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  1. #1
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    Questions on Cannondale

    I've made previous posts in other parts of the forum regarding the purchase of a new single speed. My initial budget ran at 1500, which left me in the market of a Kona Unit, On One Inbred, Bianchi Lewis, and the other usual candidates (Redline and KHS).

    After doing my research, I decided to increase my budget to 2000. This opened up the market to several custom bike builders. I'm waiting to hear from Adrenaline regarding a Bianchi P.U.S.S. build quote, but I'm quite skeptical (worrying I may overspend on components).

    There are several local Cannondale dealers in town, but I thought it would be smart to ask here first. What are your initial thoughts on the Cannondale 1FG Ultra?

    It seems like a fantastic bike for the price, and growing up..I've developed two impressions. "Cannondale was the bike I could never afford", and Trek is similar to Schwinn except "You're taking a fat girl to a 4 star restaurant".

    Grant it, my opinion on Trek is quite false..but this was before the decline of Schwinn (Homegrown Era).

    I also am lured to the Caffeine 2 (Gotta love the lefty), which I believe retails for approx. 1600. Although it is a geared bike, pending the frame geometry feel, I wouldn't hesitate purchasing a new crank, hub, freewheel, tensioner...yadda yadda.

    So, any initial impressions or opinions on the 1FG, component quality?!? I must be honest, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed in terms of bike parts. My usual approach to bikes was to buy within the 500-650 range and ride them into the ground..trade off and do it again.

    I felt this time, it would be nice to get a great bike for a change, and stop with this constant "buy mediocre, break, not worth it to upgrade/can't polish a turd" approach.

  2. #2
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    I cannot comment directly on the 1FG, I have never ridden it, but I have owned two Cannondales in the past, and have one spare one now, I also own a Bianchi road machine and a Kona King Kikapu. My advice, if you have a LBS that carries Kona, BUY THE KONA. I have ridden both the Kona Unit and the One One, very simmilar feel. The Unit 2-9 is a very popular option these days as well. The beauty of single speed is that components mean far less than a full suspension multi-speed in terms of the overall package. Kona is a much better value than Cannondale and stands behind thier product much better in my opinion. They are built every bit as well as the Cannondale frame sets, probably better. Poilishing and filling your welds does nothing to help strength. I am not knocking Cannondale, they are a good company, but dollar for dollar the Canadians put together a better no-nonsense package that will last forever. One riders opinion.

  3. #3
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    Here we go again...

    1. Cannondale welds are smooth from the get go, no filing, no grinding, no filling.
    2. Kona is not a canadian company, they are american.
    3. The Lefty alone makes the Cannondale a very good choice and value. Try a current Lefty and after that, you'll be amazed how flexy other forks feel. Sure they add to the cost or make Cannondale do trade-offs on other components but the Lefty really is in a class of it's own... and I'm not talking about the looks here.

    I'm not bashing Kona here of course but the Cannondale will have a different feel because of the Lefty and the F29 frames are having great reviews and comments, very confortable yet stiff enough to ride aggressively. I'd say try all the bikes you are interested in and then decide.

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lunk57
    I cannot comment directly on the 1FG, I have never ridden it, but I have owned two Cannondales in the past, and have one spare one now, I also own a Bianchi road machine and a Kona King Kikapu. My advice, if you have a LBS that carries Kona, BUY THE KONA. I have ridden both the Kona Unit and the One One, very simmilar feel. The Unit 2-9 is a very popular option these days as well. The beauty of single speed is that components mean far less than a full suspension multi-speed in terms of the overall package. Kona is a much better value than Cannondale and stands behind thier product much better in my opinion. They are built every bit as well as the Cannondale frame sets, probably better. Poilishing and filling your welds does nothing to help strength. I am not knocking Cannondale, they are a good company, but dollar for dollar the Canadians put together a better no-nonsense package that will last forever. One riders opinion.
    I tested out the Unit 2-9, it's a decent bike, it just didn't impress me. The crank was slightly cheesy and the gearing left my head scratching. Why sell a 29er with a 32-18 gearing, a little low?!? I already own one rigid single speed (Monocog), and aside from a few "here and there" components, didn't see a separation in quality that would justify the Kona's higher price tag.

