from burbank, ca
Date Reviewed: August 6, 2007
Strengths: The upside down lefty is very responsive and handles great.
Weaknesses: Rear derailer could not be fixed no matter how many techs works on it, The lefty rebound got stuck on my first ride and cannondale would not even respond to my emails and the representatives did not even care. The bike is for sale and I am not buying another cannondale again.
This is great corners like crazy and is great ascending bike. The only problem I see with cannondale is thier customer service. They need to backup the products they sell.
a Cross Country Rider
from Petaluma, CA USA
Date Reviewed: March 9, 2006
Strengths: This is the bike that can do everything! It climbs well, goes down the hill with unmatched percision and flies over anything you can throw at it. My favorite feature of the bike are the Lefty Nay-sayers: it when some doubter sees the Lefty and says something like; "that thing don't work" or my personal favorite "why don't they make a righty?" They eat their words when I go rolling down the crappy line right by them in control with a huge grin on my face.
Weaknesses: If the rear shock isn't set up right the bike rides like it's too small. Take the time to set it up properly. If you're testriding one insist that the shop takes the time to set it up. The guidelines provided in their literature are right on. Price... The 4000 is the least value concience in their line. If i was doing it again I'd get a 2000 and pony up the $800 for Crossmax SL's. It's also a little heavy for a expensive bike. But see the set up...
Let's put it this way; I own a bike shop, I can buy any bike I want (because my wife lets me) I've ridden most of the bikes out there and this is the one that I purchased. I've never been more happy with a bike.
Similar Products Used: Rocky Mountain Element 90, Specialized Enduro S-Works, Litespeed Niota, Ellsworth Truth.
Bike Setup: I set this up in the least cost effective way. I should have started with a 2000 and put different wheels on it...again I took all the SRAM off and hung XTR dual control with the XTR disc brakes and rear der. The rake on the bars was a little funky so that went away for a WTB TXR riser. The top tube was a little short for me so a Thompson set back post went on.. I also took off the meaty, overweight Maxxis tires and opted for some Specialized S-Works RollX 2.1 2bliss, and shaved 1 1/4 lbs off the WHEELS! huge weight savings in the right place. The bike tips the scales at 27ish lbs.
a Cross Country Rider
from Gaborone Botswana
Date Reviewed: January 25, 2006
Strengths: downhill capability makes this bike a must for the serious XC rider. The Lefty and the geometry of the bike make it a class act in the XC races.Having just completed the 4 day Sabie Experience XC race I can vouch for the all day riding capability of the bike.Changed the tires for 2.1 Larsens, and the rolling capability improves no end.
Weaknesses: I have not been that pleased with the high end Scram rear derallier set up.I have had to have the bike tinkered with before most rides, and during the ride there is always some gear related problems to solve. I ride the bike 4 - 5 days a week and as such the unit gets a good work over.I am no mechanic, and it does need some skill to be in shape at all times. The cabling sucks as well and for the price Cannondale should have had top grade teflon cable housing on the entire rig.
I have really been considering changing the bike for a new Rush, as I am more of a XC racing enthusiast, then a once a weekend "free rider".But at nearly 50 years old now I think that the comfort zone given by this bike outweighs the potential faster ride of the Rush. I also found out that there is little weight difference between the 2 bikes anyway. After the 4 day Sabie Experience MTB race i have come to realise that this is my XC bike for life.
Bike Setup: Standard but with 2.10 Larsen TT tires
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 5, 2005
Strengths: I am heavy rider (240 lbs) and I was looking for a rear suspension that could hold withstand the stresses of my weight. I think that the Prophet's rear suspension is the best there is for me. I was concerned that 4-link would flex and not hold up. I also like that the Cannondale is "Made in the USA"
Weaknesses: None noted
I think that it is the best full suspension for the heavier rider, and maybe the best for all riders. Cannondale put a lot of engineering into the rear suspension and it works. I can now climb hills that I was not able to do with my hard tail.
a Cross Country Rider
from Lot's of Towns, USA
Date Reviewed: March 26, 2005
Strengths: This bike is all about strengths; strong XC’er, strong downhiller, strong freerider, and it does all that weighing only 27.5 lbs. That’s the beauty of this bike; it's strong in every category and is beefy enough to take punishment if you use it to jump over stuff. Like no other ‘all-mountain’ it’s got superb balance and control and very low unsprung weight due to the Lefty and single pivot design. And there’s a lot to be said about the long radius rear swingarm; it makes the whole bike feel longer on downhills without actually having a longer wheelbase.
