It’s been over a week now since I’ve had the pleasure of owning a Cannondale Bad Boy 8 in which time I’ve managed four in/out commutes to work, so 120 miles so far. I’d like to offer this brief short term review of the bike and follow it up with a longer term review, maybe in four months time once the bike has fully bedded in.
Compared to my previous commuter hack bike, a Kona Cinder Cone with skinny tyres, the Cannondale Bad Boy 8 was certainly a pleasant although not entirely unexpected change for the better.
First off the riding position is less slack than a traditional mountain bike yet a little more so than a road bike, so at first felt much more aggressive than I thought it would. I’m totally used to the new riding position now and find it very comfortable. The initial lack of any suspension made the Bad Boy feel a little twitchy at first, however it very quickly became evident just how stiff it is, all round. The power transfer to the rear wheel is phenomenal, allowing me to accelerate from traffic lights fast.
I still haven’t worked out how to remove the back wheel and disconnect the hub gear cable in case of rear p*. I’ll have to play with this a little. The front wheel is also a little awkward to remove as the front disk brake need to be partially removed to allow the unbolted wheel to slide off the Lefty spindle. This isn’t really a problem unless you need to regularly remove the wheel to transport the bike. In the case of punctures the wheel can stay on as is due to the lack of right fork blade.
The Shimano Alfine rear hub containing the gearing has worked without fail so far. It really does shift quickly, much more so than traditional gearing, almost instantaneously. The grinding and clanking noises coming from the hub are a little different and I think just need a little getting used to. From what I understand this eases off as the hub becomes ridden in. So far so good.
The only other comment I have at this point is about the handlebar grips, which look good but have already fallen apart. Despite being lock-on grips the grippy part is made from a tape, a little like tennis racket grip and has effectively come unravelled. I remedied this with a little glue, but we’ll see how long that lasts.
Finally, the tyres, Schwalbe Kojak Bad Boy Edition 622 x 28, are nice and fast with low rolling resistance. Awesome in the dry, OK in the wet, despite being completely slick. I’m still a little apprehensive about them in the wet.
I’ll follow up with a more detailed review at a later point. In the meantime here are a load of pictures of my Cannondale Bad Boy 8, 2009 model. Click the image for a larger version.
Do you ride a hub geared bike? If so I’d be interested in your thoughts on the pros and cons. Feedback below…