a Weekend Warrior
from MD, USA
Date Reviewed: January 14, 2011
Strengths: Frame is beautiful (green fade to black) and strong
Weaknesses: Brakes, Crank
In 2011 Shimano honored a very old recall on the crank and sent my LBS a kit that included a different crank, bottom bracket, front derailleur, and chain. The kit seems comprised of cheap parts. At the time I also had the LBS install new Forte Team V-Brakes and Levers. The original cantilever brakes had also been recalled, but that recall is no longer being honored. Bike looks like the day it was sold in 1995, except for these changes.
Bike Setup: All original except for Shimano crank recall kit (Crank, Front Derailleur, Bottom Bracket, Chain) and Forte Team V-Brakes and Levers
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: September 24, 2010
Strengths: Frame - lightweight and strong.
Weaknesses: Original components. Geometry is not ideal for adding a suspension fork.
I loved this bike. This was my primary bike from '91 - '03. Original parts sucked but I replaced them all as they broke (helped that I worked part-time at a bike shop at that time). Very lightweight considering it was from the 90's. Responsive ride. Bomb proof frame (I'm 200+ lbs). Not designed for a suspension fork but worked okay with one. Even after I bought a replacement bike I kept this one around with street tires to pull the kids in the Burley. I finally gave this to a friend this past year and he just rode it in the 2010 Chequamegon Fat Tire race (40 miles). Bike got a lot of looks from the other racers / spectators and performed well considering the amount of mud on the course.
Bike Setup: XT rapid fire shifters / brake levers. XT front and rear derailleurs. XT cantilever brakes. Manitou Three fork. Mavic crankset (prototype). Mavic wheels. White Industry hubs. Shimano XT BB. Shimano XT headset. Control Tech stem. TCO seatpost. WTB Saddle. Scott handlebars. Titanium skewers, seatpost binder and derailleur pullies.
a Weekend Warrior
from Essex, England
Date Reviewed: August 6, 2010
Strengths: Durability, strength and the two tone metalic red and silver colour!
Weaknesses: Gears, definitely the gears!
I bought this bike in 1995 in Germany with a view to selling it on,(I got it cheap due to Cannondale sponsoring a charity cycling event we did). Due to several reasons this never happenned! What can I say about this bike? The only parts I have changed in 15 years are the brake blocks (twice) and the handlebar stem, I am about to change the tyres from the original Piranha Pros as the sidewalls have finally given up! I now use this bike daily for commuting and it is superb. The gears have all ways been a problem and I've lost count of the number of times I've had to adjust both front and rear deraileurs! It needs a major service but somehow I never get round to doing it and yet it still keeps going! All in all this bike has been outstanding!
Similar Products Used: Other bikes are a Kona Jake and Lemond road bike. Cannondale is for trails and commuting.
Bike Setup: Pretty standard. I swapped to slicks a few years back. It is a commuter bike now.
a Weekend Warrior
from Lincoln, Nebraska
Date Reviewed: July 12, 2009
Strengths: The oversized aluminum frame.
Weaknesses: Components...and I'm not too crazy about those Presta valves that came with the stock tires either.
Mine was a leftover Birkenstock edition in metallic green that I got for a pretty good price considering what they were asking for new M400s at the time. I still have it and while the components are junk compared to those on my old Giant, the frame more than makes up for it. This bike has taken a pounding including a serious crash that broke my right arm and did some serious muscle damage but it still looks like brand new.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Hard Rock; Giant ATX760.
Bike Setup: Completely stock.
a Weekend Warrior
from Edison, NJ
Date Reviewed: July 6, 2008
Strengths: Solid Frame. Awesome ride.
Weaknesses: Components not so great.
I've slowly upgrading components over the years. The frame is still solid, and the bike gives an awesome ride. I use it both on the road (I wish it had higher gearing) and off road. I've noticed the newer bikes have smaller wheels... i tend to go flying by them. Great frame!!! Love it.
Similar Products Used: Marin Indian Fire Trail,Focus Black Forest.
