Cannondale 2 Caffeine 29er Hardtail

4.73/5 (15 Reviews)
Weight : 28.1 lbs


Product Description

  • Spokes: DT Swiss Champion
  • Bottom Bracket: Shimano BB-ES25 Octalink
  • Handlebars: Control Tech Alloy, 25 mm rise
  • Headset: Cannondale HeadShok Si
  • Brakeset: Avid Juicy 3 185/160mm


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Reviews 1 - 15 (15 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ricker a Cross Country Rider from Renton, WA, USA

Date Reviewed: April 5, 2011

Strengths:    Ride quality. Rock solid shifting.

Weaknesses:    Rear brake setup.

Bottom Line:   
I have punished this bike for two years in Utah and Washington State. The shifting has been flawless, and the paint has held up very well. The lefty fork has been rebuilt once and needs a second rebuild currently which seems reasonable. Fork has been very good. Wheels are starting to show there age, and rear hub has wanted to loosen up occasionally. Organic rear brake pads removed the brake chatter. I have other bikes including a very nice full suspension 26 inch bike... but keep coming back to the 29er. Especially for that after work ride. With this bike you feel "in the bike" rather than "on the bike". Very enjoyable to ride, comfortable, responsive, good climber. The bottom bracket is a bit low, but I think that is a trade off that makes ride quality better. I use the bike for all but the most gnarly trails... when I switch to my full suspension. Bike #1 for almost all XC trails. Can't do it all, but is fantastic for most.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Gooseberry Mesa, St. George

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   Gutheries

Similar Products Used:   Rocky Mountain: Fusion, ETSX, Altitude
Specialized stumpjumper, Cannondale super V, F500, Trek fuel, Salsa Dos Niner


Bike Setup:   Stock mostly. New ergo grips, new pedals.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by jasper431 a Cross Country Rider from Akron, OH

Date Reviewed: October 29, 2009

Strengths:    Fit, tires, Lefty

Weaknesses:    Grips, Not a fan of Juicy brakes. Lefty fork makes the bike a pain in the butt to transport, Longer wheelbase doesn't fit well in the 5ft bed of my truck since taking the front wheel off is not as simple as a QR.

Bottom Line:   
Why I bought it: I was unsure of the 29er platform until a friend bought a Motobecane and let me try it, I put about 10 hours on it and loved it, I am Cannondale fanatic, so I bought one of the last USA made bikes.

Fit: I am 5'10" 175 lbs with a 32" inseam. This bike just fits me better than anything I have ridden. I honestly feel that I can ride all day long without the typical fatigue I have felt on my other bikes. I have put in a couple of 5 hour rides at Mohican State Forest and each time I have been ready for more.

Riding Switchbacks: Have only found one switchback I can't ride now, that I used to be able to ride.

Downhills: At least as fast as most previous bikes.

Climbing: As good as any other bike I have ridden.

Technical: More stable than my previous bikes.

Rock Gardens: Rolling through is still rough, but I don't get stalled on larger rocks as easy.

Components: Sram X-7/X-5 Drivetrain isn't spectacular, just functional and reliable. Grips were poor, Ergons are a must. Continental Race Kings have been a pleasant surprise, they look like a hardpack tire, but handle everything I have done, including mud and wet leaves. Juicy 3's felt like they were all on or all off, switched to BB7's with Speed Dial 7 levers, much greater modulation of the brakes.
Rims are staying true after about 600 miles of use. Saddle, bars, seat post are fine. I use SPD pedals on my CX bike and like uniformity, so I never tried the smarty pedals.

Frame: Clean smooth welds, Fat round tubes, looks good. The rear brake causes some sort of resonant vibration that is intolerable, it tickled me out of the seat with the Juicy's and is better, but not cured with the BB7's. A friend has SS version and it does the same thing(he also swapped brakes). Low BB hasn't been a problem for me.

Verdict: I love riding this bike, it feels comfortable, I feel good riding fast on trails. It was a little hard to tolerate the cost being double my buddy's Motobecane and a few hundred dollars more than a comparable Fisher or Specialized. I still wouldn't trade this bike for anything.

