Cannondale CAAD8 6 Tiagra Road Bike review

Cannondale CAAD8 6 TIA 2012 Compact Road BikeOne thing that is clear when riding the Cannondale CAAD8 6 Tiagra is that the designers know what they are doing. You can feel when you ride this bike that the engineers have put love and thought into its design, resulting in a frame which is lightweight but combines some cutting-edge technological features. Examples of the sort of technology you can find in the frame’s design include Synapse Active Vibration Elimination, a horizontally ovalised top tube and double-pass smooth welds, each contributing to a smooth cycling experience.

The basic design of the frame is similar to that of the earlier CAAD10, so that the CAAD8 has built on the positive feedback from the earlier model. The only real difference between the frames, in fact, is that the new design does not feature a tapered head time, and the down tube has less shaping. There is a larger head tube that comes with this design, which results in a more relaxed seating position. If you are looking for a purely performance bike, however, this may not be the bike for you.

The Synapse Active Vibration Elimination chainstays on the bike are what make it really brilliant for a comfortable ride. You will find yourself isolated from the noise and vibration that you can experience on uneven surfaces, meaning that you can ride in peace and comfort. This may not be an important feature to those that are using the bike solely on a controlled surface, but if you are planning to take the bike out on the road then this could be an important feature to have. In fact riding for five hours on this bike will not leave you feeling sore or bruised, while still experiencing the true feeling of cycling on the road.

One issue that could arise with the Cannondale CAAD8 6 Tiagra is the saddle quality. Although easily replaced, the saddle is not the best on the market, and has been known to sag in the middle somewhat. The rest of the bike seems to be good quality, so if you are considering purchasing the CAAD8, don’t let an easily-changed saddle sway your opinion too much.

The handlebars are shaped well for the purpose of this bike and the steering works extremely efficiently. The brake performance is of high quality due to the cartridge pads, which can be replaced much more easily than a brake shoe. An issue that could occur with braking is the tyres; after they wear out, replace them with a more expensive pair rather than the same ones, as the included set – although working in both wet and dry conditions – do leave something to be desired.

The types on the CAAD8 are not the greatest, and are perhaps the biggest flaw in the design of an otherwise sound frame. The tyres do not stay completely true, and although they were not completely offset either, the design did make the bike feel heavy at times

Overall, the bike is very good quality for the price you are paying.   There are a few parts of the bike that could do with changing or upgrading, but really it is better than you might expect for its price.

Available at Chain Reaction Cycles

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