a Weekend Warrior
from Parker, Colorado
Date Reviewed: January 17, 2011
Strengths: Incredibly tough frame, relatively light...it just keeps working!
Weaknesses: Derailers need frequent adjustment (I've found anyway). Disc brakes would have been better.
In the six years I've had this bike, I've replaced the large chain ring 3 times, the chain twice, the rear cassette once, the rear derailer, 4 sets of pedals, 3 seat posts and 3 seats and a pair of handle bars and more tires, brakes and tubes than I can remember. Colorado/Utah has alot of trails to choose from and I've taken this baby on many of them. It's taken a serious beating and continues to perform well. Planning on upgrading to a full suspension this spring, but I will be keeping this beauty.
a Cross Country Rider
from Atlanta, GA, USA
Date Reviewed: January 17, 2010
Strengths: Great Frame, Lightweigt, Comfortable, Affordably Priced
Weaknesses: Headshock service requires specialty tools only available at Cannondale dealerships.
I am very happy with this bike. From the first ride the quality is undeniable. I'm not competing in World Cup and not willing to dump thousands into recreation. If you want a solid bike reasonably priced, the f400 is worth a look. This bike is quick, agile, and still tough enough to handle the advanced trails. After every ride, I've been more and more impressed with the strength and comfort achieved with Cannondale's frame geometry. I keep pushing through more strenuous singletrack and can't get enough. This bike makes it fun! Eventually I will graduate to FS, but the f400 will always be part of the arsenal. Pure, simplistic, and reliable, guaranteed good time!
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher x-caliber, Specialized Hardrock Sport
Bike Setup: Basically stock except upgraded Shimano PD-M520 Pedals and Shimano SLX hydraulic brakes.
a Weekend Warrior
from windsor, Ontario, Canada
Date Reviewed: August 13, 2007
Strengths: sturdy and tough. Can take a beating.
Weaknesses: too heavy, front shifters are too close to fingers and easily get hit while climbing or going down intense hills, shifting of gears is not as easy and smooth, doesnt have a stem at an angle, front suspension isnt the greatest. Had many problems with the derailer.
Its a good starter if you are a beginner and not sure if you like mountain biking. If you really like the sport then you have to upgrade to a lighter and a better derailer/crank set as well as shifters. Ive only rode for 4 months and Im already looking for a better bike for next summer b/c i like to do intense climbs and more technical downhills which this bike is difficult to maneauver.
Weaknesses: I changed the seat, tires, and installed AVID Single 7 Brakes
Wow, I was surprised by the agility of this bike. I put on some Panaracer Dart and Smoke tires and changed the seat, the bike weighs 25 lbs almost stock! I am 6'1" 155 lbs, and the Headshok has never bottomed out on me once, and I push this bike on quick trails very fast, often over rocks and branches. I definitely wouldnt do any big jumps on this bike, but it can easily handle the 3 foot, high-speed airs that I subject it to. So far the components have held up pretty well, my bike shop equipped it with Shimano Deore components all throughout, and it is solid as a rock. I love the frame, it accelerates like "Hermes" as the reviwer below me so eloquently put it. I have the 2001 model in 'Battleship Gray', I love the color, I Love the BIKE!
Similar Products Used: Specialized Hardrock, Specialized Rockhopper
from Boulder, CO, USA
Date Reviewed: April 23, 2007
Strengths: The frame, light-weight package, unprecedented handling agility
Weaknesses: headshock maintenance (although I havent had any problems with it yet)
This bike is phenomenal. I love hardtails for their exceptional ability to transfer pedal-power to the ground, and this bike is truly amazing, I can keep up with road bikes! The lightweight and nimble handling of this bicycle are truly hard to find in other bicycles. I was coming from two Specialized bicycles and this bike, although not as 'solid' as my previous bikes, is still reliable without the clunky feeling, it has the speed of Hermes! Highly recommended.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Rockhopper, Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc
Bike Setup: Stock except for new seat, SRAM chain, and IRC Mythos tires
a Cross Country Rider
from Columbia MD
Date Reviewed: September 23, 2006
Strengths: The Aluminum frame is the gem of this bike. The weight savings is truly amazing. Grab a bike with a steel frame at your bike shop and you will really see what I mean.
