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Cannondale Road Warrior: Which model for a newbie?

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
I am newly interested in cycling. I am 38 years young and looking to get into shape without feeling like a hamster on a wheel like I do in gyms and on home exercise equipment. I used to love to ride my 10-speed in high school and college. I think that I will really take to cycling, but I want to do my best to insure that by getting the right bike. I am 5'4" and 142 pounds - I feel that fitness is within my grasp but have to be careful with my lower back because of a herniated disk. Thus, I am looking for a flatbar hybrid "fitness bike" or comfort road bike.

After having considered a Trek 7300fx as an alternative, I am now ready to purchase a Cannondale Road Warrior. The RW400 felt much faster and more agile on my numerous test rides of it compared to the 7300fx, and I simply felt more at home on the Cannondale. At this point, I haven't considered other alternatives - I am overwhelmed enough as it is!

My question is related to making a final decision now that I have narrowed it down from the field of two brands/series. Now that I have decided that I like the spirit of the RW400, what about the other models of Road Warrior? There are four models available in the 2006 line (the 1000, the 800, the 500 and the 400), and there are still other models available from prior years (sometimes new, sometimes used - the 700 Headshok is of special interest to me because of the fork).

I don't know enough about componentry to look at the configurations of the various Road Warriors and decide what model justifies its cost. I am willing to spend up to $1200 if it will mean that I will enjoy the ride more but am finding it difficult to get my head around what more money really buys me in the series. I plan to ride two to three times per week with at least one of these being an extended weekend ride of 20 miles or more.

Any informed advice that you can offer will be appreciated!
post #2 of 43

Re: Cannondale Road Warrior: Which model for a newbie?

I'm just getting started in cycling so take my reply with a grain of salt.

I looked for a fitness type-flat road bar bike. The first bike I test road was the Giant Cypress. Nice bike, very comfortable; almost too comfortable. Next up was the Cannondale Road Warrior 500 and the Specialized Sirrus Comp. I also looked at the Trek 7.3 FX and the 7.5 FX; the Trek 7300 and 7500.

The Cannondale and Specialized RW 400 and Specialized Sirrus Sport are for the most part, equal as far as components and riding position. Both have solid forks and aluminum seat posts and good components. This was my initial price point (actually, it was the upper end of my price point).

The RW 500 and Sirrus Comp are also very equal as far as quality and comfort. Both have suspension seat posts, both have Carbon forks. Specialized have "Zertz" inserts in the seat post and fork which are supposed to help dampen road vibration. The Sirrus and the RW500 have comfortable grips. I found shifting with either to be very easy (though I only tested it on flat ground, no hills around me).

Personally, I found that I like the response and feel of the Cannondale RW 500 over the Specialized Sirrus Comp when I test rode the bikes. Ultimately, I ended up with the RW 500. Truth be told, I think I would be just as happy with the Specialized Sirrus Comp.

When you speak with your LBS, let them know what you are looking for and let them know about your herniated disk. Also make sure that your MD knows what you are doing.

The Trek 7.3 FX did not ride as fast as the Cannondale or the Specialized. I did not test ride a 7.5 FX. I found the seating position to be a bit more upright (something that you may be interested in). I also found that the bike was slightly less responsive at least it seemed that way for me. Was it a bad bike? Not in the least; it just was not what I was looking for in a bike; perhaps the 7.5 would have been better.

As far as comfort goes, flat bar road bikes/hybrids, tend to numb the hands on long rides due to a lack of different hand positions. I have no experience here but from what I have read and have been told, bar ends added to the handlebars can increase comfort by allowing some variation in hand position. The RW 500 did not have any; I added them to my bike. The RW 800 has some smaller bar ends but I found that they seemed a bit too small for my average sized hands. Personal preference may change your mind.

Trek bars or trekking bars offer even more variety. I don't know too much about these.

Other bikes that I had looked at, though not test ridden:
Fuji Absolute series (2.0 (more road components) and the 3.0 (more "hybrid" components - a mix of MTB and road).
Marin San Anselmo
Marin San Rafael

As far as components go, take a look at the Shimano website. I learned a lot there.

