Strengths: I bought my f400 brand new in 1995 its unpainted with black stickers. I've changed the tires chain and have it given a once at my local shop every year. I have over 10000 miles on mostly road running head to head with 3000$ bianchi's and felt road bikes. I Love this bike It's been nothing but great to me. Everytime I take it out I get stopped all the time 'where did you get that?' 'those welds are amazing' what can I say I Love my f400 gonna get a cdale badboy 5 with a lefty fork ironically It's only 1100$ my f400 was 1200 lol
Weaknesses: Shifting is chunky sometimes but I deal with it.
Strengths: The frame. Hands down. The frame on this bike has survived 14 years, has been taken through Colorado, Tennessee, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and other states for riding. It is really light, and because it is an earlier implementation if aluminum in a frame, Cannondale beefed it up. This was before they had brought ultralight alloys into this kind of consumer frame, so while it is really light, they didn't know just how little metal they could put into a frame to keep it strong. This means this frame is bombproof. The metal is nice and thick, and the welds are solid. I had this bike given to me for free about a week ago and I have been riding it every day. While cheap, I had a friend tune up the shifters, and they are smooth. I guess I was lucky to get the best of the cheap components. But I still really wish they had triggers instead of grips. I personally like the fork. I dunno who said in one of the first few reviews that Rock Shox suck, but they most certainly do not. I will say these are a bit softer than I would like. They travel too easy. But they are better than everything else stuck on the frame.
Weaknesses: So as everyone else said, the weakness is in components. I hate the shifters, I can't stand the pedals, the crankset feels wrong, and the derailleurs could be improved. But really, you are getting a kick-ass frame that you can stick new stuff on for decades. I proved that. This bike has a frame with only one thing wrong with it. A few chips off the paint.
I love this bike. I am going to upgrade in a few months only because I didn't pay a cent for this bike. I have put seven dollars into it. I bought a kickstand. Other than that, I didn't feel like putting money into it because I was saving for a Haro or a Specialized already when a friend told me they wanted to get rid of a bike and knew I would treat it well (I had just gotten into mountain biking at the time). I have only had this bike a week, but i have put it through it's paces. For those with one of these old bikes with stock parts, this is my recommendation. Replace the handle bar and shifters. Get triggers. So much nicer. Replace the pedals. Get something that has one sided clips and that won't rust out. Most importantly, get everything professionally cleaned and lubricated after all the grime is stripped off. Even if the previous owner has done so recently. Go to your local bike shop and have this done. They may encounter other things. Have them tune up the shifters if you do not replace the immediately. This cleaning and tune up is more important than new stuff. If you have the money sitting around, It would be worth it to upgrade parts of the power train. Just get advice from the bike shop. This thing is light. You have rim breaks. If you have the spare cash, get new wheels and disk breaks. You will have much better control. The bike is light, so you gotta watch breaking carefully if you are new, and if you plan on upgrading and being serious about cycling, get used to disks now.
But really. Have fun. Before any upgrading, once it is tuned up and cleaned, if you are new, just grab a helmet, some gloves, I would recommend some pads for this first one, and a first aid kit. Go out to some trails and thrash this thing. It can take it. Just have the time if your life, get a feel for the bike. Take it on a few fun dates before you settle down and have a serious relationship.
a Cross Country Rider
from San Francisco
Date Reviewed: January 21, 2004
Strengths: You won't find a better frame for the money.
Weaknesses: Fellow riders who whine about the choices they've made.
Buy this bike for the frame. Even the inexpensive components will last most riders for a while. When you break something, go to Ebay and buy used top quality parts. In time you'll have an even better bike, for short money. Or... Be a whinging little cocoa puff boy and go out and spend your mummy's money on a really expensive bike. If you have a weight fetish, try losing a few pounds. It's way cheaper, and you'll be a better rider.
Similar Products Used: Oother Cannondales. Why screw around?
Bike Setup: Stock, until I begin to break things on it, which is inevitable.
Date Reviewed: February 9, 2002
Strengths: The frame is very good for the price. The v-brake have an incredible power. Good drivetrain. Light.
Weaknesses: The cranckset is not very good.
