I've been looking around at replacing my old Trek, doing a lot of test riding (even though much of it is on flats), and am now looking at two models of Cannondale bikes.
One, the Caffeine, is functionally close to my old Trek. The other, the Bad Boy, had identical frame geometry, and could be more flexible as an occasional urban commuter.
The questions I have are largely frame size related, since I am 72 ins. tall, 33.5 in. inseam, and weigh 170 lbs. I have test ridden a Medium and a Large in both the Caffeine and Bad Boy. Use would be pretty mixed, (road / urban / light XC) though I haven't been on tight switchbacks in years.
The medium Caffeine with a 100mm stem had me sitting toward the rear edge of the seat, as did the medium Bad Boy (unsure of stem length on it). The large Caffeine with a 120mm stem had me sitting closer to the sweet spot in the saddle. The bike felt roomy and turned well.
The large Bad Boy however, felt like it was another bike altogether. The seat position was good, but its size felt like it was something I'd have to get used to.
While the medium Bad Boy felt snappy and like I was sitting "above" the bike, but definitely felt quicker in comparison to the large.
I know the bikes are identical geometry, but why the difference in "feel"? Could it be the size and feedback of the road wheels on the MTB frame?
Also, since I tested a Med and a Large Bad Boy, I'm uncertain of which frame size I may need. The large would need a tweak to the stem length, and the medium may need tweaks to the seat position and stem. The Caffeine Med vs. Lg. was more clear cut.
Last observation (and I apologize for so many). Would it be more sensible to get a large, and just get used to it, or a medium and adjust it since it feels snappier? What about setback seatposts? Are these something I should consider at the time of purchase, or are they mostly a Band-Aid remedy for a larger problem with the wrong frame size?
BTW, all of the LBS's have been giving me great input, and I'll post their observations later-I was fishing for any thoughts from you guys on the forum here.
Thanks in advance.
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