Hope this helped if a little. If anyone finds a mistake, please feel free to correct me.

Regards,

Anthony
post #3 of 43
Thread Starter 

Re: Cannondale Road Warrior: Which model for a newbie?

Thank you for this reply, Anthony. I will definitely check out the Shimano Web site.

I appreciate hearing about the comparison of the Cannondale RW models to other cycles. That helps since I have been so limited in my search so far.

So what specifically made you move above the upper end of your initial budget (i.e., the RW 400) up to the RW 500? And, what stopped you from going even further up to the RW 800? I think that I can infer the answers to these questions from your message but would like to hear directly how you made the decision.

Thank you again, and enjoy your new bike!

Jane
post #4 of 43
Thread Starter 

Re: Cannondale Road Warrior: Which model for a newbie?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjaneride
Thank you for this reply, Anthony. I will definitely check out the Shimano Web site.

I appreciate hearing about the comparison of the Cannondale RW models to other cycles. That helps since I have been so limited in my search so far.

So what specifically made you move above the upper end of your initial budget (i.e., the RW 400) up to the RW 500? And, what stopped you from going even further up to the RW 800? I think that I can infer the answers to these questions from your message but would like to hear directly how you made the decision.

Thank you again, and enjoy your new bike!

Jane
I have a more specific follow-up question regarding the forks and frames used in different Road Warrior models. I am trying to understand the difference between the Headshok fork and the Fatty R All Conditions fork (of the RW 400), the Slice All Conditions fork (of the RW 500 and 800) and the Slice Ultra All Conditions fork (of the RW 1000). Given that I have a herniated disk in my back, I want really great shock absorption, but I don't want to break the bank, either. A short test ride on each bike might help me, but I am guessing that it's only over the long haul that the importance of some of these differences might be discernable...is that right? Thanks! Oh, and I suppose that the frame and seat posts are important for shock absorption, too. Is that right?
post #5 of 43

Re: Cannondale Road Warrior: Which model for a newbie?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjaneride
Thank you for this reply, Anthony. I will definitely check out the Shimano Web site.
You're welcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjaneride
So what specifically made you move above the upper end of your initial budget (i.e., the RW 400) up to the RW 500? And, what stopped you from going even further up to the RW 800? I think that I can infer the answers to these questions from your message but would like to hear directly how you made the decision.

Thank you again, and enjoy your new bike!

Jane
The RW 400 is the only RW bike that has the STreet Si frame; all other RW's user the Optimo Road Warrior , new geometry frame. Cannondale frames are stiff and some might say harsh. I'll take delivery of my bike on Tuesday 8/15 and will start logging miles. All of my experience is based on 15 minutes of Mid-Town Sacramento riding and from conversations with other riders. Remember, I new to this, too.

The RW 400 has an alloy (chromoly) fork as opposed to the RW 500 (carbon fiber). Both absorb bumps well but CF is (generally) lighter.

The RW 400 has an 8-speed hub vs. the 9-speed hub on the RW 500 (24 vs 27 gears). The hubs are mountain bike hubs and will have (from what I understand) better hill ratios. Honestly, I only really need an 8 or 9 gears not 24 or 27 as where I live its mostly flat.

Both RW's come with similar Shimano shifters for their respective number of gears. Both use Shimano Tiagra rear deraileurs; Tiagra is good road bike deraileur. It is below the Shimano 105 line; I believe its Dura-Ace, Ultegra, 105, Tiagra, Sora (high end to low end)

Just about everything else on the bike is identical. So for about $100 you get a carbon fork; 27 speeds vs. 24 speeds; and a different seat.

Stepping up to the RW 800 and 1000 you get the Ultegra rear deraileur, factory installed bar ends. The wheels and hubs are upgraded. The tires are larger 700x32c vs 700x28c. I think the 1000 addes a carbon seat post & handle bar; no pedals are included. The RW 800 uses a SRAM rear cog set while the RW 1000 uses Shimano 105 rear cogs.

My main reason for not going up to the 800/1000 was price. (I still had to buy accessories...lights, helmet, etc.)

