Cannondale Flash 29er 2 29er Hardtail

4.71/5 (17 Reviews)
MSRP : $2249.00

Product Description

  • Frame: Flash Alloy 29, Si BB30, double butted
  • Rims: DT Swiss X470 29
  • Hubs: Cannondale Lefty SL, 32 hole front
  • Spokes: DT Swiss Competition
  • Chain: KMC X9 9-speed

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Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Nico

Date Reviewed: July 31, 2013

Strengths:    Frame, wheels, fork.

Weaknesses:    Tires
Not so good component for the Price (ex: cranks)
Would have preferred a 2x10 setup

Bottom Line:   
This is a very good bike. Frame is light, stiff and very nice (looks like a carbón frame, shaped are worked). I measure 1.80m but I had to take a M frame which fits perfectly.

Wheels WTB i19 are quite light for a bike of this Price, which is good for a 29er. They come tubeless ready (stripped sealed) which is very good, but it costs me a lot to put them tubeless, imposible with floor pump (with Schwalbe RR tubeless ready), the tires are really loose so there is no good sealing before popping. Could not do it on a gas station pump, I had to remove the valve core and use a 6 bars compressed air hose, and now it s fine. Wheels are quite stiff.

WTB nine line tires are OK but pinches a lot and are not so grippy, this bike diserve better tires.

Brakes are really good. The problem is thar Storm SL rotors are too much "holed" and makes noise because the pads (7.3, magura worst quality) are entering the holes... The solution is to chamfer the pads, it Works fine but you wouldnot expect doing that on a 2000 USD bike.

Bike is comfy, I cannot be sure it s due to the SAVE system or to the 29ers.

Crank is basic shimano, I would have preferred a BB30 as the frame comes ready. Stock BB (shimano BB51, non drive side) died after 2 months, I think it's a bad luck, I changed them for BB70.

Lefty is really stiff and nice. Needs a time to break in. It's so good you forget you have a fork, but still I find the Fox plushness feels better (but not necessarely IS better). Front Wheel is difficult to disassemble but You don't need to remove it to change a tire!

cannondale components are good (seatpost, stem, bar...)

So this bike climbs well, descend well, it's stiff but quite comfy, can handle XC racing or trail riding, and the lefty is the perfect touch.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Andrew Devlin

Date Reviewed: April 12, 2013

Strengths:    This is for the 2013. QUICK. Amazed at the speed this thing picks up. Feels super light & turns well. Left works great for the intended purpose of XC. This thing climbs like crazy. I feel 2x fitter on this thing.
Got a great deal from my LBS :) Love the looks & strange looks from people wondering where my Rt fork is ;)

Weaknesses:    Ground clearance, low Bottom bracket. Watch out on rocky trails as I found out last week at speed. The brakes do not have much feel but stop you (will upgrade as I am picky with breaks & feel). Stock tires are great on single track & pick up speed great, but they don't work well on rocky stuff.

Bottom Line:   
Great XC bike. You will fly over the trail & eat up the up hills (until it gets technical) . I am coming from an All Mountain Bike so my reference is from that angle. This bike has blown my mind on the right XC trails :) super fast & great handling. Would love some more ground clearance but I will adapt. It has made me a better rider by needing to pick my lines rather than ride over everything on my All Mountain. Now I am getting to the top of the hills fresh & having more fun riding. If you are a XC ride you will love this bike. If you like more aggressive trails you may want a back up too. I would not want this to be my only bike (unless XC is my only ride) Overall Awesome from what it is made for & looking forward to trying my hand at some races this year!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by craneneck a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: September 13, 2012

Strengths:    Handling is predictable and stable even in tight fast single track. Surprisingly bump complaint (for a hardtail). Lefty fork is excellent. Lefty lockout feature is easy to use and great for long road/gravel sections. X7, X9, Avid spec mix gets the job done.

Weaknesses:    No tubeless option with stock Sun rims. SRAM crank scratches easily, it looked 2 years old after a few rides. Jury is still out on stock Schwalbe Rapid Rob tires. Jokes about the "other half of your fork" from your riding buddies.