Weaknesses: The stock seat was very uncomfortable. Also the seat post kept sliding down into the frame on just about every ride. So I switched out the seat post and seat post clamp. Those are the only weaknesses that stand out in my mind. The headshok could possibly be categorized as a weakness. One of the seals inside my first headshok busted and leaked out all the oil so I got that one replaced at my bike shop for no charge. The next headshok that was put on my bike had a bad cylinder and would slowly leak the air that give the suspension its resistance. So eventually the headshok would basically just deflate. But let me say that this is not a problem experienced by everyone riding with the Cannondale Headshok. Also I like Cannondale bikes so much that I am upgrading to a 2007 Rush 5. From my experience and what info I have gained talking to others the headshok problem is hit or miss. Some people never have a problem and others do right away. Just something to think about.
This was my first mountain bike and it is a great buy! For the price charged you are getting an excellent beginners setup on this bike. The frame is really awesome. It is lightweight and very sturdy. The components will serve you well for most moderate XC riding and are definitely enough for trail riding. The Sun Black-Eye wheelset holds up very well and stays true as long as you don't go out with the puropse of destroying your wheels. Upgrades I made: I changed the seatpost to a Thomson Elite 350mm(Very much worth it), I also threw on a WTB Speed saddle(Much more comfortable) and lastly I changed out the stock handlebar to Eastons EC90 Monkeylite SL Carbon Riser handlebars(By far the best and most significant upgrade I made). So for my final statment let me say this...if you are new to the sport of mountain biking and looking for a bike that your skills won't quickly outgrow in the following months then this is the bike for you. You won't have to break the bank on this bike and it will last you a good while.
Similar Products Used: N/A This was my first mountain bike.
Bike Setup: Very Good for moderate XC or trail riding
a Weekend Warrior
from caldwell nj usa
Date Reviewed: July 24, 2006
Strengths: good stiff durable frame. love the head shock. im 250 pounds and i ride very hard and very heavy and the frame is still in good shape. ive hit some 4-5 drops with no problems. very smooth bike
Weaknesses: breaks suck. sram x7 rear derailer is garbage. i had big problems with it from the get go. i went xt and have had no problems since. other than than that i like the other components
i should have bought a full suspension bike [mabye a prophet] but this bike can a beating beleive me im a big boy
Weaknesses: Due to head tube size, you're kind of stuck with C'Dale forks.
After a pretty good search, I bought this for my son. It is his first 26-inch bike. His "kiddie" bike was a 38 pound, 24 inch wheeled Diamondback that, believe it or not, he actually rode quite a bit in the mountains. Since switching to this 27 pound, small frame, 26 inch bike, the kid is a hammer. He took second in a race in Winter Park last month (his first weekend on the bike) and could have probably won if he had figured out his shifting a little quicker...
This is an EXCELLENT beginner / intermediate bike for the enthusiast. The SRAM SX-7 stuff shifts easy for my son's 10 year old hands. The components, wheels, etc. are excellent middle of the road choices that should give great service and last a while. The frame is definitely worthy of upgrades as parts wear out.
This is my first Cannondale purchase but I would not hesitate to consider one of their bikes in the future based on my experience with this model.
a Cross Country Rider
from baltimore, MD, USA
Date Reviewed: June 12, 2006
Strengths: The frame and forks are stiff and strong. I haven't broken anything major, yet. This may sound petty, but the frame geometry works well with my Yakima bike rack, something I can't say for similarly sized Treks.
Weaknesses: I have broken the seat post clamp a couple times, and not from crazy down hills either. Rear Deraleur was problematic, but seems to be tuned at this point. I only have about 1000 miles on it and it appears that I need brakes already. Cannondale's video that comes free with purchase is cheesier than Wisconsin.
If Made in USA means something to you, and you are not Mr. Mountain Biker Deluxo, this seems to be a decent purchase.