Hope this helped.

Anthony
post #6 of 43

Re: Cannondale Road Warrior: Which model for a newbie?

Jane, the Road Warrior and Sirrus bikes tend to be more upright than drop bar road bikes and less upright than a "comfort" style bike. From the way I see it, the "comfort" bikes are slightly slower and a lot easier to ride without being beach cruiser laid back. I'm probably wrong for saying this but I've related the RW and Sirrus to flat bar road bikes than anything else.

As far as a "comfort" bike goes, have you looked at the Cannondale Adventure series. It is marketed as a 'recreation' bike. Specialized have the Crossroads Series. Trek's 7XXX series would also be similar.

Of course, on long rides, a comfort bike will be less efficient.

Just kinda thinking out loud.

Anthony
post #7 of 43

Re: Cannondale Road Warrior: Which model for a newbie?

I have both the Specialized Crossroads and the Specialized Roubaix. For rides over 30 miles, the best I can average on the Crossroads is 13.5 mph, but on a similar route, I can average 15.5 mph on the Roubaix. On the other hand, I can ride the Crossroads on gravel and crushed stone paths, but I would not be comfortable riding the Roubaix on those.

The Crossroads is good for what it is, but it is not a bike for long rides. The Sirus is closer to a road bike, but the flat bar limits your hand positions, which can lead to discomfort on long rides. The Specialized Sequoia is an extremely relaxed drop bar road bike. It has a second set of brake levers that can be reached while the hands are on the flat portion of the bar. Riding in that position is similar to riding on the Sirus, but the Sequoia also offers multiple hand positions with the brake hoods and drop bars. It is built for comfort rather than speed, but it will be faster than the Sirus. The Specialized Roubaix (and Trek Pilot) is a step closer to racing geometry, but is still more upright than a true racing geometry like the Specialized Allez or Tarmac (or the Trek 1000, 1200, 2100, 2200, 5000, 5200, or Madone).
post #8 of 43

Re: Cannondale Road Warrior: Which model for a newbie?

I bought a Bianchi Strada flatbar road bike. Paid $750 at my LBS. http://www.bianchiusa.com/06_strada.html. the ride is smooth and fast. I like the stem which is vertically adjustable only weights 23 lbs. Strada has received good reviews. http://www.roadbikereview.com/mfr/bi...4_4220crx.aspx

Bianchi Strada
If you're looking for speed and versatility, Bianchi's Strada will make you happy.
By Joe Lindsey


Flat-bar road bikes were created for riders who wanted the speed of a road bike without the aerodynamic positioning, skinny tires and focus on competition. The Strada's strength is its versatility. On road rides, the SRAM X-7 trigger shifters work smoothly and quickly. Around town, rack and fender eyelets offer utility for errands. Dual-pivot Shimano brake calipers make for confident descending or riding in traffic, and the gearing (28/38/48 chainrings and an 11-32 cassette) is appropriately broad.

The Strada's strengths are also its weaknesses: The upright position offers comfort, but poor aerodynamics mean you'll work harder, particularly in wind. More troubling were the Continental Supersport tires, which seemed narrow (23mm) and chattery, and are ill-suited to any unpaved terrain (on which the bike is otherwise excellent); and the geometry, which attempts to shoehorn a hybrid-esque rider position into road bike angles. The result, we felt, was a pitched-forward feel and some abrupt handling. We adjusted to it, but never felt properly positioned on the bike.

The Strada is based on the Volpe, one of Bianchi's top sellers since it debuted in the early 1980s, so riders who do not come from a traditional road background may find our issues about the geometry of no concern to them. Riders can also fine-tune their position with the adjustable-rise stem. We would recommend a tire upgrade, however, to something like Continental's 28mm -Ultra 2000, for better road feel. If you want a road-oriented bike with an upright position and versatility, the Strada is one of the best deals of its type.

