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Old 06-27-09, 08:39 PM   #1
n00bL35
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Opinions on Cannondale F300

I'm a road biker, usually seen lurking in that forum. I just bought a Cannondale F300 to start tackling the trails. It's an 8 speed with Sram X4 shifters and SX5 rear derailler and linear-pull brakes. I know it's a low end drivetrain, but I'm looking for opinions on the frame and general build quality of the bike. Will this bike be enough to go off of low 1-3 foot drops and handle basic trails? Should I bother installing disc brakes, or will my linear-pull brakes be enough for now? Are there any known shortcomings for this bike?
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Old 06-28-09, 08:42 AM   #2
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Not too sure about the F300. Never ridden one, but I will say that the F400 is a great mountain bike. I do a mountain biking clinic with kids in a low income neighborhood and we have a couple of F400s for them to use. It's what I ride too when we take the kids out riding.

I've heard that the F300 is a great bike but lacks in components, in particular the shifters, brake pads, and the fork. That said, it is supposed to be a great bike for someone that is just getting into mountain biking and not doing anything too extreme.

Enjoy!!!
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Old 06-28-09, 10:55 AM   #3
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I liked it
here pictured in superlight ss mode
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Old 07-15-09, 12:21 PM   #4
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I am going tonight to look at an 05 F300. $200/obo. Anything I should look out for?
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Old 07-15-09, 04:05 PM   #5
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Biggest change with the F300 over the years is the fork; looks like older models have the headshock and the newer ones a monoshock. I've had two older Cannondales, F600 and F700 with headshocks. The frames are light and stiff, which makes them good for climbing. As stated earlier, the components are pedestrian but work fine if they're in good shape. My experience with the headshocks is they tend to soften up and lose damping over time, becoming rather pogo-like. If it's in good shape the F300 is a good starter MTB. (Don't try anything extreme on it).

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Old 07-15-09, 05:26 PM   #6
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This one had a regular Manitou fork. It looked just like this bike:

http://www.bikepedia.com/Images/imag...ndale-F300.jpg
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Old 07-15-09, 10:23 PM   #7
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My brother has that exact bike. He loves it. Although he has upgraded a few parts over the past couple years. Stock, it is a great beginner bike. Very decent hardtail frame. If you feel in time you want nicer stuff. Just look for cheap parts for upgrades, either used or on sites like Jenson when they offer killer deals. I would say its worth throwing a few bucks into if you start getting more into MTN riding.
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Old 07-16-09, 12:03 AM   #8
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i like this part of the forum. people actually have a good idea of what they're talking about.

some details about the fork would help assessing the capabilities of the bike.

as stated above, it should be enough bike for you to figure out if you like trail riding so much that you need more bike or not, if you get "the mtb bug" or not. like all beginner mtb'ers, when you hit the bike's limits, the trail will let you know. often people who start with "too much bike" end up disinterested after a little while, or worse, thinking that the bike will land 6-foot drops for them. i think hardtail xc's help build skills in a logical manner. hard to quantify in words. best advice is to ride with someone better than you. group rides. shop rides. imba rides. local mba rides. good luck!
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Old 07-16-09, 06:59 AM   #9
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I got an F300 about a month ago as my first MTB and have hit a trail by my house 6 or 7 times. It seems very composed over roots and short drops, and it behaves predictably. This particular trail has lots of short steep drop-ins with short steep climbs on the other side over roots and rocks and around trees. I find it's particularly easy to keep my center of gravity centered so as not to lift the front fork on technical climbs, or lose traction on my rear tire. I'm not a big fan of the SX4 shifters though, as they seem to have a lot of loose travel and don't feel very precise. I'm probably going to upgrade the shifters to X7 triggers or X9 twists with a new cassette and chain. Interestingly, the SX5 rear derailler seems to get the job done.
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Old 07-16-09, 07:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnorris View Post
Biggest change with the F300 over the years is the fork; looks like older models have the headshock and the newer ones a monoshock. I've had two older Cannondales, F600 and F700 with headshocks. The frames are light and stiff, which makes them good for climbing. As stated earlier, the components are pedestrian but work fine if they're in good shape. My experience with the headshocks is they tend to soften up and lose damping over time, becoming rather pogo-like. If it's in good shape the F300 is a good starter MTB. (Don't try anything extreme on it).
The damping on the headshocks waried from model to model - some of the earlier and cheaper ones just used a MCU stack. I had a DD60 (damping dial) converted with an air cartridge; it worked like a champ. I loved it, but 60mm travel is pretty short.

For $200 for a decent bike, how can you lose?
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Old 07-16-09, 09:59 AM   #11
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It's a great bike to start out with. Cannondale frames are bulletproof, and if you want, just upgrade the components later.
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Old 07-16-09, 10:38 AM   #12
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I spent two full seasons on an '06 F300 and I'd highly recommend it. No, the Manitou isn't an air shock, but it worked fine. The V-Brakes were strong enough to lock up either wheel and yet had a decent amount of modulation. The low-end SRAM always worked flawlessly as well. I was about 215lbs when I bought the bike and definitely NOT a delicate rider. As said earlier, it's a great frame with parts that work.
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Old 07-16-09, 12:53 PM   #13
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Well the one I was looking at is no longer for sale. His "boss" told him he is not buying a new bike right now so he is keeping it another year
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