Road Test: Giant SCR LTD Vs. Cannondale CAAD5
OK, I’ve just got back from the bike shop, where I took both of these out for a quick tour around Byker’s rush hour traffic. That they’d lend me the bikes is a credit to the Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative’s faith in humanity. Letting me take ‘em out in the rush hour says more about boundless optimism though!
First up was the Giant SCR LTD:
- 2×9 full Tiagra groupset, and extremely light feeling to it
- Giant’s compact road frame geometry and full carbon fork - a very comfortable riding position.
- The bike only had demonstrator pedals on it, but the acceleration was astounding, as was the climbing.
- Handling seemed somewhat twitchy, especially under acceleration or hard braking.
- Cornering felt effortless
Next was the Cannondale CAAD5 Tiagra:
- 3×9 Tiagra groupset, including genuine Shimano hubs & rims. Prettier spoke lacing too, but I’m not influenced by that. Curiously this was a heavier feeling bike than th Giant. Technically speaking, this bike’s a little lighter than the Giant, but it just felt heavier.
- This is a full-sized frame, with a slightly longer, more stretched out riding position. Carbon fork as with the Giant.
- Again, the bike had demonstrator pedals on it, but just didn’t feel as quick (accelerating) as the Giant.
- Handling was superb, especially in a straight line. The cornering felt very precise, but somewhat remote. I also have concerns over the ground clearance, as I managed to touch the road with a pedal on one turn. That said, these demonstrator pedals are pretty wide and tall, so this probably wouldn’t be a problem with proper road pedals.
Overall, I think I preferred the Giant. However, this may have had more to do with the tripple chainring on the Cannondale - this caused me some problems, and was harder to tweak to smooth running than the Giant’s double setup. But what can I say - this was a ten minute test ride!
The guys at the shop were similarly divided - one had previously ridden Giant compact framed bikes competitively, and rated them highly for the fun factor. This is important to me, because if it isn’t fun, why would I do it? The other guy in the shop rated the Cannondale for its superior frame quality and better aero-friendly riding position.
Now I want to want the Cannondale - my left brain logical side says that this is the bike I should buy for racing, ‘you get what you pay for’, and I’ve been pretty much sold the advertising copy to go with it -
“The CAAD5 remains an industry benchmark for stiffness and has won a few Tour De France stages to brag about.”
However, the right side of my brain - the side that just wants to have fun - is screaming at me to go for the Giant. It felt like a fast bike to have fun on.
Y’know I used to be indecisive . . . but now I’m not so sure. I think I need your help here!