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Does anyone ride Cannondale hardtails anymore?

23769 Views 52 Replies 36 Participants Last post by  HAL 9000
So I'm sort of a noob on this forum - I used to be on mtbr all the time years back, just not the forum side of things. Getting back into riding (slowly) these days after too many years off. I'm curious if people still ride C-Dale hardtails; seems like everything is FS these days. (I sond like I'm 70 years old!) I used to work at a shop back in college and we sold C-Dales so of course I love them. Before I left the shop I picked up a brand new 2002 F3000SL which is my current (and only) steed.

Can anyone fill me in as to where Cannondale is now? I know about the recent bankruptcy - any crazy changes since then? Seems more corporate than I remember it ...

My bike is a CAD/CAAD5 w/ a Fatty Ultra DL, but I don't see those anymore (frame or fork for that matter) - so what took its place? The Lefty was around of course - and I guess I'm alluding more to the fame than the fork. I absolutely love the CAD5, so in my mind it would be hard to beat. My bike clearly isn't that old, but for some reason I feel like it must be. Just wondering what's new since I graduated and got lost in the "professional" world (where there are painfully few mountain bikes).

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I still do everyday... well, mine as been converted as a single speed commuting missile so I guess it doesn't count.

It's not a Cannondale thing, the whole industry is pushing people to buy FS bikes. Why? It can be better for some people but mainly, they want more money. Marketing people now have terms like All-Mountain... In my book, All-Mountain is just what I have always been doing: climbing, downhilling, singletracking: mountain biking! On some trails, a hardtail with a short travel fork is still better than any FS bikes out there. FS bikes get you more confort, more speed and leaves your body fresher for longer when it's getting rough but it adds weight, cost obviously and care. Whether it's a good thing for depends on many things. Where do you ride? How do you ride? For how long do you ride? Do you race? You see my point...

Buisness wise, Cannondale recovered from the motocross fiasco very well. Buisness is great for them now and always was as far as bikes were concerned so the company will be there for a long while. They got more corporate though. It's not run by a passionate family anymore but by people who run a big buisness and want money. That doesn't mean that bikes change, they still think that the way to make money is to make excellent bikes and continue being a leader in the industry.

The CAAD5 became the Optimo. It's a tad lighter than your frame but not by much, your frame is still a top end racing machine that can climb like Spiderman and accelerate like a Ducati Desmosedici RR! As for the Headshok, there are still some on certain models but like everything, they improved a bit, mostly the internals. I think that, like a Cannondale hardtail, the Headshok is the best fork you can get for smoother trails and racing. If you ride rougher trails though, check out the new offerings, they are all wonderful bikes, they just all have each their own purposes.
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I love my hardtail and will only ride HT until my back goes........

5th HT F2000 or above since mid 1990's
Ive got the same bike....

I have a 02 F3000sl, the last of the CAAD5s. I actually like the Caad 5s better than the optimos due to the shape of the seatstays and I prefer the CNC milled out rear dropouts for the disk brake.

I ride a 06 Team Scalpel now, since last October, and still like the way the HT climbs. I am definately faster on the Scalpel on the slight rough stuff or on a slight downhill. The F3000sl is one of my fav bikes I have owned and cant seem to bring myself to sell it.

Long live the F bikes!!!
Hardtails rock

Just got an F800 and had my first ride on it yesterday. It's replacing my SantaCruze HT. For climbing there is nothing better, and as long as you have good knees and are not doing monster drops you can bomb down hills on on them too. I'm hooked on the hard tail.
Hardtails and the Scalpel are where CDale rule IMO, bikes that are clearly amongst the very best in their class; they're Cdale's strength. I'm not so sure about the prophet to be honest. Its a good bike and all, but every manufacturer has good bikes in this class, many of them better than the prophet IMHO.
In addition to my '06 Phrophet 1000 and '04 Caad 8 Road, I have an '00 F1000 SL with a Caad4, and a really sweet 2 chainring crankset and Ultegra Octalink BB. I love it. It put Sram on the thing, and it weighs 20.5 lbs. For a large. I've put it through a lot of abuse including several years of racing and multiple 24hr races, and it's still going strong. I was thinking about upgrading to a new headshok or lefty, as the new ones are FAR superior to my vintage model, but maybe I'll just wait and get a new Carbon hardtail frame with the Lefty Speed and the SI crank :)

With the model you have, you can probably upgrade to the new Magura headshok cartridge with adjustable rebound. It will go a long way to improving the ride.
i still like hard tails, i have a 03 Jekyll 800 and a 99 F900 that i want to get rolling again. has a busted CODA rear hub. there hubs are great, and this is just the body of the cassette. beats me. just need a new rear rim and im off again with my hard tail!
Only ride hard tails.

