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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My search for a new hardtail has come down to four bikes from 2 bike manufacturers. Cannondals caffiene 3 and f4, versus the rockhopper pro disc and comp disc. In the end it will come down to how much i will be able to spend. But in general which company has more reliable and better performing hardtails?
 

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I was considering the F4 and RH pro disc myself. Both have great frames (pro disc has the M4 like the StumpJumpers). I just couldn't get over that goofy looking fork on the F4, though i've heard it is quite capable even with just 80mm of travel. The white frame looks sexy too.

I was a little iffy about the 07 pro disc color (mango), but once I saw it in person I was psyched. Great looking bike. I don't think you could go wrong either way, but I chose the RH for the better brakes and fork.
 
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I've got a Cdale that i've been regularly ridding for 7 or 8 years, and have had a few Cdales come thru my life.
the one thing i'd have to say about Cdale is...
be aware that many parts are proprietary!
i.e. headshok, lefty, and once there were even BB/crank assemblies.

with that said...
be aware that ultimately you have to depend on the Authorized Cdale dealer to get parts and/or work on those parts.

In SoCal, specifically Santa Monica (i.e. Helen's bike shop) from what i had known a few years ago, SoCal Cdale customer support was/is awesome.

here in Monterey, Ca...its a different story. Very different.
Cdale can be an awesome company.
but mostly i try to stay away from those proprietary parts

my 2cents

peace...d
 

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Yea I agree, proprietary parts are the major red flag for me when it came to buying a bike. My brother owns a Cannondale Scalpel and says the same thing. For the money you'd probably get more from the Specialized. That said, Cannondales are like Benz's of the bike world.
 

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Oh, and just to let you know, if you do choose to go cannondale you can at some point put a regular fork on there. It just takes an adapter that you can get from the LBS (just look at the F5).
 

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I have always heard that Cannondale was hard to beat, but Specialized has really done there research on frame design. IMHO I think the welds look better on the Cannondales I have seen. I have been thinking about these two as well. Until many here told me to take a closer look at the Iron Horse. But after reading the post on China frames I am leaning again toward a Cdale or Specialized...
 

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subspd said:
I have always heard that Cannondale was hard to beat, but Specialized has really done there research on frame design. IMHO I think the welds look better on the Cannondales I have seen. I have been thinking about these two as well. Until many here told me to take a closer look at the Iron Horse. But after reading the post on China frames I am leaning again toward a Cdale or Specialized...
I would have to agree that the Cannondale's frame looks more high quality but can't speak to how they actually compare. I have read lots of great things about Spesh though so I felt good abut my purchase. Now, had the cdale had the same fork as the pro disc, I would probably bought the f4...
 

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i bought an f400 about 8 months ago and have been nothing but happy with my purchase despite the headshock blowing out on me within the first couple of weeks, of which the problem was handle promptly and w/out any hesitation from my LBS and support of cannondale. i upgraded the pedals right away and just did the brakes recently as well as a new seat cause the OEM one sucks! i was in the same exact boat (specialized vs. cdale) and for me it came down to one thing, the writing on the rear arm: handmade in the usa and b/c of that i was willing to sacrifice some components.
 

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matt18 said:
i bought an f400 about 8 months ago and have been nothing but happy with my purchase despite the headshock blowing out on me within the first couple of weeks, of which the problem was handle promptly and w/out any hesitation from my LBS and support of cannondale. i upgraded the pedals right away and just did the brakes recently as well as a new seat cause the OEM one sucks! i was in the same exact boat (specialized vs. cdale) and for me it came down to one thing, the writing on the rear arm: handmade in the usa and b/c of that i was willing to sacrifice some components.
Yea but besides the frame the other 95% of the parts on the bike are all made overseas.. lol :D

C-dale frames do have nice clean welds and look nice but that doesn't really improve performance. You're really just paying for the name. And if C-Dales are like a the Mercedes Benz - Daimler/Chrysler of the biking world, Specialized would be like the Lexus of Bikes.
 

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You should get a titanium frame then. That should last 10 times as long as any alloy frame.

Plus I don't think C-Dale's weilds are any better or worse than other brands, they just choose to make theirs look nicer. It's all in the detail, hence the Benzo reference to C-dale's workmanship.
 

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Becane73 said:
Yea but besides the frame the other 95% of the parts on the bike are all made overseas.. lol :D

C-dale frames do have nice clean welds and look nice but that doesn't really improve performance. You're really just paying for the name. And if C-Dales are like a the Mercedes Benz - Daimler/Chrysler of the biking world, Specialized would be like the Lexus of Bikes.
i knew when purchasing the bike that some of the componenets were not made in the usa, but clean welds equate to strong welds meaning a stronger frame, perhaps one of the most important factors in any setup, right? taking this into consideration it has a very significant impact on performance. i was putting the majority of my focus on the frame since upgrades for any bike are endless.
 

