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Old 09-14-07, 02:31 PM   #1
the actual el guapo
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optimo vs other types of aluminum

i don't want to cause another frame material debate. i do have a question that i couldn't find an answer to in searching old threads.

a tech at a cannondale dealer suggested that the optimo aluminum (and especially the shape of the tubes and stays) may provide a "softer" ride than other types of aluminum and other brands of frames. we were talking about how cf and steel will smooth out road buzz. he suggested the c'dale optimo aluminum frames might do so almost as well.

i really don't want people to argue over stiffness, weld strength, etc. i'm just wondering if its true. do c'dale aluminum frames give a softer ride than other aluminum frames (all other things being equal that is)?

Last edited by atomship47; 09-14-07 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 09-14-07, 03:26 PM   #2
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Hmmm, the stiffness of a frame really has more to do with the 3D design than the material. The reputation that alloy was stiff and harsh was actually created by the original fat-tube Cannondale with tubing the size of beer-cans. Prior to that, alloy had the reputation of being soft and whimpy due to standard-sized tubing used in the Vitus 979.

So really, if the Optimo alloy tubeset has smaller diameter than previous Cannondales, then yes, you can probably expect it to be more flexible and softer than those.
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Old 09-14-07, 09:08 PM   #3
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They do tend to ride better than similarly priced frames. The problem I have is that they still transmit the high frequency road chatter which is what I really hate about aluminum. Cannondales are fun to ride on perfectly smooth roads and they're great climbers.

There are two other things that worry me about Cannondale specifically. First, I've cracked a Canonndale frame, not at the welds, but actually torn the tube. As those framesets get lighter and thinner, I wonder to what extent the overall durability is compromised. Second, I had to fight tooth and nail to get my frame warrantied. If they're going to push the limits of a material to improve its ride qualities, I'd at least like them to support their products better. I know they do an insane amount of fatigue testing but hell, if they don't take any of their frames back, how are they going to figure out what is going wrong in the real world?

When my CAAD9 warranty shows up, I'm going to sell it. At the end of the day, I'd rather sacrifice some ride qualities and weight for more durability.
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