Weaknesses: If you’re a neurotic weenie about weight or a perfectionist for peddling efficiency then this probably isn’t your bike. This is not a dedicated XC racer; rather it’s the Swiss army knife of mtb-ing. Maybe in a year or two they’ll build this model with an inertial valve system or something better, but if the efficiency of this bike is compromised now it’s only because it’s built to be strong in other categories including comfort and control.
The concept is quite elegant, i.e.; simple and refined. Some people might prefer a more complicated bike with a 4-bar linkage rear-end and a parallelogram fork, but that’s what every company is building these days. The concept is unique and innovative and perhaps a bit politically incorrect; so if you hate it you’re probably too much of a conformist. And if it’s not efficient enough for you then your probably either a poor spinner or not very fit and therefore you can’t afford to ride a bike that shines in so many areas besides peddling efficiency.
Bike Setup: I love the new S-Ram—dependable crisp shifting and the design makes Shimano seem dated. The Cross-Max wheels make a noticeable difference in un-sprung weight—instead of ‘thump-thump’ they make a ‘pitter-patter’ sound that makes them seem like they ‘float’ over bumps. As for the Maxis High Rollers; I think they are just fine—I blow through snow and sloppy mud that would clog most other tires, some say they are too heavy but the superior all weather/terrain grip is worth it! I upgraded the stock 3-way Swinger to a 4-way because it wasn’t compliant on small bumps without also bottoming out on big drops. The 4-way’s got progressive dampening on the last 50% of travel so you can have both plush compliance and big-hit control—BTY the Lefty comes with a ‘4-way’ adjustment in the front, why not have a 4-way in the rear too?
a Weekend Warrior
It's very easy: I rode the same old friendly route, climbing the first hill in 31 minutes compared with my best ever time of 34. Maybe 'twas the adrenaline of riding my new jewel...mmm. Then I dropped down the hill sitting in my chair (I will suggest to give as an optional gadget a TV remote control: the sensation for butt and back is the same as being sat on your sofa watching your favorite movie). No problems with climbing the following hill in the mud and dropping down in the middle of a snowstorm. I changed the wheelset: that allowed me to pay less without jeopardizing the overall performance and the crankset to save extra money. I gave my Kona back and a tear dropped down my cheek while stepping out the shop-door. Already forgotten.
Bike Setup: Stock except wheelset (Change Crossmax with 819) and crankset (change FSA carbon with Shimano XT)
a Cross Country Rider
from Newport Beach
Date Reviewed: February 18, 2005
Strengths: Perfectly balanced travel, Lefty and SPV shocks - very active with no bob unless pounding out of the saddle, frame stiffness and neutrality, quick freeride/XC geometry adjustment, choice of paint jobs, weight.....Lefty haters listen - this fork is so damn stiff. Go into your C'dale dealer, rest a twin crown forked bike upside down, feet on the handlebars so they dont move and twist the wheel side to side - a lot of flex. Now do the same with a Dale - virtually no flex at all. Combine this with the plushness and adjustability of 6 inches of travel at such a light weight and this fork just blows away the competition. Just because no other manufacturers aren't doing this it doesn't mean they woudn't if C'dale hadn't patented the design!
Weaknesses: PRICE! Unless you are buying the 600 you are making a loss and Cannondale are making a Prophet. Buy the frame and custom build or better still, buy the 600 (for the same price as the frame alone!) and get free components and a lefty - then upgrade as desired!
This is one of the best all round freeride/XC frames on the market but go the custom route for value for money if you want a high end bike. Cannondale have specced the bikes well for all round performance and durability but if you are not a SRAM fan or want to save some weight you can do so for no extra cost if you custom build. The Prophet is a huge step up from the Jekyll.
