Cannondale Rush 3 XC Full Suspension

4.53/5 (17 Reviews)


Product Description

  • Frame: Rush, 110 mm
  • Fork: Lefty Speed Bonded DLR2, 110 mm
  • Rear Shock: FOX Float RP23
  • Rims: Mavic CrossLand UST
  • Pedals: CrankBrothers Egg Beater
  • Crank: FSA Afterburner MegaExo
  • Chain: Shimano 9-speed
  • Bottom Bracket: FSA Afterburner MegaExo
  • Shifters: SRAM X-7 Trigger
  • Handlebars: FSA XC-281AOS, 25 mm rise
  • Stem: Cannondale XC3 Si, 31.8 mm


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Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by rigahrenchuk a Weekend Warrior from Riga, Latvia

Date Reviewed: April 20, 2009

Strengths:    Feels lighter than it is and very fast ride. Comfortable for long rides. In two years of riding only a flat tire!

Weaknesses:    The tires are fast but they tend to wash out in any kind of soft ground. The handle bars are a bit wide so riding on single track with a lot of trees means you got to be a bit careful! A few other riders I know actually cut them down which is probably a good thing to do.

Bottom Line:   
A tough cross country bike which is fast and tough. Tires are a trade off for speed rather than traction which makes sense given the purpose. Like it a lot.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Mezaparks

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   Dukes

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by leftyrush3 a Cross Country Rider from Lanesville, IN, USA

Date Reviewed: April 3, 2009

Strengths:    Once the front lefty was dialed in the bike has been awesome. The Rush begs to climb and carves single track with no hesitations. Easy on the body.

Weaknesses:    Juicy 7's brakes stunk. Brake flutter would never quit. Changed the shifters/brakes to XT. Sweet.....After 1800 miles the rear triangle cross brace cracked.

Bottom Line:   
Best bike I've had in my 20 years of riding. Fun to ride. Wish the frame was made in USA.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Brown County IN

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $2200.00

Purchased At:   Clarksville Schwinn

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Stump Jumper, Trek Fuel 90, Gary Fisher Hi-Fi

Bike Setup:   Carbon frame, XT shifters/brakes/cranks. Small block eights w/stans. Easton Monkeylite bars.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Keith Hungerford a Weekend Warrior from Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Date Reviewed: May 10, 2008

Strengths:    Suspension is very easy to adjust to suit the trail. The bike is very well put together and all components work well together. The Lefty fork is impressive as is the RP23. The bike is light and stiff.

Weaknesses:    Putting the bike on a bike carrier on a car requires a cross bar but this is a small weakness.

Bottom Line:   
Get this one it is a cracker. Uphills its like a mountain goat & downhills are so smooth with the rear shock in propedal or loose for descents. Don't buy it if you are a downhiller or freerider who takes big drops this is a xc bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Chocolate Buddha, Diasy Hill

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $3100.00

Purchased At:   Planet Cycles

Bike Setup:   Stock as a rock except I've put my WTB Pure V saddle on it. The Fizik Wing Flex saddle it came with is like riding on a thin metal bar. Ouch !

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mark a Weekend Warrior from Stroudsburg

Date Reviewed: February 1, 2008

Strengths:    I LOVE my RUSH 3!!! The lefty fork is great. The full suspention makes you feel like your riding on pay\vement the whole time. It is very easy to lock out and unlock your shocks when you need to. The weight of the rush 3 allows you to controll your riding through tuff trails. This bike comes with great components you really dont need to upgrade much at all. The avid juicy brakes respond the way you want need them to in any condition

Weaknesses:    The only problem i have is I hit my pedals on rocks and logs alot due to the low clearance.

Bottom Line:   
Buy this bike its awesome!!!!!!!!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Koumbado hill

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2200.00

Purchased At:   Genesis bike shop

Similar Products Used:   GT XTR full supention

Bike Setup:   Cut off 3/4 inch on both side of my bar ends, changed to a Thomson seat post(love it)upgrade my grips

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Elliot a Cross Country Rider from Australia

Date Reviewed: November 26, 2007

Strengths:    This is one sweet ride. Don't be worried by the weight of the bike (it's not heavy, but for the price you can get lighter bikes), the balance of this bike is phenomenal. It's almost like the bike can sense where you want to go. This seems to be a trait of other Canondales I have ridden, certainly the predecessor to this bike, the Jekyll acted the same way. The lefty, once worn in, is magic. Aside from the odd looks and comments you get, this is certainly one of the best forks I have ever ridden, the ease of dialling it in is the icing on the cake.

