Strengths: ~ With the correct gearing(Road Compact/Cyclocross)...it's beyond fast
~ Lightweight frameset/Fatty Ultra fork, upgradeable to be even lighter
~ Compliant, yet stiff frame; creamy, precise Fatty Ultra DL fork
~ Stealth Black finish is very understated and cool
~ Bulletproof, smooth, heat-treated welds
~ Beefy, 1.5" headtube
Weaknesses: ~ Pricey, for the given components now offered
~ Earlier CAAD4/CAAD5 models(2000-2003) were lighter, stiffer and 100% Handmade in USA
~ Cannondale will no longer service any Headshok fork
I have been lusting for this bike, since 2007. However, I certainly was not going to pay full retail for one. Finding one used, was even a challenge. They were all selling top-dollar, on eBay. Fast forward to 2012 - I finally find a 2001 CAAD4 Bad Boy Ultra project, with a 70mm Ultra DL Headshok. The frame was in rough shape cosmetically. The original paint had lots of scratches and chipping. The fork was rusted shut - it did not move. I paid $60 for the frame/fork/stem/bars. Once I got it, I immediately sent the Headshok to Mendon Cyclesmith, in NY for a full rebuild - after two Cannondale-authorized dealers refused to even touch it.
I decided to mask off all the decals and logos, since they were in decent shape. I considered powdercoating - but feared the high heat PC process would compromise the T6 annealing of the 6000-Series alloy. Finally, I simply roughed-up the existing paint and gave it six light coats of ceramic automotive engine enamel. After curing for a full month - the frame is about 95% of the original finish and appearance. I applied lightweight parts scavenged from my FS 26er race bike to the BBU and the final result is far better than anything Cannondale ever dreamed of; a sub 20-pound Urban Rocket. Was it worth all that wait? You BET it was!
I now have a bike I can grab and go anywhere, anytime. I no longer have to use my expensive, 15-pound road race bike - just to ride with my girlfriend on the Beach Boardwalk, or at Burning Man. If I feel like it - I can easily slip a set of Kenda Small Block 8 29er Cyclocross tires and hit the local trails. Riders on the road are simply amazed a flat-bar MTB can hold their paceline with relative ease. The Bad Boy Ultra is a wonderfully utilitarian bicycle, when the right conditions permit. All it takes is attitude, style and reasonable modicum of fitness....and this bike suddenly becomes your do-it-all SUV - on two wheels.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: July 22, 2011
Strengths: Drivetrain, cool frame, quality wheels. Made in the good ole USA (Cannondale now makes all but it's highest end bikes in Taiwan).
Weaknesses: Really, the most worthless saddle I've ever had the misery of sitting on, entry-level disc brakes.
(actually a 2010 model) After replacing the grips, tires and totally awful saddle, I like this bike a lot. At 6'4", 225, I wish the disc brakes were better...the Juicy 3s feel flimsy and cheap--a big deal at my size.
The SRAM 7 components shift smoothly and the bike handles well. I bought this bike because it's made in the USA (frame, anyway) and I think the Head Shok lefty fork is really cool. Overall, I like this bike but wish Cannondale had upgraded the brakes and saddle.
Strengths: Versatile for off road, road and commuting.
Weaknesses: Better stock saddle.
Just bought a 2009 Bad Boy Ultra from REI even though this review says 2007. Best all around bike I have ever had. So much fun this bike is. I have had other Cannondales (Synapse road bike and F7 mtn bike), but this bike rides the best for my body and weight. It is so versatile that I can put the original 700c road wheels and I am off riding with the roadies. If I want to hit the trails with my mtn bike buddies, I change up to 26inch mtn bike wheels with off road tires. I can use this bike for commuting by putting racks in the back since it came with eyelets. Disc brakes are awesome in wet and dry conditions. Added a Brooks B17 Special saddle and Crank Brothers Joplin remote seatpost and this bike totally rocks !!! Looks are top notch and of course quality of the frame is Cannondale's specialty. Made in the USA baby !!!
Favorite Ride: Beautiful Backroads Century, Cartersville, GA
Purchased At: REI
Bike Setup: Everything is stock except I changed the grips to EGC2, Brooks B17 Special saddle, Crank Brothers Joplin remote seatpost and Bontrager Trekking Carbon handlebars for multiple hand positions.
Date Reviewed: September 2, 2009
Weaknesses: the toe straps came off as soon as i got home from the first ride. the hand grips also started sliding off soon there after.
this bike rocks! i took it out the day i got it, and it took a bit of getting used to how narrow the tires are, since i had only rode mountain bikes, but it didnt take long. soon i was tearing down twisty roads at 30 mph. even uphills, i still hit about 10 mph with no strain, thanks to the amazing gear ratios. i really like the shifters, and how easy it is to change gears with out changing my grip on the brake levers. the disc brakes stop full speed at almost a scary quickness( i thought i was gonna rip the tire from the rim!). i put a odometer, led light system, and a topeak rear dynapack with a cable lock and tire repair kit, and its still lighter than any bike i have ever owned. it also looks so cool.
Strengths: Light, Made in North America, Good components (I prefer the SRAM to SHIMANO), Lockout shock which I use alot, really attractive bike without the flash that tends to attract thieves.
Weaknesses: The front fork doesn't have lot of clearance so it's hard to get different treads to fit - and be able to put the valve cap on still.
I got this as my first high end bike and I am very pleased with it. I was looking at Hybrids and this model was definitely out of my price range but by some stroke of luck I found a barely used one a year old for just in my budget.