A very good bike for someone who have a small budget. Good for dry condition, not for wet condition. Very good in town whit road tire. Just change the Rock shox for an headshock and the cranckset and tou have a very good bike
a Weekend Warrior
from golden co
Date Reviewed: April 3, 2000
Strengths: smallest frame is great for a short person 28 inch inseam comfortable ride, responsive, light for the$$$ you pay, great bike for someone who is just learning, vbrakes are awesome in the rain
Weaknesses: components not too durable, second ride i took it on, crashed bent the wheel and messed up the derailer, squeaky front shock dealer told me that was the way it was supposed to be?? wish it had lower gears(maybe I just need to get in shape!)
great deal for the$$$$ good bike to bash up until you learn how to ride, then maybe by then win the lottery and buy a spooky or a voodoo!!
Favorite Trail: stuff outside of moab and ft collins
Duration Product Used: 1 Year
from scotch plains, nj
Date Reviewed: September 7, 1999
Strengths: fat ass frame
Weaknesses: all the rest
if you look at this ride a whole...it sucks. but the frame is off da hook. the frame is super strong and light. and it takes abuse! being that i'm a big boy at 220 lbs. drop-offs, doubles, huge ass airs, endos, nose stands, wheelies-this ride can take it all. now the stock components are trash. i upgraded to grip shift 8.0 x-ray, a complete xt setup,magura, hydraulic brake, manitou fs-ti long travel, scott twin cam pedals, control tech stem, and sunn mammoth rims. this custom ride rocks all dh and ds courses. if you're looking to get into the sport, and want a mid-priced bike with a top-of the line frame the f-400 is your ride. this bike is completely upgradeable. you can turn this bike into a race winning ride by slapin' on some sweet parts.i give this ride 5 blazin' slugs ( for the frame)
from Virginia Beach,VA
Date Reviewed: July 18, 1999
I am new at with all the top of the line bikes. I have finally saved up enough money to purchase the bike for me. It rides great and and i just can't get over the frame setup. I kmow it is a mb, but it is great for downhill racing. I don't see any reason for upgrades at this time. I think this is a great starter bike for anyone and can easely be upgraded when you wallet is overflowing.
a Cross-Country Rider
from Bossier City, LA
Date Reviewed: June 18, 1999
Strengths: The Frame. Period. Dot. Without a doubt this was an all-time great buy. You can upgrade 'til the cows come home and then you can upgrade some more. What a perfect setup for a new rider. The frame will live forever and as you learn more about what you want on your horse, you can add it. I bought mine in the summer of 97. It was actually a 96 F400 that they were selling for $570.
Weaknesses: Components, but hey, you're getting a $500 frame and $250 worth of components (you didn't expect XTR, so why whine). As I see it, there are no weaknesses. This bike can become whatever you want it to be. It can be the 28lb tank you put in the stationwagon and bring home or it can be the 23lb beast you clamp to the top of your truck for rides of your life.
Awesome starter set. Don't expect anything but a great frame with useless components. Just upgrade one thing at a time starting with things that will reduce the most weight (crankset, wheelset, seatpost, etc). If you take care of this baby, she'll be with you longer than the prom queen. I bought this bike actually expecting to be purchasing something new about now, but I realize that this frame is going to take me wherever I want to go, which is usually Ruston on the weekends and Bodcau during the week. If you don't have the patience to upgrade slowly as things go on sale, just fork out at least $1200 for a sweet hardtail with the components you want. 5 flaming equines for this cajun!
Similar Products Used: specialized rockhopper, cannondale m300 (back when dinosaurs roamed the terrazzo).
