a Cross Country Rider
from Palm Desert, CA
Date Reviewed: February 12, 2008
Strengths: Super-light Optimo frameset; seatstays have right amount of "give"; Headshok stiffness compliments frame perfectly; killer purple/grey/black paintjob.
Weaknesses: No longer produced/factory-supported.
After an exhaustive search for a lightweight XC hardtail- the F2000SL is simply LIGHT YEARS away from the Trek, Specialized, Giant, Jamis, Marin......and even it's Furio/F600 brother(1/2lb heavier). The ultra smooth Optimo frame possesses vibration dampening qualities very close to full carbon fiber framed bikes. I was impressed at how much faster I was able to pedal on this bike. Together with the Shimano Hollowtech crankset/BB- you get instant traction and torque, on the very first turn of the cranks.
Armed with urban street slicks- this bike easily keeps up with most slow cadence/high-torque road biker's paces. On trails, this bike climbs for you, and is virtually a race-ready, singletrack missle. It's so GOOD all you need to do to compete in racing- is some hill training, and hone your trail handling skills. That is what I call an awesome investment......in pure fun.
But buy this bike because it is truly the LAST quality, handmade in USA frames, by Cannondale. The Optimo was replaced in late 2006 with the Caffeine/F1-F3......yet the 100% HANDMADE 2004-2006 Optimo frames are still lighter than the robot-welded, hand-finished and hand-inspected Caffeine bikes. Keep the frame because it can easily be built(with choice parts) to a competition-crushing sub-20lb XC trail terrorist.
The Cannondale F2000SL is truly the Porsche of hardtail mountain bikes.....hands-down!
a Cross Country Rider
from Norwalk, CT, USA
Date Reviewed: October 27, 2007
Strengths: Comes stock with good components mostly XT and some XTR. Not a ton of room for future upgrades. Would upgrade seat and seat post which dramatically improved the ride.
Weaknesses: At 24.69 pounds stock. To reduce wieght you are going to need to spend some cheese.
After 3 seasons of riding I still love the bike. The lock feature allows me to pull away on non-technical flatouts and inclines. I have upgraded the seat and seatpost. Next I think I will upgrade the pedals which drop the bike wieght by about a 1/3 of a pound. You won't be sorry in purchasing this bike as its performance is well worth the money.
Weaknesses: Frame slightly crooked can't run fat tires without scrubbing out on chain stay (despite promotion stating otherwise), worldwide warranty/service not quite what its made out to be. When HS is locked out there is a slight clunking, no matter how recently headshock has been serviced.
For out of the box performance this bike is a weapon, and has proved its self again again. Every feature of the bike is 9 plus out of 10 giving a supreme level of confidence no matter what the track or day has installed for you. Other bikes struggle to achieve this comprehensive performance. I'll be riding this bike for many years to come. Every time I jump back on the optimo frame I'm instantly reminded of the superiority of this bike to other bikes.
a Cross Country Rider
from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Date Reviewed: March 6, 2006
Strengths: So simple overall. The 2005 F2000sl optimo frame is beutiful with those seamless welds. The frame comes stock with outstanding components, little room for future upgrades. Internet pictures of the paintjob don't do it proper justice. I have the glossy blue, with a darker shade on the fork - I am still captivated with its beauty. It's very capable on the road with a set of slicks and the fork locked out.
Weaknesses: had a few problems with the XT hydraulic discs at first, but its all good now.
If you have been saving up money to splurge a bit on a sick hardtail, then consider the F2000sl. It steers on a dime (it takes a while to get used to this level of responsiveness), it's super fast and it's a sexy looking machine. It took me a solid few months before I made up my mind as to which high end hardtail I would invest in. In the end I am more than happy with my decision.
Similar Products Used: 2005 Giant XTC composite 2, Trek 8500
Bike Setup: Headshock Super fatty Ultra DL, Mavic XM819 disc, full XT including hydraulic disc brakes, dual control levers, and hollowtech 2 cranks with XTR rear derailleur, Cannondale wind carbon seatpost, I switched to an Easton carbon riserbar from the wind carbon straightbar, Hutchinson python tubeless, shimano PD-520 pedals
from Macon, GA USA
Date Reviewed: December 14, 2005
Strengths: Just a quality ride. Simple design.
