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Written: November 15th, 2002
Written by: Ralph Masiello "Bugman"
Bike: 2003 Cannondale X440
I recently picked up my new '03 X440 from Pete's Cycle and Sled in Worcester, Ma. and went out to run it through it's break in at Uxbridge Motorsports Park in Uxbridge Ma. I was really looking forward to seeing what difference (if any) I could feel from my '02 C440 from the new '03 X440.
The first thing I realized was how much lighter the bike felt when I hoisted it up onto the stand. I am only 5'8" and sometimes it is quite a hoist to get the C up onto the stand. The X was SO much easier to lift and the stronger, reinforced rear fender set up meant I wasn't going to tear the fender off like I had a few times on the C440.
Next, I loved that the seat was no longer made of concrete like the '02, which took MANY rides to break in. But, unlike my cousin, who thinks the bike is narrower, I have to disagree. It seems the same width to me, which is fine, because I liked it as it was.
I do not like the bars. I am changing IMMEDIATELY to a straighter bend (McGrath bend works nicely for me). I got bad forearm pump with the stock ones on the C and the X models. When I went to the ProTapers on my C, my arm pump disappeared.
Plain and simple, the stock tires on the X are too suited for enduro/trail riding than the type of tracks I ride.
But the biggest difference lies in the performance of the bike…….
Hits immediately right off the bottom and revs to the sky. The X pulls harder and stronger than my C440, while still being manageable and user friendly. It wheelies through chop like it doesn't exist and tracks straight and true through whoops. It jumps level and stable and the suspension soaks up over jumps, under jumps; whatever it is fed! The Ohlins work flawlessly right out of the crate. They may be a bit stiff because they are not fully broken in, but I have NO complaints about how well they work. The valving seems more in tune with MX than the valving on my '02 C440. And like my C440, this thing turns INCREDIBLY!!!! Inside turns, outside turns, jumping from rut to rut mid turn, flat turns, anything you can imagine, this bike does well.
This is one AWESOME piece of machinery. I was competitive on my '02 C440 in any MX race I was in, but this '03 X has even more potential to give the competition headaches! As, with this past season, they are going to have to get used to seeing my rear fender…at least until the first turn…and after that, they may need binoculars to see me up in front of them!
Until next post,
Ralph "BUGMAN" Masiello
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