Bottom Line:   
I really struggled with the decision to replace my old FS 26". I needed a fast bike that was comfortable over long distances and could handle tough single track gracefully. The Flash has lived up to the challenge. Cannondale highlights the short wheel base and tight handling on their website. I completely agree, despite feeling like a big bike (in size large) it rips through turns confidently. Also, like many 29" hardtail bikes, it's an excellent climber. Even on quick ups on rocky terrain, the rear end sticks to the ground without any drama. Finally, this is a versatile enough bike that you'll feel perfectly comfortable riding around town one day and then another day racing along side some higher $$ rides. With that said, this is a go-fast bike, it might not be comfortable for more casual riders.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   any

Purchased At:   University Cycles, B

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by xxx a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: September 2, 2012

Strengths:    I love Cannondale frames, Lefty (generally amazing, but not enough travel on this bike)

Weaknesses:    AVID brakes! Lefty with only 90mm travel is really weak! For XC okey, not for all-mountain. Shame on Cannondale

Bottom Line:   
With a longer fork it might be an amazing all-mountain mtb. Why is everybody using f.... Avid brakes???

Expand full review >>

Similar Products Used:   F2000SX

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Matt a Racer

Date Reviewed: July 8, 2012

Strengths:    Looks, weight, and components are a great match. This bike would have been perfect with a 2X10 setup.

Weaknesses:    Bottom bracket came loose after 3 rides. Rear brakes needed adjusting after the first ride.Seatpost creaked until I pulled it out a greased it. Probably overlooked by the guys at the bike shop. Grips are no good and will be the first thing I replace.

Bottom Line:   
This is my first 29’er and first lefty fork. I have been riding a carbon fiber, full suspension bike for the last 8 years. Trek Fuel 100 and most recently a Top Fuel 9.9. I was looking to return to an aluminum frame hard tail. I was also wanting to try this 29’er thing. After 100+ miles on this Cannondale Flash 29’er 2, all I can say is wow!! I am impressed. At 6’4” this XL frame fits me perfectly. The specs are perfect. This bike climbs fast, rolls over anything the Florida trails can throw at it, and is very impressive for a mid level bike. I was initially skeptical of the left fork, now I am a believer! It is better that any Fox or Rock Shox fork I have ridden previously. It soaks up the bumps and provides the perfect amount of feedback. The frame is perfect and I have hardly noticed that I am riding a hard tail. The SRAM shifter/derailleur combo works great. The Avid brakes work great too! I had to re adjust the rear brake after 40 miles, but no problem.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Markham Park

Duration Product Used:   2 Months

Price Paid:    $1900.00

Purchased At:   Bike America

Similar Products Used:   Trek Fuel, Specialized Stumpjumper, Gary Fisher.

Bike Setup:   All stock, will be changing out cranks for a 2X10 setup and grips will be changed for something better.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Buck a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: June 21, 2012

Strengths:    "Flash" says it all.
2012 Alloy Flash 29'er 2
It is light! Brakes are great. Lefty lock out makes it really rigid when needed and lock out is really easy. 10 spd. cassette nice. And of course the Lefty is wonderful. All good. I love it! (My Flash is perfectly silent.)

Weaknesses:    @ 6'4" the XL stock cockpit is a little tight. I have the saddle position tweaked, now need to work on the stem and bar, which seem too low for me (though I'm starting to get used to them). The grips suck.

Bottom Line:   
I loved my Jekyll, but it was old and the Lefty blew. It made more $ sense to get a new bike than repair the old (though I probably will but can now take my time). I had no idea what a difference switching to a 29'er hardtail would make. As if the 7lb weight difference was not enough it is also remarkably comfortable. I can't describe the ride - it is like the Flash is pulling me - this bike just flies. My first ride on my standard mtb loop was 10 minutes faster and I wasn't trying to go faster!!! My first road ride on my standard Blue Ridge Parkway ride was 10 minutes faster!!! I could/can not believe it. I don't think I have ever passed another rider, but yesterday I dropped four fit looking guys riding full suspension bikes on a hill. That was great! :) Once I get my position completely tweaked I think that I and this bike are going to have a long, good time together.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bent Creek, et al & Rocky Fork

Purchased At:   Youngblood Bicycles,

Similar Products Used:   Previous bike was a C'dale Jekyll, which wore out. It was 33+ lbs, the XL Flash is 26 lbs. :)

Bike Setup:   Stock, but will change grips to Ergon, may change stem to raise bar and/or get riser bar.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jesse a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: June 14, 2012

Strengths:    Lightweight, excellent control with the Lefty, climbs like a ski lift!

