a Cross Country Rider
from Rothesay, NB, Canada
Date Reviewed: November 12, 2009
Strengths: 2007 model is fairly light mountain bike at 24 lbs in stock condition. 33/18 gearing is great for technical trails and most climbs that you would encounter. Bike has great acceleration and climbing! Lockout super fatty headshok is solid!
Weaknesses: None yet! (really)
Solid single speed bike! Definitely will make you a stronger rider and get better on technical sections. You need to keep your momentum all the time and stay off the brakes as much as possible. The Ultra fatty headshok is a great match for the bike - keeps it light and simple.
Bike Setup: Stock with Crank Brothers Candy pedals
Raw aluminum finish (love the "guns and roses" decal)
SDG I-beam seat and seatpost
33t front 18t rear cog
2.35-inch MAXXIS Ignitor tires really bite!!
Suggested upgrades: replace the Avid BB5's with hydraulic brakes; tubeless rims/tires.
a Cross Country Rider
from Berea, Ohio USA
Date Reviewed: August 6, 2007
Strengths: The frame is exceptionally stiff. Very responsive bike. The EBB in my opinion is one of the best on the market, I have never had an issue with adjusting or creaking.
Weaknesses: The stock brakes were a little disappointing. I sold them and bought El Caminos. The stock grips slip and spin also.
An all around great bike. This is one I will never part with. The fit is excellent, and Cannondale is a great company to do business with. As a bike mechanic, I virtually never have to do any maintainence on it. A solid buy if you are in the market for a singlespeed.
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher Rig: 29er singlespeed
Bike Setup: Hayes El Camino brakes, e13 chaingaurd, Shimano pedals, Boone 16 tooth Ti cog (awesome!)Swapped out the 33 tooth ring for a 32tooth. Oury Grips
a Weekend Warrior
from San Diego
Date Reviewed: February 2, 2006
Strengths: Light, simple, adds a new level of challenge to local rides. The drop-out configuration makes it easy to convert this to a geared bike should you decide to go that route in the future. The horizontal drop-outs on most other single speeds would prevent that option.
This bike will show you your own weaknesses if you have only been riding suspended bikes for the last few years.
Weaknesses: Expensive as a new bike, considering how little you get. At least you get the total package, all sorted out, on an excellent frame.
You will read over and how many people have tried single speeds to bring thme back to the basics of mountain biking. This bike gives you the complete set-up in a light package (about 24 lbs). The first time you climb on a single speed without the benefit of gears you will be very glad you went for a light frame. Nobody stocked any of these in San Diego, so I was very fortunate to get one in brand new condition for half price.
This is a highly recommended addition for someone looking the one accessory to add to their stable that will improve their riding for less than the cost of a high-end fork.
Find one that is getting sold by someone who wasn't up to the challenge this bike brings as soon as you start climbing.
Similar Products Used: No other single speeds, but it is a great match for the Ellsworth Id (Cross country/all mountain) and Santa Cruz VP Free (black diamond) bikes I also own.
Bike Setup: Stock w/ Crank Bros. Eggbeaters and Easton Monkeylite Carbon bars.
a Cross Country Rider
from Philadelphia, PA, USA
Date Reviewed: January 8, 2006
Strengths: light and solid. headshock gives rigid fork tracking while soaking up the bumps.
Weaknesses: eccentric not always adjustable without pulling apart BB - a minor issue.
I purchased this bike used (2003 model) after testing a new one at a local shop. The first couple of rides were not the best as the fork was out of tune. Had fork sent back to Cannondale for a rebuild and now I couldn't be happier. This bike has the solid tracking of a fully rigid bike with plenty of smooth travel up front. Overall a super-light, well thought-out and enjoyable machine.
Similar Products Used: Bianchi SISS, stock - rigid setup.
