The Rize is the Swiss Army knife of the trail bike world. It's a bike that brings all-new metalforming technology to the industry, and combines it with carbon-fiber fabrication techniques. It uses a dreamy-riding multi-pivot suspension with 130mm of balanced travel. The means that riders can use it as a do-it-all rig, whether you're riding notoriously gnarly rock gardens in the Northeast or the gently rolling foothills of the inter-mountain West.
I have been riding and enjoying the Cannondale Rize 1 for several months now, and I have gained intimate knowledge and experience from long term testing. The Rize is a new model replacing the Prophet series. But any comparisons to that previous model shouldn’t be made, as the Rize stands head and shoulders above it (and most other trail bikes).When writing about about how well a bike performs, it’s often best to define what the bike is built for, in the first place. Continue reading →
a Weekend Warrior
from BALNEARIO CAMBORIU SANTA CATARINA BRAZIL
Date Reviewed: June 26, 2010
Strengths: LEFTY CARBON, MACIA, PERMITE ABUSOS NAS DESCIDAS, ABSORVE MUITO, FREIOS ÓTIMOS, POSIÇÃO DE PADELAR, CONFORTO E SEGURANÇA
Weaknesses: A SUSPENÇÃO TRASEIRA RP23 FOX, TALVEZ SEJA PRECISO RECALIBRA-LA, POIS PERMITE ALGUM BOB.
A BIKE É MUITO LEVE, ESCALA MUITO BEM, APESAR DE POUCO BOB. É NECESSÁRIO FICAR TRAVANDO E SOLTANDO A SUSPENÇÃO TRASEIRA O TEMPO TODO. A SUSPENÇÃO DIANTEIRA NEM PRECISA TRAVAR. A MINHA VEIO COM PROBLEMA DE LOCK, MAS SERÁ REPARADO NA GARANTIA. A LEFTY 140 É INCRIVEL, POIS ABSORVE IRREGULARIDADES E NÃO DEIXA A DIANTEIRA ESCAPAR. ESTA BIKE É MUITO BOA, ALÉM DE BONITA. RECOMENDO.
Bike Setup: RIZE 1 CARBON 2010 - LEFTY 140MM XT - XTR - LARSEN 1.9, AVID HYDRAULIC.
a Cross Country Rider
from Moab, UT
Date Reviewed: September 15, 2009
Strengths: Crazy light yet burly enough to ride Moab, lots of great suspension travel and good lockouts for fork and shock, excellent components, sweet looks, very nice balance, pedals like a feather . . . . did I say light?
Weaknesses: System Integration (proprietary components), Maxxis Rendez tires, rubber gasket on the locking nut of the front hub
This year my goal was to go very light on my little bike (cross country/trail) and my big bike (all mountain/free ride). At only 24 lbs and change, the Rize Carbon1 is almost 4 pounds lighter than my last little bike!! And how does that translate on the trail? Amazing! Before I bought mine, I read one review of the bike where a guy said, referring to the light weight of the bike, “ This is cheating.” The first time I let my buddy, Tim, try it, he said (without any prompting), “This is cheating.” The light weight combined with the bikes’ pedaling and balance is like having lower gears than normal on long climbs. For instance, this summer I rode the Crest Trail including the section called Puke Hill (and it’s called that for a reason). You climb for a long way at an elevation of about 9500’ and I remember in times past, suffering greatly on the steep, loose final section – sometimes so weary that I lost traction and just stopped. I won’t say I wasn’t sweating and working hard this time, but on the Rize, it all seemed manageable. When I got to the top, I just rode on with no need to stop (or puke). Another example where this bike shines would be the Slickrock Trail in Moab. At the end of the trail, I was pleasantly surprised by how fresh my legs felt. Now I almost feel guilty when I ride tough climbs with my friends – almost. I’m a 62 year old guide for Rim Tours in Moab and when I’m leading a bunch of young hammer heads around that terrain, I’m really glad to have a secret weapon that keeps me riding fast and with lots of energy.
When standing and thrashing the pedals, the suspension will move. However, the lockout features on the suspension work really well. Therefore, on long, steep climbs with only small bumps, I flip the RP23 shock to its #2 setting and the bike climbs like a hard tail, yet absorbs bumps. When you ride pavement and shut off the suspension on most full suspension bikes, they feel like big heavy hunks of unwieldy metal. The Rize feels almost like a road bike – it zips down the street with authority.
