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  1. #1
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    Cannondale T800 vs. T2000 -- Opinions?

    I'm planning to buy a bike suitable for loaded touring. Touring bikes are not plentiful in the bike shops in my city. The usual suspects (Trek 520, Cannondale T800 and T2000) are available. The shop that sells Cannondale has been much more helpful than the Trek dealer, so I have narrowed it down to Cannondale.

    I'll be test-riding both bikes this weekend, but I am also interested in the opinions of people who tried both the T800 and the T2000 and chose one over the other. Is the T2000 worth the extra money, and if so, why? (I know there are higher-spec components on the T2000, but does that deliver a real benefit to you as a rider?)

    Thanks for your advice.

  2. #2
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    I was recently considering both of those bikes also, as well as some others, and I test road both of them. I think you'll be happy with either one, they are both good bikes and I think both are good values. If you can afford the T2000 without much trouble, I would go for it. I think in the long run, the more expensive components and wheels will be more reliable and durable and that's nice to have, if you can afford it. I wasn't sure how much I wanted to spend but my top choice ended up being the T2000 because it just felt like a crisper, smoother ride than the T800 (so I think it's worth the extra money). I was also looking at the Giant OCR Touring because it also has some nice components and I ended up finding one on ebay at a good price so I bought it. I've ridden it a couple times now and I really like it, but I haven't done a loaded trip, so I'll only know in time if I should have gone with the T2000.
    "The wind, it is what it is, you can't curse it and you can't count on it."

  3. #3
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aphidman
    I'm planning to buy a bike suitable for loaded touring. Touring bikes are not plentiful in the bike shops in my city. The usual suspects (Trek 520, Cannondale T800 and T2000) are available. The shop that sells Cannondale has been much more helpful than the Trek dealer, so I have narrowed it down to Cannondale.

    I'll be test-riding both bikes this weekend, but I am also interested in the opinions of people who tried both the T800 and the T2000 and chose one over the other. Is the T2000 worth the extra money, and if so, why? (I know there are higher-spec components on the T2000, but does that deliver a real benefit to you as a rider?)

    Thanks for your advice.
    I bought a T800 in 2003. I've been very pleased with it. I did look at the T2000 but I didn't feel that the extra bits was worth the money. I didn't need or want a suspension post and the up grade on the other parts just didn't seem to be worth that much. Looking at the 2005 models, I wouldn't be too pleased with the straight blades on the fork. You need a bit of curve to the fork blades to get some relief from the road.

    Stuart Black

  4. #4
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    Hi all,
    It will be one year this May that I bought my T2000. I have close to 3000 mi. on it and I can't find a one thing to complain about. The drive train, wheels and frame are dedicated to the touring cyclist. The Brooks Professional saddle and the Conti Travel Contact tires top off this great bike. Money wasn't a problem and I thoroughly checked the big names in touring bikes before I bought the C'dale. Do a search of " Cannondale t2000 ", you might be suprised with some of the closeout prices you find on the net.
    Rick(PA)

  5. #5
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    My $.02.... You are buying a bike, not a shop, especially for a tour bike. When you need something fixed, you are not going to be at home anyway.

    If you can, ride the Trek too, then you can buy it elsewhere if you really hate the shop. There are a few on ebay. Once you have it, any shop can work on it for you.

    Don't forget to consider frame material. Steel is a smooth ride, especially loaded.

    The canti breaks and STI shifters on the cannondale are not as good a setup as the V-Brakes and barend shifters on the Trek.

    On the other hand, the c'dale's stock gearing is more appropriate - but it's cheaper to buy 3 new rings for the trek than a whole new brake/brake lever/shifter setup.

    (can you tell I have a trek?)
    Happy shopping!
    Anna
    ...

  6. #6
    cycling fanatic Ken Brown's Avatar
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    I have taken my T800 to Europe twice and done two 5-days trips with it here in Canada. I also use it for all my recreational riding at home. I have never had anything break, never even had a flat tire.

  7. #7
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl
    My $.02.... You are buying a bike, not a shop, especially for a tour bike. When you need something fixed, you are not going to be at home anyway.

    If you can, ride the Trek too, then you can buy it elsewhere if you really hate the shop. There are a few on ebay. Once you have it, any shop can work on it for you.

    Don't forget to consider frame material. Steel is a smooth ride, especially loaded.

    The canti breaks and STI shifters on the cannondale are not as good a setup as the V-Brakes and barend shifters on the Trek.