Weaknesses:    A little to much flex around the bottom bracket, squeal from rear brake when not even engaged (likely due to flex), Schwalbe tires aren't "tubeless ready".

Bottom Line:   
I'm 6'1"/205lbs and I ride a 2012 XL frame (the white with orange and black looks sharp). The bike weighs in at 26.2 lbs. with Stan's No Tubes and Crank Brothers Mallet 2 pedals (orange/black pedals match nicely). All else is stock (SRAM X9 rear X7 front derailleurs, X7 shifters, crank, chain, Elixr 3 brakes, Sun Ringle Rims, Schwalbe tires)

I can only compare with my previous bike which had 4-5 inch travel full suspension. However, the Flash rides every bit as smooth as the full squish. It climbs so much better it's ridiculous. I really like how it tracks through turns and the taller tires seems to make it much more stable. The Lefty is remarkable even considering it is 90mm which doesn't seem like much compared to my original free ride bike (something like 140mm travel). The lockout is easily accessible without the handlebar mechanism. This is my first time running Stan's too and I really like it (once the bugs are worked out...the stock Schwalbe tires are a weakness with Stans, they take twice as much sealant).

My only complaint is that there seems to be a lot of flex in the alloy frame. Even with the BB30, the crank area flexes a good bit. It may make for a smoother ride, and considering it climbs so well, I won't hold it against the design (I am very disappointed that Cannondales are not hand made in the USA anymore). Besides, I shaved like 9 pounds compared to my hold bike, which is definitely noticeable positive. The only time I really notice the flex is when I take off from a dead stop and really crank on the pedals to get going.

Overall, with the 29er wheels, lighter frame, and Stan's No Tubes...I am in no way regretting going to a hard tail from a full suspension. The Lefty is every bit as good as people say and I look forward to getting another 8 years out of a top quality bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rothrock State Forest

Price Paid:    $2099.00

Purchased At:   the Bicycle Shop, St

Similar Products Used:   Former bike: 2004 Trek Liquid 25 (Free ride full suspension 26er)

Bike Setup:   See summary

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by machine4321 a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: May 31, 2012

Strengths:    Upgraded to this bike from a $700 bike. All I can say is it is worth every penny. When looking for a bike i was compairing this the scott scale and stumpjumper. The others had a slight advantage in some componets but didnt have the same quality in the fork. The lefty is an absolute marvel. It sounds weird but I dont notice it working. Just plush, never to soft and have never felt it bottom out. Stiff, very very stiff. The first time I hit the front brake i noticed the positive feel. The stiffness was also very noticable while turning and just tracks amazing.

The front end is very very light. The back end a bit heavy in comparison but its not noticable while riding.
This is a 2012 model and weighed in at 25lbs 5oz completly stock.

As far as the components:
Elixr 3.. These have the new rotors and work great. Pretty powerfull decent in noise. He back gets a bit noisy when to dirty. So far very happy with them.

Sram x7 shifter and x9 derailer:
Very crisp and fast. Tried an xt set up amd hated it. To soft in the triggers but it was and older bike.
Love the matchmaker set up, really cleans up the bars.

Cockpit was a perfect fit for me. I wouldnt change it. Mabye lighter stuff someday.

The bb30 is incredibly stiff and feels like im getting the power down really well.

All in all im hooked on this bike. Cant see my self having anything other then a lefty.

Weaknesses:    Well as much as I love the bike it has its querks.

part in the lefty came out and lost all its fork oil in the fork. It has to go back to be rebuilt. They said the damper will be replaced and all bearings and races as well.

Saddle creaks every time I move.
Handle bars creak when pumping up hill.
BB creaks when pedaling hard in the saddle.

Allthis has been fixed with lube. But it will happen again.

Derailer hanger was striped from the factory. Also the crank was loose.

Bottom Line:   
Amazing bike. Has its querks but worth it. I can ride so much faster and smoother on this bike then my last.
Took 2nd place at my first race. Been riding for a year.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $1899.00

Purchased At:   Outspoken bikes

Similar Products Used:   09 stumpjumper
Devinci cameleon

Bike Setup:   All stock 2012

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Hi Ho silver and away ! a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: April 17, 2012

Strengths:    Fast !, climbs like my loco moto ie- a mountain goat. It kinda rides like a F.S. "kinda". It's stiff yet gives in on the back end!/? Gets "LOOKS" ! Tracks so well, like a bloodhound!

