Cannondale Bad Boy 3 Review
The Cannondale Bad Boy 3 is an aggressive hybrid bike for extreme urban cycling. It’s the kind of bike that tells drivers: “Stay out of my way!” If you’re looking to nail the morning commute at speed while cutting through parks and vacant lots, this is the bike for you!
An Urban Legend
-main features / full specs / sizing
Bad Boy 2 vs Bad Boy 3
-2019 vs 2020 Bad Boy 3 upgrades
Lefty LightPipe fork / 650b wheels / 16 gears / Shimano Easy fire shifters / Shimano MT200 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Sizes: S / M / L / XL (See size recommendations below)
Best for Urban commuting
MSRP $1,100 REI.com
The standout feature on the Bad Boy 3 is undoubtedly the ‘lefty pipe’ front fork which is in fact not a fork at all but a single steering column. Despite its rather off-kilter appearance, the lefty pipe provides even better rigidity than a standard fork and saves on weight. The single, left-sided fork is connected to the steering column at both the handlebar and the bottom of the headset for extra strength.
The Bad Boy 3 has extra-thick 650b wheels that will make short work of potholes, broken pavement, and any other obstacles that come your way.
In addition to the unique fork, the Bad Boy 3 benefits from a 16-speed Shimano drivetrain with an Altus rear derailleur and Tourney front derailleur. The 2×8 Shimano Easy Fire shifters enable quick and efficient gear changes and Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes provide instant stopping power.
The inclusion of a lefty pipe is what really gives the Bad Boy 3 it’s killer looks and attitude. Not just a strikingly unique design choice, the rigid “Lefty Lightpipe” 1-1/8” fork is an impressive component. By utilizing tougher materials while reducing the size of the fork by half, the Lefty Lightpipe reduces overall weight without sacrificing strength. Unfortunately, this version doesn’t have the integrated lighting found on Bad Boy models 1 and 2 but still benefits from the same strong construction method and dual attachment points.
Read more about the point of the lefty pipe from the Q&A section down below
650b wheels are becoming a more popular choice on hybrid bikes. At 27.5”, they fall neatly between too small 26” MTB wheels and rather large 700c road bike wheels. The Bad Boy 3 has Cannondale 32h double-wall rims with WTB Byway 650b x 40mm tires. With their smooth central area for grip on tarmac and knobbly edges for grip on dirt, WTB Byway’s are the perfect tires for an all-terrain hybrid.
Riser bar handlebar
Hybrid bikes are designed to provide quick urban riding and comfortable commutes, depending on this user. For this reason, Bad Boy 3 is fitted with a convenient riser handlebar that allows the rider to adjust their seating position for speed or comfort. The 6061 double-butted aluminum handlebar can rise by up to 25mm, putting the rider in a more comfortable, upright position.
Cannondale has fitted Shimano Easy Fire EF505 gear shifters on the Bad Boy 3 to compliment the 2×8 Shimano drivetrain and provide a clear optical display of derailleur position. They provide quick and easy click shifting between the 16 gears using just a thumb and forefinger while leaving optimal space for the integrated brake levers.
+ Internal cabling, ability to add two water-bottle cages, rack/fender mounts
Bike Frame Material – Aluminum
Frame – SmartForm C2 alloy, integrated Urban Armor bumper, BSA threaded BB, 1-1/8 in. head tube
Bike Suspension – No Suspension
Fork – Lefty Rigid, 1-1/8 in. steerer
Crankset– Prowheel TB-CY01, 46-30
Bottom Bracket – Sealed Cartridge
Shifters – Shimano Easy Fire EF505, 2×8
Front Derailleur – Shimano Tourney, 31.8 clamp
Rear Derailleur – Shimano Altus
Rear Cogs – Shimano HG41, 11-31, 8-speed
Number of Gears – 16
Brake Type – Hydraulic Disc Brake
Brakes – Shimano MT200 hydro disc, 160/160mm RT26 rotors
Brake Levers – Shimano MT200 hydro disc
Rims – Cannondale, double-wall, 32h
Front Hub – Lefty 50 front
Rear Hub – Formula DC-1422 QR
Wheel Size – 650b
Tires – WTB Byway, 650b x 40mm
Tire Width – 40 millimeters
Handlebar Shape – Riser Bar
Handlebar – 6061 double-butted, 25mm rise, 680mm
Stem – Bad Boy, 6061 alloy, 31.8, 60mm
Seat Post – Alloy, 31.6 x 350mm
Saddle – Cannondale Urban
Pedals – Cannondale Urban
Headset – Tange Semi-Integrated
Chain – KMC X8, 8-speed
Weight – 26 lbs. 12.8 oz.
