Author Topic: Cannondale T2000 vs. Bruce Gordon BLT ???  (Read 8552 times)

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Offline YellowTrek

Cannondale T2000 vs. Bruce Gordon BLT ???
« on: February 07, 2004, 06:03:11 pm »
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)


Offline Don

Cannondale T2000 vs. Bruce Gordon BLT ???
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2004, 02:59:22 pm »
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.


Offline Fred Hiltz

Cannondale T2000 vs. Bruce Gordon BLT ???
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2004, 12:23:41 pm »
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


Offline DaveB

Cannondale T2000 vs. Bruce Gordon BLT ???
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2004, 02:58:13 pm »
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

Offline YellowTrek

Cannondale T2000 vs. Bruce Gordon BLT ???
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2004, 10:56:54 pm »
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.



Offline biker_james

Cannondale T2000 vs. Bruce Gordon BLT ???
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2004, 09:36:52 am »
I have a Cannondale T800 (my wife has one also)-the cheaper version of the 2000. 4 years old now with many loaded tours under its tires. I love the STI, and they have never needed anything more than a little adjustment of the cable tension. Not sure how much "less maintenace" you can get than that. I guess if you can't work a barrel adjuster...
Yes, I'm aware that one day they will stop working and I will need to replace them. I doubt that it will take long in this age of overnight courier service to get a replacement, at least in North America and most of Europe. By the way, the T800 has the low end Tiagra shifters, so if they last that well, I wonder how long you get from Ultegra. I have new Ultegra shifters sitting ina box, so I'm hoping the original Tiagras wear out soon.
I swapped the chainrings from a 52/42/30 to a 48/39/24, and its a much better setup. My wife likes hers, except on long downhills when she misses her 52. With the current setup I would just swap in a 24 or 26 granny ring personally for the really long or steep hills, and keep the middle and big rings as is.


Offline trevay

Cannondale T2000 vs. Bruce Gordon BLT ???
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2004, 07:17:29 pm »
I have a 1998 Cannondale T1000.  Were I to do it again, I'd probably go for a Bruce Gordon, or better still, a Rivendell Atlantis (a very nice bike in the $2200 range, admittedly a higher price-point than you're looking for).  That's because though I've liked the Cannondale's frame, there were too many things sloppy about the way the bike was put together for me to buy another Cannondale.

For example, a few weeks after I got the bike, I started breaking spokes on the rear wheel.  Repeated trips to the bike shop finally had my mechanic rebuilding it from scratch.  That's when he discovered that about 1/3 of the spokes on one side of the wheel were too long, and had never been brought up to tension.  I replaced the rim, and the rebuilt wheel's been going strong, but that kind of thing is just plain sloppy.

Also, the rear drop-out spacing is too close together.  This means I have to spread the bike frame at the back just to put the wheel back in after I've removed it.  Aluminum is brittle.  You can't bend aluminum the way you can bend steel, and so, this is an ongoing problem.  (See this article for a simple explanation of brittleness and metal.)

I also found that anything labeled "CODA" meant "Crappy Offshore Dumped Accessories," and I've replaced all of these parts but the crank (though the CODA logo came right off the crank the first time I polished it).

Don't get me wrong, the bike's still going strong.  I like its lateral stiffness, and while Cannondales have the reputation of being a harsh ride, this touring bike feels fine with a Terry Liberator men's saddle.

It's because the fit & finish of the Cannondale doesn't impress me that I'd never buy another.

..................Tom


Offline YellowTrek

Cannondale T2000 vs. Bruce Gordon BLT ???
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2004, 02:29:09 am »
Interesting ... I've got a friend that swears by his Cannondales. I am intrigued by the Rivendell suggestion though. I'm not in a major hurry to buy right away, so the added cost is no big deal. If that's the bike that looks like my best choice, I can wait another year.


Offline mdking

Cannondale T2000 vs. Bruce Gordon BLT ???
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2004, 06:34:56 pm »
STI or Bar-end shifters!!!  That's no brainer.  Difinatley go with the bar-ends for a couple of reasons.  First, incase something breaks with the shifters you can still use it by friction shifting, the STI breaks and your stuck in one gear untill you find a bike shop.  Second, I've never been suprised by a hill on a touring bike and had the need to do a quick shift.  Third, shifting while standing up?  Never seen a fully loaded touring bike rider climbing out of the sadle!  That's why gearing is so important on a touring bike.  I'd also like to see you opt out for a steel touring bike such as Waterford, Bruce Gordon, Atlantis or even a Heron built by Waterford designed by Rivendell.  Good luck.

This message was edited by mdking on 2-12-04 @ 2:35 PM

Offline wanderingwheel

Cannondale T2000 vs. Bruce Gordon BLT ???
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2004, 08:21:18 pm »
The Cannondale gearing sounds perect to me, I wouldn't even swap out the 11 cog.  I like to go downhill fast and its nice to have a big gear that doesn't spin me out.  The Bruce Gordon gearing is a little lower than I like.  I belive that STI shifters are perfectly capable of surviving a road tour.  If you are really worried about reliability, carry a spare down tube shifter with you.  I would like to point out, however, that it is possible to shift barends while standing--simply hit them with your knees.  With a little practice it can actually become a useful shifting method.

Sean