Weaknesses:    Didn't care for the handle grips? I'll replace when needed. First thing I replaced was the saddle! Makes me giggle way too much on the trail!

Bottom Line:   
Got a 2010 at a L.B.S. $1350 + tax ! Middle of winter and it comes with a lefty! Yea- I would be silly not to snag it; right! First ride, felt strange But soon felt like I was in a cockpit. Handles like it's on rails ! You ever seen that dog sticking its head out of a window at 60 m.p.h tong flapping in the wind ? That's me now ! Here's a silly fact, on my other bikes my best lap at local bike trail was 67 minutes! Just pulled a 52 minute lap ! Is it the bike or dose the bike me faster ? Hmmmmmmm - ? Who should buy this bike ? Honestly I don't know. The price of a carbon frame has come down so much that all my friends are hooking up!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Vultures knob, west branch.

Price Paid:    $1350.00

Purchased At:   Local bike shop -

Similar Products Used:   Pacific, mongoose, specialized, giant, K2, Titus.

Bike Setup:   The basic flash # 2 !

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Puzman a Cross Country Rider from Durham CT

Date Reviewed: March 5, 2012

Strengths:    Light, stiff, yet with SAVE stays is very comfortable for a hardtail. Neutral (or should I say natural?) geometry: handling is point-and-shoot without being twitchy, and the cockpit is plenty roomy. (I'm 5'8", 30" inseam, and ride a Medium). Good spec for the price. Oh, and the Lefty is awesome!

Weaknesses:    Stock tires are so-so. Would like more standover. Other color options?

Bottom Line:   
Fantastic 29er hardtail. Stiff, efficient, and absolutely devours technical terrain. Descends steep drops without ever feeling like I'm gonna go over the bars, and climbs like a monkey on crack; almost feels like cheating. The Lefty is ridiculously stiff and feels pretty damn plush for a 90 mm air fork. Can't go wrong with this one.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Miller's Pond

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1900.00

Purchased At:   REI

Similar Products Used:   Coming from a 26er FS background (Titus LocoMoto, Yeti 575) and rode a GT Zaskar 29er for 1 season, which I traded in because my back was hurting (even with a Thudbuster). Don't know if its the longer TT or the SAVE stays, but with the Flash, my back pain is gone.

Bike Setup:   Stock except for Thudbuster, Ergon grips, and replaced big ring with bash guard. 26.0 lbs with pedals (Candy's).

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Joel a Weekend Warrior from Upstate South Carolina, USA

Date Reviewed: December 31, 2011

Strengths:    Aggressive, burly CAAD frame. Newly simplified, more elegantly engineered, longer travel (100mm) 29er Lefty OPI fork. Excellent, understated white paint with orange trim, nicely integrated Avid brake colors and rim trim. Nice new seatpost clamp design (one-way, baby). Superior stability in chattery terrain. Reasonable climbing. Surefooted descending. Schwalbe Rapid Rob tires are rather good for OEM.

Weaknesses:    Small-diameter Cannondale lock-on grips designed by the Marquis de Sade. As on all 29ers, handlebar is absurdly wide for anything other than riding in the desert. Bike feels rather oafish in tight terrain compared to my Cannondale Carbon Rush 26er. Front end of bike is high (only a weakness half the time). Another centimeter of seat tube, please sir.

Bottom Line:   
An excellent trail bike and a validation of the 29er concept. This bike feels right for a tall guy (6' 2"). Cannondale needs to reintroduce their Rush as a full-suspension 29er.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Spider Woman II

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Ride On Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale Caffeine 29er (fiancee's bike, purchased by me, neglected by her).

Bike Setup:   Upgrades: Fizik Aliante Gamma saddle, vintage Coda suspension seatpost, Crank Bros. Candy pedals.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bill H a Weekend Warrior from San Francisco, CA

Date Reviewed: December 10, 2011

Strengths:    Overall? Quick, effortless, stiff, real fast. Turns lots of heads.

Weaknesses:    Lefty knee clearance. The lefty fork tube runs parallel and just behind the head tube. If your'e a taller rider verify knee clearance.