When I'll try a FS bike that doesn't make me loose energy while pedaling , maybe I,ll buy one , but until then.....:thumbsup:
I am amazed at how well my Prophet climbs. It climbs extremely well for a bike with that amount of travel. I have the Manitou swinger shock, and it doesn't bob at all while climbing seated, and bobs a very miniscule amount while climbing. My roomate was so impressed that he just bought a Rush. The thing is a feaking rocket. It climbs like crazy. The Rush climbs just as well as the Scapel, but also descends much better. The only problem with the Rush is that it's a little on the heavy side for XC racing, but look out when that carbon version arrives.

I can't give up my CDale hardtail, because it screams on tamer XC racing type stuff. I need a full bounce for agressive riding in Arizona (and elswhere). I can manage tough, technical trails on my hardtail, but it's much slower, and it takes a ton of body English. I get tired very quickly on my hardtail when I ride tech trails. I can ride my Prophet all day on any trail (smooth or rough), and I would probably kill myself trying to ride Milagrosa, South Mountain, Sedona, Flaggstaff, and Moab if I didn't have my full bounce Prophet to help me out a little.
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I ride an Optimo HT with the Siemens team livery. At the beginning of the year I put a converter headset and a 100mm Manitou R7 on it to replace the Super Fatty Ultra DL. That hardtail with a four inch fork is flat out dangerous. Definitely faster on the descents, and just as fast climbing.

If I had infinite amounts of dough, I'd love one of the new Caffeines with the Lefty.
I have, love, and ride two c'dale hardtails. They're my only rides. '04 f600 and an '06 1FG.

I'm probably going to switch out to a steel frame for the f600, but that bike is sweet....
I was about to buy a F1000 because I love the lefty and was convinced it would be the best bike for the money for xc racing. I had tried several fs bikes, and didn't think the mushy climbing out-weighed the advantages. However, I tried a Scalpel and was sold. The hardtails are still lighter and more effecient, but the Scalpel is definetly the bike that makes me the fastest whenever the trail is even slightly rough (the only place I've found I prefer a hardtail is pavement, and obviously there are better choices there than any mountain bike).

So, I think Cannondales hardtails are really cool, and I especially like the new Taurine models, but, at least for me, the Scalpel is the faster bike for xc racing, so that is what I chose.
my 05 F800 is the only way to go. lefty, dual control, and hydraulic LX is my idea of a bike. here in michigan you cant find much besides the UP where you need a full suspension.
I ride a bottom of the line 04 Caad2 framed F300. I have added quite a bit of upgrades, 85mm Marzzochi fork, changed out my drivetrain from its stock Shimano Deore/Alivio components to SRAM X7, upgraded the crank to Shimano Deore octalink and AVID SD7 brakes and levers. Not top of the line upgrades but stuff that I will know will be durable and will last as long as the frame, which is excellent. Very good multi-purpose bike that I can easily ride on the trails or on the road (w/road tires)
Hardtail Faithful

I'm a huge fan of C'Dale hardtails, especially my primary ride that I built from the frame up... a F700 CAAD3 frame built to all of my specs... no other bike I have ever ridden responds like it, and is well, just SIMPLE in its efficient and strong design. My vote is for hardtails, just like a lot of the rest of the posts here. :thumbsup:
'97 F900. almost 10 years and still going strong. quick, responsive, agile, beautiful. i love my bike. the only bike i have owned since i bought it. this year i think i'm upgrading to a rush though... gonna give FS a try.
Here's another CD hardtail rider. Love my 02 F500 with CAAD4 and Super Fatty DL, upgraded with Magura CCS cartridge and Magura HS33 brakes... Its my only bike but I still think it was a good deal and in my eyes the wood style decals are unbeaten.

The bike certainly isn't plush but very efficient, uncomplicated, needs few care and allows precise handling. For trails a FS often would be more comfortable but on the other side there are many tours in the mountains here (Alps) where a hardtail has no disadvantages.
The mud and tire clearence at the chain stays as well as the steep head angle of the CAAD4 have been improved at the current frames. CDs hardtail frames have been optimized during many evolution steps and IMO together with the stiff forks the HTs are among the most convincing bikes in CDs model range.
Anyway my next bike will probably be a FS for the rougher trails while I think my HT won't retire soon.

I bought a used F1000SL with a Fatty DL fork. Still waiting for a headset and stem and then I'm going to build it up. I'm going from a fs to a hardtail, feels nice and I love the quality that Cannondale have. The frame and fork is from 2003.
Just sold my '05 Prophet & Lefty Max SPV in favor of a '08 Caffeine Frame & Super Fatty Ultra DLR. To me a simpler, lighter, & more responsive bike far out weighs the plush Prophet...boils down to riding style.
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