Weaknesses:    Ok, so no bike is perfect. Here's what erked me with this one:
A low bottom bracket means hitting the end of the cranks and pedals on the trail, a lot! Also riding up and over logs I manage to scrap the big chain ring most of the time.
The bike wasn't really running perfectly when I bought it, the lefty felt like it had sand in it, the rear shock (Fox RP23) came undone and went flat (on my first lap of a 24 hour race!!) and the rear brake still "clicks" under heavy braking. After getting these things sorted I was much happier, but really it should have been prefect from the shop right? This is not a cheap bike after all. (not really Canondal's fault here)
The tyres, sigh the tyres… I upgraded to the Mavic SLR wheelset and got the Maxxis CrossMark tyres with it. You either love these tyres or you hate them. I hate them. For me they had almost no grip and washing out the front was a regular occurrence. Spinning the rear was almost as regular, even at lowish pressure. They cake up really easily in wet or damp conditions and don't shed any mud what so ever. I guess these tyres would be good on some dry, smooth, hard packed, single trail, but not much good on anything else. Maybe it's me? I have switched to Maxis Igniters front and rear, I'm running about 27 - 30 psi and couldn't be happier! So much grip and no pinch flats = bliss!!
Lastly, the paint. Don't sneeze on this bike, the paint will come off or scratch!! I got the team replica scheme, it looks awesome and I can pretend that I am some hotshot team sponsored rider (which I am certainly not) but the ease at which the paint comes off this bike is astonishing. Not sure how it is for the other paint schemes.
Hmm, that's about all for this section. It is a good bike though… honestly!!


Bottom Line:   
This is an awesome all day trail bike (even counting my big gripe session in the weakness section). I use it for 12, 24 hour racing and 100km enduro events and love it. Makes for an excellent trail bike too. As is the case for every bike, take the time to dial it in to your tastes. I was under whelmed when riding this bike straight from the shop, but since playing with tyre / shock pressures and adjustments the bike has come up a treat.
Canondale might be expensive compared to similar spec'd bikes (esp here in Australia) but I firmly believe you get what you pay for. The lifetime warranty on the frame is a nice touch - I hope I never have to use it though (esp if I can't get another Rush)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Sparrow Hill

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $5500.00

Purchased At:   City Bike Depot

Similar Products Used:   Jekyll, RaceLine Extreme

Bike Setup:   Changed wheels to Mavic CrossMax SLR, pedals changed to Time ATAC (the original mud lovers! Best pedals ever! EggBeaters are copycats!) Tyres changed to Maxis Ignitors

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Vern a Cross Country Rider from Park City, UT, USA

Date Reviewed: November 22, 2007

Strengths:    Excellent handling, comfortable, rigidity, value

Weaknesses:    Lefty has few wheel options and isn't as plush as Fox forks I've ridden

Bottom Line:   
I'm becoming more and more pleased with this bike over time. Initially the front fork felt sticky and excessive compression damping. It has broken in over ~5 rides and now is acceptable. Still not as plush as the Fox float fork. Otherwise the bike is fantastic. Handling is unreal, and I love the riding position. The rear end is rock solid under extreme exertion and it feels much more lively and efficient than my last ride. Single pivot is a godd thing. I'm very happy with the tires. I run 25/30 psi front/rear and it is awesome through the rocks. I've had no significant mechanical problems over ~10 rides and thus far rate this bike as near perfect for cross country.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Wasatch Crest

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1850.00

Purchased At:   White Pine touring

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Stumpjumper

Bike Setup:   Stock except for 1" off each bar end and WTB Laser V saddle.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Aman a Weekend Warrior from Glosta

Date Reviewed: September 11, 2007

Strengths:    THis is an update to the post below. I forgot to mention this one problem.

