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  1. #1
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    Bad boy / disc / ultra questions

    Hi guys,

    My first post so go easy...

    I am thinking about getting a cdale Badboy, mainly for commuting to work.

    Can anyone tell me if its worth shelling out the extra for the ultra as opposed to a cheaper model?

    Also, is this bike worth the outlay? I'm in AU so seems a little pricey.

    Oh, while I'm here, does anyone know if the '08 model is much better than the '07?

    many thanks!

  2. #2
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    Hey Dave,

    I happen to work at a C'dale dealer and also live in Aus.

    If the bike's sole purpose is for commuting on road and the occasional foray onto fireroads or the like, then save your $$$ and get the Disc or plain Bad Boy. Advantages going rigid: lighter and no issues regarding fatty servicing (like oil and seals etc).

    If you want to ride it off-road more regularly, then the Ultra has to be the way to go. Lock-out the fatty for commuting/paths/roads and leave it open for those rough surfaces.

    This advice is all on the basis that you value speed over comfort. If it's comfort you're after on a day to day basis, then you can't go past the Ultra when you can just use the lockout on climbs, but have it open to soak up all the bumps for general riding.

    Not saying that rigid isn't comfortable, but suspension is suspension.

    As you probably know Cannondale make a frame that on quality, is almost unrivaled. Which is what you're paying for. Being handmade isn't unique (machines don't weld frames coming out of Taiwan)... but having highly skilled welders is. Also the lifetime warranty isn't just for marketing's sake (like Giant). That's what you pay for.

    Keeping that in mind, Scott also offer a comparable bike: the Sportster and SUB line of bikes are all along that MTB but not MTB commuter style bike.

  3. #3
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    The Bad Boy Ultra is a superb ride, it's a little heavy and as mentioned above service costs are a consideration. Make sure you have a bike with disc brakes at least. Good luck.

  4. #4
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    I echo majura's recommendation of the non-suspended Bad Boy for commuting; mainly for the fork service related matters. I have commuted for quite some time on Headshok equipped bikes (a variety of hardtails, sometimes a Scalpel (!), and my favourite; a Cyclocross with 25mm Headshok) and repeatedly found out the hard way that although the lockout is the best in the business rigidity wise, it has no floodgate or "blow-off" function. Although this is acceptable in the off road world with wide low-pressure tyres on dirt (that can take some of the slack) it can aggrevate shock problems when it comes to using skinny high-pressure slicks on poorly maintained roads.

    The lack of a blow-off means that if you accidentally leave it locked out when having to do a kerb drop, or go through an especially poorly sealed/cracked/potholed surface or some such, it puts an incredible amount of load on the lockout's oil seal. This causes them to wear prematurely, and as oil seeps past the seal it will develop play. If you leave the problem unattended for long enough, the seal collapses and renders the lockout inoperable until you take it in to get the seals replaced. (I don't know if running a fork with dead lockout seals causes damage to the damping cartridge, from my experience it doesn't seem to)

    I've learnt to be especially careful of this, but sometimes there just isn't time or a chance to unlock.. e.g. going up a steep hill and realise the only line you can take, has all manner of cracks and little potholes. Realistically speaking the lock-out is only practicable when you need to do an out-of-the-saddle climb somewhere. Using it for extended periods is just inviting Murphy's Law.

    For me (inner city Melbourne roads and paths, mainly) it seems to take about a month or two of city riding (with the occasional lockout use) for this play to develop into something significant enough to get looked at; that being said, I've completely killed a lockout once within a week of a seal service, from one big high speed accidental hit to a pothole. And once I was especially lucky and it lasted a good 3-4 months.

    These types of unusual commuting loads have been the cause almost all service issues I've had with Headshoks/Leftys I've had over the years. Off road they are brilliant, never had any trouble; but without a lockout blow-off or floodgate, I don't believe their lockout is appropriate for real-world city riding scenarios.

