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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey guys,

Looking for honest opinions on Cannondale ownership regarding service and durability.

I've always wanted to try some of their products, but shied away from them due to the use of proprietary forks, headsets and front hubs. This does not make these items inferior, but can make it very, very difficult to service and get parts for. A few of my friends love their rigs, but have had issues with parts and maintenance.

I'm riding a Ventana X-5 that is a wonderfully made bike, but more bike than I need for where I ride. I could darn near sell it and buy both c-dales I'm looking at - a Caffeine and Rush.

Both of these bikes look killer and would fit perfectly into my riding style. I'm just a bit concerned about the proprietary front end parts and any issues I should be aware of. So any comments, experiences would be helpful.
 

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I've only got about 46 mile on my 07 Prophet 4 but I will say this, the lefty is the best fork of the 5 that I have ridden over the last 12 years. Will it hold up, I'm in no position to say but I will say that at this point I would not consider a bike without one. At 220 lbs I put a load on it and it just steers with less flex then anthing else I have rode. Proprietary parts, yes but if that's what it takes to be better so be it. Just straddle the wheel and try and twist the handle bars on a normal fork and then try it on the Lefty. I think you will see a difference.
I would say that's my 2 cents worth but with only 46 miles on the thing you might not think the opinion is worth that much, but I'll stand by it.
 

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I've had mine since '01, with a super fatty front shock. I have not had any problems with the bike or front suspension. The old style Magura Hydros, however, don't have the feel I would expect and will finally be replaced this year.

I am considering getting the shock overhauled this year. Not because it seems like it needs it, but because I've just owned it for so long and think I should, just to make sure I can get another 6 years out of it...
 

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Music & Bikes
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...and you'll have a lifetime warrantied frame. Not true for every other companies.They offer very good service when it comes to warranties over their product.
I'm riding C'Dale since '89 , had my first Fatty in 95 , I only had a problem with a new Fatty on my 1FG , but CDale changed it and now all is fine.
 

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mad aussie
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I think the key issue is more the quality of your local LBS where you buy the Cannondale and their service. I have put several hundred miles into my Rush at this point with several epic rides and marathon races without any problems with Lefty or headset. A team mate of mine who bought a Scalpel 1 had a lot of problems with the lefty carbon SL that came with the bike, with the damper cartridge failing and then the fork developing a crack in the clamps. In both cases the bike shop (Paragon Cycling) were great, and Cannondale overnighted a new damper assembly and then a new fork. It does help that the bike shop owner is a team sponsor and a friend!
In my experience Cannondale does seem to stand behind their products.

Kevin
 

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...soon to be sith lord..
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I can vouch for the awesomeness of the C'dale. I have ridden a rush for many months now and it has been one kick-a$$ bike. I have a '99 C'dale R900 road bike that has held up nicely, and still rides wonderfully. If you're looking at the Rush...I may know someone selling one..... :D

http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showproduct.php?product=191&cat=3
 

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Hup, Hup
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I was a non-believer at one time for the same reasons. I have since seen the light and in my own personal opinion see no reason that I would ever shy away from Cannondale. I love the Lefty. Super rigid, plush, easy to work on. What else could you want in a fork? :thumbsup: I do agree that it changes the way you have to think when putting a bike together due to limited choices, for example front hubs, but they are all great products with nothing to worry about.

I also switched to a Cannondale Six13 road bike last year....WOW.

Cannondale all the way. :cool:
 

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I had trouble with getting my Lefty serviced from my local LBS. I wanted to do a yearly oil and seal change, etc. and they wanted to send it to Cannondale--which meant going without my bike for a month.

So I sent it up to MendonCycleSmith. From the time I sent it out to the time I had it back was about one week (North Carolina to Upstate NY). And it was shipped ground both ways. It was also a lot less expensive than I had thought it might be.

I'm not sure if we're suppose to plug bike shops or not on this forum, but I will anyway. This is a great option if your LBS is not up to snuff.

:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the input guys, just don't want to make an expensive mistake. looking at replacing both my hardtail and FS.

The Caffeine and Rush look too delicious to pass up.
 

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I've been on two of their hardtails. I recently sent my headshock back for some service - I had neglected it a little bit but it was only a year old. Long story short is that it was warranteed and now I have a brand new headshock courtesy of c'dale. they do stand behind their product. any quality c'dale dealer will offer lefty and headshock service, buy local and have no worries.

oh and I was w/out my bike for about 2 weeks, not a month...
 

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The key, as with any bike

is a solid, reliable LBS. Their relationship with you and the manufacturer will greatly effect your overall bike experience.

That said, I've been riding Cdales since '96 and have had zero negative experiences. I cracked the chainstay on one of the old CAAD5 frames and got a new warrantee frame back in five days.
My 3.5 year old lefty was sent in to Cannondale for major overhaul service last year, and I got it back in seven days round-trip from Washington State. The overhaul cost $65, including shipping. It now works as smoothly as new.
As far as the proprietary headset bearings, if you keep the seal covers on they'll last you years, and a LBS who is a licensed dealer will have new sets in stock for around $10 ea.

Most importantly, Cannondale is Handmade in the USA! Support the Real US economy: American manufacturing labor! The "economy" referred to as Wall Street is basically a vampire.
That's my opinion, I'm Spinny... Good Night!
 

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I can also vouch for C-dale service. My Ultra Fatty wouldn't keep air in overnight. I called Casey at internat'l sales and she shipped me a new one to Italy; no questions/no problems at all. A+ PROFESSIONAL SERVICE
 

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Five is right out
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'98 F-series hardtail with a Fatty D fork. Serviced once in 8 years and it works as well as the day I bought it.

(I have no idea if the Lefty's are supposed to be as durable though)
 

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Keep the rubberside down
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I've only ridden C-dales started riding back in '84 , haven't had any problems when my frames cracked after many years of everyday riding. These frames are aluminum(sp) and therefore have some flex, but also they're lighter weight. I've always liked that the dropout is replacable, that has saved me quite a few times. I second the opinion of others here that stated the need of a reliable LBS. I have had some questions arise about - getting frames replaced - but I've also gotten plenty of miles out of all my frames. I used to use the C-dale shocks but now have been riding Marzocchi w/ the head tube conversion kit - these shocks rock, the needle bearing system just didn't give me enough travel. I've never ridden the full-suspension bikes - hardtail for hookup and climbing is the only way, maybe I'm just old school. But friends have said they like theirs. I'd go for it.
Ole Grey Hair
 

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LA CHÈVRE
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Ole Grey Hair said:
I've only ridden C-dales started riding back in '84 , haven't had any problems when my frames cracked after many years of everyday riding. These frames are aluminum(sp) and therefore have some flex, but also they're lighter weight. I've always liked that the dropout is replacable, that has saved me quite a few times. I second the opinion of others here that stated the need of a reliable LBS. I have had some questions arise about - getting frames replaced - but I've also gotten plenty of miles out of all my frames. I used to use the C-dale shocks but now have been riding Marzocchi w/ the head tube conversion kit - these shocks rock, the needle bearing system just didn't give me enough travel. I've never ridden the full-suspension bikes - hardtail for hookup and climbing is the only way, maybe I'm just old school. But friends have said they like theirs. I'd go for it.
Ole Grey Hair
Yep, you're just old school! ;)

A great LBS is important. Having a good relationship with them is always helpful. I learned many things just by talking to shop mechanics and it's good to know you can trust them to be honest. I remember a few times when the people at the shop told me, I would save a lot by doing some repairs and maintenance myself, they even showed me how. In fact, I just got a phone call from them, I left my bike to have the yearly service done on my Lefty after 2 years (I don't ride that bike in winter) and wanted to have my rear shock checked and since they are nice and all, to customers and companies alike, they had my shock rebuilt for free! Now that's nice!
 
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