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.
a Cross Country Rider
from Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Date Reviewed: June 2, 2011
Strengths: The travel/weight ratio, specifications, flashy red frame and the fact that I loved Cannondale
Weaknesses: Weak rear linkage/ triangle; - See the bottom line
Really weak FSA chainrings - needed to be replaced after 3 gentle rides; and
Cannondale Customer Service and warrantee delays
I have been a huge Cannondale advocate since I began racing bikes and adventure racing over a decade ago. After a long love affair with my Scalpel, it came time to buy a new bike. The Scalpel served me well even though the needle bearing migration drove me a bit crazy. The Scalpel got me through many miserable and thrilling endurance races but consistently needed a repair or two after every event. I expected this as the bike was intended as an ultra-lite XC monster.
When it came time to replace the Scalpel, I researched the heck out of my choices and decided that I would upgrade to a light all mountain bike...compromising some xc performance for some durability especially because the abuse a bike takes in an adventure race. In the end, the RZ One Fourty Carbon 2 seemed like the best choice...the reviews outcompeted the 120...which was the logical marathon choice.
I purchased the bike late last fall 2010 and got 2 rides in before the snow. Both rides were in town on some mellow single track along the river valley. After a winter of drooling to get out and ride and countless hours on my basement trainer, I rode the carbon 2 to work as soon as the snow cleared from the sidewalks. After the first ride, I cleaned the bike and noticed that the main pivot mount on the rear triangle was cracked. After a few profanities I took a breath and called my bike shop. They confirmed that the bike would likely be covered under warrantee and told me to bring it in. After dropping the bike off, I was told that it would take between 4 weeks and 6 months for Cannnondale to "re-manufacture" the rear triangle..."WHAT - 6 MONTHS! IN CANADA WITHOUT A BIKE AFTER SPENDING FOUR GRAND!". After my bike shop did some negotiating with Cannondale, they told me that they may be able to get a temporary replacement part in the next couple of weeks and I could use that until the rear triangle is re-manufactured. Currently 4 weeks without my bike and counting!
I am very frustrated with Cannondale as they have not returned my emails. I am really concerned with the strength and durability of the new Cannondale products and am desperately hoping that the bike is close to bomb proof with the new rear triangle. Needless to say, my expectation is that a bike fo this value and quality should not fail in the first 3 rides and that no bike company should take 6 months (of a 4 month Canadian summer) to get a warrantee repair complete unless they are going to give me a similar bike as a demo while the work is taking place.
Honestly, I am hopefull that my problems will end and after I ride this bike for an entire summer and perhaps once I put it through its paces and perhaps a few races, I will be a strong Cannondale advocate again.
Favorite Trail: Back Door & Killer Bees - Canmore Nordic Center
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Purchased At: Wipe Out
Similar Products Used: Cannondale Scalpel w. Lefty
Gary Fisher Joshua XO - yup a long time ago!
Bike Setup: Stock as per specs - for the time being
a Cross Country Rider
from Fayetteville, AR
Date Reviewed: August 7, 2010
Strengths: Long-travel, supple Fox suspension, Lefty fork, BB30 bottom bracket and light weight.
Weaknesses: Morse grips and squeaky suspension linkage joints.
After switching to the SRAM XX drivetrain it weighed 24 pounds. With proper pressure in the shock and spring preload set in the Fox Lefty the suspension felt a little soft initially. However, once on te trail it was way more efficient than I thought it would be. I climbed as well as my Trance but felt smoother on the descents. The combination of the carbon frame and carbon Lefty makes for a very stiff front end. I can point the wheel where I want it to go and it will follow that line without wandering off course. The XX 2x10 is the drivetrain I have been looking for. Quick, crisp shifts to all cogs in back with the fastest front shifts out there. I did have to loosen the lower swing link and throw some lube in the joints as it was squeaking. Otherwise an excellent bike that is worth every penny.
Bike Setup: standard from shop have changed tyres to rocket rons with sram xo running gear
a Cross Country Rider
from Centennial, CO, USA
Date Reviewed: February 2, 2010
Strengths: Lightweight(my XL bike weighs only 25.8 lbs), dialed geometry, Lefty fork with Fox RLC
Weaknesses: XC3 SI stem not stocked for XL frame, makes for fitment issues.
This is a great all around bike. I own a Specialized Enduro SL Pro that I had been riding that was overkill for cross country. This bike tackles all but the scariest drop offs with ease(I still need to get used to it or change the stem). On the pavement you can feel some bob, but the Propedal takes care of that. Out on the trail, this bike pedals very well and smooths out the bumps. This is just what I was looking for, a long travel bike that I can still climb to the top of the mountains.