Bike Setup: Started out with the stock stuff and then started upgrading (the key is to buy last year's coponents when they go on clearance). I replaced the shock last summer with an Indy SL (which will be sadly departing in lieu of a SID on clearance- I told you). I got XT cranks and v-brakes, USE XCR shok post, new seat, new tires, bar-ends, and i cut down the coda bars that came with it. The options are limitless on this ride. You can make it the bike of your dreams piece by piece because the frame isn't going anywhere!
a Cross-Country Rider
You posers need to stop crying. You pay for a pinto and expect mustang performance. The frame is a CAD2. A really nice responsive frame. Sure Cannondale skimps on components but the real money is invested in the hand-built frames. There are only so many compenents that are put on a frame... do the math. I boght mine to hang my good components on from my battle-tired KillerV900. I found it to an excellent climber, excellent through switchback because of the stiffness and a little nervous on SERIOIUS downhills, but this frame is about 1.5 inches too short. Like I said, if you want a Mustang, buy a Mustang. Dont come here and bash a good product because you couldnt afford better components. anyone could put hubcaps on a Pinto !!
Strengths: FRAME Upgradability Warranty It's a Cannondale Stiff price color (black)
Weaknesses: components stiff fork (rock shox? they suck)
The F400 is a very good buy. The components on it suck, obviously, but it's an entry level bike with a race-able frame. You pay for the frame. It's beautifully crafted, and weighs about 4 lbs. I have my bike down to 23lbs (from 28?), and it rides and races great. I raced it for the first time yesterday, and improved on my previous time by about 10 minutes. Great Frame. Crap Components. Good buy.
Bike Setup: I have the F400 frame, and have upgraded EVERYTHING except the Bottom Bracket, seatpost, and seat. XTR deraileurs, XTR wheels, XT cranks. Sachs shifters. Headshok DD60 (excellent), KORE clipless pedals. XT brakes/xtr levers.
a Weekend Warrior
from san diego,ca
Date Reviewed: April 19, 1999
Strengths: looks cool. everyone says, cool bike.
Weaknesses: shifter,derailer, all components. clicking noise.
i moved from ft lauderdale to san diego. now i am riding a more serious incline and still have to suffer with clicking because it never stays in gear correctly. it seems to be off a hare. to stop the clicking i have to keep adjusting the gear while riding. pain in the ass. i think it is time for an upgrade. i dont ride that hard or often. how can this bike already need to be upgraded? now that i am in san diego i ride more and want have to put up with noise and unreliability. time for a better bike. forget the upgrades. anyone want to buy a cannondale?
a weekend warrior
from na joisey
Date Reviewed: February 20, 1999
Why the hell do you complain about crappy components and a stiff ride? Aluminum (especially C'dale) will always give you a stiff ride; and for $600, you won't get XTR. So shut the hell up and ride. five ass burnin horse cocks for this rig
dan the man
Date Reviewed: October 26, 1998
well I have used the f400 to ride trials and jump down tables and I really thought that the bike was well made but the whieght factor the thing whieghs a ton like 30 pounds and it was real streched out you have to really try to get the handlebars.
a cross-country rider
from Louisville, KY
Date Reviewed: October 24, 1998
Ok, it's me again. I had my F400 for over a year now. I still think that is a good bike for the money but I need a better bike. I know somebody that has had an f400 for a year and looks brand new. On mine, here is a list of what I have replaced: I bought barends, I changed the rear derailleur (xt now), new shifters (lx rapidfires), conix headset cup, new rear wheel (I tacoed the other one, was cheaper to buy a whole new wheel than to rebuild it), new rear tire( ok ok, too much skidding but only on concrete), new derailleur hanger ($20 is too much for a hanger), new grips, new pedals(icon clipless). I am planning on upgrading the front derailleur to a xt, and i want to get a headshock. If I had the money a year ago I would have bought a higher end bike. I didn't. I pay $500 for this one. Had I known better I would have save some more. If I sell this bike now I won't get what is worth so I am going to keep it and upgrade to a headshock sometime next year. The adaptor system sucks. Now is creaking and no one has been able to tell me what's wrong. I now i will get rid off the problem when I get a headshock. Indy S is crap, I am sorry Indy S is shit, Indy C is crap. I won't ever buy any rockshox product again. I've advised some friends on buying a new bike. It's worth it to spend the extramoney on a higher end bike. I think Trek has good prices but if you really want to get a kickass bike for around $800 get a Spooky Cycles. I know i would if I could get a good amount for my current bike. Moral: the bike has behaves as I expected when I bought it. I should have save some more and bought a better bike. 3 pimientos.
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 »