Cannondale’s vast experience in making top shelf aluminum bikes continues with the F29 4. The F29 4 is a hydroformed aluminum hardtail with Speed Save technology and the Lefty PBR 90. If your looking for big bang for the buck, then look no further than the Cannondale F29 4. If you are familiar with the CAAD 10 road bike that Cannondale has produced over the last few years, the F29 4 is comparable on the mountain bike side.
A lot of technology has gone in to making the Cannondale F29 4 a race worthy cross country hardtail that could be raced right out of the box. Everything down to the components package makes for a competitive ride. The frame uses a BB30 for the cranks. It feels like the bike is really built around the fork and BB30 makes the bike very integrated. The fork uses an OPI stem design that is integrated into the steer tube which makes for a solid and responsive feel that lends to the feel of the fork.
I opted for an aftermarket stem that allows me to sit a little lower than the stock stem would allow for. After installing this to the bike it made for a more aggressive feel that made for a perfect fit. In addition, another aftermarket piece chosen was the seat post, which is the Cannondale Flash Carbon seat post that take the edge off on the little bumps.
The one characteristic you get when riding an aluminum bike is the responsive feel and low weight. In addition, Cannondale was able to use the Save technology that allows for a noticeable difference on the bigger hits and allows for a smooth ride when rolling over big ruts or rocks. The different tube shapes allow for a smooth, but responsive ride.
The Cannondale F29 4 feels very integrated from the fork, steer tube and OPI stem to the BB30 bottom bracket. The geometry of the frame and fork allow for an aggressive handling ride that allows for a 29er not be slowed down due to the larger wheel size. Cannondale did a great job at making the bike feel like you can throw it around when you need to. The Cannondale F29 4 climbs really well and is very steady on the climbs. It almost feels like your on a road bike when climbing due to the larger wheel size and the fact that you can lock out the front fork when climbing. But, just a tap to the pop lock button on top of the fork allows for easy on the fly suspension. The Cannondale Lefty is the best cross county fork I’ve ever ridden hands down. Due to Cannondale’s inverted suspension along with their needle bearing technology, the Lefty fork design makes for the smoothest and stiffest fork on the market. It’s a fork you have to experience to really appreciate.
All in all, this is an out of the box race ready bike that won’t hold you or your wallet back from stepping on the podium. The Cannondale F29 4 is definitely a big bang for the buck when it comes to a no compromise bike. So, if your a hard core cross country rider who wants a very efficient race ready bike, then look no further than the Cannondale F29 4.
The Cannondale F29 4 retails for $2,710.00. For more information on the Cannondale F29 4, please visit Cannondale.com.
Review & Photos by Frank Sarate, SoCalCycling.com