1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
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    New 2 Site - 97 Cannondale M400

    Hey fellow Cyclists!

    I'm new to this site, but a beginner at cycling. I will ride a 50/50 mix on city roads and trails. I am from Berlin, Germany but moved to the states in 2000, and since 2000, I have NOT ridden a bike.
    So I just bought this bike for $200 (guess I overpaid), and took it for nice ride out today. I rode on advanced trails, and the the ride was really hard. Also, it seemed the shifting would not work right, as when I engage the shifter lever on my left, nothing happens.
    Anyways, my reason for posting here, is that I need to upgrade a few things, and am not sure what parts will be compatible with my 97 or 98 M400. I need a suspension fork, new shifting system (what exactly would that entail??), and preferably better break levers.

    I hope I dont bore you guys, but I finally found a hobby again, and one that is healthy! PS. I live in Jacksonville, Florida. And also, I know first thing I should bring it to the LBS, I will ASAP.


    Thanks for the help!!!


    Here are some pics.



    Last edited by rookieM400; 12-01-2008 at 09:46 PM.

  2. #2
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    hey, nice bike man. if you were going to put in a new fork and all of that, you'd probably be better off just buying another bike. you dont need a suspension fork. maybe you paid a little too much for it but no big deal. its nice.
    cas im diggin a ditch where madness gives a bit.

  3. #3
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    I really like the frame tho, combined with the fact, I JUST bought it, makes me go for the upgrade route, rather than purchasing a new one. .. Im puzzled..

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rookieM400
    I really like the frame tho, combined with the fact, I JUST bought it, makes me go for the upgrade route, rather than purchasing a new one. .. Im puzzled..
    yeah but i mean after all the money you will put in to upgrading it, you are better of buying a newer/nicer bike.
    cas im diggin a ditch where madness gives a bit.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by antgrave
    yeah but i mean after all the money you will put in to upgrading it, you are better of buying a newer/nicer bike.
    fair enough. Lets say, by some magical happening, I have $1000 to spare. Which beginner bike would you get? Im 200lbs 5'9. (most versatile bike, aka trailing, city (fast))....

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by antgrave

    sexy!! LOL!

  7. #7
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    cas im diggin a ditch where madness gives a bit.

  8. #8
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    Also: are there any companies just like that? I could take a look at?? (Ellsworth, wow$$$) Thanks alot antgrave!! (reminds me: in my ride today, I saw an armadillo looking for ants, at first he didnt notice me, then he ran away slowly! I took pics lol!)

  9. #9
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    It's nice dear thanks for this information and picture

  10. #10
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    here are some. i really dont know what you're looking for but here.

    http://www.giant-bicycles.com
    www.konaworld.com
    www.trekbikes.com

    those are three that i know of right now that will give you the round-a-bout price of what each bike will cost you in your LBS (local bike shop)

    i only know because i'm also looking to get a new bike. im thinking a kona shred.....
    cas im diggin a ditch where madness gives a bit.

  11. #11
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    trek sells some nice bikes for a decent price! Thanks for info!

  12. #12
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    You did fine for $200. It is a nice frame that should hold up for a long time.

    Ride the M400 until you just HAVE to get another bike (the addiction will come soon enough). There's nothing a newer rider can't learn on the bike you have now (Unless you're freeriding or downhill or something).

    If you add a suspension fork - look at something in the 70-80mm travel range. Pushing up to 100mm is probably ok, as you don't have enough time on the bike to notice the geometry change it will make. But keeping with the slightly smaller travel fork will help maintain the geometry. Remember in 1997, most aftermarket forks were in the 65-80mm travel range, and 4-5" forks were considered "long travel".

    Unless the shifter or front derailleur is damaged, you likely just need an adjustment and maybe a new cable. Take the bike to a shop and let them assess/tune-up if you don't know how to work on it yourself. Pretty much nothing has changed on the front shifting since that bike was built - so any current shifter will work with that derailleur and crankset. Left side shifters can be found very cheap several places - I would worry less about upgrading, and concentrate on getting something that is cost effective and functional.

