In 2008, My divorce was final and I moved from a house to a Condo. In the process, I sold most of bikes and only kept my road bike and my Cyclocross bike. For a year, I didn't own a mountain bike. That was the first time in 20 years, I have no mountain bike.
In the summer of 2009, I bought a Cannondale F4 Caffeine because my son wanted to ride. I chose Cannondale because I always wanted a headshok equipped bike. After the quick test ride around the shop, I wasn't completely sold about it. I told the sales guy that I felt cramped in the cockpit. He knew that I spend lots of time on the road and he told me that mountain bikes are different than road bike. He assured me that the fit of the bike is perfect for me. For some strange reasons, I believed him. I bought the bike.
After a season of riding it, I was never comfortable with the fit. With the 'cross season starting, I stopped riding the F4 completely.
I was trying to sell the bike in 2010, but no one was interested. I live in Vancouver, Canada and most people are not interested in XC bikes. Most people want full suspended all mountain/free ride bikes. XC bikes are very hard to sell. Instead of selling the bike, I picked up a Tomac Taos. The bike was the perfect fit for me. The F4 got no love in 2010 at all. It was just collecting dust.
I rode the Tomac Taos in 2010 and 2011. It was a great bike. It was light and a great climber.
Earlier this year, I wanted to do something to the F4. I want to ride it again, and I know that I need some new parts. I replaced the riser bar and 80 mm stem combo with a flat bar and a 100mm stem. I also replaced the stock seat post with one that has more set back.
The initial test ride at the park lot was good, as I liked how the bike feel. I still needed to field test the new set up at the local single tracks.
I rode the bike at the local cross country trails at Burnaby Mountain, and I was sold after 10 minutes. I knew that I have made the right choice. I should have done that in 2009!
As the trails turned down hill, the narrower flat bar didn't limit my ability. I was still able to move my weight back. The wheels was still tracking well. I was finally enjoying the bike that I bought 3 years. Although I still have to get used to the Hydraulic Brakes because they are more powerful that my other bikes.
I will be keeping the bike and probably put on a new set of tires. I need a set of tires that are better for the muddy trails.
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Thread: Rebirth of a F4 Caffeine