Weaknesses:    The Fizzik seat that comes with this bike is the most God awful saddle I have ever tried to ride. My short dirtjumper/urban saddles are many times more comfortable for any type of riding. For the money that Cannondale spent on the saddle there are much better options out there. this Saddle is the worst thing I've ever sat on. I can only think some one went out of their way to intentionally make this the most uncomfortable and useless saddle ever desinged. Like I said I have 30 dollar urban saddles and a 22 dollar bmx saddle that are plush comfy rides in comparison. It is not only a lack of padding - the shape of the saddle is wrong. No matter how I adjust it it is plain painful to ride. I know companies need to cut corners for a profit but like I said there are plenty of saddles in that price range that would put the fizzik to shame.

Bottom Line:   
Please read my review below. The Rush 3 is a good, well balanced niche package. The seat however is the first thing that must be changed unless of course you are a fan of the Marque de Sad(however one spells his name). I really don't understand why Cannondale chose this saddle unless of course there was some major wining and dining balanced into the equation.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   goodals' bike shop


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Aman a Weekend Warrior from Glousta

Date Reviewed: September 5, 2007

Strengths:    Feels lighter then it is. The geometery leaves me stretched out over the bike in a more horizontal position then vertical. This is a comfortable and powerful position for long hauls but the cost is agility. Although it squeaks alot it actually is rugged! The Lefty is great, does not pull left. The lock out on the lefty kicks ass. The fox's propedal and the SPP of the Rush work well together. The Components are good - Avid juicy 7(would like 185 better bu then I a little bigger then your average rider), sram x-7 triggers - A+, sram rear derailer x-9 long cage - A+, mavic crossland rims A+, tires A+, Hubs - we have issues here, my set seems to have way to much rolling resistance.

Weaknesses:    Squeaky and noisy system. I'm not small at 6 foot 210 lbs but I'm not huge either. The bike has taken everything I've done to it in stride although it it groans and moans quite a bit. The sounds the bike made at first made me sceptical of how rugged it was. In time my confidence in the bike has grown. Rollog resistance of the hubs is to high.

Bottom Line:   
Great marathon or endurance bike. Took me a while to get the Seat post, Seat angle, handle bars set just right but once I did the Rush came a live as powerful XC racing bike. By that I mean the geometry set my body up in a position that not only made me want to peddel like mad, but set me up with a very powerful and efficient stroke. The feeling is like my Arms are stretched way out in front of me, and hanging on to the handle bars to keep the bike from shooting out from under me. It is actually very comfortable and a great racing position. The down side is that for that stretched out fellingthere is a price. Although the bike feels light and relatively nimble, a bike like the Chameleon will turn tighter cirles around it. there is no comparison there. The chameleon is alot more nimlbe but the body position is also totally different. The Rush 3 is a great factory bike but at 2799 - go to ebay, wait for a good but cheap frame and follow Cannondale's spec sheat as a guideline for components.
If I could only have one bike this wouldn't be it, because I prefer spend more time practicing urban, trials, technical stuff. If your main thrill in biking is endurance training/ racing this bike is tough to beat. As a secondary bike it fills its specific function very well.
I'll give it 4 and 4. If your buying it as a niche bike I'd give it a five.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2599.00

Purchased At:   Goodale's bike shop

Similar Products Used:   06 Nomad, 04 Enduro, 07 enduro, 07 Chameleon, 01 Jekyl, old cannondale hardtail, gaint hardtail, GT avalanche

Bike Setup:   Thompson elite seat post 410mm - I have long legs, Specialized milano saddle.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Paul a Cross Country Rider from Jersey City, NJ

Date Reviewed: August 9, 2007

Strengths:    Pedaling efficency: coming off a hardtail I think the Rush is better. The frame design along with the rear shock (Fox Float RP23) make it a climbing beast and an accelerating monster

Cornering: I was able to choose so many different lines going up and down a switchback. Even those tight twisty trails are easily tamed.

Lefty: stiff, smooth, plush. Whats left to say??


Weaknesses:    TIRES!!!! These things drove me crazy always washing out and not getting the traction I am used to with the Panaracers Fire XC Pro. I ended up leaning the bike more which helped a lot but it left me wondering when the next time I will wash out. I am changing them pretty soon.