OK the bike is light, but is it too dainty to handle the big rocks and rough ledges in Moab and the Wasatch Mountains? No way! I weigh 135 lbs. and set up the Lefty Max Carbon fork with a little more air than recommended to reduce brake dive on the steep downhills and softened up the shock to be sure I was getting plenty of travel on the big stuff. That works like a charm for me. I bombed down the Amasa Back trail on it and it was solid. I flew down 3000’ of vertical on the steep, rocky Mill D trail from above Desolation Lake to Reynolds Flat and the bike took all the rough, techy rock sections in stride. It’s incredible how much the big bumps are smoothed out by this feather weight bike with 5.1” of travel and the shock, though running with a little less air than recommended, has never bottomed out. I tore down the new Baby Steps downhill and it was like riding in my easy chair – complete control and a total blast!
Were there any negatives? Sure. The main problem I had was the proprietary nature of the system integration. For instance, though the light and stiff Cannondale crank set pedaled very well, its straight shape would not allow it to fit properly into the crank slots on the bike racks on top of the tour vans. In fact, when the bike was relatively new, it fell out of the rack and got a paint scratch rubbing against another bike during transport. I had to buy a Cannondale BB adapter kit and some XT cranks to get the bike to ride in the rack. Of course, no problem if you don’t use that type of rack. The integrated, one piece stem and steerer tube works great and is super light. The only problem is, the riding position I prefer is more upright and I usually just have the shop cut my fork steerer tube a couple of inches longer than normal. The integrated stem/steerer doesn’t allow that and since Cannondale doesn’t make a one piece system with a longer steerer tube, I had to buy a separate steerer tube and attach a 90 mm stem to it (I wanted a 70 but was told there was not one available which meant I had to slide my saddle a bit forward). It is no longer one piece and is a bit heavier. Again, no problem if you are like most folks and prefer a more standard cross country riding position. I also chose to use a high rise carbon bar to make my position a little more upright and chose a width of 27” to give me more leverage in the big rocks. The Fizik saddle that came with it was OK, but I am a fan of WTB with a nice love channel, so I swapped out the saddle. Also, I have been very happily riding Time pedals for years and while the Crank Brother Candy’s would probably have worked fine, I didn’t want to change out my cleats – besides I would still have had Time’s on my big bike and it makes more sense to run just one type of cleat. There is a small rubber gasket on the locking nut of the front hub that is supposed to prevent dirt and grime from entering the axle area. Problem is, it binds on the hub and causes friction as well as a loud squeak. The shop said they couldn’t fix it and when I called Cannondale they said it was no big deal and I would get used to it (not my favorite response). I simply took it out and service the hub more often. Works fine. The Maxxis Rendez 2.1 tubeless tires are not my favs. If you are riding hard surface single track or slickrock, they are great, fast tires, but if you get on loose stuff, forget them. They just don’t grip. The bike’s lightness, though a blessing, is also something you have to get used to in really tough technical spots. It feels a bit twitchy when going slow and negotiating rough terrain. I was used to doing a bit of man handling with my other bikes, but the Rize takes a more subtle touch – it’s not a bad thing, just something that has to be learned.
Would I recommend this bike? Absolutely! It pedals like a feather yet is burly enough to handle Moab. When I first got the carbon frame bike, I babied it until I realized that you don’t have to. I’ve never noticed any substantial lateral flex, due in part to the one piece metal bottom bracket design Cannondale is using. Recently, I was playing on the incredibly fun slickrock on Bartlett Wash and not paying close enough attention, when I suddenly saw that I was riding off a section of wall that was undercut. Unable to stop, I rolled off the ledge and dropped 6 or 8 feet to a good tranny and the bike took it right in stride. I was like, “Whoa! Who knew this bike could handle that so easily?” I’ve been riding this bike for 6 months and am still getting very pleasantly surprised with what it can handle.