Weaknesses: The fork could maybe use a little more adjustment. I might fix that with the CCS cartridge soon.
I'm the same guy who wrote about this bike almost two years ago before two solid seasons of racing and riding on it. I have to say that even after a brief affair with a Specialized Epic demo bike (I'm so sorry, baby, she meant nothing) I'm still sold on the Cannondale as one of the finest rides around. It is so responsive and accurate, so generally smooth. Sure, I have gotten to the point that I want a little more from the fork travel, but luckily there is a solution to be had.
About the word responsive. Some might say twitchy. In this age of slightly slackened bikes built for sleepy stability in the eighth hour of riding, the f2000 is a bit of an outcast. I mean it changes direction real quick like. My friend at the shop said one day you have to be a fighter pilot to, well, pilot it. Personally, this is one of my favorite traits of the bike.
Bike Setup: Purchased as fork and frame. Three or four year old XT cranks, Avid mech. brakes, various other parts. Not the Cannondale spec
a Cross Country Rider
from St. Louis, MO
Date Reviewed: November 14, 2005
Strengths: Amazing control and fit. No picture gives the bike its due credit for its beauty. The weight of the bike is incredibly low for an XC hardtail bike with XT at about 23.5 lbs. The lockout on the fork works very well and is easily accessible. The shifters are amazingly efficient, and the crank is incredibly smooth. The frame feels great and is durable.
Weaknesses: The fork is very nice/light-weight, but it can feel kind of stiff at times (make sure to have the right pressure). While the low spoke count is fantastic for weight, the wheels are very fragile, and could use some Wheel-Lock or otherwise constant attention.
Incredible handling, super-light, could be easily made lighter with new handlebars and seatpost. Perfect for a cross country racer thinking about weight and agility, as well as short-track riding, you aren't hauling a heavy dual suspension bike on flats, up quick cimbs, etc. Not for weak backs, or people who can't stand standing with the going gets tough (very sensitive to bumps obviously). Fantastic climbing bike in so many ways. I bought it and started racing with it a month later, it is race ready out of the box. Buy it if you can!
Bike Setup: Optimo frame, Mavic Xc 819 Disc, Shimano XT Dual Control shifters and hydraulic disc brakes, XT front derrailleur, and crank. XTR rear derrailleur.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 2, 2005
Strengths: Verry light, I bought it for only € 500. My nephew first bought it for € 900 with crossmax SL but he sold it to me with crossland's and kept the crossmax's for his Scalpel The fork is just what i wanted, i immediately bought a high-presure pump.
Weaknesses: The maintaince is quite expensive. (especialy for the fork) But when you take care of it, its a great bike.
Verry good bike for the (semi) pro biker. Only usefull for XC use, you can tour with it, but it just isn't made for that.
a Cross Country Rider
from Seattle, WA, USA
Date Reviewed: March 4, 2005
Strengths: Typical Cannondale: made in the US, light & strong frame with very agile riding characteristics.
Headshock: I've had two now without any problems... not a lot of travel, but ultralight with incredibly precise steering and a nifty lockout to boot.
Tubless Wheels & Tires: These scared me at first, but they're really easy to maintain and I don't have to buy tubes anymore!
Componentry: solid, complete XT package but with XTR rear derailleur. Also, the carbon handlebar and seatpost boost the wow factor over other XT comped hardtails.
Weaknesses: Cost: Cannondales aren't cheap. I was fortunate to get mine on a prodeal as I work for a dealer, but even so, C-dales are pricey rides. It's worth it to me to have something well made in the USA.
Saddle: I typically like Fizik saddles, but the plateau is freakin' hard. I'm still hoping it'll break in a little and soften up with time, though.
Brakes: Shimano XT hydraulic discs with dual control are great, but my rear brake tends to rub a little, and the "self adjusting pads" don't really give you a way to adjust this without bleeding the lines. The rub isn't too severe, though, and I'm thinking it might go away in time.
Hutchinson New Python Light Tubless Tires: great in dry, deserty conditions, but up here in Seattle they're a little too low profile to corner well in the mud.
