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Big Boy's Toy: 66cm Cannondale build


5’11” editor assesses frame for ease of vaulting

Appearances can be deceptive

Cannondale CAAD5 66cm, £699 frame and fork, to order, custom paint finish

How tall is tall for a cyclist? Let’s talk a mix of imperial and metric; six-foot-four, or 1m93, is lofty, for sure, but a cyclist of that stature should have little difficulty in finding an off-the-peg bike that fits nicely. Six-six (1m98) is getting to the limit of most manufacturers’ ready made sizes. Magicalia client account manager and downhill mtb racer Juan Christen is taller still at six-foot-nine, or 2m06, and yet we were still able to find a frame to fit, off the peg and from stock.

Well, almost. Cannondale’s size range goes right up to 63cm in most road models, which is not quite big enough. However, until recently the now- venerable CAAD5 aluminium frame was still listed as available from new in a range of sizes going right up to a barn-door 66cm. A quick phone call to ‘Dale’s Mike Cotty established the following: a 66cm CAAD 5 was in stock at Cannondale Europe, but minus paint. This is because the model is no longer a stock item per se. Instead, ‘EuroDale’ keeps one in stock should a current owner of a 66er need a replacement. The frame’s unpainted status means that a frame of any colour can quickly be replaced.

For obvious reasons there is little demand for road frames this big, hence the limited stock holding strategy. On the other hand, there aren’t many off-the-peg options for someone of Juan’s stature, and certainly none with the race pedigree, looks and cachet of the Cannondale. Which is presumably why, although the CAAD5 has been de-listed for the 2008 model year, the 66cm CAAD5 frame (and fork) is still available to order with custom paintjob. Note that the CAAD5 is the only 66cm road frame on offer from ‘Dale, and that the 66cm size is the only version of the CAAD5 still on offer. So, 2m06 and looking for a lightweight road frame? Here’s the answer.

Right then; colour scheme chosen and frame in hand, our next step is to source wheels capable of taking Juan’s 17 stone (110kg) and downhiller’s explosive power, a groupset with suitably lengthy cranks (180mm) and the biggest, baddest bars and stem we can find. Watch this space for updates…

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