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Got both. An upgraded Cannondale F300 hardtail (with a Marzocchi Marathon fork not headshok) and a Specialized Epic. I really like my Cannnondale but have not really rode Specialized hardtails. If they ride like my Epic, they are just as good as Cannondale. Test ride both of them and just get the one that feels "right" for you. Test ride them on the trail if possible to make your decision. Both are reliable and dependable and offer lifetime frame warranties.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks for the last response about testing them out. In the next few weeks i will be talking to the guy at my lbs about both companies/ bikes. And by mid summer i will have made the purchase. Thanks for the great advise!
 

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The headshock is a very nice fork, depending on what kind of riding your going to do of course. A clyde sized friend rode mine and was struck at how good it was....
Ride ride, and ride some more.
CDT
 

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northparkrider said:
thanks for the last response about testing them out. In the next few weeks i will be talking to the guy at my lbs about both companies/ bikes. And by mid summer i will have made the purchase. Thanks for the great advise!
Your very welcome. You won't go wrong with either comapny.
 

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Becane73 said:
You should get a titanium frame then. That should last 10 times as long as any alloy frame.

Plus I don't think C-Dale's weilds are any better or worse than other brands, they just choose to make theirs look nicer. It's all in the detail, hence the Benzo reference to C-dale's workmanship.
Titanium? I thought titanium was light, and very strong, but had fatigue properties similar to aluminum.
 

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California L33 said:
Titanium? I thought titanium was light, and very strong, but had fatigue properties similar to aluminum.
I wasn't sure so I checked this is what I found:

The key word here is indestructable.
http://www.wrenchscience.com/WSLogic/Frames.aspx?stylecode=R&store=titanium

Titanium
Titanium used to be called an exotic material. The 90's saw a big push in manufacturers building Ti road bikes and for good reason. Titanium is a great material for adding comfort to your ride in an extremely lightweight package. It's just about indestructible and it's impervious to the weather.

There are basically 2 types of titanium used in building road bikes. One is 3AL/2.5V, which is a softer and more common form, and the other is 6AL/4V, which is a considerably stiffer alloy. 6/4, up to about two years ago, only came in a flat plate, which is why it was commonly used for dropouts. Just recently, the introduction of the 6/4 tube has allowed for a stiffer and lighter tubeset. This new tubeset has pushed titanium out of its "comfort" category and allowed for frame builders to build livelier bikes, yet retain ti's legendary compliance. The biggest difference between titanium manufacturers is the quality of the tubing and the quality of the build. The tubes alone can make a difference. Some manufacturers use the highest NASA aerospace quality material, while others use a Russian or Czech Ti. The differences are the cost of the tubes and the purity of the titanium. The purer the tubing the less there will be inconsistencies with the tubes.
http://bicycling.about.com/od/bikes/a/steelbikes.htm

Titanium
Now that the 3Al/2.5V titanium alloy is mostly used, frame builders can actually put together some decent bikes. I remember the earlier bikes with straight gauged tubes of the super stiff 6Al/4V alloy. Sure it was cool to have a bike that could withstand being run over repeatedly by a truck, but what good does that do in real life?
 

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Well, I must add that the guys I have ridden with who rode hard and often were on(at least) their third C'dale frame. One was on his third Super V and the other the F1000. I now ride with a guy that is on his fifth Jekyll frame. This is in the time that I had just two Heckler frames and I only replaced the first out of want and not need. I would go Specialized. C'dale has outstanding CS...but you are going to use it. Don't get a lefty. I have seen a lot of problems with those. I know people have had great experiences with C'dale. My aim here is not to take that away from anyone. But, you wouldn't catch me on one due to the fact they fail and seemingly often.
 

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I tried a Cannondale, Trek, Rocky Mountain and Specialized when I was looking for a mountain bike the week before last. I chose the Specialized Rockhopper and I'm very pleased. The other brands were nice too and I don't think you'll go wrong with any of them.
One of our LBS stopped selling almost all other bikes because he's so happy with Specialized frames and bikes.
 

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Its Left Coast vs Right Coast. As I am on the South Coast (Venezuela) I tokk my LBS's advice in Caracas who carries both Specialized and Cannondale and bought a Cannondale Prophet. Both have their points of course, but Made in the USA did it for me too.
 
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