Suggestion: Really test ride some bikes, borrow a friend's bike and find a bike shop that lets you really try stuff out. I am really happy with my bike, but I could of had it sooner if I had been more patient and open minded at the beginning of my search.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Mohican State Forest

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1780.00

Purchased At:   Bisesi's Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   1995 Cannondale F700 (26 HT)
1999 KHS Pro (26 FS)
2002 Cannondale Scalpel FS (26 FS)
2007 Cannondale Rush (26 FS)
2009 Motobecane 29er (29 HT)


Bike Setup:   Mostly stock, swapped grips for Ergons and Juicy's for BB7 with speed dial 7 levers. Shimano SPD pedals.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by PeterBowyer a Cross Country Rider from Canberra, Australia.

Date Reviewed: August 17, 2009

Strengths:    Frame quality and finish, Lefty, juicy brakes. Nice handling like its on rails yet still good in the switchbacks.

Weaknesses:    None yet, hang on, maybe the pedals and the BB height. For sure BB height, banged a few rocks already.

Bottom Line:   
This bike just fits. For the first time ever a bike that feels just right. I have only had this bike for 2 weeks and I love riding it anywhere. It just works! Climbs nice, handling in tight switchbacks is much better than I was expecting and it just rolls over rocks n tree roots. I'm 6'4 and riding the XL frame. If you haven't tried a 29er yet and are tall you gotta take one for a spin. For me I'm completely sold. Can't wait for an Epic ride! Thanks to the previous reviewers for their feedback as it helped me a lot with my decision to buy this bike and I could not be happier, so far! Will post more feedback after some harder riding.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Sparrow/Stromlo/Majura

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2600.00

Similar Products Used:   Trek 8000, Last bike a VT2 Giant 26er. My first 29er!

Bike Setup:   Stocker

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by large53 a Weekend Warrior from Rantoul, IL

Date Reviewed: July 25, 2009

Strengths:    Strong brakes and fast shifting. Lefty front fork.

Weaknesses:    I can not get the seat back far enough on the post. I am going to play with it some more but a search for a new seatpost has begun.

Bottom Line:   
I didnt want to buy into all the hype about 29in wheels until I rode one and fell in love with this bike. I will not go back to 26in wheels now. Comes with good components on it plus lefty front fork. Not as heavy a bike as you would think for a 29er and is faster and more stable than my Jekyll. If you have never rode with SRAM shifters they take some getting use to and the juicy 3s are plenty stong to stop this bike.

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Favorite Trail:   Kickapoo IL

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1650.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   I tested a GF Paragon, but liked the Cannondale a little bit more. I also own a Trek 6000 and C'dale Jekyll 800 with lefty.

Bike Setup:   Stock for now.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by BLRacing67 a Weekend Warrior from Fort Collins, CO

Date Reviewed: June 18, 2009

Strengths:    Weight, Handling, ride- pretty much everything!

Weaknesses:    Bottom bracket height is too low!!

Bottom Line:   
The bike is a large and fits me (6') just about perfect the way it is set up. Weighs 24 lbs on the dot- could be 22.5 with the Carbon SL fork. The bike handles very, very well on pretty much everything I have ridden so far. The only draw back is the low bottom bracket- it takes a little getting used to and I still hit it in rocky, off camber climbs. This is definitely the only thing I can complain about as the bike is fast, fast, fast. It takes the place of my Schwinn Homegrown, weighs 1 lb more and rides waaayy nicer- handles comparably! I would never go back to a 26er in anything but a FS and even then...I would have to think about it as I am now thinking of making my Prophet a 29,650b bike. This bike would easily be 5 chili's, but the low bottom bracket knocks it down to 4 for an overall rating. I have not done any real long rides on it yet, but it seems like it is going to be perfect for those 4 hour plus days!

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Favorite Trail:   Depends on week

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Bought frame on the

Similar Products Used:   Black sheep 29ers, Spot longboard, Niner Air 9, Kona Hei Hei (Kona was FS)

Bike Setup:   Lefty fork, Size Large frame with 120mm SI stem, Stan's Arch rims, AC rear hub, cannondale front, XO shifters/der, Thompson post, Shimano Pro bars and XT crank, small block 8 tires F &R, Juicy 5 brakes

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by valiant1974 a Weekend Warrior from Norfolk, NE

Date Reviewed: May 26, 2009

Strengths:    This bike climbs and descends like nobody's business. Acceleration is excellent. The 29 inch wheels and tires allow me to handle terrain that I can't handle on my 26 inch bikes. The Lefty fork is plush.

