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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
Similar Products Used: 09 stumpjumper
Bike Setup: All stock 2012
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!
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!
Similar Products Used: Pacific, mongoose, specialized, giant, K2, Titus.
Bike Setup: The basic flash # 2 !
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?
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bike Setup: XL frame. As spec'd. Deore cranks, SLX XTR, derailers and shifters. Sun/Ringle rims, Kendo tires.
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.
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.
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.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: September 2, 2011
Strengths: All around great bike, lightweight, comfortable. Love the Cannondale tool kit. Lefty.
Weaknesses: Chain. Wide handlebars.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Similar Products Used: Trek Fuel 90 dually, Ironhorse Warrior Comp hard tail (both 26" bikes)
Bike Setup: Stock with XT pedals. No upgrades necessary.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 20, 2010
Strengths: I like everything about this bike, the lefty fork, the components, the hydraulic brakes are very nice.
Weaknesses: none yet
the only problem i had with this bike is that when i bought it i was told i would have a bb30 crank when i got the bike it did not have this crank.. after some headache of making phone calls and talking to different people my new cranks are now being shipped to the bike shop and will be installed as soon as they come in. i have a medium frame and with the crank i have on it, it weighs 26.2 lbs.. i also love that with the lefty you can buy an awesome tool kit that fits down inside you fork, this kit has everything you would need and even has wedge bars to help chage your tires. I ride single track and it feels very solid i like it much better than the fisher and the cannondale 4, the cobia doesnt have hydraulic brakes which are an extreme luxury when going down fast hills with thight turns this bike feels like it will stop as fast as my dirtbike. All the bike i will ever need.. great!