Price: $800
Highs: Flexible use for either fast road riding, touring or commuting; a lot of options for the money
Lows: Short cockpit produces twitchy handling; poor tire spec
Weight: 23 lb., 9 oz. (55cm tested, w/ pedals)
Frame: TIG-welded Bianchi double-butted chromoly steel frame
Fork: Bianchi carbon fiber w/ alloy steerer
Component highlights: 27-speed SRAM X-5 and X-7 drivetrain; Shimano dual-pivot caliper brakes and Tiagra hubs; Alex AT400 rims; Continental UltraSport 700x23c tires; alloy handlebar and adjustable stem; Poise-XC suspension seatpost; Bianchi Velo saddle
Contact: www.bianchiusa.com
post #9 of 43
Thread Starter 

Re: Cannondale Road Warrior: Which model for a newbie?

Quote:
Originally Posted by avmanansala
You're welcome.


The RW 400 is the only RW bike that has the STreet Si frame; all other RW's user the Optimo Road Warrior , new geometry frame. Cannondale frames are stiff and some might say harsh. I'll take delivery of my bike on Tuesday 8/15 and will start logging miles. All of my experience is based on 15 minutes of Mid-Town Sacramento riding and from conversations with other riders. Remember, I new to this, too.

The RW 400 has an alloy (chromoly) fork as opposed to the RW 500 (carbon fiber). Both absorb bumps well but CF is (generally) lighter.

The RW 400 has an 8-speed hub vs. the 9-speed hub on the RW 500 (24 vs 27 gears). The hubs are mountain bike hubs and will have (from what I understand) better hill ratios. Honestly, I only really need an 8 or 9 gears not 24 or 27 as where I live its mostly flat.

Both RW's come with similar Shimano shifters for their respective number of gears. Both use Shimano Tiagra rear deraileurs; Tiagra is good road bike deraileur. It is below the Shimano 105 line; I believe its Dura-Ace, Ultegra, 105, Tiagra, Sora (high end to low end)

Just about everything else on the bike is identical. So for about $100 you get a carbon fork; 27 speeds vs. 24 speeds; and a different seat.

Stepping up to the RW 800 and 1000 you get the Ultegra rear deraileur, factory installed bar ends. The wheels and hubs are upgraded. The tires are larger 700x32c vs 700x28c. I think the 1000 addes a carbon seat post & handle bar; no pedals are included. The RW 800 uses a SRAM rear cog set while the RW 1000 uses Shimano 105 rear cogs.

My main reason for not going up to the 800/1000 was price. (I still had to buy accessories...lights, helmet, etc.)

Hope this helped.

Anthony
Anthony, this is just the type of feedback that I was hoping to receive. For someone who is "new to this, too", you are certainly well-versed in the componentry of the cycles that you considered! I did a side-by-side comparison of the componentry of two of the RW models and was flummoxed when it came to interpreting what I was viewing. Other than slogging through Web site after Web site trying to learn enough to at least make a guess at what I was seeing, I could only thing of posting here, and I'm so glad that I did and that you replied.

You wrote:

Stepping up to the RW 800 and 1000 you get the Ultegra rear deraileur, factory installed bar ends. The wheels and hubs are upgraded. The tires are larger 700x32c vs 700x28c. I think the 1000 addes a carbon seat post & handle bar; no pedals are included. The RW 800 uses a SRAM rear cog set while the RW 1000 uses Shimano 105 rear cogs.

and I have a question of clarification here. So, given what you get in stepping up from the 800 to the 1000, what is the advantage of that? A lighter bike and therefore a faster bike? That's fine, but would you also get a better feeling ride of the long haul out of that?

Thanks!
post #10 of 43
Thread Starter 

Re: Cannondale Road Warrior: Which model for a newbie?

Quote:
Originally Posted by avmanansala
Jane, the Road Warrior and Sirrus bikes tend to be more upright than drop bar road bikes and less upright than a "comfort" style bike. From the way I see it, the "comfort" bikes are slightly slower and a lot easier to ride without being beach cruiser laid back. I'm probably wrong for saying this but I've related the RW and Sirrus to flat bar road bikes than anything else.

As far as a "comfort" bike goes, have you looked at the Cannondale Adventure series. It is marketed as a 'recreation' bike. Specialized have the Crossroads Series. Trek's 7XXX series would also be similar.

