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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 5:27 pm 
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Don't get me wrong, they're sweet bikes, I ride a supersix. But they do crack and fail at a higher rate than any other brand that we do. CAAD7 and prior frames that had bad welds have all been broken at this stage, so if you can get a low mileage one then go for it. If you don't want to believe that alloy bikes from this era cracked due to fatigue, then maybe you would like to ignore the fact that our shop alone has replaced 4 caad5/6/7 frames this month with caad10s. NQA, happy customers.

If you want one to ride, It'd better be pretty cheap. They are cool though, I'd get one just as a townie/garage hanger.

I have yet to see a broken six13 though. I'd ride one of those ahead of a caad if I could find one.


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Posted: Thu May 17, 2012 5:27 pm 


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 1:15 pm 
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Why do you say the CAAD 10 is more durable?

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 5:05 pm 
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Tokyo Drifter wrote:
Don't get me wrong, they're sweet bikes, I ride a supersix. But they do crack and fail at a higher rate than any other brand that we do. CAAD7 and prior frames that had bad welds have all been broken at this stage, so if you can get a low mileage one then go for it. If you don't want to believe that alloy bikes from this era cracked due to fatigue, then maybe you would like to ignore the fact that our shop alone has replaced 4 caad5/6/7 frames this month with caad10s. NQA, happy customers.

If you want one to ride, It'd better be pretty cheap. They are cool though, I'd get one just as a townie/garage hanger.

I have yet to see a broken six13 though. I'd ride one of those ahead of a caad if I could find one.


My CAAD3 would disagree with this. 13 yrd old (maybe more) raced for the first 3 years, and been training winter bike for the last 9. No idea how many miles. 50k perhaps.

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 5:22 pm 
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Tokyo Drifter wrote:
Don't get me wrong, they're sweet bikes, I ride a supersix. But they do crack and fail at a higher rate than any other brand that we do. CAAD7 and prior frames that had bad welds have all been broken at this stage, so if you can get a low mileage one then go for it. If you don't want to believe that alloy bikes from this era cracked due to fatigue, then maybe you would like to ignore the fact that our shop alone has replaced 4 caad5/6/7 frames this month with caad10s. NQA, happy customers.

If you want one to ride, It'd better be pretty cheap. They are cool though, I'd get one just as a townie/garage hanger.

I have yet to see a broken six13 though. I'd ride one of those ahead of a caad if I could find one.


Sorry, all I see in our racing club (and friends with C'Dales) and what I hear from my LBS who carries them for 13 years now this is absolute nonsense.

And sure, maybe your shop did have a stroke of bad luck, but considering the sample size it's really not significant, especially if you look at the massive positive experiences.

C'Dales are fine and older models go for great prices! A reccomendation!


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 5:39 pm 
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CAAD10s are more durable because of the carbon steerer. The carbon/alloy steerer tube join is a not-uncommon point of failure. They're also a better buy because you would (presumably) be buying them new, and therefore have a warranty.

The typical point of failure is a crack in these bikes is at the dropout. More often than not, the drive-side dropout between cracks between the hanger bolt and the dropout, or between the two hanger bolts.

There are, for sure, a good number of the early CAADs being ridden, and they are something of a modern classic. That said, We have seen 4 warranties lodged in the past month on early CAADs, and 34 in the 12 months to April. They're cool and ride well, but they have a high rate of failure and they're getting old. The current frame failures are fatigue related, but are being honoured by Cannondale as an act of goodwill. It is explicitly outlined in their warranty statement that fatigue related cracks are not a warrantable issue. I have the statistics to confirm all of this. It isn't some kind of evil vendetta against late-1990s US made alloy bikes! I actually like them, but they will not last forever and even though they are cool, a good number of them are coming to the end of their lifespans.


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 6:14 pm 
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I can see and hear complete opposite of what Tokyo Drifter writes. I have seen old CAAD frames that did over 100,000 kms and they were perfect with lots of life left. This, to me, is total BS what he says.

I wonder if this guy is one of those paid posters...

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 6:25 pm 
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I don't have a dog in this fight, but maybe it's akin to "I've seen (insert favorite model car name here) go for 300K miles with no major problems. While it might be true, most likely the vast majority of them ended up in scrap yards long before turning 300K.

I'm sure there are great stories of old CAAD frames out there, but to the OP, it would only make sense to get the newest version that you can comfortably afford.


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 4:44 am 
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Tokyo Drifter wrote:
That said, We have seen 4 warranties lodged in the past month on early CAADs, and 34 in the 12 months to April.


