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  1. #1
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    Cannondale F3 vs. Others...Which one?

    I'm sure you guys are pretty biased here, but i'm deciding between the following and would like your guys suggestions/opinions. I recently had a older C'dale Terra (F400?) until it recently got stolen. I really liked the bike as it was light and a great climber. I live in NYC, so I ride approx. 90/10 - road/singletrack.

    I have not test ridden any of the prospective bikes yet, but just merely researching via the web based on componentry and color scheme . Will test ride soon and may change based on your opinions. I would prefer not to exceed the $1200 mark.

    Well...here are the candidates. Please let me know if there are other candidates I should consider.

    Top choice:
    C'dale F3 - BBQ - (http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/08/cusa/model-8FS3.html)

    All others:
    Specialized Rockhopper Pro - Burnt Orange - (http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=33093)
    Trek 6500 - Pearl White/Met. Black - (http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes.../6_series/6500)
    GF Piranha - Dry Green - (http://www.fisherbikes.com/bike/model/piranha)
    Used nicer older C'dale/Specialized/Trek/GF model (ie. C'dale F2000SL)

    What would you guys do or have done?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by Arrwin; 04-29-2008 at 11:44 AM.

  2. #2
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    take a look at the frame warranties

    I had a 2002 cannondale F700. i rode it for 2 years and left for the military. now im out and i started riding my old F700. the bottom tube cracked on me and Cannondale ended up replacing my whole bike and gave me a prophet 5 with a lefty to replace it. So check with each company to see what there warranties cover. check for comfort of the frame and how well it handles. but i would go with cannondale..

  3. #3
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    I bought a f3 used for $800 bucks in great condition, I'm very happy with it.
    But if I was riding in the city like you I'd be getting something less aggressive and with a more upright seating position. Even when riding the trails I wish I had a more up right position, my freaking neck hurts.. lol
    Also the caffeine frame is ridged as heck, you feel every little bump, I had to change the seat and get a thudbuster seat post, now it rides like a deam... : )
    good luck.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies so far guys.

    For a similiar price, would you guys get slightly used 2004 F2000SL (F2000SL Specs Link) over a 2008 F3? Which is the better bike?

    Looks like the F2000 have slightly better componentry, but would 3 yrs. make up for that?
    Last edited by Arrwin; 04-28-2008 at 02:33 PM.

  5. #5
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    The specs are better on the f2000, and the optimo frames are supposed to be less stiff than the caffeine, some people like that. If the bike is in good shape and has been well cared for, it could be a good buy. Buying used means no warranty though, and that gives some people the heebie-jeebies.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigred
    The specs are better on the f2000, and the optimo frames are supposed to be less stiff than the caffeine, some people like that. If the bike is in good shape and has been well cared for, it could be a good buy. Buying used means no warranty though, and that gives some people the heebie-jeebies.
    Good point on the warranty. I'm assuming the lifetime warranty is only good for the original purchaser?

    Looks like the F2000 has mechanical brakes vs. the F3 with hydraulics? How can one tell?

    Thanks again.

  7. #7
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    The XT brakes on the f2000 are hydraulic too, I think, you can tell by looking at the levers (hydros will have a reservoir for fluid somewhere, and at the caliper (mechs will have a a cable coming out of the housing, like a derailleur) it's a little bit hard to explain, but it's pretty easy to tell once you know what to look for. Yes, the warranty is only good for the original purchaser.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigred
    The XT brakes on the f2000 are hydraulic too, I think, you can tell by looking at the levers (hydros will have a reservoir for fluid somewhere, and at the caliper (mechs will have a a cable coming out of the housing, like a derailleur) it's a little bit hard to explain, but it's pretty easy to tell once you know what to look for. Yes, the warranty is only good for the original purchaser.
    Gotcha. Thanks! Also looks like they changed the size since '05? A '08 medium is 17" vs. a '04 medium which is "18. Or did they change the way they measure?