    As far as brake levers - it will depend if the levers you have now are part of the shifter (integrated) or separated. If separate, then you can purchase whatever levers you want. I'm assumin gyou either have a reach issue, or a comfort issue. Many times the reach can be adjusted and set so that the lever sits a little closer in if you have trouble there. If they are integrated - then you have toreplace the whole shifter unit - in your case - might not be super cost effective.

    One thing I see too many new riders go through - they get an entry level bike, and find that actual trail riding is tough. They feel that if they buy a lot of new shiny parts and throw them at the bike - or a whole new shiny bike with all the bells and whistles, that the riding should get easier. In most of those cases - they end up upset, cause all the shiny parts in the world aren't going to help if their skill and ability aren't up to making use of the nicer equipment.

  13. #13
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    Take the bike to you local bike shop, have them do a "tune up" ride the bike and save your money for a new rig. There are plenty of great bikes under a grand.

  14. #14
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    The Cannondale M400 is a comfort bike(meaning a light off-road cruiser). Ride it on mild trails and bike paths.
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  15. #15
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    I wouldn't put a suspension fork on that bike, a halfway decent one will cost more than the bike and it will screw up the geometry, affecting the handling. Get the shifting fixed and enjoy it for what it is, if you really want to upgrade then look at a new bike. You might want to replace the brake pads and cables, if they're old it will make a big difference.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalnjunky
    You did fine for $200. It is a nice frame that should hold up for a long time.


    One thing I see too many new riders go through - they get an entry level bike, and find that actual trail riding is tough. They feel that if they buy a lot of new shiny parts and throw them at the bike - or a whole new shiny bike with all the bells and whistles, that the riding should get easier. In most of those cases - they end up upset, cause all the shiny parts in the world aren't going to help if their skill and ability aren't up to making use of the nicer equipment.

    No doubt. But dont forget, I used to ride a bike all my life in Berlin, Germany (yes even as toddler, jk)! Did lots of riding in forests, even broke my collar bone on a trail once; a dog came running out of nowhere and I engaged the front brakes and flew REALLY high into the air, and the landing was tough. So, riding a bike became somewhat of an instinct for me, and just because I have not been on a MB in years, does not mean I do not have the skill or ability I had and know I still have. In few words, I do not think a Gary Fisher Piranha (very interested), will drive for me on trails or even make me a better a rider. But it will make it somewhat easier for me, don't you think?

    Anyways, I totally agree with you. As of now, the bike is OK. Just got back from a little joy ride, and really noticed the same two things as on a trail. 1. MY BUTT HURTS and 2.MY PALM hurts from resting on the handlebar. Reason for that might simply be me being out of shape. But could it be the saddle or the grips? Like I said, My butt and hand palm hurt after doing the trails here.

    Lesson: NO PAIN, NO GAIN!

  17. #17
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    10-4!

    Thanks guys! Will bring it to LBS, and have then do a tune up, maybe for christmas I can look at some new bikes for around a grand! Thanks again!

  18. #18
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    get it to the LBS for a tune-up... it's a plenty good bike for entry level riding... its the bike i wanted when i 1st got into riding...

    for the hands and arse pain... could be you're over streched (hand pain) from to long of a frame... for bottom... likley just saddle sore... but if after a little more time you may want to pick up another saddle...

    when you get another bike keep the c'dale and put slicks on it for the road ...
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by donalson
    get it to the LBS for a tune-up... it's a plenty good bike for entry level riding... its the bike i wanted when i 1st got into riding...

    for the hands and arse pain... could be you're over streched (hand pain) from to long of a frame... for bottom... likley just saddle sore... but if after a little more time you may want to pick up another saddle...

    when you get another bike keep the c'dale and put slicks on it for the road ...

    could'nt have said it better ! i have a f 500 and intend to do the same once i get my prophet or rush

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