Similar Products Used: Cannondale Gemini, Santa Cruz Blur, Cannondale 29er (with Lefty)
Bike Setup: Rize Carbon Two Frame with Race Face Next Carbon cranks, XTR shifters-derailiurs-pedals, Easton EC90 Zero seatpost, Easton Monkeylite XC bar, Avid Elixer CR brakes 160 mm f/r, Sette Rez Saddle, Stock wheels and tires(with Stans)
a Weekend Warrior
from Philadelphia, PA, USA
Date Reviewed: November 8, 2009
Strengths: Uphill or down, the bike loves them both. The 5" of travel is just a ton of fun and inspires a lot of confidence when blasting downhill. The Lefty Max 130 with RLC is extremely adjustable and works very nicely when dialed in.
Weaknesses: My bike came with Avid Elixir CR brakes. Excellent modulation and power, but they are starting to squeak and groan. This is especially true after they warm up.
I only have a few rides in on this bike and I'm already loving it. It really is a great all around bike. It works well biking on pavement from downtown Philly out to the local trails. I never used the lockout on previous suspensions simply because they did just that, turned off the suspension completely. The Rize has firmer setting to eliminate pedal bob but still responds to impacts making the system a value add in my book. Being able to dial in how firm I want the lockout on the front end goes a long way at customizing the ride I want out of it.
Turning the shocks back to their softer setting the bike eats up bumps both small and large keeping the bike well connected and under control. Downhills are so much more fun now with a new sense of control, comfort, and confidence.
After a long ride over all types of terrain my body doesn't feel beat up like it used to. It literally makes my old 2005 Team Scalpel feel like a hardtail.
If it wasn't for the noisy brakes, it would be five Flamin' Chilis across the board.
from Fort Collins, CO, USA
Date Reviewed: August 7, 2009
Strengths: Light, responsive, feels solid, climbs well
Weaknesses: Lefty doesn't have quick release
This bike weighs about 22.5 lbs and has 5.5 inches of travel. That's remarkable and the frame and fork are very stiff. It climbs really well and really makes one feel in control. The lefty fork is a bit of a pain without a quick release mechanism but functions very well and hasn't had any repair issues despite a lot of abuse. I never use the lock-out and there probably is a bit of bob when really hammering but a smooth cadence makes it somewhat of a non-issue for me. Overall, this bike inspires confidence and is great for racing, trail riding or exploring.
Similar Products Used: Titus FS, Niner, Gary Fisher Superfly
Bike Setup: Rize 2 frame with Rize 1 components
a Cross Country Rider
from Palm Coast Fl.
Date Reviewed: December 9, 2008
Strengths: Very light. Handles and jumps well..
Weaknesses: So fare haven’t found any.
I had a Stumpjumper and still have a cannonade 29er lefty and love having the option of the two. But this Rise Carbon is the combo of the two with is great. The rise climes like the 29er but take the drops and jumps like champ. I will still ride the 29er as my back up...
These are just a few of the goodies on this awesome bike...
Frame Rize Carbon BB30, 130 mm
Fork Lefty Max Carbon w/Fox RLC, 130 mm
Rear Shock FOX Float RP23
Rims Mavic Crosstrail UST
Maxxis Rendez, 26 x 2.1" UST
Crank Shimano XT, 22/32/44
Front Derailleur Shimano LX
Rear Derailleur SRAM X-0
Shifters SRAM X-9 Trigger
Brakeset Avid Juicy Carbon, 160/160 mm
Brakelevers Avid Juicy Carbon
I just bought a Rize 2 Carbon for a very good price. It is new, just been sitting in the store for a couple of years. I have a couple of questions if anyone can answer...
To set the sag on the Lefty 130 Max Fox Carbon, am I right in thinking you have to strip the top end down to tighten or releas ... Read More »
I am about ready to pull the trigger on a new 2009 new Cannondale, some pretty good deals to be had right now.
I live in Park City, UT and ride 3 days a week, nothing to technical, some single track stuff, take it kind of easy.
I was able to ride a Rize 2 which I really liked but then did some re ... Read More »
just got back from the lbs doing a few tweaks to my new size L rize carbon 2---my goal hasnt necessarily been low weight, but i was happy with the results so far: SET-UP: based on various threads on this site im trying pg990 11-32 cassette with an X0 mid cage and and X0 twisties---LOVE this set-up ... Read More »
im pee-ing myself: what do you think of my upgrades/ their credits back to me--
Cannondale Rize 2 Carbon - custom
Cannondale Rize 2
Lefty Max Carb RLC
Stans Arch Rims/ ... Read More »