However, wifey bought a Trek WSD (6700 I think) at the same time, and has never had a worry. Everything worked like it was supposed to on her bike, while I was getting frequent flier miles bringing mine back for tune ups.
In the same price range, if you can tolerate its origin, better bicycles are available.
Bike Setup: Stock except for shimano clipless pedals, specialized bar ends, removed reflector package chasing rattles. I followed all that I had read and changed the seat from the onset. I tried five or so different seats before settling on the factory seat. It just feels right.
a Weekend Warrior
from Sisak, Croatia
Date Reviewed: March 30, 2006
Strengths: Black color looks cool, Sram triggers, crankset... etc.
Weaknesses: Well... hubs
I tried lot of bikes, but C-dale rocks. Components, frame an Headshock rules. Great bike. This is my frist bike with SRAM, and I'll never go back to Shimano,...never. SRAM is perfect!
Similar Products Used: TREK 820 (2003), KTM Ultra Sport (2005)
Bike Setup: Soon I'll get new slick tyres
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: January 14, 2006
Strengths: Great Cannondale frame, with excellent SRAM shifter/derailleur package stock. Love the strightforward front shock with easy on-the-fly lockout. This is great when pedaling to my favorite single tracks. Super look - flat gray paint job is classy, total setup looks great.
Weaknesses: I got the last model with horizontal top tube, would have liked a little more clearance for quick bailouts. Stock tires (SeracXC 2.10's)handle great, but are a muther to change quickly on the trail. Whole setup could be lighter, but for the price....
Excellent bike for the price. SRAM shifters were a pleasant surprise - I can't imagine going back to trigger-style Shimanos. I ride hard, but not enough to justify a more expensive bike. This is also a great bike for a run on the road around home, or from trail to trail. Looking forward to racing it this Spring!
Strengths: The frame is great, handling is awsome, the headshock is great for me. Nice and light.
Weaknesses: The crappy stock wheels broke the first week I had it, and disk brakes would be nice.
The bike is flat out awsome at a great price. I've heard several people complain about the headshock, but I personaly like it alot, Since I'm just outside broken bow on a farm I get to bike it in sand hill areas, which beleive it or not are pretty sweet (even in Nebraska), and the bike can sure take a beating. I'll give it five chilis.
Strengths: Frame. Handling. Headshok. 9-speed SRAM. Reliable component mix at price point.
Weaknesses: Headshok maintenance. Outdated square-taper crankset. Hubs questionable. No lightweight.
My F400 is a 2005 model that I found at the substantially discounted price listed above. At that price, it’s a steal. The frameset is the eye’s apple here, as with all lower and midrange Cdales. It is a thing of beauty both in terms of construction quality and performance. The handling is precise and snappy without being twitchy. The Headshok helps here, as it has no discernable lateral play and is very rigid. The Headshok itself is very smooth and predictable and great at soaking up roots and small rocks, but don’t plan on big drops with it. You’ll blow the cartridge out of the top of the stem (be sure to wear glasses).
The Headshok is not without its own issues. Mine came from the factory with a defective cartridge (leaking oil, no damping, lockout not working). Apparently this is a new cartridge design from Cdale and the bugs weren’t all worked out. It was replaced by the LBS under warranty and has been fine since. It also requires a rather rigorous maintenance schedule that can’t be performed at home without special tools and a couple hours. When it is maintained, it is killer, but let it go and you’ll pay the price later.
The Truvativ cranks are fine so far, but I tend to kill cranks so we’ll see. The square-taper design is antiquated and it would be nice to see a splined set instead. The brakes are Cdale-branded Tektros, and work well enough. The SRAM X-7 stuff is great for the price range and I’ve been very happy with its performance. The hubs are another questionable item. They are not smooth, and I have a feeling I’m going to be rebuilding them pretty regularly. Everything else is solid and the components are well-matched, although the full package is a bit heavier than I would like (27 lbs).
