from Charleston, WV
Date Reviewed: December 12, 2001
Strengths: Stiff frame, P-Bone shock adds adequate travel on both uphills and descents.
I'm also a trials rider, so this bike rocks as both a trials rig and race bike. The crankarms arm was slightly weak when it comes to trials, but an upgrade works wonders. Racing wise, I feel comfortable doing ghetto-style east coast switchbacks on this rig, and it dances through the woods as fast as you want it to. Trialsinners, this is Cannondale's perfect bike for you, and all you aspiring racers, learn to climb and descend and this bike will not leave you hanging.
Bike Setup: P-Bone headshok, Raceface Crankarms, Shimano Deore Derraillurs and brakes.
a Weekend Warrior
from staten island,N.Y.
Date Reviewed: January 14, 2001
Strengths: hand built U.S. frame, front suspension,
Weaknesses: wheels,front der,shock inners, crank, cramped top tube,no bar ends.
this bike feels and corners like hi-end bike the bike is a little cramped but with a few adjustments of the seat & stem you"ll be allright.the frame is light,stiff and lively but not backbone breakin stiff(I do recomend useing a suspension seatpost on any hardtail)most of the components are cheap but rideable.The only part of the bike that gets a failing mark is the wheelset. They"re pretty light but just do not hold up to offroad rideing.stock headshock was way to bouncy for rideing fast on the trails the upgrade was a good move.the front der sucks. the headshock boot has an annoying sound as the fork ends its travel on big hits.overall this is a fun bike to ride, that you wanna ride hard. it turns and climbs beautifully and decends accurately.this bike is an excellent all purpose bike it even has rack mounts. this is a good bike great frame great feel not so great components, but it's still one of the best if not the best bikes at this price range.
Similar Products Used: specialized, klein, ironhorse,gt.
Bike Setup: 99 f-400 jet black .upgrades:bar ends,dd-60 hydraulically damped shock with lockout,xt crank,coda clipless pedals,xt wheelset,suspension seatpost, fliped the stem
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: November 11, 2000
Strengths: Excellent price for this bike. The store was replacing their Cannondale's with Specialized bikes and had a clearance. The frame is very strong, lightweight, and of course no weld marks. The majority of the stock components are good for entry-level to medium experienced moutain bikers.
Weaknesses: None really. I got what I paid for. The spokes need to be adjusted after some really hard hits to the wheel. Eventaully I will replace a few heavier things like the crank, rims, etc...
Great mountain bike for the price and for my skill level(entry-level - medium). With the right upgraded components this bike should be awesome for an advanced moutain biker. If you'd like more information on this bike just visit this link. http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/usa/99bikes/model-9FS4.html
a Cross Country Rider
from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Date Reviewed: August 24, 2000
Strengths: Frame, fork.
Weaknesses: Components. Some things on this bike are absolutely WAY to heavy. I replaced the handlebars with a cheap pair i found for $5 and that took off about 1lb on the bike. The crankset is pretty much the same as Shimano alivio replacing it with anything will make the bike so much lighter and shift better. The rims are REALLY easy to taco.
I expected more from Cannondale. I can't believe they put something that ressembles a lead pipe on this bike as a handlebar. This is my second review of this bike just to inform people that upgrades on this bike make a world of a difference.
Similar Products Used: Norco Nitro, Norco Rampage.
Bike Setup: XTR rear derailleur, XT front, LX hubs, LX shifters and v-brakes. Sun Rhino-lites
a Weekend Warrior
from Sugar Land, TX
Date Reviewed: June 18, 2000
Strengths: Great frame. I have the Police setup and got an upgraded drivetrain to XTR on front and rear. I got rid of the grip shifters and went with the XTR rapid fire. The silent rear hub is also nice when you are alone on the trails. The bike is super light compared to my work bike (Raleigh M400). I like the tuneable headshok.
