For our blog this week we have a review of the Cannondale CAAD8 from one of the Trivelo team continuing our theme of real bike reviews from real cyclists.
My previous experience of road bikes was a racer bought for me for my 10th birthday and a second hand steel road bike I picked up on GumTree following a drunken bet to complete a triathlon, realising that my hefty and aged mountain bike wasn’t going to cut it. On arrival at transition for my first tri adventure I quickly realised this bike business was serious and a road bike costing less than a decent lunch might not be up to the job.
I picked up my Cannondale and immediately loved it with a gorgeous frame and simple white paint job. My knowledge of the wealth of upgrades available had yet to become established so blissfully unaware I commenced my love affair for road cycling fitting my bike with a set of pedals and venturing onto the road. The Cannondale has an aluminium frame and carbon forks running Shimano groupset all of which worked without fault and happily covered distances up to 100 miles. The bike runs a triple on the front so makes hills pretty straight forward although compared to full carbon bikes isn’t the lightest so you may find your carbon cousins smashing it on the hills. The bike isn’t the most relaxed of geometry with no sloping sportive top tube and reasonably long as you consider sizing. I tend to hover between a 58cm and 60cm frame depending on the manufacturer and on the CAAD8 it came up on a 58.
The wheels were an early candidate for an upgrade being both pretty heavy and not with the finest set of bearings. Over many evenings of drooling over bicycle porn I continued to dabble with the prospect of upgrading the Shimano Sora groupset for 105 but ultimately decided the money was better spent on a new bike as it continued to serve me well enough and ultimately fully carbon aero bikes came into the frame. Using the bike in numerous Sportives and Triathlons it never let me down and continues to be my turbo partner to this date. Only frustrations with the bike would be the odd corner cut by Cannondale such as wheels and brakes with some cheaper components fitted to keep costs down but in fairness the money has been spent on the frame where you would want and all sub £1000 bikes have to make some compromise. As my first love it will always have a special place in my garage and for the money is a really great bike that I would thoroughly recommend.
About the author – Billy is the founder of Trivelo bikes and competing for his 6th season in triathlon still battling away for mid table obscurity.