Overall I can highly recommend this bike, if you don’t mind the extra maintenance of the Headshok. While the component group is the equivalent of something like a Giant Iguana or GT Avalanche 1.0 and it costs more than those two, the Cdale’s frame is the ace-in-the-hole that makes it worth the extra bucks. It easily shames the other frame examples in its category and is a perfect vehicle for upgrade.
a Cross Country Rider
from New Berlin, IL, USA
Date Reviewed: June 23, 2005
Strengths: The frame on this bike is "freakin' sweet" (in the words of Peter Griffin). The wheels take a poundin' and keep on houndin'. The bike as a whole is smooth and fast and loves to be ridden hard. Love the wishbone seatstays. Love the color (monotone silver) of the '04 model.
Weaknesses: Some components are not top-shelf, especially the fork. The fork (Manitou Axel Elite) is reliable and predictible so far, albeit a bit mushy, but I don't expect it to last that long with my 215 lbs smooshing it around.
A great bike for beginner through intermediate, and plenty good enough with some upgrades for expert in my humble opinion (even though I'm not an expert). I was lucky enough to snag an '04 in near-new condition from an eBAY seller (pawn shop in Nevada). Mine is the very pretty monotone silver color without any stripes like the other 2 colors offered in '04 (silver's not even listed on the C'dale site, even though there's a picture of silver). I thought the front fork would be too mushy for the singletracks I ride, but after riding my (suspensionless) Redline singlespeed, the Cannondale rode like a Cadillac over the roots and rocks. The only problems with the fork are climbing, where the bike bobs up and down somewhat, and aggressive cornering where the fork takes a second to settle into it's compression . These things don't seem to slow me down, but they'll take some getting used to, as it feels a bit odd (but I've been riding suspensionless for quite some time). This bike flat screams compared to my current bike ('03 KHS Alite 1000) - it really wants to run. Some of the componentry is a little less than ideal (like when you remove the front wheel to load the bike the brake springs invariably come off their detents) but everything works well together nevertheless. The brake thing is not a huge deal, but I just hope they don't bounce off sometime on a big bump right before I need them. Overall, I love this bike - I bought it just to turn around and resell it for profit, but fell in love when I rode it and decided to keep it and eventually upgrade it as needed. It's a great compliment to my Redline which I dearly love too.
Bike Setup: Stock (so far, but eying a Marzocchi Bomber fork)
a Cross Country Rider
from Perth, WA, Australia
Date Reviewed: June 16, 2005
Strengths: Looks good. V Brakes. Plush fork. Lockout. SRAM triggers always ready. Rails through turns like nothing else.
Weaknesses: Headshock had to be replaced. Crankset square taper.
I came 3rd in my first race. Previously 18th was my best result. I'd only had the bike a few days. Now I know it can be pushed harder through the singletrack, can change gears quick enough to handle abrupt changes in verticality, locked out can do some serious damage on climbs and sprints and is very stable on downhills, even surprisingly nimble on switchbacks for a bike with such a long wheelbase. The more expensive models are half an inch shorter and lighter optimo frames, but otherwise get an f400, go upgrade and go win some races.
I have an old 90's Cannondale F400 hardtail frame, with lugs for rear-derailleur. Problem is the spacing for rear dropouts is 4 3/8" (as opposed to standard 5.5"). None of my wheelsets will fit!
In the pic is an old 90's Ritchey wheelset with freewheel..which I can play with the spacers to "mak ... Read More »
I have a Cannondale F400 and the handlebars and the tire easily operate independently of one another. I cannot figure out how to tighten the handlebars so they don't rotate.
I was mountain biking yesterday and the tire would hit a rock and go one way while my handlebars would go another ... Read More »
Looking at picking up a bike off Craigslist for my wife. Trying to find out the frame size to see if this one will work, but while waiting to hear back on that. The listing link is below. Seller is asking $300, what's a fair price for this bike?
[url=http://orangecounty.craigslist ... Read More »
Hey guys, I've just gotten back into riding recently after being on hiatus for a few years. My bike is a 2004 Cannondale F400. First thing I did was replace my tires with slightly fatter ones since the OEM tires had dried up and flattened out. Now I'm thinking of changing the crank since it's bent a ... Read More »