Of course, on long rides, a comfort bike will be less efficient.

Just kinda thinking out loud.

Anthony
I'll check out the Adventure series, but at this point I'm really liking the feel of the RW series...a flat-bar road bike that's also comfortable really appeals to me. If the Adventure series handles anything like the Trek 7300fx, which is more of a hybrid than a flat-bar road bike, then I proably won't be into it. On the other hand, in the interest of having an open mind, I'll give it a go!
post #11 of 43

Re: Cannondale Road Warrior: Which model for a newbie?

Jane, most of the information I posted came straight from web pages printed from Mike's Bikes (www.mikesbikes.com) where I purchased my bike, from the sales person who helped me who very patiently answered my noobie questions and from the Cannondale 2006 catalog. The new 2007 Cannondale catalog is out and that there are a few changes for next year beyond paint in the RW line.

Coming from a photography background and moderating at one probably the biggest private Nikon user group on the net (www.nikonians.org) I know that getting started on a new interest can be daunting but the friendly sharing of information and experience can result in an enthusiast for life. The best thing to do is ask a question, get information, and test the answers from several sources. There are no dumb questions!

Back to your post,

and I have a question of clarification here. So, given what you get in
stepping up from the 800 to the 1000, what is the advantage of that? A
lighter bike and therefore a faster bike?

I'm going to say yes.

Jumping from the low to mid-line product to an upper line product will yield a significant advantage vs. cost. However, the performance increase from an upper-line product to the top of the line product may be significantly more expensive but the rewards/benefit, marginal.

That's fine, but would you also get a better feeling ride of the long haul out of that?
I'm going to say, maybe. Here's why: From what I have read and been told about Flat Bar bikes is that the hands can get numb due to the limited hand positions vs. a Drop Bar. Bar ends help by adding a little more variation to the bike. Trekking Bars are even better for longer rides. My hypothesis is that the more upright sitting posture and the additional hand positions should help give a better feeling. However (and this is big) I haven't done any distance riding yet, hence it is still a hypothesis.

Don't forget, the entire bike, including rider, is a system and systems integration can be a fragile thing. Making one seemingly small change can result in a significant performance gain or loss: clipless pedals vs. clipped; soft tires vs. puncture resistant tires, etc. I have read many a post where commuters have reduced their commute time or seen an increase in average speed merely by changing from one brand tire to another.

I'll give it a go

At the very least, you'll be able to say "nah, this isn't for me." Test ride, ask questions, test ride some more. Make sure the bike fits you; fit is everything, right? (If you have a library nearby, check out Bicycling magazine, April 2004 Buyer's Guide; I think the April issues are the Buyer's Guides so you should be able to see similar articles.)

I hope I'm not boring you, and that you found this rambling mess a bit helpful.

Regards,

Anthony
post #12 of 43
Thread Starter 

Re: Cannondale Road Warrior: Which model for a newbie?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickF
I have both the Specialized Crossroads and the Specialized Roubaix. For rides over 30 miles, the best I can average on the Crossroads is 13.5 mph, but on a similar route, I can average 15.5 mph on the Roubaix. On the other hand, I can ride the Crossroads on gravel and crushed stone paths, but I would not be comfortable riding the Roubaix on those.

The Crossroads is good for what it is, but it is not a bike for long rides. The Sirus is closer to a road bike, but the flat bar limits your hand positions, which can lead to discomfort on long rides. The Specialized Sequoia is an extremely relaxed drop bar road bike. It has a second set of brake levers that can be reached while the hands are on the flat portion of the bar. Riding in that position is similar to riding on the Sirus, but the Sequoia also offers multiple hand positions with the brake hoods and drop bars. It is built for comfort rather than speed, but it will be faster than the Sirus. The Specialized Roubaix (and Trek Pilot) is a step closer to racing geometry, but is still more upright than a true racing geometry like the Specialized Allez or Tarmac (or the Trek 1000, 1200, 2100, 2200, 5000, 5200, or Madone).
Thank you, Rick. I am happy to have other options to consider and will do so!
post #13 of 43
Thread Starter 

Re: Cannondale Road Warrior: Which model for a newbie?