    2008 F3


    2004 F2000SL

    Optimo, Furio and Verso Mtn HeadShok Geometry Chart Medium
    Seat Tube Angle (degrees) A 73.5
    Head Tube Angle (degrees) B 70
    Horizontal Top Tube Length (in/cm) C 23.3/59.1
    Seat Tube Length to Top (in/cm) D 18/45.7
    Chainstay Length (in/cm) E 16.7/42.4
    Fork Rake (in/cm) F 1.8/4.6
    Bottom Bracket Height (in/cm) G 11.7/29.8
    Wheelbase (in/cm) H 43.6/110.8
    Trail (in/cm) I 2.9/7.3
    Standover Height (in/cm) J 31.1/78.9
    Bottom Bracket Drop (in/cm) K 1.4/3.6
    Front-Center Distance (in/cm) L 26.1/66.3

  9. #9
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    really, seat tube length isn't that important, and doesn't affect much unless you're running the saddle pushed all the way down, which most people don't do. It's just an easy way to "size" a bike. If you're looking at fit, standover and top tube horizontal are more important to consider. These changed slightly between years too, but they're in the same ballpark. Again, it would be a personal preference thing more than anything else.

  10. #10
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    If you can, test ride every bike and watch for subtle differences. Every company has a different way of measuring their frames. My first "serious" mountain bike was a Cannondale hardtail, but that was after test riding every other bike companies' offerings.

  11. #11
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    I would get the new 2008 F3 over the used F2000. The new F3 comes with a warranty, the used bike does not.

    I actually prefer the Optimo over the Caffeine. The components are better on the F2000 too but the warranty is what really stand out with a new bike. New bike always wins.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by apacherider
    I actually prefer the Optimo over the Caffeine.
    Is it due to the stiffer Caffeine frame?

  13. #13
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    I would get the one with a Headshok or a Lefty. Those are much better forks than the ones found on a $1100 bike.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrwin
    Is it due to the stiffer Caffeine frame?
    Pretty much. Plus the frames feel smaller than the same sized Optimos. The Caffeine is a lighter frame but has a cruder design. The frame tubes and welds are not a smooth as an Optimo.

    Part of the frame overall stiffness comes from the larger seatpost used.

    Also, I don't think that the Caffeine has the same rear tire clearance as an Optimo. In the winter I run 2.2(a fat 2.2) Michelins. The whiskers of the rear tire have made a hairline rub line(cosmetic, just the paint) on the non drive chainstay. It did not do that on the Optimo which has more clearance(I guess).

    It is still the best hardtail in world. In my opinion. Everything I was able to do on previous versions, CAAD3 through 5, Furio and Optimo I can do on my Caffeine. Just seems like the Optimo frame was the best frame they ever produced. The Caffeine seems like a step back. The Caffeine rides like a Furio.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by apacherider
    Pretty much. Plus the frames feel smaller than the same sized Optimos. The Caffeine is a lighter frame but has a cruder design. The frame tubes and welds are not a smooth as an Optimo.

    Part of the frame overall stiffness comes from the larger seatpost used.

    Also, I don't think that the Caffeine has the same rear tire clearance as an Optimo. In the winter I run 2.2(a fat 2.2) Michelins. The whiskers of the rear tire have made a hairline rub line(cosmetic, just the paint) on the non drive chainstay. It did not do that on the Optimo which has more clearance(I guess).

    It is still the best hardtail in world. In my opinion. Everything I was able to do on previous versions, CAAD3 through 5, Furio and Optimo I can do on my Caffeine. Just seems like the Optimo frame was the best frame they ever produced. The Caffeine seems like a step back. The Caffeine rides like a Furio.
    Thanks for the comparo. I am 5'7 and in between a S and M. So being that the Caffeine feels smaller may be an advantage for me. I had a 2002 Cannondale and did notice welds on the current bikes weren't has smooth. Maybe i'll keep my eye out for a used Optimo and see if I can test ride that and compare it with the Caffeine.

    What year were the Optimos produced?

  16. #16
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    '08 F3 vs. '07 Stumpjumper Comp

    Hey guys,

    For about the same price which would you get? Which is the better bike (I know...it's a bit biased here)? Which would hold better value?

    C'dale F3 or slightly used '07 Stumpjumper Comp?




    Here are the specs of both...

    F3: https://www.cannondale.com/bikes/08/...odel-8FS3.html
    Stumpy: https://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBk...007&spid=22272

  17. #17
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    It depends, the cannondale has a better frame and fork, and being a new bike, it will have a warranty, which the specialized won't have. Brakes, crank and shifters are slightly better on the spec. I'd personally go with the Cannondale as the better value overall, particularly if you're thinking of upgrading parts down the line.

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