    I'm also a little favoring of an EBB.

  5. #5
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    I just bought a Caffeine F2 last week and am loving it. The bike is well equipped and the frame has great geometry. The bike could lose a little weight but has the potential to be much lighter given certain upgrades. The lefty is great offroad and once locked out it is good for the road too. However, if I were you I would test ride all the bikes you are considering and make a decision on the bike that suits your needs best. Also you could probably get a better price than 1600 with the stores having end of season sales. Good luck with your decision.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gillfish
    I just bought a Caffeine F2 last week and am loving it. The bike is well equipped and the frame has great geometry. The bike could lose a little weight but has the potential to be much lighter given certain upgrades. The lefty is great offroad and once locked out it is good for the road too. However, if I were you I would test ride all the bikes you are considering and make a decision on the bike that suits your needs best. Also you could probably get a better price than 1600 with the stores having end of season sales. Good luck with your decision.
    Just contacted the local dealer, they have neither models on site and will have to order. He did quote me some prices (right off the price list) on both models, which I can haggle with to a degree.

    1FG Ultra - 1300
    Caffeine 2 - 1600

    The person who assisted me on the phone seemed like he hated life.

    My main concern: Is it cheaper to add the "Lefty Shock" to the IFG, or adding a crankset and freewheel, etc. to the Caffeine 2.

    Not having stock on site, is a real headache.

  7. #7
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    It's way cheaper to get the bike that comes with the Lefty, a Lefty on it's own is very expensive.

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  8. #8
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    The '08 1FG 29'er comes stock with a lefty. That is something to consider as well.

    -R

  9. #9
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    Even better, you have the Lefty AND the EBB!

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad ronald
    The '08 1FG 29'er comes stock with a lefty. That is something to consider as well.

    -R
    Interesting...why isn't this listed on their site, or am I just overlooking it....

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    Even better, you have the Lefty AND the EBB!

    Is this featured on the 08 1FG or does the Caffeine 2 feature an EBB?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetpropel
    Interesting...why isn't this listed on their site, or am I just overlooking it....
    It is in the '08 catalog. The new bikes disappointingly have not made it to the site yet.

  13. #13
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    1. Cannondale welds are smooth from the get go, no filing, no grinding, no filling.
    2. Kona is not a canadian company, they are american.
    3. The Lefty alone makes the Cannondale a very good choice and value. Try a current Lefty and after that, you'll be amazed how flexy other forks feel. Sure they add to the cost or make Cannondale do trade-offs on other components but the Lefty really is in a class of it's own... and I'm not talking about the looks here.
    1) Cannondale does smooth thier welds and add aluminum filler, but believe what you would like. In any event it adds no strength to the frame, only weight. It does look cool however! Bianchi does it as well on thier aluminum bikes.

    2) Kona has a office in Washington but is originally a Canadian company, founded by Canadians, and has a larger office in British Columbia. This again, does not affect function or reliability any more or less than a well built bike from Pennsylvania or Tiwan.

    3) I will put a Fox F100 aginst any lefty, I have ridden them both, and I prefer the fox. You might not agree. Most professional riders use fox. Again, it is all preference. All to often Cannondale gets caught up in doing it because it is different, not because it works better.

    Cannondales are good bikes, so are Konas. Kona is a much better bike for the same money if you like to ride. If you like to look at smooth welds and crazy looking forks, go ahead, whatever works for you.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lunk57
    1) Cannondale does smooth thier welds and add aluminum filler, but believe what you would like. In any event it adds no strength to the frame, only weight. It does look cool however! Bianchi does it as well on thier aluminum bikes.
    Believe what you will... or book a visit of the Cannondale factory.

