Price:£699.99 - £1,599.99
Finance from:£58.34/month (0% APR)
- Lightweight alloy frame
- Mid-size 27.5” wheels give nimble handling
- All models get disc brakes
- Lefty fork not to everyone’s taste
- Tall front end
- Limited mudguard capability in front
The Bad Boy is a lightweight commuter with the heart of a terrier, ready to get rowdy at every turn.
Consolidating the success of this premium urban bike, the Cannondale Bad Boy review is largely unchanged for 2019. The frames forks, drivetrains and wheels are the same on all bikes. The only component changes are with the Bad Boy 1. This now has Shimano Acera hydraulic disc brakes and WTB Byway 40c tyres.
Updated: 4th December 2018
Putting the quirkiness back into commuting, the Cannondale Bad Boy range is unique and will definitely get you riding with a smile. We look at the different models of the Bad Boy and review their specifications at each price point.
Built for urban riding, the Bad Boy uses an alloy frame and a curious single-sided Lefty ‘fork’ that splits opinion more than a pink tie. The lightweight frame is built on 27.5” (650b) wheels which give a balance between nimble handling and quick acceleration. Drivetrains on the models range from 3x to 1x systems, and even an internal hub, giving options for personal preference. If you’re in the market for a commuting or city bike that will stand out in a crowd, look no further. You can buy the Cannondale Bad Boy through a Cycle to Work scheme.
Cannondale made the Bad Boy with one purpose in mind: to make commuting fun. And it’s built with smart features all over to make it a superbly practical bike too. All models get the same SmartForm C2 Alloy frame, which is lightweight and robust thanks to the double-pass welded joints. Heat treatment after welding increases the strength without adding any weight. The range-topping Bad Boy 1 gets sliding dropouts to accommodate the belt-driven drivetrain, while the other models get the standard vertical dropouts for rear derailleurs. A belt is used instead of a chain to reduce maintenance and helps keep your trousers free of chain grease.
Along the sides of the top tube, a reflective rubber bumper is built into the frame. This gives some peace of mind when parking the bike, but also adds visibility to other road users, so you can ride safe in the knowledge that you can be seen. The standout part of the Bad Boy is the Lefty ‘fork’, which gives stiff and direct steering. The styling may not be to everyone’s taste, though, and it also makes for a fairly tall front end, but there’s no doubting the strength of the one-sided fork. On the Bad Boy 1 and 2, the fork comes with an integrated Supernova LED light strip, as well as matching red LED’s in the seatpost, for even greater road safety.
Its aluminum frame will stand up to the abuse of regular urban riding, and testers found that the rigid Lefty fork drew plenty of curious (and lusty) stares on the bike paths. - Bicycling
A Gates Carbon Drive Belt and internally geared hub won’t get greasy like a chain and cassette, so they’ll keep your going-out pants clean. The setup is also low-maintenance—nice for folks with packed social calendars and limited time. - Bicycling
Between the four models in the Bad Boy range, you have a wide range of options of Shimano groupsets. The Bad Boy 3 and 4 both get Shimano 3x9 speed drivetrains, providing a huge range of gear options. The 4 gets a predominately Altus groupset, while the 3 gets the next step Alivio and Acera components. The greater difference between the two bikes is that the 4 has mechanical Promax disc brakes, while the 3 has stronger and more reliable Shimano hydraulic disc brakes.
With the two top models, it’s down to personal preference rather than better quality spec. The Bad Boy 2 gets Shimano’s new urban Metrea 11 speed groupset combined with Cannondale’s Si chainset, for a 1x11 speed drivetrain. This single shifter setup gives a range that suits city cycling as well as light countryside riding, while simplifying the shifting system. The Bad Boy 1 goes in a different direction, focusing on ease of use and a pure commuting lifestyle. It uses a Shimano Alfine 8 speed internal geared hub and is driven by a Gates carbon belt. The belt is longer lasting and much cleaner than a chain, while the internal geared hub makes maintenance a breeze, perfect for the everyday commuter. It doesn’t quite have the gear range of the other models though, making not as ideal for hilly commuting. Both the Bad Boy 1 and 2 get powerful Magura MT2 hydraulic disc brakes.
Cannondale decided to build the Bad Boy around 27.5” (650b) wheels, usually reserved for mountain bikes. This gives the Bad Boy a much more nimble feel, allowing quick changes of direction in tight city street situations. All models get the one-sided Lefty hub in front, which makes fixing a flat super easy, as you don’t have to take the wheel off!
Rims are Cannondale C2 for the Bad Boy 3 and 4, while the 1 and 2 get Cannondale C1 rims. They are nice and wide to give the tyres extra support, aiding the handling of the bike at speed. Similarly, the Bad Boy 3 and 4 get different tyres from the 1 and 2 models. Schwalbe Kojak Performance tyres adorn the wheels of the lower two models in 35c size, while the 1 and 2 get bigger 40c Schwalbe G-One Performance tyres. These larger tyres, even on the 3 and 4, give more comfort than skinnier road tyres, taking on rougher roads. They also allow for more confident steering.
Smaller, 650b wheels help make the Bad Boy very nimble: It’s easy to turn hard at slower speeds and to quickly manoeuvre around traffic surprises, while 40mm tires soak up potholes and cracks in the road. - Bicycling
Commuting on a bike is possibly the most fun way to get around town, and Cannondale have built a bike just for that purpose. The Bad Boy is a lightweight commuter with the heart of a terrier, ready to get rowdy at every turn.
This unique city bike is made for those who want to stand out from the crown on their daily rides. The built in reflective rubber bumper and lights show that Cannondale has taken commuting seriously as you'll always have the convenience of lights on your bike and have greater protection when leaving your bike locked up. Cannondale also understands the fun of riding in a city with the quirk of the Lefty fork and smaller wheels. The Bad Boy is versatile enough for everyday riding as well as longer weekend cruises, and makes for a perfect daily driver.
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