Bottom Line:   
Just what's this bikes best feature? Where to begin? Great quality 29" wheels. Stiff yet compliant frame, ultra plush fork that locks out, ultra stiff fork, saddle, group, looks. Want more? How about 25lbs as weighed in the shop XL frame! My personal favorite is the fork lock out. Paired with the 29" wheels you hardly need it for cross country, but on the rooted out, rutted out downhills a quick stab of the well executed and trusty lock out button and you have 100mm of travel. This bike eat terrain. The lefty fork is just amazing.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   GGP, Marin,

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1360.00

Purchased At:   Sports Basement

Similar Products Used:   None-

Bike Setup:   XL frame. As spec'd. Deore cranks, SLX XTR, derailers and shifters. Sun/Ringle rims, Kendo tires.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by edj a Cross Country Rider from Evergreen, CO

Date Reviewed: September 12, 2011

Strengths:    Bike is agile, quick, and strong. Responsive. Components are of good quality and reliable.

Weaknesses:    My brakes tend to get out of alignment, but that might just be me. Kenda SmBlock 8 are not the greatest for traction, but they are okay if you can reduce tire pressure quite a bit.

Bottom Line:   
I'm very happy with this bike. The first year I owned the bike I rode 50% on paths and the road and it was great for that and 50% on trails in the Boulder area. I just started mountain riding last year and I'm over 60 and I don't think I could have made a better choice for a versatile bike that will keep getting better as I improve.
As I'm riding mostly singletrack now I'm thinking it is time to replace the Kenda's with a grippier tire.
Bike has held up very well through a number of crashes.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Three Sisters

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Littleton Cyclery

Similar Products Used:   I rode many similar hardtails from Specialized and Giant before deciding on this ride.

Bike Setup:   Stock except I put on riser handlebars for fit and Shimano multi directional clipless - I'm a noob and this is my first bike with clipless.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Focimus a Weekend Warrior from Minneapolis

Date Reviewed: September 2, 2011

Strengths:    All around great bike, lightweight, comfortable. Love the Cannondale tool kit. Lefty.

Weaknesses:    Chain. Wide handlebars.

Bottom Line:   
I had been riding the same Giant for 13+ years and it was time to buy a new bike instead of add to the old one. I ride mostly single-track but only what the upper-midwest can offer. My first 29er so I was nervous about the handling. I was amazed at how well it handles and takes the switchbacks with ease. I am most impressed with how light this bike is though I'm coming from a bike about 7-8 pounds heavier. I chose this over the Stumpy due to the overall ride; the C'dale feels better on the lower back. Love the way it wants to fly! The Lefty is very cool, very easy to adjust and soaks up the rough stuff well. The stock chain wasn't so great; seemed to want to suck up any and all dirt and grit and hold it even after washing and was rather noisy.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lebanon Hills

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   Erik's

Similar Products Used:   None. Test rode the Spec Stumpjumper Comp 29er.

Bike Setup:   Stock + Shimano clipless pedals and Enduro BB bearings. Sram chain. Cut 3/4" off either side of bars (maybe more later).

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rwp02 a Cross Country Rider from St. Catharines, ON

Date Reviewed: June 21, 2011

Strengths:    Lefty fork is awesome and laterally stiff, 29" wheels glide over bumps and have a big footprint for starting a climb halfway up a hill, beautiful colour scheme (I have the 2011 white one with the blue stripe), the saddle is comfortable, shifting is crisp, nimble handling, Kenda small blocks are perfect for the bike, push button lockout feature is great for hammering on the flats.

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
WOW! This bike is AWESOME! It just wants to go fast on singletrack. The big wheels roll over bumps effortlessly, and it accelerates like a 26" bike. It corners like it's on rails, and one corner it stuck like glue to the trail where I knew my dually would have skidded out a bit. It is grippy on the steep uphills and smooth on the downhills. I highly recommend this bike for cross county riding and racing. I don't know how it is on really rocky stuff yet. I wouldn't be surprised if the 29" wheels will roll nicely over rocks, too. I see what the 29" craze it about. It just makes sense.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Short Hills

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1900.00

Purchased At:   Liberty Bicycles

Similar Products Used:   Trek Fuel 90 dually, Ironhorse Warrior Comp hard tail (both 26" bikes)

Bike Setup:   Stock with XT pedals. No upgrades necessary.

Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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