Hi, Anthony ~

No, you are not boring me! Quite and absolutely the opposite! Thank you so much for spending time helping me and possibly others who are reading this exchange. You are very generous to do so, and I appreciate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avmanansala
Jane, most of the information I posted came straight from web pages printed from Mike's Bikes (www.mikesbikes.com) where I purchased my bike, from the sales person who helped me who very patiently answered my noobie questions and from the Cannondale 2006 catalog. The new 2007 Cannondale catalog is out and that there are a few changes for next year beyond paint in the RW line.
I stopped by one of my LBSs last night and picked up a copy of the 2007 Cannondale catalog so now I have that resource.

I also took a test ride on a medium RW400. Previously, I had ridden a small at one of their other locations. It turns out that I am right on the edge between a small and a medium size in the Cannondale RW series, and I can't do a sequential test of the small and then the medium because none of my LBSs has both! From memory, though, when I rode the small I didn't feel uncomfortable or cramped, and when I rode the medium I didn't feel uncomfortable or too stretched.

One of the guys at the shop where I rode the small said that the fit of the small looked fine; only when I saw the small next to the larger Trek 7.3fx that I had tested did I ask him whether I might be better off with a medium RW (because I didn't feel too stretched on the Trek), and his response was that I could try it but that he felt that the fit of the small was fine because he didn't have to raise the seat too far out of the post to accommodate me. One of the guys at the shop where I rode the medium said that I could probably get away with either size equally as well in terms of fit, and the other said that, as a rule, when a person is on the edge they should always go with the larger bike because that way they'll have "more control". Since, as you wrote, "fit is everything" - just thinking logically, I would certainly expect discomfort and frustration to result from a poor fit - and since there is ambiguity, I am not sure what to do...

...BECAUSE...there is a slightly used Cannondale RW 700 Headshok that I have the opportunity to buy that I think has everything that I want for a good price and is only barely used (has 14 miles on it), only it's a small, not a medium. Now, if I were sure that it would be a good fit, I would buy it! But since I'm not sure, I am hesitating to make the decision. Hmmm. Any advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by avmanansala
Coming from a photography background and moderating at one probably the biggest private Nikon user group on the net (www.nikonians.org) I know that getting started on a new interest can be daunting but the friendly sharing of information and experience can result in an enthusiast for life. The best thing to do is ask a question, get information, and test the answers from several sources. There are no dumb questions!
Thank you for that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by avmanansala
Back to your post,

and I have a question of clarification here. So, given what you get in
stepping up from the 800 to the 1000, what is the advantage of that? A
lighter bike and therefore a faster bike?

I'm going to say yes.

Jumping from the low to mid-line product to an upper line product will yield a significant advantage vs. cost. However, the performance increase from an upper-line product to the top of the line product may be significantly more expensive but the rewards/benefit, marginal.

That's fine, but would you also get a better feeling ride of the long haul out of that?
I'm going to say, maybe. Here's why: From what I have read and been told about Flat Bar bikes is that the hands can get numb due to the limited hand positions vs. a Drop Bar. Bar ends help by adding a little more variation to the bike. Trekking Bars are even better for longer rides. My hypothesis is that the more upright sitting posture and the additional hand positions should help give a better feeling. However (and this is big) I haven't done any distance riding yet, hence it is still a hypothesis.
Okay, this is really great information. So, the Trekking Bars on the 800 (and I'll add the the better vibration absorption of the 800) sound like good things. I have read about the hand numbness issue, too. Now I am also thinking about what Rick wrote about the Specialized Sequoia being an "extremely relaxed drop bar road bike." That sounds interesting, too...of course, if I could be sure that the fit would be okay, I could always add Trekking Bars to the slightly used RW 700 Headshok if I were to buy it, right? The reason that I am so obsessed with that bike right now is that it is an RW with all of the advantages of that with respect to geometry, and it's an upper-end RW with all of the advantages of that with respect to componentry, durability and weight, AND it has a Headshok frame and fork, which, as I understand it, means shock absorption in front and in the suspension seat...and in the front it's shock absorption that can be "turned off" by twisting a dial. They don't make this model any more (this is a 2003 model), but it sounds great to me, like just what I'm looking for - I'm just worried about it being a small and me being on the edge between a small and a medium. I want the bike, but I don't want to make a big mistake which leaves me having to sell it myself in a short while!