Weaknesses:    The bike is relatively heavy with a mediocre component group for the purchase price. The TruVativ XR seatpost is light but creaks constantly despite constant adjustment.

Bottom Line:   
Overall, I am VERY happy with this bike. It handles well and riding it gives me confidence to ride terrain I normally can't ride.

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Favorite Trail:   Porcupine Rim-Moab, UT

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1555.00

Purchased At:   REI

Similar Products Used:   2007 Cannondale Rush 5, 2000 Cannondale F2000 SL, 1993 Cannondale M800 "Beast of the East"

Bike Setup:   Stock with exception of Terry Fly seat

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by azdrawdy a Cross Country Rider from N. Augusta, SC

Date Reviewed: May 24, 2009

Strengths:    Responsive steering. Stable as all get out. Rock solid comfort.

Weaknesses:    Have not found one.

Bottom Line:   
I have been absolutely shocked with this bike. I am sure a lot of it has to do with the 29 inch wheels, and the rest comes from the frame and fork.

My first 29er. Been on the fence for several years. Been riding mountain bikes for 20 years. My LBS had been trying to put me on a big wheel bike for a couple of years, and I resisted until the price became an almost give-away. Now I wish I would have pulled the trigger years ago.

2009 C-Dale F29er 2 frame and fork. Love the retro paint scheme. Swapped out everything else. Bike weighs right at 25 lbs., not too bad for an XL that is not weight-weenied.

Bike handles everything I have been able to throw at it. I have right at 1000 miles on it now, and that includes a metric century mountain bike race. The biggest recommendation I can give this bike is that not one time in the metric century did I even give my bike a thought. Oh yeah, this is my first hard tail since 1995. I don't feel the need for FS with this bike!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Horn Creek

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   LBS

Bike Setup:   Nothing stock except frame and fork/stem. Bunch of carbon fiber parts/pieces and XTR stuff. Stans Flow rims.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by fredfg1999 a Cross Country Rider from IL

Date Reviewed: April 28, 2009

Strengths:    Front shock comfort, position, climbs and bumps.

Weaknesses:    pedal strikes, lefty hub noise, avid juicy 3 noise, tires prone for pinch flats, tires understated size and crank brother candy pedals.

Bottom Line:   
What a fun bike. Doesn't feel as fast as my 26in but overall holds the same avg speed. On climbs the front end sticks and going downhill/dips is a breeze. Logs, jumps and rocks are just a blip. It feels like a monster truck. Drop the psi on the tires in combo with the lefty and it is pure fun. Acceleration is a little slower but those big wheels keep you rolling. Switch backs are slower but I am getting better. You have to throw yourself into those quick turns and let the tires do the work. My back and hands do not take the abuse I took on my old bike. This bike feels like the middle of a full suspension and hardtail front suspension. Front hubs and brakes make noise. Does not have effect on speed(no pad rub) but drives me crazy!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   test rode fisher paragon and cobia

Bike Setup:   stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by aussieinswitzerland a Cross Country Rider from Switzerland

Date Reviewed: April 11, 2009

Strengths:    Everything,climbs well,decends well, quick and nimble really well balanced and the lefty is great. One of the best bikes i've owned

Weaknesses:    None really, maybe some better brakes would be not bad,i swapped mine for xt's

Bottom Line:   
This is the only C'dale 29er we get here and i have changed most things but i love everything about this bike, it put a smile on my face everytime i climb with it. General handling is excellent

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   local trails

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   I have two other twoniners GF HiFi Pro with PBR lefty and a Salsa El mariachi

Bike Setup:   XT brakes,cassette changers and rear derailleur, SLX crank and front derailleur XTR chain and a Syntace Duraflite carbon bar.
,

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by mjdevoss a Weekend Warrior from Grapevine, TX, USA

Date Reviewed: February 23, 2009

Strengths:    Great frame size, lefty fork is really sweet, great setup for anyone. 29er really rolls over the rocks and roots quickly and without much jarring. Tires are really fast rolling too, great for xc riding and even some pavement trails (i ride it when the trails are muddy.)

