Bicycle Travel > Gear Talk

Cannondale T2000 vs. Bruce Gordon BLT ???

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YellowTrek:
Hello,
I've been saving money for a long distance loaded touring bike for some time now & I'm getting close to making that purchase. Hoping to do self-supported trips in the mountains and elsewhere. Also hoping to do some touring in Europe, but that's a few years away. Anyway, I had pretty much decided on buying a Bruce Gordon BLT because of the good reputation and low gears, but I read a review from a person that didn't like the bar-end shifters. I'm really comfortable with STI shifters myself and fear that this would be a problem for me too, so I started looking around again. The Cannondale T2000 is starting to look like the better choice for me, but the gearing isn't quite as low. Does anyone have any experience they would like to share regarding either of these choices?

Thanks,
YellowTrek (Dan)

Don:
I also had a road bike with sti shifters.  Then I got a Trek touring bike with bar end shifters.  Now it's my only bike.  While I like the sti shifters I had no trouble adjusting to the bar ends, and for me it makes very little difference in riding which shifters I am using. They both have advantages.  I think you will find the lower gears to be more important than the type of shifters you have.  I know some people will disagree, but for me this is the case.  The bar end shifters are much simplier, will work with a wide range of chain rings if you wanted to adjust your gearing, and let you trim your front derailer.

Fred Hiltz:
My experience mirrors Don's. Let me add that bar ends are simple enough to clean and lube on the road. They do not require a full-service bike shop if they break down in Beulah, ND. Friction mode will keep you going.

Fred

DaveB:
I own bikes with both STI and bar-end shifters and my take is that STI is far better for convenience and ease of shifting. This is particularly evident if you are in unfamiliar territory where the next hill can be a surprise.  STI lets you shift either sitting or standing while bar-ends almost require shifting from a seated position.   They are both much more convenient than downtube shifters.

I just checked the Cannondale web site and the 2004 T2000 comes with a 48x38x28T crank and an 11x34 cassette. That gives a (ridiculously high) 118-inch top gear and a 22-inch low gear.  A cheap improvement would be substituting a 26T or 24T chainring for the 28T which would lower the bottom gear to either 20.6-inches or 19-inches.  These are awfully low gears and should get you over almost anything.  

Another useful improvement would substitute a 12x34T cassette giving a more useful 108" top gear and a better distribution of the remaining gears.

I don't know the costs but I suspect the Bruce Gordon is WAY more expensive than the Cannondale. Also, your Cannondale dealer may make the changes I mentioned at little or no cost when you purchase the bike.

This message was edited by DaveB on 2-10-04 @ 12:30 PM

YellowTrek:
Excellent feedback, folks. Thanks! I looked again at the Cannondale specs. The Crankset listed is a TruVatiV Firex 28/38/48 and they use a Shimano 105 derailleur. I found a source for another TruVatiV Firex crankset that comes in 22/32/44T, so if the derailleur works for that small of a chainring, it sounds like a solution.
There really isn't that much difference in cost between the Cannondale T2000 and the Bruce Gordon BLT - less than a hundred dollars.
As far as the ability to shift while out of the saddle goes .... I can't ever remember shifting while out of the saddle! Of course, I haven't ridden in mountains yet (lotsa very steep hills, but no actual mountains), so maybe that's where that particular feature would be useful???
I'm still undecided, though. Maybe I'll try to find a bike with bar-end shifters I can test ride.


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