Weaknesses: The silent rear hub has a lot of slack in it in low gear, but it's not Cannondale's fault. The bike itself is great.
A great bike for the buck. I don't know if the average Joe can get the police setup, but I like the flat black paint job as well as the silent hub. The only difference in the basic bike is the paint, I think. I've been more than happy with it. With a quick change of tires, its a great patrol or road bike, but can hang with most hardtails off road.
Similar Products Used: Raleigh M400 - if you want to call that similar.
Bike Setup: XTR front & rear drivetrain, XTR rapid fires, got rid of the Town & Country tires and put some knobbys on it, Niterider dual beam light, Shimano SPDs.
a Cross Country Rider
from Ramona Ca USA
Date Reviewed: April 24, 2000
Strengths: The frame is sweet & stiff. The F-400 doesnt look like it does in that picture at all. My F-400 has the team replica paint. People think its a VOLVO.
Weaknesses: Theres quite a few crappy parts on this bike it comes entery level but is upgradable to a worthy race bike. Plan to get a new seat...on a long up hill this seat makes your lower back hurt, the suspension works but makes huffing noises and is very stiff, the front der. sucks, make sure to wrap up the chain stay with wireing tape..onece the chain starts slappin it the paint chips away very rapidly, the pedals also suck, as do the cranks.. im planning to upgrade those soon
Its a sweet bike once its upgraded...if u plan to do races or long rides with out upgrading do not buy this bike!!! Its almost not worth it. Otherwise it works great the steering is sharp and its a good beginner to intermediate bike.
Weaknesses: cranks, BB, front der., brakes, wheel set, grips
Damn good bike for the buck. Frame can hang with just about manuf. out there. You cant even see where the welds start or end! Upgrades are definitely needed though. I think Cannondale robbed a Roadmaster plant, stole all their Weinnman 519's, and threw 'em on the their low end bikes. They should take those damn things back to the Taco Hut because that is about all their worth. Bottom Bracket is no good, but one can live with a crappy front deraulier. I upgraded to some Bontrager Race wheelsets and it felt like night and day out on the trails. I plan to go to xt cranks pretty soon because the generic ones cannondale gives you are mucho heavio. Brakes are so so, but who needs brakes when you have trees!
Bike Setup: upgraded to lx BB, bontrager race wheel set, cateye puter, coda grips and bar ends
from Albany, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: April 11, 2000
Weaknesses: some components
I bought this a commuter bike. The streets around here are dreadful, and I wanted somthing softer than my old steel road bike. The headshok is very nice; much more precise than other low-end front suspensions I tried. The frame is great. Other components are, well...time will tell. The dealer swapped out the nobby tires for some slicks that make for a more quiet and efficient ride. I took off the horrible saddle after about ten minutes and put in my old Ideale leather seat. Now it's a very nice commuter for crummy roads.
a Weekend Warrior
from Trent, SD, USA
Date Reviewed: March 18, 2000
Strengths: 100% suspension lockout on the fly is awesome especially when out of the saddle climbing. Instead of bouncing up and down you actually get somewhere.
WIth the suspension lockout it behaves exactly like a rigid bike. It is much more rigid than my previous bike a 1994 Marin Muirwoods Chrome-Moly.
You won't be dissappointed if you get this bike. I was initially hesitant at the price but now that I have ridden it I am very happy with it. It sat in the garage all winter and last weekend I rode it 28 miles with no problem whatsoever.
I ride it mainly on dirt roads but I take some shortcuts off road. It's nice to lock out the suspension when pushing for speed and then turn it on when things get rough. Once I caked it with mud pretty good and it cleaned up well and rode perfectly after that.
If you want a mix of on-road and off road, this bike is nice. If you are going to ride on bike trails at the park this bike is overkill.
