank Truvativ Elita Tandem 52/39/30. Is that suitable for loaded touring??? 52 is too big IMO. Also, isn't 105 more road stuff... although I'm sure it's fine for touring.

Are the racks included. Not mentioned in the spec on the Cannondale site.

Aluminium frame? Don't like the rear triangle at all.

A touring bike needs to be designed for touring. Don't think that Cannondale has really been designed for its intended purpose. Of course that's not to say it's a bad bike. I'm sure its good and you could probably take it touring with no problems. It's just that for 1000GBP I don't think it's good value.

A Thorn Sherpa might be a better bike for around the same $$$ and less if the racks aren't included on the Cannondale.

Shop around. It's a buyers market out there and I'd say don't be shy to drive a bargain.

For the record I've got a Thorn Raven. Good bike but around 1,500GBP all up when I bought 2 years ago and I think the price has gone up since then.

Good luck with your purchase if you do decide to upgrade from your Raleigh, but shop around
Cannondale has been making touring bikes longer than just about anybody still in the business. Their first touring bike...and the first bike they offered...was in 1983. They've had a touring bikes in their line since then and often 2 of them. No marketing hype with this bike...just a solid touring history.

The Touring Classic is a European only model and, with the exception of the gearing, is just about what every touring bike ought to have and be. It's a long wheel base solid purpose built touring machine. While the bikes are stiff without load, they are extremely comfortable when loaded with touring gear. I can stand and climb on them, something that I could never do on a steel bike.

It'd be hard to beat the Cannondale and it'd do a whole lot better at touring than the Raleigh that Zweibel is considering. And, after changing all the stuff he'll probably have to change, adding racks and dealing with an ill tempered touring beast, the Cannondale would be a bargain.

I own a 2003 T800 that has been toured. It's a tough bike.
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Old 01-15-09, 08:44 PM   #17
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Hi,

I don't think that Cannondale is a good touring bike at all. No way I'd shell out 1000GBP on it. Typical example of a big manufacturer entering a niche market and spending most of their $$$ on marketing.

Front Crank Truvativ Elita Tandem 52/39/30. Is that suitable for loaded touring??? 52 is too big IMO. Also, isn't 105 more road stuff... although I'm sure it's fine for touring.

Are the racks included. Not mentioned in the spec on the Cannondale site.

Aluminium frame? Don't like the rear triangle at all.

A touring bike needs to be designed for touring. Don't think that Cannondale has really been designed for its intended purpose. Of course that's not to say it's a bad bike. I'm sure its good and you could probably take it touring with no problems. It's just that for 1000GBP I don't think it's good value.

A Thorn Sherpa might be a better bike for around the same $$$ and less if the racks aren't included on the Cannondale.

Shop around. It's a buyers market out there and I'd say don't be shy to drive a bargain.

For the record I've got a Thorn Raven. Good bike but around 1,500GBP all up when I bought 2 years ago and I think the price has gone up since then.

Good luck with your purchase if you do decide to upgrade from your Raleigh, but shop around
Cannondale has made some wonderful touring bikes that have stood the test of time.
I would not hesitate to ride one across the country tomorrow.
You "don't think"? Or you "don't know"?
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Old 01-15-09, 09:39 PM   #18
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You really don't need much of a bike. This young lady did it on an old Motobecane mixtie.
That's pretty neat.
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Old 01-15-09, 09:42 PM   #19
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Cannondale has made some wonderful touring bikes that have stood the test of time.
I would not hesitate to ride one across the country tomorrow.
You "don't think"? Or you "don't know"?

OK. OK! I've pretty much stated in my subsequent posts that I've been over harsh on Cannondale. Personally I still wouldn't buy it. Don't like aluminium frames. However, I really don't know enough about it to give an informed opinion, so as I've said/implied take my original advice with a grain of salt.
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Old 01-15-09, 10:29 PM   #20
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To answer the OP's original question: No. You don't. But the C'dale is a good bike.
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Old 01-15-09, 11:06 PM   #21
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You really don't need much of a bike. This young lady did it on an old Motobecane mixtie.
People tour on all sorts of bikes. If you want a bike specifically designed for touring, get one. But many bikes, including older model mountain bikes, work fine for tours.
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Old 01-16-09, 02:58 AM   #22
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People tour on all sorts of bikes. If you want a bike specifically designed for touring, get one. But many bikes, including older model mountain bikes, work fine for tours.

I'll second that, but would add that if you have the money go for the bike you like, that Cannondale does look nice. With a lifetime guarantee and all the extras its a good price, just needs lower gears which I'm sure they would change for with no extra charge.
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Old 01-16-09, 03:15 AM   #23
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Well, I've just phoned a bike shop here in London and they have the 2009 model (much the same as the 2008 I believe, but with Shimano Ultegra as rear derailleur).
http://www.evanscycles.com/products/...-bike-ec016648
I'm going for a test ride now Their price is just over 1200 GBP which isn't too bad considering the state the pound is in at the moment. They have also indicated that the price is flexible and that they will through in a voucher worth 125 quid.
Will keep you updated.
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Old 01-16-09, 11:08 AM   #24
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Need really isn't an applicable term. The tires need air, the wheels need to be true and strong, your body needs to be conditioned to enjoy the effort.

The Raleigh will require the loads to be snugged down and as close to the center as possible, front low riders will make a huge difference so the rear wheel isn't overly loaded and the steering too light.

Out of the box the Cannondale is designed to carry loads and the wheels have significantly more life to them than the Raleigh,,esp. on a loaded bike.

My $.02 is that the cdale is a very nice bike, I owned a shop when they first came out and loved that there was solid handling bike with long chainstays for touring. My only concern is whether it can take fatter 38mm tires which might make a difference for some of your touring.
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Old 01-16-09, 11:42 AM   #25
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My only concern is whether it can take fatter 38mm tires which might make a difference for some of your touring.
It comes with 37mm tires, so it's fine in that respect.
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