    On the other hand, the c'dale's stock gearing is more appropriate - but it's cheaper to buy 3 new rings for the trek than a whole new brake/brake lever/shifter setup.

    (can you tell I have a trek?)
    Happy shopping!
    Anna
    Frame material: Deciding between steel and aluminum depends on how much stuff and how big the rider is. The T800 has a harsh ride when unloaded (you get used to it) but is very well behaved under a heavy touring load and a large rider like my self. Steel bikes I have owned are prone to speed shimmy when loaded but the Cannondale never has been a problem on high speed descents.

    Brakes: Cantilevers are just as good at stopping a bike as are V-brakes or discs. It all depends on how they are set up and adjusted. At a bit over 300 lbs for bike, rider and gear, I have never had a problem stopping the bike, even in rain. Braking has never been an issue on any bike that I have owned including tandems and I ride in a very mountainous state!

    Gearing and shifter: I have used the stock STI's on the Cannondale for 2 years now without any problems. They work, they shift and they stop - what more could you want.

    I looked at the Trek and at Cannondales before I purchased my bike. It came down to value. The T800 had the best value of all the bikes I tried. I wish it weren't black but, hey, begars can't be choosers.

    Stuart Black

  8. #8
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    Good points. I didn't really mean to say "you should buy trek" but rather "you should buy the bike you want, and not worry so much about the shop.

    Frame: My fully loaded weight is closer to 200 so I can see where that would make a big difference in the frame performance.

    Brakes: they both work fine I guess. But it's sooooo much easier to adjust the v-brakes.

    STI: I cooincidentally just read a tour report on crazyguy where a guy's STI levers mysteriously stopped working mid-tour, and were unfixable - he had to replace them. I personally had some adjustment problems last year with my bar-cons, but was able to just switch them to friction shifting mode - a nice thing to be able to do if you get your shifting way out of adjustment, you bend something, etc.. I'm not such a good mechanic, so I liked that I didn't have to figure it out on the roadside.


    Cheers.
    Anna
    ...

  9. #9
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl
    Good points. I didn't really mean to say "you should buy trek" but rather "you should buy the bike you want, and not worry so much about the shop.

    Frame: My fully loaded weight is closer to 200 so I can see where that would make a big difference in the frame performance.

    Brakes: they both work fine I guess. But it's sooooo much easier to adjust the v-brakes.

    STI: I cooincidentally just read a tour report on crazyguy where a guy's STI levers mysteriously stopped working mid-tour, and were unfixable - he had to replace them. I personally had some adjustment problems last year with my bar-cons, but was able to just switch them to friction shifting mode - a nice thing to be able to do if you get your shifting way out of adjustment, you bend something, etc.. I'm not such a good mechanic, so I liked that I didn't have to figure it out on the roadside.


    Cheers.
    Anna
    I used to think that I needed the friction mode so I stuck with thumbshifters on my mountain bikes and downtubes on my road bike for ages but after having had both STI and Rapidfire for several years now, I can't honestly say that I have had any problems with them. I may swap to bar-ends at some point but right now the shifters aren't where I have equipment failures. Most of my breakdowns are wheel related.

    Stuart Black

  10. #10
    Better dead than trendy.
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    Thanks for the opinions; they're really useful.

    I was hoping not to start a controversy over frame materials or brands. Fear not, steel fans: I subscribe to the Rivendell Reader, and plan to get a custom steel bike (Rivendell or Mariposa or Bruce Gordon or some such) for my mid-life crisis, still some years off. Everyone says good things about the Trek 520, except that it is geared too high, which is fixed easily enough. (It has that in common with just about every touring bike I investigated; who spec's these things?)

    Valygrl: The dealer comes into it because the Trek dealer didn't have one in my size, and didn't offer to get one so that I could try it and see how I liked it. (And given how few touring bikes are sold in this city, that is reasonable, for a small business. If he got it and I didn't like it, he would have a hard time selling it to someone else.) The Cannondale dealer offered to get a T800 in for me to try with no obligation, and also got in a T2000 as well. He's been very helpful and patient (I started looking into this in September) and not pushy at all. If he sold Trek instead of Cannondale then that's probably how I'd go.

    Thanks again, everyone. And if anyone else wants to chip in, please do so.

    --Aphidman

  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aphidman
    Thanks for the opinions; they're really useful.

    I was hoping not to start a controversy over frame materials or brands. Fear not, steel fans: I subscribe to the Rivendell Reader, and plan to get a custom steel bike (Rivendell or Mariposa or Bruce Gordon or some such) for my mid-life crisis, still some years off. Everyone says good things about the Trek 520, except that it is geared too high, which is fixed easily enough. (It has that in common with just about every touring bike I investigated; who spec's these things?)