Bottom Line:   
I really don't understand how someone could not enjoy this bike. It is so smooth and controls better then anything I've felt before. The normal 5 hour ride I do every other week does not feel so rough anymore as the lefty and rear shock take everything. The shimano drive train I put on makes it shift like butter. Sprinting and accelerating seem like second nature as the bike truly responds to every input you provide. The lower BB is something I don't mind at all. I feel like this is the reason the bike handles so well.

This bike is truly something to appreciate as the frame design is really core of what makes this bike so amazing. The components can always be changed to give you a better over all ride but the frame is one solid bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   as long as there is dirt

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Cosmic Wheel Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   None: I only demo'd other dualies as this is my first.

Bike Setup:   Cannondale Rush 3, XT shifters, XT cranks, XT Cassette, XT rear deraileur, XTR Pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Dave a Racer from UK

Date Reviewed: July 25, 2007

Strengths:    Beautiful carbon frame, Excellent fork, great handling, well balanced suspension, it climbs fast, pedals effciently, descends as fast as I like. And it looks cool, especially with the lefty.


Weaknesses:    The avid brakes. In the dry, they dont bite as well as the Hopes I'm used to. In the wet, they convert all of the energy into screaming-and not stopping. The only way I could get them to work was to keep them hot, which meant running with them on slightly. The rear pads wore out completely after about 4 hours use from new (inc 2 hour wet ride). I have since changed to EBC sintered pads, and they seem far better than the stock ones.

The low BB took a bit of getting use to, a couple of bent teeth on the chain ring and some pedal strikes later, you get used to it.

Maxxis crossmark tyres. On hardpack, they are pretty good, very effcient to pedal. But in the wet, they are useless. I found the rear wheel spinning out on wet grass. In mud, the rear wouldn't drive or brake and the front wouldn't steer. They are the only tyres I have ever used that have such extreme wet/dry characteristics.



Bottom Line:   
This is the best bike I ever ever tried. Change the tyres to something that suits you, replace the brake pads and remember the BB is quite low and just throw it along any trail you want. The low BB is part of the reason it handles so well, so I can forgive Cannondale for that. A remote lock out lever for the Fox shock would be good, I found it all to easy to throw the propedal lever too far and lock out the rear bounce, when trying to adjust it while riding on rough stuff. The carbon frame is very light, and still very stiff and strong. In my opinion, the best All-Mountain bike there is. Light enough to climb, comfortable for endurance racing and tough enough for downhill trail riding.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bishops Hill, Fife

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $3500.00

Similar Products Used:   Scott Genius, GT team LTS

Bike Setup:   I replaced the stram shifters and rear mech with XTR and XT. Tyres have been changed to Ignitors. With this set up weight is 27Ib exactly (Medium)

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by doug a Cross Country Rider from toronto, canada

Date Reviewed: June 7, 2007

Strengths:    Wheel hub, System Integration (SI) front. XT cranks.

Weaknesses:    Price, value, ride, part interchange, Rear chain stay, frame bb height, 06 shimano XT group, seat,

Bottom Line:   
This bike is perfect for riding cattle pastures and dodging cow patties THATS IT. Any downhill coasting the rear stay feels like a Hypochondriac screaming for Meds.I am always looking behind to see whats wrong. Do not venture off the grazing fields with the BB at the lowest height in the MTB Industry, again great for dogging patties. If your weight is over 190lbs and over 6 ft tall do not buy it. Cannondale replacement service works in slow motion, just like their bike. I will not own any RUSH again and am in a big RUSH to get away from it. Thanks to the crew at Dukes, 'excellent sevice and never nickeled and dimed'.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Don Valley

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $3250.00

Purchased At:   Dukes Cycle, since 1911, in Toronto.

Similar Products Used:   Yetti 575, turner 5 spot, S C nomad, enduro SL expert fsr.