    Reading the '08 Cannondale catalog it seems as though the new Leftys now have a blow-off valve for the lockout; but unfortunately not for the Fattys.

    If you want a bit of comfort from poorly surfaced inner city roads and the like, I would instead recommend getting some gel handlebar grips instead. I'd also go for the disc brake version -- once you get used to discs and the lack of mess/rim wear, superior modulation, and wet braking performance, you won't go back to Vs. The Avid mechanical discs on the Bad Boy Disc are the best money can buy; so good, I think they're more or less equivalent to a mid-range hydro disc brake (and superior to low end hydro brake options like Hayes Sole/HFX etc.)

    BTW, another good city/commuting bike option worth taking a look at is Kona's Dew range. The Cannondale's frame is in another league, and the Dew component spec is lacking, but they are relatively inexpensive and almost all come with disc brakes. For what it's worth, I've chosen a Dew Deluxe as the base for building my next commuter, converting it to drop bars, STI lever-compatible disc brakes, and the usual mudguards/rack/headlight/etc. (If I feel the need for suspension, I'll swap the fork out for a Rock Shox i-Ride.. waiting for RS to bring out the tech manuals for it first though)

    If it wasn't for the Headshok lockout design, without doubt I'd be using a second hand CAAD4 or Furio frameset for this bike instead.. nothing feels quite like a Cannondale hardtail. Too bad for that time when a seal blew in a morning ride, leaking shock oil onto the front disc brake during the day, making for a very interesting ride home.. it was a sign I really should look into building a rigid commuter.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys.

    I had not considered the service aspects, I take it this is not something easy to do one's self?

    ;-)

    One last thing, is the new '08 model superior, or should I try and get a deal on an '07?

    cheers

    da

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveace
    Thanks guys.

    I had not considered the service aspects, I take it this is not something easy to do one's self?

    ;-)

    One last thing, is the new '08 model superior, or should I try and get a deal on an '07?

    cheers

    da
    Ive put a few hard off road miles on my Fatty Ultra with no service yet. Probably could use some...
    Mendon.....................

  7. #7
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    bad boy/disc/ultra questions

    Just went through the same decision making process and purchased a 2007bad boy disc.
    Didnt want the maintenance of the headshok and wanted greater flexibility with tires.
    The Ultra limits you to 700x28 or possibly a short 700x 32. The non ultra has more room in the fork allowing for 700x32 and some short 700x35/36.
    Picked up mine last week and am very satisfied.
    The dealer has one 2007 Medium Bad Boy Disc in stock if you are interested.
    Good luck with your decision.

  8. #8
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    I would take a serious look at the new Bad Boys with the Rohloff hub. All internal gears - talk about little to no maintenance compared with a front and rear derailleur set up. The Rohloff model also has an integrated light up front and in the rear. Not going to flood the road with light, but will be enough to make sure you're seen.

  9. #9
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    I just picked up my BB Ultra last week and couldn't be happier. I'm not a fan of the X7 shifters and want to upgrade the brakes to BB7s, but the fit/ride is very close to perfect for me out of the box (more so than other bikes).

    Larryk's comments are right on. The stock 700c tires are VERY close to the air valve on the headshock (about 1/8"). It is tight, so a taller tire is out of the question. I'm getting a 26" wheelset made up which should give it some more room. But the ride is sweet.

    Good luck!

  10. #10
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    bad boy/disc/ultra questions

    I upgraded to the Sram X-9 rear der., 980 casette 11-32, and X-0 twist shifters.
    This is the 2nd bike with twist shifters - they are quick, intuitive, and problem free.
    26" tires will give your Bad Boy a different feel than the 700's .
    On my Bad Boy Disc (rigid), the 700's feel quick and nimble, the 26's feel slower and more compliant on rough surfaces. 700's for the road, 26's for the rails and trails.
    Given the Ultra's front suspension, a high PSI 26" tire may be a nice combo.
    Enjoy your new bike and have fun experimenting with different components.

