An acquaintance is selling a Cannondale Rize Lefty bike for under $900. I’m considering buying it for my hubby. Both of us are clueless about bicycles. This bike is from 2009 or 2010. Our son thinks that the bike looks cringey and extremely outdated. I know my husband would love it just because it is red, lol. He is in his 50’s. He’s in good shape but probably wouldn’t be doing hard riding, just around town and some mountain trails.

Because our budget is very tight, my husband told me that he wants to spend no more than $100 for a used bike. Our kids are willing to pitch in money to get something better as a gift.

The reviews on the Rize Lefty are amazing. Would it be difficult or expensive to maintain? I think my husband would probably prefer a more upright set of handlebars but I’m guessing those would be easy to switch out. The bike has only been ridden a few times and is the right size for him. He is 6’ and frame is large.

The bike has a lot of upgrades and apparently cost $5000 new. It has Shimano XTR components including hydraulic brakes and and upgraded seat. The stock tires were Maxxis so it looks like those are an upgrade as well? I have more detailed photos of the components. The bike looks new to me.

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    Hi, welcome to bicycles! It will be really hard to give you a good answer about the expected maintenance costs without a good picture of what shape it's in. At 10 years old depending on the amount of use it got a lot of components could be at the end of their life. I'd recommend checking out a couple of sites like Bicycle Blue Book to see if the price is fair. (I say this particularly because $900 for a 10-year-old bike sounds like a lot.)
    – DavidW
    Dec 15 '20 at 18:31
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    $900 sounds like an awful lot. It's a decent bike, from what I can tell, and the brand is highly valued, but I suspect you can get similar bikes for half that price. Dec 15 '20 at 18:51
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    Questions seeking product/service/learning material recommendations or item valuations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead describe the situation or specific problem you are trying to solve, or try chatting about it in The Velodrome. Dec 15 '20 at 18:51
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    @DanielRHicks I agree that $900 is a lot in normal times. I am hearing that because of the disruption of supply chains due to Covid, bike stores are out of bikes, and thus, used bike market valuations have gone up pretty high. That could partly explain the pricing.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Dec 15 '20 at 19:21
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    Give him the cash and a card explaining that they money is for a bike. This way he can look at bikes, test ride them, and get one the right size that will fit the kind of riding he will do.
    – David D
    Dec 15 '20 at 19:33

This bike is a really nice piece of kit. I'm not sure it's the right bike though, even though the price is good (these are well regarded and sought after).

It is not the right bike for $100 bicycle man.

It's a high spec, aggressive all-mountain bike from Cannondale's final manufacturing years in the US (subsequent years were made in Taiwan). The Lefty fork is awesome and has many unique features that make it so, not just the single sidedness of it. People say the "Geometry is outdated" but this is more of a fashion thing -- there are limits within which the dimensions of a bicycle work and give the desired handling and the newer trend is for slacker head angles.

I see the bike has all top-level XTR components. As parts wear and need replacement, you will find that the costs are in line with a top level bike. Suspension should be serviced with use and this could be $100/year depending who does it.

It's a beautiful bike but you may not be putting it to the right purpose by buying it for your husband who may be better off with a lower spec bike that is a little bit more general purpose, unless his intention is to ride the trails hard every weekend. It's not an ideal bike for riding around town.

But that's only my opinion. There are other red bikes out there.

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    Agree. This bike is also overkill for riding around town and “some mountain trails” (which are probably more like forest roads). I’d try to get a decent, used trekking/touring/cross/fitness bike in good condition for half the price.
    – Michael
    Dec 16 '20 at 6:52

I'll stay away from shopping recommendations in the hope of offering advice you and others can use.

This was a very high end, aggressive XC bike. It is designed for speed on technical single track by competent, fit and competitive riders, not comfort on roads and easy trails. Compared to todays modern bikes its geometry is outdated, mostly meaning it is not as good for shredding fast down hills in the hands a novice as a new bike would be.

Being full suspension, it is more expensive to maintain, with the rear and front shocks needing service every 50-100hours (not sure what the lefty requires. The 'lefty' is known to be a good fork, and is repairable at reasonable cost - however, reasonable is in context of a $5000 bike, not a $100 bike.

A very good bike. Provided it is in good running order and components are not worn out, I would recommend this bike for a novice wanting to take up cycling with plans to spend time on technical single track trails who likes the idea of $4000 cash in his back pocket.

I would not recommend it for someone on a tight budget who want to ride casually. The comfort factor may or may not be an issue depending how flexible you husband is and how long he intends to ride, but the cost of maintaining such a bike in good working condition is prohibitive. (That said, you could just ride it, not spend money and accept the loss of performance of the shocks over time... while sacrilege, many do)


Never buy an item purely because the colour matches. Also consider that a fancy/special/unusual bike is much more of a target for theft. By picking a fancy looking bike it is harder to lock up and leave at the shops.

By specifying a $100 used bike, the expectation has been set as a working-but-not-pretty bike. A utility tool, not a flashy status symbol.

The bike itself is unusual, I'd be concerned about non-standard items like the lefty fork, mostly because its rare and unusual. However there have been no endemic horror stories about this particular item.

Ultimately its up to you, but as a story:
I had a cheap $100 single core android phone, and it was a bit marginal at running strava and updating my location so my SO could track me. One long and remote ride I dropped out of contact si it looked like I had an accident, and didn't move for a couple hours. My better 3/4 decided that the phone was at fault rather than cellular coverage, and without asking bought me a bleeding edge new iphone (5?) for $1500. I felt that was ludicrous and overreacted badly, returned it unopened and ended up buying a much-more reasonably priced phone ($300), which is still in use 5 years later.

Its your money and noone can tell you how to use it - I'd personally prefer to have $800 off the mortgage and a $100 bike than a $900 bike.

  • Thank you for all of your replies. I added another paragraph with info on the upgrades to this bike and a photo. Seems that only one photo is allowed. The bike looks like new to me.
    – Kendall2
    Dec 15 '20 at 21:59
  • I thought if the risk of theft too. My husband has a small car so he would have to carry the bike on a roof rack. I thought we might need to put on a cover to avoid attracting thieves but a cover might blow off in the wind. I’m a sucker for a good deal but we definitely don’t have money to burn. Considering that it has $2000 in upgrades, would it be worth less than $800? If I want it, what would be a fair price?
    – Kendall2
    Dec 15 '20 at 22:13
  • @Kendall2 Ultimately, if it were me, I'd want to be involved in the decision process.
    – Criggie
    Dec 15 '20 at 22:14
  • Criggle, I get that but my husband is not picky at all. I know he would love this bike but he would not be happy with the price. That is my biggest hesitation.
    – Kendall2
    Dec 15 '20 at 22:18

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