    Valygrl: The dealer comes into it because the Trek dealer didn't have one in my size, and didn't offer to get one so that I could try it and see how I liked it. (And given how few touring bikes are sold in this city, that is reasonable, for a small business. If he got it and I didn't like it, he would have a hard time selling it to someone else.) The Cannondale dealer offered to get a T800 in for me to try with no obligation, and also got in a T2000 as well. He's been very helpful and patient (I started looking into this in September) and not pushy at all. If he sold Trek instead of Cannondale then that's probably how I'd go.

    Thanks again, everyone. And if anyone else wants to chip in, please do so.

    --Aphidman
    I've ridden both steel and aluminum in touring, road and mountain bikes and, to tell the truth, which one I picked didn't depend on frame materials. It came down to price and availability. The Cannondale was in my size at the right price.

    As to gearing, almost all bikes are sold with the wrong gearing. Mountain bikes come with gears that are too high. Road bikes have too narrow a gear range and touring bikes are all over the place. It's really never been any different. I think alot of it has to do with the way that bicycle companies work. They tend to be populated with racers or racer wannabees and they get stuck with the touring project. They don't know anything about touring so we, the consumer, get stuck with the platypuses - poorly designed and outfitted bikes that don't seem to fit together well.

    Personally, I think that 99% of the people riding bikes should be riding touring bikes rather than the way we have it now. Try finding a mountain bike that you can put a rack on or a touring bike that doesn't have "race breed technology". To me, a bike isn't of much use if you can't carry at least a day's worth of food and clothes on. Going anywhere in the Colorado mountains without clothes, food and emergency supplies is a recipe for disaster but most bicycles aren't made for all day riding, much less a week or month's worth.

    So the best you can do is get close with the bicycles that the shops sell and change the bike to fit your needs. Chainrings and cogs are easy to change and I always do it as soon as I get the bike home. If you can find a bike shop that will work with you, all the better.

    Good luck,

    Stuart Black

  12. #12
    Dead Men Assume...
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl
    Frame: My fully loaded weight is closer to 200 so I can see where that would make a big difference in the frame performance.
    200 lbs?! Bike and gear?!

  13. #13
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac
    200 lbs?! Bike and gear?!
    Don't forget the passenger.

  14. #14
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    I have a T2000 with no complaints. I seem to see people riding Treks, Colnagos etc all day for the month of July...

  15. #15
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    Yup, includes me.
    ...

  16. #16
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl
    Yup, includes me.
    At 200lb for bike, gear and girl, you must be hardly larger than a bar of soap after a hard day's wash

  17. #17
    Senior Member Rogerinchrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl
    Yup, includes me.
    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    At 200lb for bike, gear and girl, you must be hardly larger than a bar of soap after a hard day's wash
    Check her "Loaded Rig" pic.
    Very nice by the way.

  18. #18
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    Well, I went out and went for a spin on both bikes last Saturday, and both were fine. Certainly far more stable than my current hybrid bike, and much better climbers, with that 26/34 low gear.

    The only things I really liked more about the T2000 over the T800 were the colour and that wonderful leather Brooks saddle. But the colour would have to be really hideous for it to be a deciding factor (it isn't), and it is easy enough to buy a Brooks saddle and use that instead.

    The T800 is Tiagra-equipped, while the T2000 is 105/Ultegra. The latter is considered to be better, but I'm not sure how they are better. Both shifted great, once I got used to the STI way of doing things.

    The likely outcome will be getting a T800 and a Brooks saddle to go with it.

    Thanks, one and all, for sharing your knowledge and experience!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aphidman
    The T800 is Tiagra-equipped, while the T2000 is 105/Ultegra. The latter is considered to be better, but I'm not sure how they are better. Both shifted great, once I got used to the STI way of doing things.

    The likely outcome will be getting a T800 and a Brooks saddle to go with it.

    Thanks, one and all, for sharing your knowledge and experience!
    How some componant groups are better than others is, in no particular order: a bit less weight, a bit more quality control, some parts are made from different material, and in some cases compatibility with upgrades. (Though I think the only compatibility issues in the shimono groups are in the sora(super cheap, old designs) and dura ace(super pricy, new designs) groups and ultegra 10 speed(which is compatible with with dura ace 10 speed now)
    "Data is not the plural form of annecdote."
    "yuo ned to be deadurcated"

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