    Quote Originally Posted by lunk57
    2) Kona has a office in Washington but is originally a Canadian company, founded by Canadians, and has a larger office in British Columbia. This again, does not affect function or reliability any more or less than a well built bike from Pennsylvania or Tiwan.
    That may be so, I thought they were completely out of Canada by now.

    Quote Originally Posted by lunk57
    3) I will put a Fox F100 aginst any lefty, I have ridden them both, and I prefer the fox. You might not agree. Most professional riders use fox. Again, it is all preference. All to often Cannondale gets caught up in doing it because it is different, not because it works better.
    True, it's all a matter of preference but you'll have to agree that professionals will ride whatever they are paid to ride. Go down in the ranks to non-sponsored racers and the ratio of riders using a Lefty gets significantly higher.

    Quote Originally Posted by lunk57
    Cannondales are good bikes, so are Konas. Kona is a much better bike for the same money if you like to ride. If you like to look at smooth welds and crazy looking forks, go ahead, whatever works for you.
    We all have our own opinions, but if you think people who ride Cannondales do so just because they like their look, I suggest you try a recent one for more than a minute in a parking lot... I think Konas, while not bad bikes, are riding ordinarly and are a bit behind (not just behind Cannondale, behind the whole industry) in design and technology. Again, that's my personnal opinion, I'll let you have yours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lunk57
    1) Cannondale does smooth thier welds and add aluminum filler, but believe what you would like. In any event it adds no strength to the frame, only weight. It does look cool however! Bianchi does it as well on thier aluminum bikes.

    2) Kona has a office in Washington but is originally a Canadian company, founded by Canadians, and has a larger office in British Columbia. This again, does not affect function or reliability any more or less than a well built bike from Pennsylvania or Tiwan.

    3) I will put a Fox F100 aginst any lefty, I have ridden them both, and I prefer the fox. You might not agree. Most professional riders use fox. Again, it is all preference. All to often Cannondale gets caught up in doing it because it is different, not because it works better.

    Cannondales are good bikes, so are Konas. Kona is a much better bike for the same money if you like to ride. If you like to look at smooth welds and crazy looking forks, go ahead, whatever works for you.

    I really don't like "know it all" types... Especially when they don't know there head from there ass.

  17. #17
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    Well thanks to everyone for their suggestions and words of advice. I took a good hard look at the Kona Kula Primo, compared it to the Cannondale Caffeine 2, and felt that the overall value leaned towards the Caffeine 2.

    Sadly, I will have to pay up 50% to get the Caffeine 2 in the shop. The 2008 models come in October, but I seriouIsly don't think I can hold out that long. The 2007 looks to be decent, and I'll judge my order on a comparable C'Dale at the shop.

    I just hope their service is better in store than over the phone. The Kona/Specialized dealership in town had outstanding service, just not the bike I was looking for...

  18. #18
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    I really don't like "know it all" types... Especially when they don't know there head from there ass.
    Wow, if you read my first post, I wrote "one riders opinion". Just because you don't like my opinion, I am a "know it all type"? I don't profess to know it all, but I had ridden many of the bikes mentioned in the original thread, so I thought I would give my two cents. I have been riding mountain and road bikessince 1994, and have seen many trends and companies come and go.

    I like Fox, you might like Lefty, big deal, some of my good friends ride leftys, I just don't like them as much as Fox. Someone wrote it contesting the logic of my opinion, so I was defending the basis of what I was saying. It is called rhetoric, and it can be fun, but I certainly never attacked anyone. I love riding, I don't care what kind of bike it is on, but for my money, I like what I like. I like Cannondale, I just don't like them as much as Kona in recent years, namely after the "we tried to make motorcycles" era.

    To each his own , I honestly hope you like the new Caffine, I am sure you will. Sorry for venturing an opinion. Perhaps they should re-name this the "Cannondale only for the blind lovers of Cannondale Forum".