Gender – Unisex
Cannondale Bad Boy Size Recommendation
S (Frame 15″-16″ / 38 – 41cm) 5’2″ – 5’6″ / 158cm – 168cm S
M (Frame 17″ – 18″ / 43 – 46cm) 5’6″ – 5′ 10″ / 168cm – 178cm M
L (Frame Size 19″ – 20″ / 48 – 51cm) 5’10” – 6’1″ / 178cm – 185cm L
XL (Frame Size 21″ – 22″ / 53 – 56cm) 6’1″ – 6’4″ / 185cm – 193cm XL
Bad Boy 2 vs Bad Boy 3
|Cannondale Bad Boy 2||Cannondale Bad Boy 3|
|Fork||Lefty Rigid, 1-1/8 in. steerer – Integrated USB-rechargeable SuperNova LED||Lefty Rigid, 1-1/8 in. steerer|
|Crankset||Shimano MT210, 46/30||Prowheel TB-CY01, 46-30|
|Bottom Bracket||Shimano MT210||Sealed Cartridge|
|Shifters||Shimano Altus, 2×9||Shimano Easy Fire EF505, 2×8|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano Acera, 31.8 clamp||Shimano Tourney, 31.8 clamp|
|Rear Cogs||Sunrace, 11-32, 9-speed||Shimano HG41, 11-31, 8-speed|
|Number of Gears||9||16|
|Rear Hub||Sealed Alloy Disc, QR||Formula DC-1422 QR|
|Handlebar||Cannondale Riser, 6061 Alloy, 18mm rise, 8° back, 4° up, 680mm||6061 double-butted, 25mm rise, 680mm|
|Stem||6061 alloy, 31.8, 60mm||6061 double-butted, 25mm rise, 680mm|
|Seat Post||LightSkin with integrated USB-rechargeable rear LED light; 31.6||Alloy, 31.6 x 350mm|
|Saddle||Fabric Scoop Radius Sport, steel rails||Cannondale Urban|
|Chain||KMC Z9, 9-speed||KMC X8, 8-speed|
Best Use Urban Cycling
Bike Frame Material SmartForm C2 alloy with integrated Urban Armor bumpers
Rear Derailleur Shimano Altus
Brakes Shimano hydraulic disc brake MT20 0hydro disc 160mm RT26 rotors
Brake Levers Shimano MT200 hydro disc
Rims Cannondale double-wall 32H
Front Hub Lefty 50 front
Wheel Size 650b
Tires WTB Byway 650b x 40mm
Tire Width 40mm
Handlebar Shape Riser Bar
Pedals Cannondale Urban
Headset Tange Semi-integrated
2019 vs 2020 Bad Boy 3
The newer model (Current review) is now equipped with hydraulic disc brakes, and the previous 3×7 gear ratio has been upgraded to a 2×8 drivetrain. The weight has been reduced plus there are some minor upgrades in the components as well!
Q & A
What is the point of a Lefty solid fork?
According to Cannondale, traditional forks suffer from a concentration of pressure at the single point of entry to the head tube. With a lefty pipe, the dual attachment to the head tube allows for the load to be more evenly distributed, improving strength and stiffness.
Are Lefty forks any good?
Lefty forks are still quite new and haven’t fully caught on yet but several pro cyclists use them and can attest to their quality. However, whether you’ll notice any significant difference is debatable and it really comes down to personal preference. If you are a fan of quirky features, this is definitely a solid option for you!
Can you put a Lefty fork on any bike?
It depends on the bike style and headtube spacing but Cannondale has developed a lefty fork that is compatible with all bikes. It comes in standard 137mm and XL 163mm clamp spacing sizes.
Can you put mudguards?
Yes, the lefty fork design is compatible with certain mudguards styles that attach to the headtube. There are also some mudguards available that are designed specifically for lefty forks.
Is it a good bike as an everyday hybrid?
It is one hell of a hybrid! What you see is what you get, and the dark matte finish on this bike is there for a reason – it symbolizes agility. The upright, slightly forward-leaning sitting angle with two water-bottle cage and rack mounts make it a sporty and versatile all-rounder.
Why Buy The Bad Boy 3?
Bad Boy 3 is a different bike best suited to those looking for something unique. With a 6061 aluminum frame, Shimano drivetrain, WTB tires, and hydraulic disc brakes, it’s constructed from good quality parts.
At only 26 lbs (11.7 kg) it’s also impressively light for a bike with such a solid feel.
Although it’s a tough bike, it doesn’t have suspension so don’t buy it if you hope to spend a lot of time off-road. Ideally, this is a great bike for tackling rough urban streets and dirt tracks and looking stylish while doing so. Is it a competitor to be the best hybrid under $1000? Definitely!
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