Weaknesses:    Stock Contenintals aren't great for climbing, x5 shifters are somewhat slow, kind of a low bottom bracket, white color is hard to keep clean, I quit worrying about it after my third muddy ride.

Bottom Line:   
first 29er owned, I love it. Nearly $600 bux in upgrades and its wonderful for me. I will always have this bike (hardtail 29er, not neccesarily c-dale) in my garage. You have to test it out if you can, you will love it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Oak Cliff Nature Preserve; Cameron Park

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Mansfield Bike Cente

Similar Products Used:   07 Caffine 29er, GT peace 9er multi, Haro Mary XC

Bike Setup:   Avid Code Brakes, SRAM X.9 all around, tubeless, time z pedals, wtb shadow v saddle.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jah1545 a Cross Country Rider from Alexandria, Va

Date Reviewed: February 15, 2009

Strengths:    Lefty fork is super plush and the lockout/rebound is level with your hand position. WTB wheels are reasonably light and strong. WTB Prowler SL tires performed very nicely. Raw Hi-Bright finish is a real eye catcher

Weaknesses:    The generic Shimano crank seemed really out of place on this bike. Although, they do come stock on lots of high end bikes from several manufacturers these days. I've always hated the Shimano LX M581 Hi Clamp front derailluer, that thing shifts like crap. The saddle is very narrow and racy, therefore, not very comfortable.

Bottom Line:   
Cannondale's contribution to the 29er arena is one well thought out, very nice bike. I am the last one of my group to get a geared 29er, and now I understand what they meant when they said, "I'll never ride another 26 inch bike ever again". This bike climbed better than any bike I have ever ridden. I didn't have to think about my body position in the climb, I just dropped my elbows and I was there. On rutted out descents with plenty of roots and rocks, this bike sailed right through.

I'm not sure I would choose this bike as a racing rig, but then again I'm no racer. This is a pure trail bike, so if your looking for a 29er to take out in the rough stuff, I'd say look no further. Actually, I'd say the rougher the better.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Accotink

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   Bicycle Pro Shop

Similar Products Used:   This is my first geared 29er (also own a 29er Singlespeed). I've built and ridden several 26 inch bikes.

Bike Setup:   Stock except for the front derailluer and soon to be the crank. I put a low clamp SRAM X7 front derailluer on and it shifts much better. I'll probably also swap out the shifters for X7, but only because you can get the 08's pretty cheap right now. The stock X5's shifted fine.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jdinsj a Cross Country Rider from Audubon, NJ, USA

Date Reviewed: December 29, 2008

Strengths:    Where do I start. Have been riding and racing a 5.5" FS Prophet since 2005. This bike is stiff. Climbs great. Rolls over everything.

Weaknesses:    Lower bottom bracket than what I'm used to. The stock seat, felt like I was sitting on a brick.

Bottom Line:   
Can't wait for racing season to resume. I think this bike will take me to a new level. Will be my go to bike for most of the races in the local series.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Middle Run/White Clay, DE

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Bike is stock a 2008. Only upgrade has been a Specialized Phenom seat.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by ElJohno a Weekend Warrior from Jacksonville, FL

Date Reviewed: November 29, 2008

Strengths:    Very nice frame, super stiff
Dialed-in handling/geometry, very confidence inspiring
Lefty fork...wow...tracks well and super smooth
This being a Cannondale, I was pleasantly surprised that the components (seatpost, etc.) weren't complete crap


Weaknesses:    Front wheel is a pain to remove from Lefty Fork
Avid Juicy disc brakes so-so (break in period ?
Did I mention that the frame is REALLY stiff ?


Bottom Line:   
I am probably doing this review a bit early, but here goes. I went over to the 29er HT camp after 12+ years riding 26" FS bikes. So far, I am VERY happy. This bike is like driving a comfortable sports car. I wouldn't want to ride it for 6 hours straight in a rock garden (or ANY bike without FS), but for the riding I do, its superb.