Bike Setup: Stock
a Weekend Warrior
from Kansas City
Date Reviewed: February 3, 2007
Strengths: Beautiful fat tubed frame with replaceable derailleur hanger. Paint (black) is powdercoat and tough as nails.
Weaknesses: Bought mine as a bare frame so I don't know what the weaknesses were from the factory. I'd like to see 1 1/8 steerer on this frame for ease of fork selection.
This turned out to be a beautiful looking rig, much nicer than the factory model. Despite an eclectic mix of parts and components, it ended up performing very nicely and very light. The oversize aluminum is very stiff and responsive and is an absolute joy to ride. I just threw this rig together, It's the Cannondale frame that makes all this stuff work so well. I don't recommend a Cannondale for just everyone, you gotta like the ride of the aluminum and learn how to ride without a big 'ol gel seat. An awesome bike for those in the know.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Hardrock A1/FS Cannondale mtb (freakin' old with roller cam brakes)
Bike Setup: The frame was a hair big for me on the trail, so I made it into a super-lite commuter, with fat slicks and fenders. The whole bike is blacked out, or dull gray for a really sweet look. Rigid threadless fork, KORE stem, Ti bars, XC Pro chainrings/Shifter, LX cogs/derailleur. Grip Shift, Vetta lite seat, 987 brakes and levers w/tri-align Continental slicks, Zefal black plastic fenders
a Weekend Warrior
from Houston, TX, USA
Date Reviewed: May 26, 2006
GREAT! I've commuted and trailed on it in the states and in Mexico where I lived for 5 years. I even almost took a Toyota door off its body. Someone parked on a street in Mexico opened their door in front of me...it wouldn't close after that. My wheels were trash but the frame was fine! Oh yeah, I was kind of OK too! Like someone else said, the teeth are gnarled now, but components aren't forever even though I think this frame may be! I agree with the reviewer who wonders if putting a shock on this would be a good or bad idea! ON the derailleurs I really only had issues with the front. The back was fine. Mine came with 3 X 7. I bought it in '97.
a Weekend Warrior
from San Francisco, CA USA
Date Reviewed: March 11, 2006
Strengths: The frame, the frame, the frame. And oh yeah, did I mention the frame? It sucks that you can not buy a bike these days without front shocks. Such a light bike and a pleasure to cruise through maniacal city streets or tight single track.
Weaknesses: Components were not top of the line but that is not what I bought the bike for.
Very tight machine. If you want to actually experience your ride this bike will be great for you. If, on the other hand, you want a "comfortable ride" and are the sort of person who prefers a easy, slow, fat ride stay on the tram or go with full suspension.
Similar Products Used: I have ridden bikes by Gary Fisher and Specialized and maybe it is just the lame front shocks but I really like being connected with the terrain and you just can't get that with shocks. Why not just call up for a Hummer limo and be done with it?
from Houston, TX
Date Reviewed: April 29, 2005
Strengths: M400 = Awesome value, 9.5 years of abuse and all I got is an annoying squeek in left crank. It's beat up but not bent. teeth front and back bent and broken, still works great. Tough and durable, plus reliable so you don't have to visit the bike shop.
Weaknesses: Damn squeek in left crank (on mine) brakes kinda suck (shimano brakes, not "V"s), but gives a good excuse for a all too frequent wipeout.
If I could, I'd buy another one, and I have tried all makes, Cannondale is the best if you damage the frame, expecially if you say you are sooo disappointed, as a longtime customer, the former outstanding weld quality , ect. They will take care of you, just act nice, and sad of course.
M400 - held up to almost 10 years of abuse, I got my money's worth.
Favorite Trail: anything near verticle and dangerous
Duration Product Used: More than 3 years
Purchased At: Frankfurt , Germany
Similar Products Used: Cannondale 1995 V900 (couldn't get over the frame resembling a "girl's" bike, so bought a 1995 M400 instead (gotta have something to hit when you slip off the pedals, right??) .
