Cannondale M400 XC Hardtail

4.38/5 (21 Reviews)


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M400


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Reviews 1 - 15 (21 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by VTGCNDL a Weekend Warrior from MD, USA

Date Reviewed: January 14, 2011

Strengths:    Frame is beautiful (green fade to black) and strong

Weaknesses:    Brakes, Crank

Bottom Line:   
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.

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Bike Setup:   All original except for Shimano crank recall kit (Crank, Front Derailleur, Bottom Bracket, Chain) and Forte Team V-Brakes and Levers

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jeffkin15 a Weekend Warrior from Illinois

Date Reviewed: September 24, 2010

Strengths:    Frame - lightweight and strong.

Weaknesses:    Original components. Geometry is not ideal for adding a suspension fork.

Bottom Line:   
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.

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Favorite Trail:   John Muir - Kettle Moraine

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $400.00

Similar Products Used:   2001 Schwinn Homegrown

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.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ChrisB 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!

Bottom Line:   
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!

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   Cannondale Europe

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Completely original (except for handlebar stem)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by fmartin a Weekend Warrior from Austin, TX

Date Reviewed: February 14, 2010

Strengths:    Bike has survived for 15 years. I have tried to part with it, but I can't. The frame is great.

Weaknesses:    Like others have said the gears, breaks, crank. But again mine is way old. Not the best mtb, but great durability.

Bottom Line:   
I have tried to sell this bike but I cannot bring myself to do so. If you need a mtb or a commuter and you can find a used one, I strongly recommend it.

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Favorite Trail:   Anywhere

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Budget Bikes, Madisi

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.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Sam 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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

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Favorite Trail:   MOPAC

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Bike Pedalers

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Hard Rock; Giant ATX760.

Bike Setup:   Completely stock.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kal a Weekend Warrior from Edison, NJ

Date Reviewed: July 6, 2008

Strengths:    Solid Frame. Awesome ride.

Weaknesses:    Components not so great.

Bottom Line:   
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.

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Bikestore in NJ

Bike Setup:   As was.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by wilfried socha from new york

Date Reviewed: April 19, 2008

Strengths:    Frame with specifics hidden skills
stable,balanced,with predictable stiffness and naturaly responsive
it is to me a truly machine of performances at many levels


Weaknesses:    bit too much trail on front wheel
mechanic component standard quality
same frame with drop out could also be nice


Bottom Line:   
Bike messenger I spend my days
got that bike from my wife.she had it since 95
wonderful tool.reliable.thrilling way to work

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Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   500$ in 1995

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   Straight fork chrm

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Adam Truchanowicz a Cross Country Rider from Szczecin,Zachodniopomorskie,Poland

Date Reviewed: June 24, 2007

Strengths:    Marvelous frame.From -45 degrees frost up to 40 degrees heat.

Weaknesses:    Shimano components.Specially brakes and cranks.

Bottom Line:   
Great!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Baksan Valley near Elbrus(Russia)

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $450.00

Purchased At:   "Athletica"sports shop Slupsk Poland

Similar Products Used:   Marin Indian Fire Trail,Focus Black Forest.

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mike Dold 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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Tri Tech Sports

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

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Darryl Singleton a Weekend Warrior from Houston, TX, USA

Date Reviewed: May 26, 2006

Strengths:    Frame

Weaknesses:    Shifter/derailleur

Bottom Line:   
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.

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Favorite Trail:   wherever I can leave more blood in my veins than on the ground

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   Boone Cycles in Houston

Similar Products Used:   1983 Stumpjumper Sport

Bike Setup:   Stock plus a looong stem

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jim a Weekend Warrior from McAllen, TX USA

Date Reviewed: April 19, 2006

Strengths:    The Frame.

Weaknesses:    Shifter

Bottom Line:   
Love this bike. Over ten years of nasty abuse and still rolling. I'd buy another Cannondale.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $500.00


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Darrell Cox 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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

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Favorite Trail:   Tiger Mountain near Seattle, WA

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Portland, OR

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?


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Frederich 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.


Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   anything near verticle and dangerous

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $600.00

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)

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by DP from Scotland

Date Reviewed: June 21, 2003

Bottom Line:   
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.

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by T a Weekend Warrior from S

Date Reviewed: May 14, 2003

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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   a bike shop in Northern NJ in 1996

Similar Products Used:   1995 Trek 920; 2002 Cannondale Silk Trail 400; mid 1990's Cannondale Super V700; mid 1990's Cannondale Killer V900 HT

Bike Setup:   original CAAD 2 frame, lx components (the upgrade to v-brakes was key)

Reviews 1 - 15 (21 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


1996 M400 Questions

Hello, 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 »

Raleigh M400

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 »

96 M400 front suspension replacement...

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 »

New 2 Site - 97 Cannondale M400

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 »

Raleigh M400 replacement fork help?

Hi y'all, 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 »

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