Similar Products Used: 1994 Marin Muirwoods (no-suspension)
Bike Setup: Replaced foam suspension cartridge with oil charged.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: February 2, 2000
Strengths: Headshok, Frame, Geometry,
Weaknesses: Asst. stock parts
Cannondale makes a great bike for the price. I do think that the headshok fork is supperior to all other forks for the price. I have tried riding other bikes in the same price range but all of them do not "feel" right when riding. Very agile geometry is great for tight spaces on trails where I ride, bike moves under me nicely. Just be reminded that this bike is not a downhill bomber, it was made for trails and XC dirt work. Will upgrade components when they break. If you look around, you can find year old models at great prices.
This is an excellent bike for the buck. It could use a few upgrades. My main dissapointment was the front derailuer it's a Shimano Alivio :-| It takes a while to shift gears. The rear derailleur is an LX, i wish it came with an XT. But that's not any thing a little $$$$$$$$ can't fix!!!! -RIDE ON!!
Similar Products Used: Trek 6000 - i hate the judy and the bike in general i could tell the craftmenship wasn't as good (if you get a chance look at the weld job!!) UGLY!!
Bike Setup: CAAD2, P-Bone M
a Weekend Warrior
from Fremont, CA
Date Reviewed: December 17, 1999
Strengths: great frame-wildberry p bone m headshok value
great bike! i really like the way it performs. i had a C'dale M300se so this is step up. it was b/n the 99 f400 or the 00 f300 but i liked the way the f400 felt, plus it looked better and i like the old logo better than the new one!
Similar Products Used: Schwin Moab 2 - Does not match up to this baby. Cannondale F500 - This is practically the same bike.
Bike Setup: CAAD2 frame, P-bone M, LX
a Cross-Country Rider
from Charlotte, NC
Date Reviewed: October 28, 1999
Strengths: Great great great great frame. Agressive and light-weight. Headshok is smooth and comfy. Components are not any better than wha somet other bikes will have in this price range, but they're better than many. SACHS chain, nice touch. Nice rims, tires.
Weaknesses: Non-clipless pedals. Heavy cranks. Hubs, front deraileur could be better.
For this price range, only the Gary Fisher came close, but my local Cannondale bike shop (Bicycles East, if you're in Charlotte, they're the best) had the bike for $660, and it was critical that I get the bike for less than $700, so that gave me breathing room enough to look at upgrades. Long and short, though, best deal at this price range, with LX rear deraileur (won't get any better for $700), nice Judy-class shock, etc. etc. etc. There were a couple of things that made this better than initial purchase. I wanted clipless pedals, and the guys at Bicycles East offered to cut me a nice deal on pedals and shoes when I was ready to upgrade. Second, I got a Medium-sized frame, just a little small for me (the Large was way too big, though), and the short little stem they include just didn't help. So the guys at B.E. called Cannondale directly, got me a much longer stem at less of an angle, and I had it on before I ever took it on the trail. Nice job by the bike shop and Cannondale to get that done for me.I should add that the bike has performed flawlessly over the past few months. It corners exceptionally well, the shock absorbs all of the small bumps that can kill your hands with some of the longer-travel forks (such as the z2 BAM, which my riding buddy uses), it climbs really well, and is very fast. But, just like any Aluminum frames, you may want to look into a suspension seatpost, because it'll hammer your butt/spine like mad. The saddle that comes on it is quite plush and comfy, and that helps somewhat, but I've replaced that with one that's a little less so, and I notice the rigidity moreso now.Final word: If you're in the $700 price range, look briefly at the Specialized, look at the GT if you're big (I'm only 150lbs), look at the Gary Fisher, and look at the Cannondale. I chose the Cannondale because it fits my riding style, and it mystically felt right. It was the perfect choice for me, it's a great ride.
Similar Products Used: Manufacturers I tried (test rode) before I bought the Cannondale: Gary Fisher (came close to buying this one instead) Specialized Trek GT SchwinnSorry, I forget all of the model names.
Bike Setup: Everything standard, except that I've added a new saddle (it was just TOO comfy) and some Shimano 636s.