Similar Products Used: Ellsworth Epiphany, Santa Cruz Blur LT & LT2
Bike Setup: Rize Carbon 1, with Shimano XT 170 mm cranks, 2” longer steerer tube, 90 mm stem, WTB Laser SLT saddle, Easton Monkey Light 27” hi rise carbon handle bar, Time XS pedals, Maxxis Ignitor 2.1 tubeless on the back
from League City, TX
Date Reviewed: August 31, 2009
Strengths: Cuts the trails as good or better than my 2003 Scalpel. Has the suspension of a much larger bike. Doesn't have that bottom out feeling 1/2 way into the suspension. This bike gives huge confidence in most any terrain. By far the best bike I've ever owned!!!
Weaknesses: Honestly I haven't found any yet.
I've ridden and owned many bikes over the past 20+ years even a few team XC rigs, This one blows them all away! The F&R suspension once it's dialed in (which takes very little effort) is solid during peddaling, uphill is a breeze and plush when it gets ruff! I've shortened my best times on several of my favorite trails by several minutes. This bike as it sets with ATAC Ti Carbon pedals weighs 24.4 lbs. Knowing what I know now I probably would have paid full price for this bike...it's that good!
Strengths: It feels like the best bike I have ever ridden. Very rigid and capable, sprints like crazy with the pro-pedal on. Lightweight.
Weaknesses: None so far , none anticipated , we will see.
Possibly the best purchase of my life. Makes riding way too fun , I enjoy going uphill now. Get one if you can, awesome bike . I imagine the aluminum versions are just as spectacular depending on components.
Similar Products Used: Other suspension bikes, intense uzzi vpx .
Bike Setup: Fox vanilla 32 15QR , stans flow wheelset , hope mono mini brakes 180mm front 160 rear, xtr rear Der. and shifters, xt front Der. , cannondale 07' hoilowgram crank with 44/29 2x9 set-up , thomson layback masterpiece seatpost , specialized phenom 143 seat , kore race stem , ritchey wcs carbon riser bar , renthal soft grips , stan's raven rear tire 2.2 , continental mountain king 2.4 front. 25.5 pounds on a questionable scale .
a Cross Country Rider
from Goodyear, AZ, USA
Date Reviewed: January 28, 2009
Strengths: It's a Cannondale. Carbon Lefty with PBR, smoothest lefty to date. I've been riding Lefty for 8 years now. The Lefty makes all other forks feel like you're riding with wet noodles are holding your front wheel on. Overall ride quality, stiffness, and efficiency. Climbs like a mountain goat, even if it's not a smooth climb. Descends like it's on rails and soaks up everything I'm brave enough to hit, or hit by accident. HANDMADE IN THE USA!
Weaknesses: I only have one Rize, but more to come.
Rize one with Aluminum front triangle and seatstays. This is by far the best bike I have ever ridden. Mine is a size Large and it weighs 23.8 lbs with the Garmin Edge 705 and pedals installed, YES, that's 23.47 pounds with pedals in a size large without the Edge 705 installed. Nobody else can come close to that for the price or make it right here in the USA by hand. Great job Cannondale, I hope my competition doesn't figure out they should own one too!
Who should buy it:
Anyone seeking the best riding, most efficient, highest quality handmade in the USA 130mm travel bike they've ever swung a leg over.
Who shouldn't buy it:
Anyone I race against. Anyone seeking a bike made in China.
from Gainesville, FL
Date Reviewed: January 11, 2009
Strengths: Feels very light and nimble. Carves turns wonderfully, and is VERY predictable and stable when the tires break loose. XTR brakes work like a dream. The suspension worked great, it soaked up bumps and I didn't notice any bob.
Weaknesses: Maybe just a slightly worn demo bike, but the chain skipped on the cassette a few times, and the shifting wasn't as perfect as some X-O stuff I had ridden erlier that day.
I'm a XC rider who demoed this bike because they didn't have any Scalpels available. I didn't expect to like it, but I fell in love. My overall impression was that the bike just felt FAST! It seemed to take very little effort to haul ass on the thing. Too bad I don't have $6000 laying around :P
Strengths: Quick Handling, Light weight, Geometry, Stiff BB/crank, many others.
Weaknesses: 1st generation frame cracks and fork problems. I knew there may be issues getting a 1st generation bike. Cannondale has excellent customer service.
Slightly low BB.