Bike Setup:   Shimano 06 group, XT, XTR rear D.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by David Willis a Weekend Warrior from Camp Lejeune NC USA

Date Reviewed: May 18, 2007

Strengths:    all around great bike. love the rp23 rear shock

Weaknesses:    the lx front deralliuer is a little limp

Bottom Line:   
the best bike I have ever ridden. I have been riding about 16 years and raced semi pro on a hard tail. this is my first full suspension bike and I realize I should have made the switch sooner.
I think the handle bar is a little wide I'm going to take off half an inch on each side. the lefty is so smooth, I can't stand to ride anything else now. great product great specs.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   the brig trail

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2700.00

Purchased At:   the bicycle shop

Similar Products Used:   Prophet 3, stump jumper fsr

Bike Setup:   switched odi lock-on grips.salsa QR seat collar

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Fred a Weekend Warrior from Prague

Date Reviewed: May 6, 2007

Strengths:    Built tough, rides light for nearly 30 lbs. Tubless tires leak until you put some slime in tires.

Weaknesses:    Low clearance and really wide handle bars - you take out a lot of trees until you get them cut down. The rear suspension adjustment (3 settings) now seems to have only 2.

Bottom Line:   
Really fun bike - makes you want to ride every day. Front Lx should be upgraded and the rear suspension is not the best from what i have read.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Garmisch Germany

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2600.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Trek 6500

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Squads a Weekend Warrior from Philadelphia

Date Reviewed: April 28, 2007

Strengths:    Great frame and shock. Lefty fork feels great.

Weaknesses:    Not a fan of the "smooth" tires. Change em.

Bottom Line:   
This ride put the Stumpjumper to shame from a riding perspective. The Stumpy sits way too high and has a slow and awkward quality to it. I tried the Rush afterwards and I felt I actually had more travel with it. It rides so much faster too.

I liked it so much that I had them order a Rush 4, which is coming in May 12th. I can't wait. If you are considering this bike, go give it a test ride.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Stumpy FSR comp

Bike Setup:   bone stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tarsey Anastos from Milford, CT USA

Date Reviewed: April 20, 2007

Strengths:    A hand full of months now and I am still in love with it.


Weaknesses:    Tires!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
see below


Bottom Line:   
Follow up to previous review:

These tires stink! They don't hold air and the rear has way too many pin holes to count. They cake up with mud and do not shed the crud off at all.
As soon as it gets the least bit damp out kiss traction good bye.
Would be great if I lived in the south west or raced Norba with groomed trails!

Had a set of Maxxis with similar tread that came on previous bike. After first ride threw them out and were replaced. Buying new tires for this bike now. Never liked Maxxis and never will.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months


Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


Anyone try a Mission 2.3 on a converted Rush?

I'm looking for a faster rolling tire than a Nevegal for my 650b'd Cannondale Rush. I'm willing to give up a little grip for some more speed. I was looking at the new Kenda Honey Badger 2.2, but from what I've been told, it won't be available for another 2 months. I know the Vee rubber Mission 2.1 ... Read More »

Buying a used bike: yeti575 vs. Cannondale Rush 3

I'm looking for a used bike in the 2K budget frame. Checking the local craigslist I'm down to a couple of options: Cannondale Rush 3 Carbon atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/bik/2417466864.html Yeti 575 atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/bik/2456963984.html or the Rumblefish: atlanta.craigslist.org/sat/bik/24 ... Read More »

3 Day Adrenalin Rush

Thanks go out to my UCSC guides and shuttlers for two days of incredible riding. Gotta love flowy and techy freeride singletrack on damp, tacky dirt in old growth coastal forests. Santa Cruz area trails are truly a taste of BC only a 6 hour drive north of LA. Search UCSC Twin Gates and Demo Forest f ... Read More »

Opinion: used Rush Carbon Team or New RZ120/3?

I know the spec on the Carbon Team is way better, but I've read about the cable rub issue on the Rush. Is it something I can deal with, or will it cause the frame to eventually fail? How is the ride of the new RZ compared to the Rush? The swingarm looks very different, but from what I understan ... Read More »

Thoughts on XL Cannondale Rush 4 or Santa Cruz Superlight for a 6'3 246 lb rider

Hey all, I am returning to ride again after an almost 18 year layoff... I used to ride all the time when I was younger and at the time rode various models of Schwinn and Specialized hardtails. Now I just purchased a used GT hardtail that has some decent components on it and I am having a b ... Read More »

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