a Recreational Rider
from Casper, WY
Date Reviewed: November 2, 2001
Strengths: Super low rolling resistance, light weight, cannondale frame.
Weaknesses: Stiff, suspension seat post really helps.
For me, this is a great flat land ride. It's light, fast, and no noticable drag. On really long grinds, it seems like it's geared too high for my recreational-level riding in the mountain foothills. I'm looking into drivetrain changes to help out with low-end gearing. Overall this bike was a great choice for me.
Similar Products Used: 00 Jekyll 700sx, 99 Super V 500, 97 F700
Bike Setup: Cdale competetion suspension seat post, all rest stock.
a Recreational Rider
from Mexico City
Date Reviewed: April 16, 2001
Strengths: It's reasonably light, has good drivetrain componentry (105), frame is very well finished (like most Cannondales). Killer tires (Michelins).
Weaknesses: 40 cm Handlebar! Cheap & heavy no-name seatpost that won't keep the seat angle. Heavy Coda Cranks (105 too much $$$?). Heavy Handlebar and short stem. Cyclocross is probably not the best application for aluminium. Quite a bit of hard to eliminate squeal from cantilever brakes.
I see a lot of mixed reviews between reviewing bicycles and reviewing Cyclocross bikes as a whole. At the risk of getting too lenghty I'll try to separate my impressions on both.
I've been riding mountain bikes for a while (nice steel custom frame), and bought this as a 'street' bike that I could commute on and also take on the occasional off-road adventure. And yes, cyclocross bikes are good for commuting and a lot easier to pedal than mountain bikes on the streets. And yes, they can be taken off-road and are a lot more stable than road bikes. I love it when climbs get too steep, people start pushing their bikes and you can shoulder your bike and jog the rest of the climb.
Regarding the Cannondale XR800 (2001 Model). I chose it over the only other complete CX bike that I could order locally (Specialized, same price, lower componentry) to buy a complete bike that I could start riding. I'm swapping most components and then moving them over to a steel frame when I can get a hold of one.
My main complain is the handlebar, seems like Cannondale installs 40 cm standard on all 52 cm frames. I'm 5'9" and use a 56 cm road frame, Cannondale should realize that people buying 52 cm CX frames are usually bigger than those buying 52 cm Road frames.
Regarding the frame, like I said, aluminium is probably not the best material for a Cyclocross frame, and you do feel shattered when riding off road. But Cannondale only makes aluminium frames, and I guess they need a CX to have a complete bike line-up.
Drivetrain, like I said, works fine. I swapped it almost immediately so I can put the bike back together and sell it without too much wear when I finish my project bike.
Mavic rims and Coda hubs seemed OK, and were fairly light (only saved 150 grams going to Classics); but went to Classics for a strong CX wheel (would've bought Ksyriums, but 210# off-road rider seemed too much for them).
I would recommend this bike to people that want a stiff cyclocross frame, or to a Mountain Biker that owns a hardtail and wants to go faster on streets and fire-roads.
And finally, I didn't get the XS model because I didn't want a disguised mountain bike and 1/2 kilo more on a bike that's supposed to be light.
I hope you made it through my rant without falling asleep. Now get out and ride!
Bike Setup: Swapped drivetrain for Ultegra Crankset,BB,12-27 casette, and chain. Swapped Seat for S.Italia Flite and wheels for Mavic Classic Pro's. 44 cm bar and Thomson seatpost under way! And Time ATACs, the only pedals on any of my bikes.
a Recreational Rider
from Helsinki, Finland
Date Reviewed: February 2, 2001
Strengths: Comfort, wide tires, geometry fits me well
Weaknesses: Noname seatpost that loosens every now and then and won't keep the saddle in right angle.
So far it has served me well. It's not very light with the component spec and commuter set-up, but it handles the task I have for it. Black color looks kind of mean. It's a tool, not a work of art.
Similar Products Used: This is my first cross bike.
Bike Setup: Stock except for the fenders and a rear rack.
a Road Racer
from Salt Lake City, UT
Date Reviewed: November 22, 2000
Strengths: weight, handling
Weaknesses: no mud clearence, anything that says CODA
fun bike to ride as long as it is dry. The fork and chainstays have no mud clearance at all. When it is muddy I can barely make a lap before the wheels stop turning. I have a '98 xs800 and the mud clearance is excellent. It seems Cannondale just slapped some canti bosses on a road frame and called it good. I give it a 1 as a 'cross racing bike and a 3 as a touring bike(5 if it did not have CODA components)
Bike Setup: stock except for cranks Dura Ace 180mm
from Portland, Oregon
Date Reviewed: November 19, 2000
Strengths: Mind you, I'm riding the 2001 XR800, not the 2000. Quick responsive handling, stiffness in sprints, climbing.
Weaknesses: Crummy saddle, heavy Coda crankset, too stiff for comfort on rocky terrain.
This is a blast to ride and race. I have pitched it into some pretty gnarly terrain and come out smiling. It is a stiff ride though so tire pressures are crucial. It sprints and corners great. The Coda brand saddle is crummy, and the stock gearing needs to be altered if you race cross. All in a good cross bike perhaps a little lighter than the Kona Jake or the Trek XO. I had afactory defect on the Avid shorty brakes that required replacement, but that's not likely to be a common problem, I just got unlucky on mine.