Older CAAD frames, are they smart buys?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by elviento

Can I humbly add that CAAD[_] actually never referred to forks?

Tokyo Drifter wrote: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.

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by horse

Some misleading info in this thread.

Firstly, all alloy frames will suffer fatigue. Back in the early to mid-2000 Pinarello Prince/Dogma were alloy frames with carbon tail. The warranty on those frames was only two years. Cannondale however overbuilt their frames slightly, provided Lifetime warranty, though, even they did mention a harder ridden frame will wear out quicker than a fresh frame.

A C'dale Ultra fork is no less reliable than a full carbon fork. Both forks are bonded at the crown junction, be it carbon or alloy steerer.

Alloy frames don't "soften" over time. Rather the opposite is true.

CAAD7/8/9 are essentially the same frame under the "Optimo" name. The butting of the tubes is all but the same, as are the builds. There are very subtle changes to the models. I'll go into them at later time. Best to get the basics correct here first.

by Weenie

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by djg714

Caad7's, 8's and 9's are all great frames. I have a 3, 8 and 9, all are great. Eventually they will break, like everything.
I wouldn't hesitate buying a 5,6,7 or 9 in good shape. You can always get a new fork if it makes you feel better.

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by davidalone

My CAAD 4 world champion edition is currently being converted to my budget TT bike (since I hardly do TT's, I can;t justify paying a huge chunk of money for one of the new superframes.) still going strong despite the paint peeling in most places ( will get around to repainting it soon. and a dent in the top tube caused by transport. it's survived a car impact from the rear ( granted the wheel took the most of the damage) , several crashes, and is still a highly raceable bike. my friend (rides an aluminium giant) borrowed it for a 70km spin the other day and commented how despite it's age it still felt and rode far superior to his aluminium giant. I did change the fork to a new kestrel fork though.

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by ame

No idea if they are worth buying or not. Here is my Caad4. Not a crac, dent or anything wrong with this frame :-)


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by aermet

The OP had a good and honest question regarding the different CAAD frames.

Someone who works at a shop and appears to have some knowledge to back up his experience chimes in with some data on his warranty return rate. Data and data compiling btw, that appears to be quite detailed and backed up with very specific failure modes.

A gaggle of I've seen this and have this and that and my CAAD whatever has 900,000 km's and is still working great. Well then, congratulations. Consider yourselves fortunate.

Isn't what we want here is to have our questions answered by others with the experience we seek? This isn't even opinion here. He works at a shop and states factual warranty return rates with details.

Have a modicum of respect here. Just because you have not had a failure on your CAAD 1 does not mean that his warranty return experiences are wrong or inaccurate.
In my opinion, he is going out on a limb a bit. It doesn't make cannondale look good to have so many warranty returns. 34 in the last year is a lot. But it does reflect well on cannondale that they are taking care of all of them with new CAAD 10's.

For those of you with all of those 9 million mile older CAAD's, I'd be inspecting my dropouts regularly.

To suggest that this guy is full of BS and imply that he's a paid poster makes you look like an idiot.

He clearly states that he likes the different series of CAAD models and merely suggests, as others have, to buy the newest you can obtain or afford.

We're talking a difference of a few hundred dollars here between a used CAAD 10 vs something older. The new CAAD 10 is a huge leap in design ahead of the older CAAD's. Hydroformed tubing with more advanced tube shapes, lighter, and in my opinion, a better ride and better built than the USA made frames.

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by cep111

I buy a new bike about every couple of years but my 1997 sub 15lb Cad3 is one of my favorites. Huge Cannondale fan and I have never heard of a cracked frame, Only from a local dealer that sells other brands, he calls them Crack N Fails.

But like I have said. Never seen one fail. I would highly recommend a used Cannondale of any year. They have a certain "snap" to the ride. Plus they build up lighter than most carbon frames and this is weight weenies.

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by zensport

The thing to remember with these bikes is they have a different geometry. The CAAD 10 shares the same geometry as the Super Six. This is why I built one up. The CAAD 9 is similar in geometry, and is a good race bike.. Really depends on what you're going to do with the bike. My bike is a Billy goat in the hills with it's stiffness and only weighing 13.6 lbs.

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by WheresWaldo

zensport wrote:The thing to remember with these bikes is they have a different geometry. The CAAD 10 shares the same geometry as the Super Six.

Actually to be more precise the CAAD10 shares the same goemetry, tube shapes and engineering with the SuperSix EVO. Same group of guys designed both. The SuperSix is just a bit different.

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by FastforaSlowGuy

Get that old CAAD and throw on a modern carbon fork. Drops half a pound and handles better. Love my CAAD9. Especially love that it's BSA - can't stand BB30.

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by cep111

I have had a few caads over nearly 30 years. Starting with a 2.8 series. Drifted away to carbon many times and always drifted back. I have a few favorites, My 97 R4000 yellow Cad 3, with Sram Red and FSA K Force crank, 14.5 lbs, Love the thing, it just feels like magic to me. I also have a 13.4lb Six13 in raw with Sram Red/FSA K Force/Easton SLX fork bike that I enjoy just as much. I'm looking for a Caad 8 in raw in good shape since I like the all aluminum look.

I have never seen a broken Cannondale aluminum frame in my life. I have seen dozens of carbon frame breaks on Facebook alone posted by friends from weird issues. I know I'm not the only one who has seen this.

I have swapped bike frames 15 times in 30 years. the Cad 3 seems to be staying every time. I guess that says a lot and I didn't plan it that way. BTW the paint is Dupont Imron, it never seems to age, scratch or dull

I would say at the least buy one and have fun. With aluminum you will get a warning that the frame is failing and most likely it can get you home. Carbon seems to explode when it fails

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by Birch

I have a CAAD 9 BB30 that was purchased as a group buy herein what, 08 or 09?

Built it up with 10sp Campy and did some crits on it. Took a couple years off of riding with work and new kids.

Thought I would treat myself to a new frame set. Maybe a Cervelo R3 or even some custom Ti.

Then I rode the "old" CAAD9 again. Fit is perfect. Rides as well as I could ask for and comfortable on 25's.
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