I bought this bike in september to see if it would be a good endurance race bike and race bike in general. It definetly lived up to that. It may not be a true AM bike but take the 6ft and up wheelie drops out and you have yourself a rediculous rig for riding technical and light enough to run with the silly hardtails. I raced SS for years and know how that is too. Im not sure why I waited so long to race an FS again. The stock tires are awesome for marathoning, however I put on some 2.3 Maxxis ignitors for all purpose riding, training. XTR brakes work well, however they modulate poorly and I HATE the lever feel. Juicy Carbons on there now. I cant say enough of how this bike wants to attack technical decents, climbs, or rock gardens. On long climbs the propedal works great. Id add a bit of pressure (10psi)and slow the rebound a click if you have really long climbs all the time. Has a bit of bob but its fine. The fork came with a ripped seal, which c-dale admitted to having some faults. Mine also had bearing migration so I got a new fork as well as a new frame due to a couple of stress cracks at the headtube and shock mount. Hope this review helps. Bottom Line. Its an incredible bike. I find myself riding it longer and longer evertime I go out.
Bike Setup: Swaped Brakes for Avid carbons, Swaped tires and Have a set of SLRs I use for racing.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: October 12, 2008
Strengths: Demo'd the Rize Carbon 1-Suspension is incredible-tracks well when pedaling through rough stuff and on climbs. Very, very light. Comfortable seating position. Always a plush, yet efficient feeling. Just a great all around machine. I also tried the Scalpel team and I actually rode faster on this bike over the same course.
Weaknesses: Tires were so-so. Sometimes disengaging/engaging the front suspension was not so smooth. SRAM X-Trigger stuff is so-so.
BUY THIS BIKE!!! I can honestly say I have never ridden a more plush, yet efficient bike. Who needs an additional "Brain" when you are genetically superior from birth?
a Cross Country Rider
from Alexandria, VA, USA
Date Reviewed: September 13, 2008
Strengths: super light for 5.1 in travel. Mine is down to 23.8 lbs. Awesome technology with the BB30 bb. the hollogram cranks from c'dale are fantastic!! cant say enough about them. The Lefty PBR(push button lockout) is pretty sweet, not to mention this lefty is only .40 lbs more then the 110mm travel carbon lefty found on c'dales XC race bikes.
Weaknesses: not a fan of XTR brakes switched to juicy ults. needs to be full xtr not a mix.
I got one of the first ones off the line if not the first so i have been using this bike about a month and a half after the offical release of the bike. the first 2 months I had cracked the swing-arm, and the suspension mount. If u notice the mount now has 3 rivets instead of the original 2 that i had. Cannondale replaced these parts super fast with NO hassle, there customer service is great, i have had NO problems since.
Other then that this bike is truly a DO IT ALL bike. you can rip up the mountain, it descends like a down hiller, climbs like a carbon hard tail. You can tear it up on race day I raced an aluminum rush and the very next week i raced my rize and finished 3 minutes better then the previous week.
The technology in the bike is awesome, I believe that cannondale is truly an innovator with the lefty, System Integration, and now the first ones to use the BB30 bottom bracket. The "backbone" of the bike is sweet as it makes the rear end of the bike super stiff, i believe cannondale says its the stiffest yet.
Bottom line is this thing is the "swiss army knife" of bikes on steroids. If your considering buying this bike DO IT. you will fall in love with it on the first ride!
Posted in forum, and transfered...
So, got to ride the new rize carbon 1 and got some good milage on it.
This bike climbs better then my superlight, descends better then... almost any bike I've ever ridden (yes, i've ridden downhill and Freeride bikes, i like more nimble and am not taking big hits. ) jumps well.
it feels stable, yet agile,
responsive, yet confidence inspiring.
I didn't want to love it, as I'm a simple guy and this one has a little too much bling for me.
the reason I was looking...I was interested for the little more travel, and the 68.5 head angle for more forgiveness when jumping and descending fast, with light weight,
it not only had all that on my bike, it pedaled better, was more plush, cornered more accurately, felt more nimble both on the ground and it the air.
all in all, just an amazing bike. first great cdale in awhile IMO, and they have stepped up to the top tier again.
a good friend, ex pro downhiller and talented freerider did the compare, contrast back to back w/ my old bike and said...(pointing at my bike)..."that is mountain biking, and that is cheating!" (pointing at the Rize)
I've now spent a whole summer on it, winning my class (sport AM) at downieville on it (by 25minutes) in the process and beating it up pretty good.
