Strengths: Uphills- The hatchet drive smothers any pedal bob and the bike hops up and over I need it to. Rocks the uphills.
Downhills- I run a lyrik which is the limiting factor, but I raced this bike downhill in Colorado and New England for two seasons and it bombs down the mountain. If your fork can handle the frame will have no problem. The rear hatchet drive is one of the smoothest suspension systems I've ridden on.
Weaknesses: The base weight is a little heavy, but once your on it and have the wheels turning others have said it feels lighter than expected.
This is my 4th year on the bike. It's a true do it all bike and I use it now as my XC rig and enduro. If you want a bike that can haul butt around your local trails and handle any jumps and drops you find there this is it. Burly enough to handle a decent amount of freeride and 90% of downhill trails. Can't say enough about this bike.
Bike Setup: I'm running a 1x9 drivetrain with shimano UST tubless wheels (Kenda Nevegal 2.35 front and 2.1 rear). I have a DHX Air 4.0 in the rear and an 09' U-turn Lyrik on the front and the bike handles like a dream. I run crankbrothers mallets for pedals.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: September 8, 2012
Strengths: Built like a tank. Looks the part as well as performs. The bike is a blast to ride and can handle almost anything you toss her way.
Weaknesses: As some mentioned. The saddle..the stick one sucked. I have the carbon moto and even it is heavy. I have not found climbs to be impossible but it will test your guts...this is a bike that if you ride xc with you have to change your riding to suit the bike..easy up...bomb down.
I right this review now as I wish Cannondale had left it in the line up. It is one of the best bikes I have ever owned and is still my favorite bike to ride. The thing handles techy stuff with no problems. Bombs the down hill stuff. It climbs well with some adjustments. I switched mine to a 2x10 drive train and that helped with hills. Slapped a KS seat post on her and some Sun Ringle wheels. I have ridden this bike harder and treated it like crap at times and it just begs for more. I had the Lyric reworked and now it performs great. I have had no issues with the rear shock but do run more air than suggested. If you ever have a chance to snag one and want a do all rig..grab it..it is a classic!
Strengths: The 160mm of travel is a great after several years of riding bikes in the 110-140 range. Super smooth over all terrain. The rear hatchet drive linkage is very beefy. This bike just has a big feel.
Weaknesses: The Lyric is not the best. Slow to respond and not as responsive as other forks I ride.
Switched out the DHX shock, heavy DTSwiss wheels and went with a 1x9 drivetrain. Dropped a lot of weight and this bike climbs great for a 32 pounder. Doesn't feel like that weight while climbing and is a lot of fun to ride.
Bike Setup: Mavic Crossmax ST wheels with Schwalbe Nobby Nics
from Boston, Ma, USA
Date Reviewed: July 13, 2010
Strengths: Very light for how much travel it has. Short chainstay good for jumping and turning.
Weaknesses: Not the greatest for pedaling up steep technical climbs. DHX air shock isnt the best. reccomend you put atleast 60% more air than what they reccomend, i havent gone out on a ride yet where i havent used almost all of the rear travel.
Great bike for the downhiller that wants a xc bike to go pretty much anywhere. Especially for under 2000$, this bike was a steal. Have done lots of jumping, climbing, downhill/freeride stuff, without hesitation. Have gone really fast down semi-technical terrain with out any problems.
Similar Products Used: Had a 2008 demo 7, and have a 2006 stumpjumper FSR. This bike is exactly in between the two. although it can handle pretty much anything both those two could, except massive drops and really fast rock DHs (like the demo 7) or really steep technical climbs (like the FSR). which is as expected
Bike Setup: RockShox Lyric fork, fox dhx 4 air shock.
a Weekend Warrior
from Greenville, South Carolina
Date Reviewed: December 24, 2009
Strengths: The Moto 4 is extremely stable and well balanced, with the CG dead center of the front triangle. Many XC riders accustomed to their "flickable" lightweight rigs will at first find the Moto rather "inert." But this stable quality is a strength in a 160mm travel bike. Speaking of strength, the alloy Moto (all models are almost half alu. anywho)seems well-nigh indestructible. I collided with a Prius at the trailhead the other day and totaled the Toyota but the Moto came out fine. (Had I hit head on, the Moto would have simply surmounted the car and dropped harmlessly off the hatch.) Speaking of hatches, the "Hatchet Drive" in back provides the smoothest travel I can imagine in what is essentially a single-pivot design.
Weaknesses: Cushy but cheap Cannondale saddle (switched to my trusty Fizik Arione); Crank Bros Smarty pedals are not really a good spec for the Moto; FSA alloy XC handlebar is about six feet wide (switched to Answer Carbon Pro Taper); Cannondale Grind grips are cheap and actually harder than the FSA alloy bar underneath; Moto 4 is not a svelte rig (when facing a long climb, just sit down and allow erosion to do her work).
A tremendously fun, confidence-inspiring all-mountain/free-ride bike. And made in the USA (the last of so many, I'm afraid).
Similar Products Used: I demo'ed a Kona Stinky that weighed as much as my old Crown Victoria, same appliance-white color, too.
Bike Setup: Stock (except see above).
a Cross Country Rider
from Marin, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: December 13, 2009
Strengths: Extremely well built. Good geometry for aggressive cross country into downhill.
Weaknesses: 5 or 7 lbs heavier than your buddie's bike, so get in better shape.
This is a beefy bike, likely to last forever. It's extremely well made for the price paid. I've ridden it hard for almost a year now and have had no trouble with anything (short of a bashed front derailleur at northstar, easily fixed). The Moto 4 has good geometry for downhill, much better than comparable XC's or All Mtn's from Intense, Specialized or Santa Cruz. You feel much less trapped in a "cockpit". When things are moving fast and getting ugly, it's easy to get out over the back like a downhill bike. It climbs well, but does have some extra weight to it. However, I'm happy to roll a few extra pounds uphill - the only reason I climb is to fly down, and this bike is very fast. The fork and shock are well balanced, the Hayes hydraulic brakes have been great (though noisy at low speeds), drive train is super precise and smooth. The only changes I made from stock were to a more aggro front tire and to cut the handle bars narrower (1.5" total).
This is a killer all-around rig for aggressive cross country riders. It has plenty of suspension for rock gardens, drops and nasty root sections. It is very responsive and agile for its size, and so a total blast on single track. Your buddies may move faster up steep hills, but you'll pass them with ease heading down. Avoid this bike if you're timid, out of shape, or don't ride much - it's more than you need. But if you play hard and want a bike that can take it, you have to check this out.
I'm curious what the outside diameter of this is compared to a 26" tire.
For the last couple of months I've been eyeing a FR/AM bike that can handle a 2.5 tire, with the idea that I could eventually move up to a 2.3 650b...but with the 2.4 around the corner...well...will it fit in the same frame ... Read More »
There are two LBS's up here that have good sales going on. One has the Reign 2 on sale for 2k, and the other has a Moto 4 on sale for the same price. The Moto has the Giant beat on components, but I am worried about the frame design on it. Is my thinking flawed here, should I be worried about the Ca ... Read More »
Got a friend interested in Moto 4, 2009 model available at O2Gear. Is this a good deal or not for the money?
Link is here:
[url]http://www.o2gearshop.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=2_74&products_id=26901[/url]Read More »