Bike Setup: stock except for tires and carbon bars/seatpost - both Easton EC-70.
a Weekend Warrior
from Canastota NY USA
Date Reviewed: November 17, 2004
Strengths: Gorgeous flame paint job - gets lots of good comments. Eccentric BB beats chain tensioner - nothing for sticks to munch.
Weaknesses: It's too pretty to get dirty! The $#@!%^ lawyer/warning sticker is UNDER the clearcoat. Damned expensive for having nowhere near as many parts as my Kona Bear!
Just bought this unit and there was no slot for a 2005 1FG yet so I posted it here.
I bought this on a whim, since I work at a Cannondale dealer and I got a good EP price. I took it out for it's initial ride last weekend: OMG, this thing beat the hell out of me.... and I loved it! Going from 27 gears and 4" of suspension to 1 *F* Gear and no rear suspension was eye-opening. What a hoot!
The frame geometry was spot-on for me - I felt completely comfortable riding over logs, bridges, boardwalks and rock gardens, despite the fact that I'd never ridden the bike (or that particular trail) before. The 2.35 Maxxis High Rollers hooked up extremely well in the sandy/loamy soil, even when I stood up to grunt my way up a hill (often!) The bike did everything I told it to - even when I told it to endo....
Bike Setup: Bone stock w/SPD pedals - even still has the reflectors!
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: October 29, 2004
Strengths: Bomb-proof, light, fast, and just plain fun
Weaknesses: See review below - also, the chain tension is harder to adjust that "traditional" single-speed models, due to the eccentric bottom bracket set-up. bb needs greasing regularly
I have now used this bike for an entire season, and thought I would post a second review now I have lived with the bike for the better part of the year.
Let's put it this way - my Mantra does not get that much use any more. I have commuted to work on this bike, have done long epic rides, and have raced it in a weekly race series and an 8-hour relay. In the 8-hour relay I was only 15 seconds slower on the ss than I was on my initial lap on my geared bike.
The 1FG is maintenance free (apart from having to grease the bb regularly), never needs adjusting, and is always ready to rock. It is responsive and fast on tight singletrack, and is well set up for climbing.
The head angle is pretty slack and the riding position is very upright, compared to other x-country bikes, which makes the bike a pleasure to ride around town, although I have found this does not compromise handling on the trail too much.
Most importantly, I am a better rider for owning this bike, and it has made old trails feel new again, which is the best argument for owning a singlespeed in the first place.
Bike Setup: Stock, egg beaters, Kenda Charisma Lite 1.9 tires
a Cross Country Rider
from Bend, Oregon USA
Date Reviewed: October 8, 2004
Strengths: very light and very fast! good strong wheels, a big plus on a SS Headshock lockout system works great for a SS
Weaknesses: EBB does squeak a bit but not as bad as my old geared bike used to squeak
This is by far the fastest bike I've ever riden. It's very light and responsive, a great climber, very rigid, and the headshock locks out solid as a rock. The carbon fiber handlebars and seatpost are a really good upgrade for this bike since it's so rigid. They take some of the bite out of the ride. Get some big tires too. Great bike for those who want to race against the gearies. Even though I bought mine used, it would be well worth the retail price.
Bike Setup: stock wheels, Specialized enduro 2.2 tires, carbon fiber seatpost and handlebars, 2003 XT cranks avid mech discs 32x17
from Bielefeld, Germany
Date Reviewed: September 20, 2004
Strengths: Light, indestructible fork, superbly crafted frame, very stiff and rigid
Weaknesses: No real weakness, except the fact that the eccentric BB needs to be copperslipped every 1500km (~1000miles). The fitted Truvativ-cranks were a little bit off-center.
I really like this bike. The first couple of months I rode it as a singlespeed before turning it into a 14 geared speedhub-bike. The eccentric BB works great and does not slip at all. The only drawback: it regularly starts to produce creaking after about 1000miles. The solution is to take it apart and put copperslip on all surfaces. I never had to remove the cranks to adjust the chain tension though. I had to remove the Truvativ cranks, because the were off-center, leaving the chain hanging down in one position and over-tensioned in another. This is a bike that I can ride in all conditions without having to clean anything... it just works like a charm. Definitely recommended!
