Which of these two bikes would you guys recommend to a newbie?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Chris Boscarino, May 15, 2003.

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  1. Hello, everyone. I finally went out and researched bikes, telling the salesman I wanted a good
    rugged mountain bike in the $500-$600 U.S. price range, and he recommended the following- 2003
    Cannondale F300 http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/03/cusa/model-3fs3.html 2003 Diamondback Topanga
    Comp Disc http://www.diamondback.com/items.asp?deptid=2&itemid=60

    Both are within $30 of each other. He preferred Cannondale bikes in general so he also suggested the
    F400 Cannondale as he thought the stock components were a step up for $700, a little out of my price
    range but doable if you guys agree with him.

    I told him my main criteria was I wanted a good frame to build on if I really got into MTBing later
    on- a frame that made upgrading the stock components worthwhile and not a waste of money. I am
    willing to settle for lesser components for a better frame for this flexibility later on. Given this
    criteria- what do you guys think? Anything other bikes out there I might be want to look at?

    Also- how good are those disc brakes on the Topanga? I thought Disc brakes were usually on higher
    end bikes, so I am suspicious of the quality on this model.

    Also wondered about the Materials used in the Cannondale frame, as good or better that 7000
    Aluminum? Thanks for your help Chris
     
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  2. I suspect the Cannondale has a nicer frame; 7005-series tubing can be made into something really
    nice & pricey or cheap & heavy, depending upon whether the manufacturer goes to the expense of
    heat-treating it (which can give a strong frame with thin tubing) or skip that process by using much
    heavier (thicker) tubing. 6061, however, requires heat treatment and tends to be used in nicer
    frames (because heat treatment is a considerably-greater expense in frame fabrication than the
    actual cost of the tubes).

    Diamondback does a good job of putting pretty-decent components on an inexpensive frame. That's one
    way to do things. I prefer a nicer, lighter frame with acceptable components that you can upgrade
    later if you wish. By the way, the Shimano mechanical disc brakes on the Diamondback work fine.

    Why don't you ride each and see which you prefer? There are bound to be differences in geometry that
    might affect your choice more than any spec might.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com

    "Chris Boscarino" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hello, everyone. I finally went out and researched bikes, telling the salesman I wanted a good
    > rugged mountain bike in the $500-$600 U.S. price range, and he recommended the following- 2003
    > Cannondale F300 http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/03/cusa/model-3fs3.html 2003 Diamondback Topanga
    > Comp Disc http://www.diamondback.com/items.asp?deptid=2&itemid=60
    >
    > Both are within $30 of each other. He preferred Cannondale bikes in general so he also suggested
    > the F400 Cannondale as he thought the stock components were a step up for $700, a little out of my
    > price range but doable if you guys agree with him.
    >
    > I told him my main criteria was I wanted a good frame to build on if I really got into MTBing
    > later on- a frame that made upgrading the stock components worthwhile and not a waste of money. I
    > am willing to settle for lesser components for a better frame for this flexibility later on. Given
    > this criteria- what do you guys think? Anything other bikes out there I might be want to look at?
    >
    > Also- how good are those disc brakes on the Topanga? I thought Disc brakes were usually on higher
    > end bikes, so I am suspicious of the quality on this model.
    >
    > Also wondered about the Materials used in the Cannondale frame, as good or better that 7000
    > Aluminum? Thanks for your help Chris
     
  3. Dave Stocker

    Dave Stocker Guest

    [email protected] (Chris Boscarino) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]ogle.com>...
    > Hello, everyone. I finally went out and researched bikes, telling the salesman I wanted a good
    > rugged mountain bike in the $500-$600 U.S. price range, and he recommended the following- 2003
    > Cannondale F300 http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/03/cusa/model-3fs3.html 2003 Diamondback Topanga
    > Comp Disc http://www.diamondback.com/items.asp?deptid=2&itemid=60
    >
    > Both are within $30 of each other. He preferred Cannondale bikes in general so he also suggested
    > the F400 Cannondale as he thought the stock components were a step up for $700, a little out of my
    > price range but doable if you guys agree with him.
    >

