Cannondale CAAD8 Review
The Cannondale CAAD8 range of performance road bikes is designed to be the gateway bike that will lead you to bigger and better things further down the road if you are particularly ambitious. Of course these light, powerful cycles, which have been overhauled for 2012, are a good choice for long term use in their own right, so whatever your plans you should find these models adequately match them.
Cannondale CAAD8 7 Sora
The alloy frame of the Cannondale CAAD8 7 Sora has been reworked this year for an optimised experience that echoes the potential of the more costly CAAD10 range. It features a Cannondale Ultra fork at the front, which has carbon blades to decrease the weight and improve the suppleness of the bike without compromising strength.
The similarities between the CAAD8 and CAAD10 can be seen in the SAVE stay technology which helps to cut down on the impact of vibrations. Road rumble can be a bit of a bother on more affordable bikes, adding to rider discomfort and fatigue, so any element which actively reduces this is worth investing in.
The transmission is made up of Shimano Sora components, as well as a SRAM PG-950 cogset and a KMC chain. This helps you to put power through the Maddux RS 3.0 rims and Schwalbe Lugano tyres, while Cannondale C4 dual pivot brakes will give you plenty of stopping power and precision.
The Cannondale Stage Ergo saddle is built for comfort over long distances and its steel rails give you a solid, durable platform. While the individual components have been selected to preserve the affordability of this bike, there is no sense that corners have been cut once you are onboard.
Cannondale CAAD8 6 Tiagra
The refinements of the Optimised 6061 alloy frame of the CAAD 8 6 Tiagra will be apparent to any experience riders. While the bike has race-ready geometry, the presence of a taller head tube means that the rider is put into a riding position that will leave them at ease, so you have the option to use it for all day cruising and touring as well as serious competitive sprinting.
Coupled with the same frame and fork combination are the Shimano Tiagra shifters, cogset and derailleur for a setup that helps you to experience swift and precise gear changes every time. Maddux and Schwalbe once more provide the tyres, while the Cannondale C4 brakes are back in action.
The lighter components mean that the CAAD 8 6 Tiagra is a little more nimble and swift than its cheaper sibling, although the setup is otherwise relatively similar.
Cannondale CAAD8 5 105
This bike is one of the lightest in its class thanks to the alloy frame and carbon-bladed fork, while the inclusion of components from the Shimano 105 groupset helps to lower the weight further.
Cannondale’s proprietary brakes are swapped out for Tektro R540 models in this instance, while the Stage Ergo saddle still does its job, but is this time mounted on Cromo rails to provide the same strength as steel without the same weight.
The Cannondale C3 handlebar replaces the C4 units found in the other models in this range and it is wrapped in suede grips backed by comfortable gel. The seat post is also from the C3 family, incorporating carbon wrap to make it really look the part.
Each bike in the Cannondale CAAD 8 range is carefully built and it is clear that the manufacturer’s experience with alloy developed over the years has allowed it to create some impressive models for the entry level road racing market.