Is a cannondale CAAD 4 worth restoring?

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

My spare bike is a white cannondale CAAD 4. it was my first road bike, so it has some sentimental value there. it doesn't really fit me, but hey, it still rides okay.

it's currently running on some beat up dura ace 7800, and the paint is abit worse for wear. theres a small dent in the top tube.
I do have some experience with machining and painting ( not on bikes though. do some fine detail airbrush/freehand on miniatures and models and the like.), so I could probably do the restoring work myself.

would this be a worthwhile project? or am I throwing good money down the drain?

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by WeightySteve

I can only speak for my old CAAD3, but I would say NO.

I put everything into keeping that frame alive, went from DA7800 to DA Di2 etc, mudguarded it up for winter use (as it had eyelets in the rear triangle). Replaced the original Time forks with wide clearance forks and upgraded the headset to a Chris King one at the same time.

The end result was indeed a usable bike (although tight clearance on the rear mudguards was a bit of a problem).

About 6 months later one of the waterbottle cage bosses came loose, and I know I could have fixed it probably but didn't. Instead I bought second hand Kinesis Race Light TK2 and swapped all the parts over to that (except the 1'' chris king headset and brand new forks, which are now just an expensive dust magnet in the garage).

The difference in ride quality was simply staggering.

I thought that CAAD3 was a good old frame, but how wrong I was! In comparison to the TK2 it was the most brittle, uncomfortable, bone jarring ride. I simply just thought that's how Alu frames rode (My only other bike is a Ti).

So if the CAAD4 is anything like the CAAD3, do yourself a favour and get a more modern frame.
Last edited by WeightySteve on Thu May 02, 2013 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by Svetty

If it fitted there might be an argument for refitting it but as it doesn't no. Get a frame that fits and build that up

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Location: Queensland Australia

by austke

I like peicing bikes together (restoring and the like). I would also say it depends how much the size is out by. 20 odd year ago people tended to ride bigger frames, and as such I have an old 60cm that I am more than happy to ride around on leisurely on a Sunday arvo. ( I am normally a 54cm type of guy. Nor do i race.)
so if as a sentimental type of runabout bike I could say yes, But naturally not as a first/race bike (Which as you have already stated that you have another CF bike) and this will not be your main bike.
So I vote "YES" if the size is with in your tolerance. :)
2013 Giant TCR Advanced SL 0, 6.92kg
2013 Giant Defy Composite 2 M, 8.5kg - Wife's
Azzurro Torino 8.55g
Fuji 650 10.8kg
Miele Lupa Triple Tandem 38,89kg

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by Dozer

I have an old 'Dale 3.0 that I've kept purely for sentimenal reasons. It was my main ride for +15 years. When I got a new bike, I took the old 'Dale apart, cleaned and lubed everything, and then put it back together. I use it on my trainer or when I want to remind myself how sweet the new bike is. I'd never sell it and I love having it there hanging on the wall to remind me of all those good miles we had together.

So, I'd say definitely keep your old bike, but don't put too much into it.

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by yourdaguy

Those early CAAD's were very efficient but rode hard due to a stiff rear triangle. They made a lot of them though and the collection value is not ever going to be that high. If you want to keep it for nostalgia reasons that is one thing but to restore is probably not worth it.
For certain parts stiffer is more important than lighter.

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by Augustus

It might be nice to put it up here for grabs if you do pass it on, there will be old cannondale road lovers on here that'd take it off your hands probably.

then go and buy yourself a nice new frame. :D

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by lechat

Why not sell the fork and headset on eBay and buy yourself something nice?

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by adolfainsley8

I use it on my trainer or when I want to remind myself how sweet the new bike is. I'd never sell it and I love having it there hanging on the wall to remind me of all those good miles we had together????

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by Bluechip

I turned mine into a fixed gear and really like it. It replaced my even older 3.0 fixed gear which is on the wall now. It's much more comfortable than the 3.0. but not nearly as nice as my CAAD9.


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