Strengths: simplicity. user friendly, around town, racing, cruising.
in a pinch, i raced this bike in a 12 hour race in december. i did it because it was the only bike i could find to borrow, and it was just for fun. the bike fit perfectly. oleta river state park in miami is a boneshaker for sure, and i was one of very few hardtails. i didn't feel it, though. no mechanicals, no problems. the carbon seat post did slip a couple of times, and that's 'cause i didn't want to tighten it too hard. the frame material i light, and not too stiff. the headshok is smooth, and tracks aggressively. great bike. i won the solo elite class by 43 minutes, nice bike.
a Cross Country Rider
from Portland, Maine USA
Date Reviewed: August 16, 2004
Strengths: Lightweight, low maintenance, quick handling, and just plain fun! One gear and three choices; sit and pedal, stand and pedal, or walk. The Headshok is great. Not as adjustable as some but it's light, rigid, and easy to lockout.
Weaknesses: The eccentric bottom bracket requires about $30 of special tools to adjust properly. Get a spanner wrench to turn the bottom bracket and a T-handle 4mm allen wrench with a ball-end to tighten the wedge. The ball-end allows you to get the angle you need to properly reach the bolt and the T-hanlde gives you all the torque you need to make sure the EBB doesn't move after it's adjusted. I weigh 190 lbs. and crank hard but the EBB doesn't move or creak.
If the riding is less than 30 miles and the speeds are less than 15 mph (singletrack) I use the 1FG. For endurance riding and higher-speed trails I use the Titus Racer-X. I have an 8-mile loop of singletrack, powerlines, and deep gullies near my house. I am 1 minute faster on this loop with the 1FG than with the Racer-X.
Riding a singlespeed has been the most eye-opening experience I've had in cycling. My balance, finesse, acceleration, and leg-power have all improved dramatically.
This is the second season that I have ridden this bike and I've had no maintenance issues. I even built is up with a Rohloff Speedhub for a while but went back to the singlespeed configuration because it's so much more fun.
Similar Products Used: Bianchi SISS, some built-up singlespeeds.
Bike Setup: Original with these changes. Easton carbon seatpost and handlebars. White Brothers freewheel. Surly chainring. 22.5 pounds on a postal scale.
a Cross Country Rider
from Fairfield, Ohio
Date Reviewed: July 10, 2004
Strengths: The frame. I like the feel, it's really solid. I dig the raw aluminum finish. There is not much flex from the Headshok. This bike is just bad!
Weaknesses: What is the big deal with the levers? Mine are fine. I haven't found any weaknesses yet.
If you want a solid and lightning fast SS, then order a 1FG. I enjoy riding it because it is obviously a different way of mountain biking. I do lock the headshok out many times when I climb, and I actually like how easy and quick it works. The fork locks out rock solid. I also like the graphics and the raw aluminum. My SS conversion before this was a joke. The singulator broke within two rides, and I broke a half-link in my chain twice in two weeks. I was ready to throw down the $$$ and get the Cannondale. I am happy I did.
Similar Products Used: an old '95 Specialized Rockhopper Comp A1-FS. It's not even close to how sweet this 1FG is.
Bike Setup: Frame, fork, seatpost, cranks, and stem are all stock. I am running the new XTR hugs laced to a pair of Mavic X3.1's with Hutchinson Scorpion Tubeless lights. I am also using my new XTR rotors with the Avid mechanicals and Cannondale levers that came with the bike. I am having no complaints about the levers. They actually feel good. I am really used to the XTR dual control levers on my other bikes, but these seem to be just fine.