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by lunk57
    Wow, if you read my first post, I wrote "one riders opinion". Just because you don't like my opinion, I am a "know it all type"? I don't profess to know it all, but I had ridden many of the bikes mentioned in the original thread, so I thought I would give my two cents. I have been riding mountain and road bikessince 1994, and have seen many trends and companies come and go.

    I like Fox, you might like Lefty, big deal, some of my good friends ride leftys, I just don't like them as much as Fox. Someone wrote it contesting the logic of my opinion, so I was defending the basis of what I was saying. It is called rhetoric, and it can be fun, but I certainly never attacked anyone. I love riding, I don't care what kind of bike it is on, but for my money, I like what I like. I like Cannondale, I just don't like them as much as Kona in recent years, namely after the "we tried to make motorcycles" era.

    To each his own , I honestly hope you like the new Caffine, I am sure you will. Sorry for venturing an opinion. Perhaps they should re-name this the "Cannondale only for the blind lovers of Cannondale Forum".
    He was probably refering to you saying, and insisting, that Cannondale use fillers in the welds when they actually dont. No problems with you prefering a Fox or the Kona, people just dont like when some are saying false facts... If you're not sure, say so or don't say anything.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    Believe what you will... or book a visit of the Cannondale factory.
    Ever see the episode of "Made in America" that included the Bedford factory tour? They show a room with multiple guys in it doing nothing but sanding welds with dynabrades.

    Personally, I don't care. But my scalpel frame is raw, and you can definately see the sanding marks that you otherwise wouldn't see on a painted frame....

  21. #21
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    From the Cannondale website:

    http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/03/c...del-3RS6Y.html

    A picture of a guy sanding welds.....

    Yeah, I don't care either. Like I said, it looks cool as hell, I am just not sure it is worth the money if budget is an issue. My Bianchi has this treatment as well, and I think it looks cool, so cool I bought it. It is all personal preference. Just don't attack me for offering my opinion.

  22. #22
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    The sanders are removing weld flash and in some cases creating the high bright finish. There is no removal of material in any significance to say that they are grinding welds to achieve that finish.

    Check out dirt rags website. They have a pretty awesome photo tour of the cdale factory. You will see many frames and components pre-sanding that show perfect smooth double pass welding.

  23. #23
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    Might be a good time to post a link to the welding discussion that came up a few weeks ago:

    Grinding welds on the frame????

    Which includes gems like this:


    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    Old issue.....For anyone who cares to know the details, they use a hybrid TIG/MIG process. Tig torch, with a wire feed gun. This allows more weld material to be layed into the weld at once, as opposed to the "stack of dimes" style traditional weld. Traditional welds have a sharp coner, or edge, where the weld filler, meets the tube. This creates a stress riser. Therefore, all non smooth welds, will be inherently weaker. Thing is, all the material and process used, so exceeds what the average biker can dish out, both types work fine, and it's really a moot point. Also, Cannondale does use a thin Emory cloth belt to smooth out the ripples in the welds, and smooth the transition even further, for appearence, and longevity. I weld frames, so I understand what it is they are doing, I have been in the factory, and have seen these processes with my own eyes, and I hope that this will help everyone get a better handle on it all. To the OP, tell your welder friend about the process, it may help him get it better, no grinding, no real removal of material, just some smoothing of the final product
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  24. #24
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    I can't wait to see "MRKONAIKNOWEVERYTHINGABOUTCANNONDALES" answer to that!
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
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  25. #25
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    Sorry if my post created a "Weld War". Just wanted to let you all know, I went "Buy It Now" on the New Old Stock 2005 Prophet 1000 ($1700.00). It was just too good of a bike to pass up, and after speaking with the LBS concerning the Caffeine 2, my haggle room was to a minimum (they wanted 1600).

    This, of course, is a complete 180 from what I was planning on...initially a front suspension single speed convert. I think the Prophet will be a fantastic "do it all" bike and components wise, I feel I made the best decision.

    We'll see how I take to gears, but honestly, I'll give it a month before it features a White Industries Eno SS Crank 32 tooth and White Industries 18 Freewheel.

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