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Cannondale R600 into a tour bike?

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Cannondale R600 into a tour bike?

Old 01-29-11, 05:15 PM
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Cannondale R600 into a tour bike?

I currently ride a cannondale R600 I want to do a tour this April. Would My bike be good to convert into a touring bike?
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Old 01-29-11, 06:03 PM
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There are many threads on this topic already on this forum, dig back through some of the old posts or try a search (doesn't work always because the search function doesn't work well).

Anyway, the answers you get will be:

1. That's a terrible idea. Stiff aluminum frame, skinny tires, lightweight wheels, hard to mount panniers and racks to carry your stuff, not comfortable for all day riding.


2. Go for it. You can tour on any bike; you just have to make do.


3. It's ok for a short tour to see how you like touring, not so good for a long tour.

I'm sort of in camp number 3 (I used to own a Cannondale R500, so I know the bike)....only problem is if you spend a bunch of money on this bike and end up loving touring, you'll start all over again when you get a more dedicated touring bike.
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Old 01-29-11, 06:38 PM
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I'm in camp 2 above and have done a number of tours with my '90 Cannondale R900. No modifications were needed other than to get a wider range cassette. The picture below is of my bike just south of the Bixby Bridge in the Big Sur area of the California coast during a camping trip (yes, the tent, sleeping bag, Thermarest, and other camping gear are all in the rear panniers).
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Old 01-29-11, 06:44 PM
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I tour on an aluminum cannondale as well, and while it may not be ideal, it gets the job done. A big part of whether or not you can tour with it is how much you carry when touring. I dont even use panniers for fully loaded touring, just a single dry bag strapped on my rack, and a small handlebar bag. I usually only carry ~20lbs max when touring, including food.
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Old 01-29-11, 11:34 PM
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I have a R600 and I have to agree with BengeBoy's post and I'll give my opinion from the viewpoint of #1, #2, and #3. #1-It would not be my first choice for touring. My wheels have Gipiemme T3, 24-hole rims and the non-traditional lacing. They are not very strong wheels. I have had to true mine several times under relatively normal riding conditions. Also in the present gearing configuation, the gearing is pretty high for most tours. The tubing is also pretty "delicate". I dropped mine a short distance off the work stand and ended up with a pretty significant dent in the cross tube. Tire size may or may not be an issue. You may be able to get 25mm tires to work, but I'm not sure there is enough room for 28mm tires. #2- You can tour on about anything. If your bike is a triple and you put an 11-34 rear cassette and a Deore MTB rear derailleur, it might be OK. I tried this on mine just to see how it would work in the hilly country where I live. It worked fine. There are ways to attach a rack on a bike with no eyelets on the seat stays or the dropout, and with a little inginuity you could make something work. 25mm tires are OK for touring, especially if you are light and do not have the bike loaded down, 28mm would provide a bit more comfort, if you can squeeze them in. #3- I'd only do short lightly loaded tours at first to try it out. If you are happy with the results go for it.

My primary concern would be the adequacy of the wheels.

Last edited by Doug64; 01-30-11 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 02-01-11, 10:05 AM
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What about #4? Ride any bike you want and pull a trailer.
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Old 02-01-11, 11:22 AM
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Convert to triple and get a trailer.
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Old 02-01-11, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ENEMY View Post
I currently ride a cannondale R600 I want to do a tour this April. Would My bike be good to convert into a touring bike?
Benge hit it.

1. No
If you're carrying a big load the skinny tires have much less resistance to tire and rim damage when hitting holes. Fenders won't fit well.
If these are low spoke count wheels and you aren't a light person you're likely to run into wheel problems down the line.
2. Yes
If you're a light person and you distribute the weight from front to back and you don't mind small tires you'll have a fast ride if you've got
the motor.
3. Depends, if fenders and larger tires aren't deemed a necessity and the rear wheel is up to the new larger than normal load it's doable.

I did most of my touring 30yrs ago on Italian road bikes that weren't anywhere as rock hard stiff as the Cannondale. One thing I could do was fit 28mm tires on the bikes which I prefered for comfort and flying over crappy roads. I weighed 145lbs and didn't carry over 15lbs. The big tube aluminum frames were great in touring geometry for heavy people/loads but you could use 32mm tires.

My $.02 is that using racing size tires for riding at a 10-12mph average speed is kind of silly. The entire reason for small tires is low overall weight, low wind resistance and low rotational mass for quick acceleration. Once you load up a bike acceleration is out the window, if you're using panniers wind resistance of the tires is irrelevant and more important factors like ride comfort, durability and resistance to pinch flats become more important. You cannot unweight a loaded bike over potholes as easily as you can a unloaded bike. You're more likely to plow through things.
So sure it's possible, it's not optimal. Light rider and light loads it's doable, heavy rider with heavy loads will REQUIRE strong wheels, tire pressure always high which will be maintained by a frame pump(120psi) and LOTS of attention to where the front tire is going.
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