  11. #11
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    Listen! BBU 26" wheelset recommendations

    Would anyone have any recommendations for 26" knobby mtn wheelsets for a Bad Boy Ultra?

    I have a 2007 BBU, but I'm pretty much a bike novice and fairly unsure about how to identify and match the right parts for such a wheelset. Thanks in advance!

  12. #12
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    Any standard mountain bike disc wheelset (135mm rear spacing, 100mm front spacing, 26" rims, disc rotor compatible hubs) will work fine.

    By the way, if you're after a good 26" slick, I can highly recommend the Continental Sport Contact 26x1.6" tyres; fast, light and comfortable. There is also a 1.3" version, but I found them a bit harsh, and much more difficult to get onto the rim.

  13. #13
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    If you are looking for un-maintenance rig , +1 for the rohloff equiped badboy.
    Two years now with the Rohloff , no adjustments/maintenance yet , I'll just have to change the oil this winter.....

    PS It's availiable in Europe , don't know if you have it in AU....
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  14. #14
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    Guys, I am a newbie here.

    I have one quick question for those of you who own a bad boy. I bought a BBU last Sunday at a LBS and it didn't come with a set of pedals that was listed on the spec. and I was given with a set of pedals that look kind of stupid.

    Does any of you have the same experience? I am wondering why a bike do not come with original set of pedals... Or is that a common practice in the US?? or in Los Angeles?

    I am just curious.. I posted a thread regarding this a couple of days ago but no one seems to be interested in replying so I was trying to delete the thread but I couldn't figure out how. so I wrote another posting here.

  15. #15
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    I got a decent set of pedals with my BBU. Not sure of make/model, but they are decent pedals all the same. I'd have a talk with the LBS where you bought the bike. It sounds like they might have swapped pedals on you.

  16. #16
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    Parts spec can occasionally change here and there in the middle of a production run. It's happened to me sometimes with buying a bike (a road bike I got in 2002 came with better cranks than listed in the spec ; but all the same a MTB in 2001 came with Coda Expert brakes instead of Hayes Mag brakes both Cannondales, btw)

  17. #17
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    This is what I got

    Just FYI, this is what I got. Actually I don't even know if this is a better one or a cheaper one than what should have come with the bike.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
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    Suggest you discuss this with your LBS and request they supply you with the spec pedal.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by abstractsun
    Guys, I am a newbie here.

    I have one quick question for those of you who own a bad boy. I bought a BBU last Sunday at a LBS and it didn't come with a set of pedals that was listed on the spec. and I was given with a set of pedals that look kind of stupid.

    Does any of you have the same experience? I am wondering why a bike do not come with original set of pedals... Or is that a common practice in the US?? or in Los Angeles?

    I am just curious.. I posted a thread regarding this a couple of days ago but no one seems to be interested in replying so I was trying to delete the thread but I couldn't figure out how. so I wrote another posting here.
    Pretty common practice on higher end bikes. Most people use clipless at that level so everyone's preference is different. Not sure what pedals the BBUs are spec'd with.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for all the help, guys!

    Now I just need to save just a little bit more money.....

    Cheers,

    DA

  21. #21
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    Just a perspective:
    I use my C-dale BBU for city commuting where I have considerable hills and potholes. I get good wear on my headshok by only locking out on steep hills and running the rest of the time with the shock about a quarter turn from lock out. I use Kevlar tires and a Mr. Tuffy liner and have never had a flat.
    The disc brakes have saved me several times in the rain and I can hop curbs fairly easy.
    I check my spokes regularly and wipe the bike down after each commute (its kept inside). I use the bike more than my car so I'm always on top of the maintenance.
    That said I feel the BBU is the best commuter I have owned (I've had four). The only drawback for me is that my model doesn't have all the attachment points for fenders, so I use a zip tie work around. It's pricey but I feel its worth it because it rides really well for me.

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