I still love this bike. It works well, is confindence inspiring, w/ the blend of agility playfulness and solidity that is lacking in most. It's a super capable and fun XC race bike though IMO opinion, not a bike for parks and big DH drops. An amazing trail bike, race bike, and perfect for super D's like downieville.
also, i've ridden the mojo a bit as well, and think it's best competition for the rize. it's good and the DW works, but it's not the be all end all people think it is. i still prefer the feel of the modified single pivot rize over the VPPs or the DW.
by the way, Daves speed dream wheels are magic. at around 1500 grams w/ the thru bolt, this set is light fast and still true after more then 10 runs on dville as well as my normal tahoe riding all summer...
Strengths: Smooth ride with a very well engineered lefty PBR fork. It is super light and is amazing on the technical downhills. It is the greatest all around bike i've ridden, even riding on the road with the propedal and the lockout on it is a very easy bike to ride.
Weaknesses: XTR and XT components, it would be better with sram all around, I find it to be much faster and smoother shifting. The rear end doesn't provide as much of a pedaling platform then i had expected it too, even with propedal on.
This is truely the greatest all around bike ever. I would reccomend this bike to any serious mountain biker. Crosscountry hardtail lovers to downhill dual suspension junkies this bike is the greatest compromise. Get it now before you miss out on one of the best bikes you can get.
Strengths: Light weight and PBR mechanism on the Lefty.
Weaknesses: Rear suspension.
I rode this bike for a couple of hours on a demo. The trail was generally well packed, with some rocky areas. The C-dale factory rep set the bike up for sag, etc. knowing my riding style, and exactly what I was going to be riding.
This bike rides like a XC racer with more travel. "All Mountain" means the bike should be able to do everyting WELL--race some XC, downhill, some hucking, climbing vertical and technical maneuvering, but the Rize shows it's just a compromise in all areas. Sure, it's light, but you can get any carbon frame MTB down to around 20lbs these days.
The rear suspension feels primitive in comparison to VPPs (Santa Cruz, Intense), DW Links (Ibis, Iron Horse) and others. It relies heavily on Fox's RP23 to ride as well as it does. Any effort to climb/sprint out of the saddle with Propedal off is met with significant bobbing and energy loss. Engaging Propedal limits this, but prevents the suspension from absorbing trail irregularities as well, decreasing traction. Climbs as well as a hard tail? I think not...unless you are constantly fiddling with the RP23.
Kudos to the PBR mechanism on the Lefty. Engaging/disengaging is very easy, and when it's locked out, it's really locked...zero bob, even when hammering. Fox could learn a lot from this.
It's a shame a company with a reputation like Cannondale's can't put together a TRUE All Mountain bike, and instead splits the category between three frames (Moto, Rize, Prophet). Maybe it's a marketing effort to sell more bikes, but specialization is not what All Mountain is about.
Similar Products Used: Ibis Mojo, Intense 5.5, 6.6, and Spider, Santa Cruz Blurs, various other Cannondales
Bike Setup: XTR pretty much everything, Lefty w/PBR, RP23
a Cross Country Rider
from new zealand
Date Reviewed: June 23, 2008
Strengths: Everything is a strength - but most importantly the way it rides and feels. Drives like a hardtail but floats like dream. What weight ! Stiff as, Cranks (wonderful), Steering / Front end in general ..plenty of travel. This must be the perfect bike - a complete package....
Weaknesses: tyres - not suitable wet , loose (otherwise fine)
Continental Mountain King 2.4
Who needs a heavy monster when you can have one of these ?
Strengths: This review is for the Rize 3 with the Lefty. I upgrade to this bike from a Cannondale SVA 1000 that is 10 Years old. Simply put, this bike flattens my trail riding substantially. Climbs great and is very stable riding down loose, rocky rubble. I have to seek out new riding terrain to effectly challenge myself.
Weaknesses: The Lefty is a great fork, shock. I am expecting this part to be somewhat high maintanence. But, I love the feel of this setup. Clearance is great, but the long travel of the suspension still allows you to chew up the gears on the large, front chain ring.
This is Cannondale's 5th or 6th generation full suspension. Big improvement from my much older SVA 1000. Great for my style of riding: cross country, all mountain technical. No big drops for me any more.