After we picked a peck of peaches for our Sunday family outing, I had time for a quick 20-miler in the afternoon. I wanted to take the Cannondale out while the feeling of the Tarmac test ride was still fresh.
I still feel over-stretched on the Cannondale, even with the handle bars repositioned approximately to the Tarmac. There is still a pressure point where my shoulders meet my neck that forces my back out of position when I try to compensate. I could definitely feel the saddle. After about 10 miles, as usual, my left foot started to ache, with the feeling that the foot is folding over the outside of the pedal. And of course I could feel every imperfection in the road.
It doesn't take much to move the Cannondale off a line. The slightest repositioning of the hands or on the saddle causes the bike to shift or change directions. I think this is what some describe as "twitchy" or "nervous" handling. Its quite a contrast to the Tarmac.
On descents and in corners, the back wheel of the Cannondale always feels like its following the bike. I've pulled up from many a turn for fear of the feeling the back end was going to come away from (or roll under) the bike. Standing on the pedals for quick accelerations or climbs, I can feel the bottom end give. Sometimes it feels like the bike moves away from me or folds, or is just plain mushy. I doesn't help that my left foot feels like I'll push it off the side of the pedal if I apply too much force. And there is certainly a difference climbing with a 50-tooth (or 34-tooth) front chain ring as opposed to a 53-tooth (or 39-tooth). The compact feels smoother, and allows me to find my cadence much faster.