Similar Products Used: Marin, Orange, Santa Cruz, Specialized, Giant, GT, Trek, Intense
Bike Setup: Custom built around Prophet frame - I was going to buy the 4000 with several component upgrades and figured that for $5K I could spec the bike much higher than the 4000. This is an expensive bike - you see, this is why Cannondale called the bike the "Prophet" only they spelt it wrong so as not to be too obvious. Whilst Cannondale don't advertise the fact, you can buy a frame in the colour of your choice through your dealer for $1,500. I did just this and spec'd my ultimate lightweight freeride setup: Lefty Max Carbon, C'dale stem, Answer PropTaper bars, Odi bolt on grips, Thomson seatpost, Flite TT saddle, XTR shifters, cranks, rear mech, cassette, XT front mech (XTR doesn't do the req'd E-type F mech), BB7 brakes, Mavic Crossmax wheels, Hutchinson Python tires and Ti eggbeaters - all this for $5,000. It's a large frame and weighs in at 26 lbs.
from Cow Country, NY, USA
Date Reviewed: February 2, 2005
Strengths: Light, stiff, strong, good looking package! O.S. bars rock. Galvanized finish is key, good looking, and no dorky Prophet dude on my toptube!
Weaknesses: Not really a weakness, but the Maxxis tires are PIGS! Change them, and dump a bunch of weight.Carbon cranks already have some rub through, hope this is not a long term issue. I just can't get used to the Sram shifters, I want my XTR paddles back, and the larger thumb paddle flexes badly under rapid strong shift efforts. They work great, the ergonomics are just not doing it for me.
This bike is everything everyone says and then some extra as well. I have used it for about a month, too much snow now, so we ski! The setup that they recommend for the rear works well, but I have found that about 40 psi less in the main, and 20 psi more in the SPV make the bike much plusher, while still being very efficient. If you own one,try it, you'll like it! I recently put a 5th Element on the back, and have found it to be a very nice upgrade. The platform on the Manitou is very stiff, and crisp, and while this is not at all bad, it does tend to cause the bike to "sit up" more in it's sag. The 5th's platform is softer, with a more rounded edge, so you feel it less as you move in and out of it, and you sit farther in the sag, so the bike feels less top heavy. The SPV in the front is great, if you needed to have it more controlled, I never had a big issue with the previous Lefty Max, but change is inevitable, and small bump performance is sacrificed to make way for SPV. I set mine at the minimum possible, and it is quite nice at that point, still less sensitive though. Progressive had to cut the mounting hardware for me, so it is now in their system, if you wish to try one out. So far the stock valving seems to work, time and ride will tell though. Please note, I am in no way saying that the Manitou is a bad shock, it makes this bike soooo much more efficient than the SPV Jekylls, it's scary.The out of saddle climbing/sprinting on this bike is incredible as well, I was shocked the first time I stood up, I am so used to the squat from a Jekyll, that it floored me. One last thing, the saddle, a Fizik Gobi, just disappered underneath me, I forget it's there, and if you have ever hated a saddle, you know how much praise that is, go buy one...today!
Bike Setup: Stock, except for tires, and now, a 5th Element in the back.
a Weekend Warrior
from Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Date Reviewed: February 1, 2005
Strengths: Climbs like a hard tail, decends like a downhiller, Simplicity no lockout levers, perfectly balanced, component spec, Easy to adjust geometry.
One of the bikes main strengths is its simplicity you just get on it and ride. Not worried about mechanical or electric lockouts.
I thought the SPV would not work with a 100 kilo rider but it climbs out of the saddle like a hardtail I’m very impressed. The decent capability of this bike through steep twisting rough trails is outstanding.
I was out riding with a group of friends on a mix of hardtails and duallies, we were descending on this rough as guts flattish trail with deep pot holes and large rocks. So to get any good speed up you had to pedal hard. The hardtialers were out of the saddle and struggling to pedal they slowed at 30kph. The other guys on duallies topped out at 45kph. Me on the Prophet 55kph in the saddle eating up all the big bumps I was aiming the bike at the big holes to see if it would get me out of the saddle or get sketchy but it didn't it wanted more. Dropping the Prophet into rock gardens and technical steep sections that would have spat me off my Jekyll, or forced me to think twice are not a problem anymore. There is no question I’m faster and more competent technically on this bike. The Cannondale Prophet 4000 is a great bike if you want a true all mountain bike then this is it.
Which bike would you recommend.
Or should i just buy a brand new bike in that price range?
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