Quote:
Originally Posted by avmanansala
Don't forget, the entire bike, including rider, is a system and systems integration can be a fragile thing. Making one seemingly small change can result in a significant performance gain or loss: clipless pedals vs. clipped; soft tires vs. puncture resistant tires, etc. I have read many a post where commuters have reduced their commute time or seen an increase in average speed merely by changing from one brand tire to another.
Fragile seems like a good word to describe this. There's surely a science to it to some degree, but perhaps there is more art than science because of the important personal preference/comfort factor...makes this even more complex...

Quote:
Originally Posted by avmanansala
I'll give it a go

At the very least, you'll be able to say "nah, this isn't for me." Test ride, ask questions, test ride some more. Make sure the bike fits you; fit is everything, right? (If you have a library nearby, check out Bicycling magazine, April 2004 Buyer's Guide; I think the April issues are the Buyer's Guides so you should be able to see similar articles.)
I'll check out Bicycling magazine. That's a great idea!

Thanks again for your help. I can't say that enough! Before this exchange started, I was feeling quite alone in this decision. None of my friends or family are really into cycling save one...and she has fallen off the wagon after having trained hard and really enjoyed a cycling trip in Vermont three or four years ago. For that, she bought a Raleigh hybrid and has been thinking about upgrading to a road bike. I am going to try to convince her to do that or at least to get back on her current bike once in a while for rides! I'm sure I'll like riding alone, too...this brings up another think I have been considering...I wonder if she'll have trouble keeping up with me if she keeps her Raleigh and I am zipping along on a RW of some description.

At any rate, any more insights that you have will be greatly appreciated. I am especially torn about the RW 700 opportunity. What do you think about that?

Happy Saturday! Soon you'll have your bike and so you can take a nice, long ride on a day like this! Me, too, hopefully!

Jane
post #14 of 43
Thread Starter 

Re: Cannondale Road Warrior: Which model for a newbie?

I think that I may have answered my own question about whether I am a small or a medium. I went to http://www.coloradocyclist.com/bikefit/index.cfm#A and measured my inseam as suggested there, and according the method for determining frame size and achieving fit advocated there, I'm actually a medium, not a small, on the Optimo RW frame. On the RW 700 (the 2003 that I was thinking about), I would actually be a large! That's because during that time, the RW was sized S-M-L-XL-Jumbo, whereas the current models are sized P-S-M-L-XL. I am so glad that I checked that. Now I can move on to debating decisions other than whether to buy that 700 since it just won't fit me.
post #15 of 43

Re: Cannondale Road Warrior: Which model for a newbie?

I didn't ask about this when I bought my bike but ask if the bike has a fit guarantee. Bicycling magazine recomends asking if they have at least a 30 day written guarantee.

I can scan some articles into PDFs that you might find helpful if you'd like.

If you haven't crossed out road bikes, I test rode the Specialized Allez lineup. Nice bike, but for me, it was a bit too much forward leaning; I'm not ready for that yet. I also found I had less control with the drop bars than the flat bars. When I'm ready to step up to a road bike, that line is definately on the short list. The Specialized Sequoia was also recommended. Also recommended were bikes with a European geometry: Lemond (I think they are now made by Trek), Speicalized Roubaix and the Cannondale Synapse.

If you want to see my thought process, check out my post at Nikonians.org:
http://www.nikonians.org/cgi-bin/dcf...8&viewmode=all

Yes, the decision can be overwhelming! In the end, though, the additional time spent should translate into buying what you want and not leading to buyer's remorse later on something that you didn't. And remember, you can always upgrade components to make it "just right."

Once you know which bike, the real tough question hits you: kickstand or no kickstand?
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