Bike Setup: all original with 3 x 5 speed thumbshifts (never quite calibrated, just ballpark shifting control), except just put on Crank Bros Mallet C pedals (until now I never crashed with both feet firmly attached to my pedals - cool but painful), and a new cannondale water bottle (the new ones top pops off when you hit a hard bump, so just to let you know I didn't piss myself coming down the last washout)
Date Reviewed: June 21, 2003
2 aluminium frame reviews in one here, maybe not under the correct heading but the closest place i could find.
Current frame is a red 1996 Cannondale M200 CAD1 22". Frame/forks still fine, used regularly since '96. High BB and C-of-G means the front end can slide under when braking, i've been over the bars many a time especially in the rain. Tire clearance could be better, the frame has suffered a bit of damage due to contact when using tires around 2.3" wide (it's amazing how rubber can go through aluminium over time...) Frame was a replacement after its predecessor, a black (green speckled) 1990 23" (M700 i think) Chameleon frame broke. It broke not at the sacrificial dropout (a bolt-on dropout that was meant to break in preference to the chainstay), but on the opposite chainstay, so they replaced it, thanks guys! The Chameleon had pepperoni forks and a huge diameter downtube, i still miss it, great looking frame, though the rear triangle wasn't as beefy as the front. Have the stem with the 'chameleon' logo, about the only original part i still use. Original parts were Ritchey rims & tires, Suntour XCD gears, DiaCompe XCE brakes. Parts wore out over the years and have been replaced, the rear mech, seat, and that stem, will be the last to go. The paint finish on my M200 has lasted well, the M700 Chameleon paint bubbled at the welds and was flaking badly. I don't think the M200 is really designed to take a lot of new components, disc brakes, suspension fork etc, so it'll probably be replaced in the near future, but it has lasted well.
Strengths: To repeat the words of every reviewer: the CAAD 2 frame. It truly rocks. Not only is it sturdy and light, but it's so stiff that you can feel every crack in the road and pebble on the ground. Mine's taken quite a bit of abuse over the last 7 years, and it's holding up like new.
Weaknesses: As already stated in other reviews: the biggest drawback are the original components, which do not do justice to the potential of this bike. I've been gradually upgrading over the years, and now have mostly LX+ components, which make a HUGE difference (you definitely need to upgrade the derailleur and breaks). The other drawback is that it's hard to find a suspension fork for this bike, but I always wondered whether suspension would kill the thrill of the ride and the control that you have with the stiff frame (it's nice to feel the ground underneath you). It makes for a challenging downhill experience.
I love this bike, and wouldn't replace it even if I had the cash. I constantly bike on city streets, bikepaths and off-road trails, and it's always a great ride. The frame seems to be indestructible, and, with decent component upgrades, it's a perfect mid-range bike for any enthusiast looking to thoroughly enjoy their rides.
I have a line on a '96 M400 and had a couple questions.
Any specific issues to look for when I check it out?
Also, what is the steerer tube size. I've seen both 1" and 1 1/8" and I am hoping 1 1/8" just in case I want to replace the fork. The owner has a suspension fork mounted now ... Read More »
Craigslist Bike opinion wanted,
I am looking on this bike, have read enough to see that one shouldn't buy one from wall-mart. But not sure what brands or specs are good. I don't want to spend a lot because i don't know if i will really get into trail riding.
What do you think of this bike?
Also ... Read More »
Hi all- new to the forum. I've spent the last few days searching the postings and went through all the Cannondale postings, but still haven't found exactly what I'm looking for...
I've had a Rock Shox Jett T2 on my 96 M400 for at least the last 5-6 years. I'm a casual rider. Last week I notic ... Read More »
Hey fellow Cyclists!
I'm new to this site, but a beginner at cycling. I will ride a 50/50 mix on city roads and trails. I am from Berlin, Germany but moved to the states in 2000, and since 2000, I have NOT ridden a bike.
So I just bought this bike for $200 (guess I overpaid), and took it for nice ... Read More »
Okay it’s definitely not vintage but definitely a retrofit. I have a 1990s era Raleigh M400 hardtail. It still has the same JUDY C front shock it came with and is in desperate need of an upgrade.
This is going to become my urban commando commuter (IOW not the end of the world if it ... Read More »