    Six of one, half a dozen of the other. The F400 does come with better parts (f&r drlr, shifters,
    frame, etc), but both are upgradeable. I would go with the F400 because there would be fewer
    temptations to upgrade. Upgrades cost more. Cannondales use a non-standard head tube. This is
    either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your point of view. It means that either you use a
    Headshok (which is loved and hated) or a standard fork in an adaptor. I would be a bit leery of the
    F300 as it uses the adaptor approach and I am not sure how that affects durability. The headset
    endures a lot of stress. I hear people say that the Headshoks are either the best thing out there
    or they are crap. I have no experience with them, but I would expect them to be an upgrade from an
    Axel in any case.

    > Also- how good are those disc brakes on the Topanga? I thought Disc brakes were usually on higher
    > end bikes, so I am suspicious of the quality on this model.
    >
    I do not know those brakes, but they do not have bad reviews:
    http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/disc_brake_system/product_88859.shtml Although would have to take
    mtbr.com reviews with a grain of salt. It tends to be filled with people bitching about stuff that
    was used in an inappropriate application: "Dude, this Alivo BB sucks! I only did 10 six foot drops
    and now it is shot!" or "This (ultralight XC) rim broke. It can't handle downhill".

    Or it is validation for money spent: "My $400 rear hub that I have ridden all of three times is
    waaaay better than my old Shimano crap!". IMHO- It had better be because it costs 8x as much as XT.

    Read between the lines of those reviews and you can still glean something useful though.

    -Dave
     
  4. "Mike Jacoubowsky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<%D%[email protected]>...
    > I suspect the Cannondale has a nicer frame; 7005-series tubing can be made into something really
    > nice & pricey or cheap & heavy, depending upon whether the manufacturer goes to the expense of
    > heat-treating it (which can give a strong frame with thin tubing) or skip that process by using
    > much heavier (thicker) tubing. 6061, however, requires heat treatment and tends to be used in
    > nicer frames (because heat treatment is a considerably-greater expense in frame fabrication than
    > the actual cost of the tubes).
    >
    > Diamondback does a good job of putting pretty-decent components on an inexpensive frame. That's
    > one way to do things. I prefer a nicer, lighter frame with acceptable components that you can
    > upgrade later if you wish. By the way, the Shimano mechanical disc brakes on the Diamondback
    > work fine.
    >
    > Why don't you ride each and see which you prefer? There are bound to be differences in geometry
    > that might affect your choice more than any spec might.
    >
    > --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
    >
    >

    I'm going to go back and try them again this weekend. re the Diamondback, is that what you going on
    here? Good components on a so-so frame vs the Cannondale frame with lower grade stuff? That might be
    the deciding factor for me if so. I'll try them both out though. Am I putting to much enphesis on
    the frame? The salesperson told me the Cannondale is a lighter frame and that makes a lot of
    difference to him. Chris
     
  5. Buck

    Buck Guest

    "Dave Stocker" <[email protected]> wrote in message

    > upgrade. Upgrades cost more. Cannondales use a non-standard head tube. This is either a good thing
    > or a bad thing depending on your point of view. It means that either you use a Headshok (which is
    > loved and hated) or a standard fork in an adaptor. I would be a bit leery of the F300 as it uses
    > the adaptor approach and I am not sure how that affects durability. The headset endures a lot of
    > stress. I

    Durability with a headset adapter isn't a problem. My '96 SuperV has had an adapter since day one
    and is still going strong. With the adapter, I have the choice of the shock I want to use. I'd like
    to try out a headshock, but I can't justify the expense of making the switch. It has worked fine for
    me for seven years with daily use for five of them (both on and off-road).

    -Buck
     
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