Date Reviewed: May 11, 2004
Strengths: Light. Stiff. Fast. Simple
Weaknesses: Brake levers are weak. The handle bars keep coming loose
This is my first SS. I have not touched my geared bikes since buying it 90 days ago. My single complaint is that the handle bars come loose in the stem every ride. This is b/c I am standing for every hill pulling with all 200+ pounds. Before my next ride I am going to put some more thread lock in and it should be fine. Awsome bike. Sell all your greared bikes and buy a SS. I just bought a 18t freewheel. So now I should walk less.
I think it's a great bike, the frame is awasome, and so is the fork, this was the main reason why I chose the Cannondale. With some upgraded parts the bike feels good, the cranks really made a big diffrence over the low end Shimano ones. The wheels held up great, I weigh about 220 and I ride pretty aggresively, I rode them in Moab, and Colorado, and just kicked the $#!t out of them, I ran the presure so low, I even got the rims all scratched up, but they are still as true when I took them out of the box. My only problem is the eccentric bb, I've been having problems with it since day one. It is really hard to adjust since it is really designed for tandems, this means you can't get the set screw tight enough without taking of the cranks. It moves on me like crazy, since I'm kind of big( this might be the problem) the BB spins and makes the chain really tight or really loose. Put smaller riders might not have those problems, I mean I tacoed that stock ring after about 500 miles, it's actually pretty flimsy compared to the Salsa. The only way it will stay put is if I don't put any grease in the shell, but then it creaks like crazy, well this could also be because I'm riding a creak-n-fail, but I love it, I sold all my geared bikes and I'm not regretting it.
Bike Setup: Avid SD 7 levers, Fizik Cowhide seat, ODI Grips, 04 XT 180mm cranks, Salsa ring, Salsa scewers, 959 pedals.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: April 16, 2004
Strengths: On-the-fly lockout on front fork, nice compact frame, cool looks, comfortable upright riding position.
Weaknesses: Headshok less plush, and less tuneable than traditional shocks.
I have a love-hate relationship with this bike. I love the way it feels like a big BMX bike. Due to the compact frame, you can really throw it around. Also, the headshok is the perfect compliment to a singlespeed, as you can lock it out on the fly, which is good as you spend more time standing up on the pedals when climbing on a singlespeed. The Avid disc brakes are a smart addition to the parts spec. And let's face it, the "raw" paint job just looks cool.
The "hate" part comes from how completely humbling it is to attempt the same trail I can blast over on my full-suspension rig with only one gear. Of course, that is the reason I bought the bike in the first place, and I am probably a better rider for it.
My only minor gripe is the headshok. It just doesn't feel as good and plush as the Mars on my other bike, likely because the only way to alter the rebound is to change the oil in the fork. It does the job, and the lockout more than makes up for it.
All in all, this bike is a fun second bike, that is good for bombing around town, and will also make those trails which have become a little boring feel challenging once more. Two thumbs up and five chilis!
Strengths: Great frame that fits like a glove, Avid mech disc brakes, the stock Cannondale handlebar, lockout on the head shock, the WTB Laser saddle, and the simplicity of a singlespeed.
Weaknesses: The only weak thing on the bike is me.
This bike is designed to be fast. It is light and responsive. I like the ability to lock out the head shock but I dont do it that often. I run the shock firm and it works real well. Dont know if i would like it on a geared bike but it is perfect for this bike. I find the WTB saddle very comfortable. Jury is still out on the High Rollers- might go to the Motoraptors but thats just personal preference. All said and done, this bike is fun to ride. The price may seem high for a ss but I feel it was worth every cent. Also, this bike just fits me well. If you are looking for a ss and dont want to build one; then i would highly recommend the 1FG.
I just picked up a used 1FG Ultra (w/headshok). I can't for the life of me figure out why it pulls to the left when I take my hands off the bars. In fact, when I ride I can feel a slight (barely noticeable) pull to the left but it almost jerks left when I take my hands off.
The headset feels sm ... Read More »
Size Medium 1FG HeadShok in classifieds ad number 85109
$7 ... Read More »