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Difference between Cannondale M400 & M700?

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Difference between Cannondale M400 & M700?

Old 03-18-22, 09:21 AM
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gthomson
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Difference between Cannondale M400 & M700?

I am always on the lookout for a vintage mtn. bike to convert over to be a gravel rider after seeing that extensive post that often pops up to the top. One bike that really looks nice is a Cannondale MXXX. There seems to have been a number of different variations but just wondering what those differences are? I have sourced out both a M400 and M700 on the market but wondering which is the better bike and why?

I think they're both mid 90's so hopefully that's vintage enough.
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Old 03-18-22, 10:10 AM
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I have a late 90s M300; I believe the big differentiators in the line are the components assigned to the various models, with better components the higher you go, though I think some years there was a frame difference when CAAD3 was introduced; the lower numbers retaining CAAD2 and the higher ones getting CAAD3.....
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Old 03-18-22, 10:22 AM
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I have a 93 M700 and my son rides a 92 M800. They both have Shimano LX drivetrains.

M700 and higher have a pepperoni aluminum fork
M500 and below have a steel fork

The higher the number equals a higher end group of parts. The frame itself is the same.

Last edited by Roger M; 03-18-22 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 03-18-22, 10:40 AM
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I have both a M400 and M700 but they are different years. The M700 is higher up in the model line up, so for sure, the components on the M700 are better. In the time that my two examples were made, the M400 had a steel fork and the M700 an aluminum "Pepperoni" fork. The aluminum fork is lighter and kind of matches the big tubes of the aluminum frame better. But either one works fine. The F40 brake systems were not held in high regard if one of your models has this it may be best to replace the brakes.
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Old 03-18-22, 11:16 AM
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I've also seen a M900 so assuming this would be even higher up in performance and value- got it. Interesting that they would have an aluminum frame but steel fork. Was that for strength or to save money on production?
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Old 03-18-22, 11:35 AM
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One thing I forgot to note about the M800:

That frame had a different geometry. The bottom bracket is quite a bit higher than the rest of the lineup.

The steel vs aluminum fork thing is maybe the cost to produce. The steel unicorn fork had been used for years,, and was probably fairly inexpensive to make. The Pepperoni fork was a new thing and might have required different tooling and more time to build?

Last edited by Roger M; 03-18-22 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 03-18-22, 11:35 AM
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Go to Vintagecannondale.com. Read the info on serial # to get the year.

Then pull the catalog for build details and frame specs.
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Old 03-18-22, 12:39 PM
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Thanks guys, guessing you are happy with these bikes if you own them?
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Old 03-18-22, 01:13 PM
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Depending on what you plan to do and parts that you may already have, review the specs carefully to select a frame that would work easily. Early 90's frames had many of the old specs; 1 inch threaded forks, cable hangers for cantilever brakes, sometimes 130mm rear spacing, etc. Later 90's frames would have 1 1/8" threadless and setup for V-brakes, etc.

Last edited by KCT1986; 03-18-22 at 02:47 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 03-18-22, 02:43 PM
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Also do a search on the pepperoni fork. I believe they had a recall on those in the early 90s.
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Old 03-18-22, 03:13 PM
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One more note on the Pepperoni fork. It uses a 1 1/4" threaded headset. Stems are a little more difficult to find, but are up on ebay sometimes.

I bought a Nitto threadless adapter for mine, making it easier to find a correct length stem.
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