That is actually a good failure rate over multiple model years. Christ someone like Cervelo probably does 34 in a month of say last model year bikes.


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 2:16 pm 
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timzcat wrote:
That is actually a good failure rate over multiple model years.


No, it isn't. We do 3 mtb brands and 7 road brands. Cannondale dual sus MTBs and road bikes have the highest return rates. They vary from 7% to 60% in the first two years. Colnago is the best in terms of return rates (we have not seen a structural warranty in 14 years on a lugged Colnago, and have only seen two warrantable issues on monocoque frames, with over 200 in the field in the field under warranty [two years]). Trek are significantly better (~1% return rate per year). I keep the statistics over the first two years of the life of the bike, since that is the shortest warranty period of any brand we have (Colnago), and since we review the brands we carry every two years.

record wrote:
I can see and hear complete opposite of what Tokyo Drifter writes. I have seen old CAAD frames that did over 100,000 kms and they were perfect with lots of life left. This, to me, is total BS what he says.

I wonder if this guy is one of those paid posters...


I am giving you my opinion based on a far larger sample size of bikes than you will ever personally have access to. We sell ~1800 bikes/year, which means we have ~6,000 bikes in the field, owned by their original owners, under statutory warranty. Your best mate's Cannondale could have a million miles under it, but that is a statistically long time for any bike to last, and particularly long for a Cannondale.

I do not know what motivates your last comment? I have told you that I think they are great bikes. I own one. I rode one before I worked in bike shops. I am trying to offer an informed opinion, but that seems to grate a lot of people. All I am saying is that, in my informed opinion, older CAAD frames are not a good purchase.

I would buy a Six 13 or a Taiwanese made Cannondale, if I were in the market for a used Cannondale. Post 2010 Supersixes are well made, and the CAAD10s have had a lower warranty return rate in the first two model years on the market than any of the US made CAAD bikes. The US-made bikes are cool, and I would get one. However, I wouldn't pay much for it and I would have every expectation that it could crack on me, but then it would look cool on the garage wall.


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 3:57 pm 
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^TD, what sort of warranty repairs were you noticing with the CAAD9?


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 3:58 pm 
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Big Cannondale fan here, though I don't ride one at present. The CAAD7 is my favorite. 7 was the last one to have traditional, non-sloping geometry. I had a crit bike built to be right around 14lbs, and it rode beautifully.

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 4:58 pm 
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Owning four CAAD's myself my opinion may be biased, but they are awesome.
Never have I encountered frame related problems on my CAAD's.

The oldest 'dale I have is a 14 year old Caad1 and it has seen lots of miles and rough rides. Granted it isn't a light race frame, but it's still a very rideable bike to this day.
There is even a pretty big chunk of aluminium missing from the NDS chainstay caused by tire rub from the previous owner. I kept checking it initially for cracks to appear, but I don't even bother anymore :) .

I'm pretty confident my other CAAD's will last just as long and still offer a great riding experience. I do expect my CAAD 9 will get "softer" over time tough. The wall thickness of some tubes is just downright scary, it's bound to get fatigued by sprinting and racing. Good thing about aluminium is you will likely notice metal fatigue before anything actually breaks, at which point you can retire the frame or use it as a beater bike (or crash it and get a nice discount on a new shiny one :lol: )

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 7:05 pm 
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I'm building up a CAAD3 R1000, and replacing them with modern SRAM components as I had several lying around my junk box. The only actual wear I've seen on my frame dating back to 1999 is corrosion at the water cage bolts. It's not enough to bother me right now and considering the era and the amount of miles on it - I'm thoroughly impressed with the stiffness and it is super-responsive.

I'm having a good experience even though the entire thing isn't built up yet.

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:12 pm 
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Location: S.E. TN
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Snagged this on eBay back in '09. NOS. 1125gms as shown (56cm). Presently at 14.09lbs with pedals, cages, wheel sensor and clincher wheels.
Love it.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 1:29 am 
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CAAD9s generally had one of three issues:
1) paint cracks in first 12 months, which is covered by warranty
2) cracking in the weld at the dropout (normally drive side) as opposed to CAAD5s and 7s, which actually crack in the plate of the dropout, with the crack growing from the hanger bolts.
3) crack around the welds at seat stay/seat tube junction.

Return rates essentially come in two waves, so you get lots in the first 9-18 month period, then it goes quiet, then you get a second run on them as they have fatigue related issues. Essentially they have similar issues, anecdotally, as the CAAD7s did in their first two years or so.


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Posted: Tue May 22, 2012 1:29 am 


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