The large wheels handle sand and obstacles well. The large wheels are NOT a substitute for FS, but they do take the edge off...the ride feels smooth and very controlled. Downhills, drops, and logs are especially fun now.

The best part ? When the ride is done, I don't have any back pain. I am 6'2" and 29ers seem to fit me better. I guess I could have had my 26" fitted...but I feel more natural on my 29er and didn't have to do any hardware trade-outs.

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Favorite Trail:   Santos

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1350.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Gary Fisher HiFi FS (rented)

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by sinac84 a Cross Country Rider from Snellville, Ga, USA

Date Reviewed: November 24, 2008

Strengths:    Everything mentioned above. Also you can get a carry-on multi tool kit that fits in the head tube. Comes with everything you need and has tire tube patches. How cool is that?

Weaknesses:    I figured out on my own that you won't need to remove the wheel to fix a flat so I retract my previous statement about taking off the front wheel with the Lefty fork.

Bottom Line:   
I wrote the review above on the 2009 F29 Twoc and I finally got my own 2008 F29 Two. I like the wheel and tire package better on the 2008 than the 2009. I think thats pretty much the only difference. I took my bike through its paces yesterday and it took everything I could throw at it. I'm 210lbs and I ride pretty fast and I like the bumpy stuff and the wheels didn't come untrue and I've had minimal cable stretch. Front and rear deraillurs will need slight adjustment but not bad. The 2009 has Jalco rims and Continetal King Mountain 2.1 tires and I didn't like them that much. The 2008 has WTB Speed Disc rims and WTB Prowler 2.1 SL tires. The WTB tires have alot more grip in the loose or muddy stuff. I think the Speed Disc rims are alot stiffer as well. Overall, I'm very happy with this buy and I look forward to doing some minor upgrades to help shave some weight (29lbs stock). Probably will go tubeless in the spring, carbon handlebars and set-post, and a lighter/stiffer crankset. If you can find an 2008 buy it! I will re-post in 6 months.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   LIFETIME BIKES

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by sinac84 a Cross Country Rider from Snellville, Ga, USA

Date Reviewed: November 16, 2008

Strengths:    Strong and light "HANDMADE IN THE USA" frame. Good components, lefty is awesome. 1st time on a 29er, I loved it.

Weaknesses:    I love the lefty, it is awesome but its kinda dumb that you have to unscrew a bolt on the right side of the hub and loosen the screws on the brake caliber to slide the front wheel off. But, i don't have to take the front wheel off unless i get a flat so it'll be ok, I'm still gonna buy the bike in the next couple of days.

Bottom Line:   
After the first 15 minutes of riding this bike I was sold. I'm getting one very soon. Its so much better than any 26er that has a similar set up. I can't say enough about the lefty. 29 inch wheels roll over stuff so much differently. Its really kinda hard to explain. Just go ride one yourself and you'll know what I mean.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Similar Products Used:   none, first 29er

Bike Setup:   stock

Reviews 1 - 15 (15 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


did i get a good deal? cannondale caffeine 2

i just picked up a cannondale caffeine 2 2010 model today, i dont really know anything about bikes im just getting into them, and i was wondering what kind of deal you guys think i got. first off the bike is in amazing shape (not a single mark on the bottom of the frame, wheels, outer front sprocket ... Read More »

did i get a good deal? cannondale caffeine 2

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2009 Cannondale 29er 2 Caffeine (first Impressions)

Well 29er Enthusiasts, I picked up my 2nd 29er a Closeout deal on a 2009 Cannondale 29er 2 with Caffeine Frame technology. I rode it to work on Thursday, got the seat angle and hight set and set it up for a 30mi ride 20 off road and 10 on that included some sustained hard climbing and rocky Arizona ... Read More »

Picked up my 2009 Cannondale Caffeine 2 29er tonight.

I swapped out a few parts, went to the Eggbeater SL's instead of the Smartys, Went with Sram OX Twist Shifters, Geax Saguaro 2.2in Tires Instead of the Race Kings and Went with a much more Comfy WTB Vigo Saddle. The Pics I took are crap, Poor lighting and with a Cell Phone. I will get some better ... Read More »

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