Kinda like another reviewer said, 90% [or more] of riders can do anything they want on this or a comparably equipped hardtail. I'm by no means a cross country racer, probably closer to a weekend warrior to be honest, but I love this hardtail and ride it on every type of terrain. It's true you gotta be careful on some of the rougher trails, but this just encourages finesse and skill over bombing through on your average FS rig. Also, at first I wasn't sure if I cared for the new, flashy metal flake paintjob on my '05 model, but inside of a week or two of receiving the bike it really grew on me, and now I really like it.
Similar Products Used: Yellow '97 Cannondale F500 - stolen!!!
Bike Setup: Completely stock ***2005*** Model with a new Cateye Enduro 8 Computer. Note: '05 model is same as '04 but with a carbon seatpost to replace last year's aluminum post and a new, fancy paint job.
Date Reviewed: December 21, 2004
Strengths: Light. Stiff and responsive, this thing reacts to thought. Best climbing bike I`ve tried. Great cross country racer. Fatty fork has a very nice feel and very smooth travel, and the lockout is the easiest to engage on any fork.
Weaknesses: The fork requires special tools to work on that only a dealer has, no do-it-yourself service here. It`s only for serious racers, it`s not a comfortable bike for weekend riders or casual trail riders.
As a racer, this is hands down the best bike I`ve ever used. It climbs like a goat and handles like a dream. Fork and frame are very stiff (Cannondale trademark) and the steering is very precise. The bike is very fast and the feeling when riding a trail you rode an another bike is as if you were going a lot faster. If you are a hardtail racer you should definitely check it out. Although this bike is for cutting faster lap times not hucking and jumping. It`s not the best bike for spending 6 hours in the saddle, it`s too stiff for that.
Similar Products Used: Giant Rincon, Cannondale F-1000, Gary Fisher hardtail, Gary Fisher Sugar.
Bike Setup: F-2000 frame and fork built up with XT except for XTR rear derraileur. Bontrager Race Lite wheelset. Kenda Karma tires. Titanium seatpost. Carbon handlebar.
a Weekend Warrior
from Mahomet, IL
Date Reviewed: September 3, 2004
Strengths: Agree w velvety ride, nice componentry, shifters are outstanding shimano, lightweight.
Weaknesses: Headshock...many poor reviews online, only had the bike three months, will see if leaks and issues as described. For now, works well if you like a stiff shock (not loads of travel).
Pricey, but very cool matte black finish, cables rerouted as compared to prior design (see online reviews of other Cannondales for very poor design--fixed here), great for on-off road. Hydraulic discs and tubeless tires new to me.. many more non-user friendly fixes (hello, Mr Bike Shop--I know you well) might be issue in long run. FOr now, lightweight and problem-free and a true joy to ride and look at hanging in garage. Why no tool-less (skewer) seat adjust is painful. Expensive though... as are all "Dales.
Similar Products Used: Canondale Jekyll, Bianchi CUSS, Bianchi BUSS
Bike Setup: Stock, added alum pedals and mini toeclips.
from Macon, GA
Date Reviewed: March 23, 2004
Strengths: Light with a well balanced geometry. The Headshok is simple to adjust (just the air spring) and steers well.
Weaknesses: A little lower bottom bracket than I'm used to.
I actually have the team livery f4000 frame built like the f2000. Same frame, so whatever. The thing that jumps out about this bike is just how velvety the ride is. I'm riding 1.95 tires, so I'm getting no help there, it has to be the frame and the fork. The overall impression is one of flow. It's a disc only frame, and the seat stays are these skinny, sinous things which I think let the rear ride softer than you'd expect from an aluminum frame. The geometry is well balanced between front and back; climbing is easy. The ride is simply sweet sweet sweet. This is a full on XC rig, though. My friend at the shop who dreamed up this particular build warned me as I went out the door,"You can't just run into things like you used to." That's true, but so far the bike handles so well that riding light has been no problem. That being said, I think 90% of mountain bikers can ride a like designed bike with no problems. Just don't go gettin' all mountain dew with it, you know?
2000 F2000 SL
i own this great light bike..its the volvo edition with xt/xtr all over it..problem is my coda brakes are terrible..yes i know, everyone agrees..terrible brakes...but anyway, can someone help me and educate me on what disc brake i can replace these codas with..im not an ... Read More »