Known Issues & Problems with Cannondale Products + Help, Solutions & Fixes

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
No ebike is perfect, this is a thread dedicated to sharing known issues or problems with electric bikes from Cannondale as well as any help and solutions you know of. Sometimes that means a DIY fix and other times it can mean a recall, software update or part replacement by a dealer.

Please be respectful and constructive with feedback, this is not a space for hate speech. In many cases, representatives from the company will see feedback and use it to improve their product. In the end, the goal is to enjoy riding and help each other go further and be safer.
 

DouglasB

Active Member
So far I am liking the Contro-e. It is well suited to my needs for a commute bike. The only critisisim I have of it is not really about the bike itself but the lock that comes with it. It's a rather clunky, hard to use contraption, weighs a ton and today when I went to use it, I found that it wouldn't expand enough for me to lock the bike frame to a bike rack I was using. I ended up putting the lock through the front wheel and frame but someone could have come by and thrown the whole bike in the back of a truck. I guess I'm a little dissapointed that they built such a crummy lock into the frame.
 

DouglasB

Active Member
One issue with the Contor-e is that with the kickstand adjusted all the way in, the bike is almost vertical and takes only the slightest touch to knock it over. I'm not typically a fan of kickstands on bicycles but being this bike is as much a motor scooter as it is a bicycle, it does come in handy for parking. It's very sturdy, maybe too much so and is quite heavy. When I first got it, it seemed a little tippy. I though "No problem, I'll just adjust it." There was a handy little adjustment screw at the bottom so you can extend the foot by a couple of inches. Cool, except it was too long and needed shortening. I then thought I would either cut or grind off some of the stand. That proved to be a no go as well. In the four months we have had the two bikes, both have fallen over severa times, causing minor damage to the fenders. Not a big deal but when you have a new bike and it falls over for no aparent reason, putting a big scrape in the fender, it's frustrating. Fortunately nothing more serious has occured but with the bikes weight at just over 50 pounds it's only a matter of time before something gets broken off or seriously damaged from a fall. Just yesterday I knocked it over in the garage. When we went for a ride that evening, the front tire seemed locked up. Turned out the front fender had been smashed up against the wheel and was restricting it's movement. Fortunately the damage was only cosmetic and I was able to adjust the fender back out away from the wheel again.
 

DouglasB

Active Member
I just whacked 1 1/4" off of the ends of my handlebars. The Contro-e has a very wide set of handlebars that I found uncomfortable so I cut them back a bit and am finding the ride a lot more comfortable. It was a simple fix, just sawed it off and filed off the rough edges. I'm still strugling with hand numbness but this helps.
 

MDEZZ

New Member
I have this same bike and love it. I don’t depend on the kickstand white at home but purchased a stand that you wheel the front wheel into and that supports most of the bike, while the kickstand acts as additional support. I use the lock that came with the bike sparingly and only as a second lock. My first is a u lock. The lock that came with the bike is difficult to get out of the holder without cutting up your hands so I’m always quite careful - other then that the bike rocks and I got a great price on it last year since I think these are discontinued. Mine is a 2017 model.
 

DouglasB

Active Member
I removed the lock from my bike. That thing is a chunk. It's OK if you use it but I don't care for the way it works and I'm typically not going anywhere that I need a lock. When I do I throw one in my pannier.
 
Mine has no major mechanical issues.
Minor ones are:
1) Eats chains, 3 chains in 550 miles.
2) No Lock nuts!!!! The bolts rattle loose. My bad for not taking it in for a tuneup. You can judge for yourself when it's time. When it sounds like about to rattle apart, time to check your screws. Fender, handlebar, especially the rack.
3) Oversize tubing on the rack. Stock rails are skinnier
 

DouglasB

Active Member
Mine has no major mechanical issues.
Minor ones are:
1) Eats chains, 3 chains in 550 miles.
2) No Lock nuts!!!! The bolts rattle loose. My bad for not taking it in for a tuneup. You can judge for yourself when it's time. When it sounds like about to rattle apart, time to check your screws. Fender, handlebar, especially the rack.
3) Oversize tubing on the rack. Stock rails are skinnier
I have about 700 miles on mine and haven't had any issues with loose bolts or a worn chain. I would expect it to be harder on chains though with the extra torque but not in 500 miles. So far the only issue I've had is the chain jumping the front chain ring and damaging the plastic chain guard. The plastic chain guard is useless. I replaced it with an aftermarket, aluminum one that does the job and looks better. My wife has the same bike with about the same miles and so far, other than self inflicted issues it's been flawless.
 
I agree! A combined 300lbs of rider and stuffed work/gym accouterments and, occasionally the charger. Tt's been the best Cannondale I've ever owned. They nailed it with this one. Spot on, except for the price. People don't appreciate what they are getting. It really is the top of the heap.
You know I had a Trek Commuter bike and it's 12 years old. Only had the chain and cassette replace once. Ebikes are different. The terrain? My shift work is butter. I shift with the power curve and at appropriate points. I even upgraded the front rotor from the 180mm to a 203mm. For the mountain passes going to work.

<iframe height='405' width='590' frameborder='0' allowtransparency='true' scrolling='no' src='https://www.strava.com/activities/2597389708/embed/4ca24a1dc7862bda8fcb1d13a066ee7c4b115001'></iframe>
 

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DouglasB

Active Member
I weight 210 and ride on a mix of hills and flats. I'm still trying to understand why they cut the price on it to $2,700? It's been an exceptional bike for me for the past ten months. One flat and a mashed chain guard are the only issues I've had. That and the #$%&# kickstand. The bike has a tendency to fall over because the stand can't be adjusted any shorter. I might look for a replacement. I tried to see if I could hack some off but the way it's made, it didn't look feasible.
 
I weight 210 and ride on a mix of hills and flats. I'm still trying to understand why they cut the price on it to $2,700? It's been an exceptional bike for me for the past ten months. One flat and a mashed chain guard are the only issues I've had. That and the #$%&# kickstand. The bike has a tendency to fall over because the stand can't be adjusted any shorter. I might look for a replacement. I tried to see if I could hack some off but the way it's made, it didn't look feasible.
Hi Doug,

No one buys them. I should say no one will pay that much for the tech? I think the ceiling on these commuter bikes is $2500? Have a look at the 2019 offerings. Manufacturers have largely ditched the exposed battery mid-drive and resorted to hub drive with cassette. I have a buddy that bought a Cannondale Neo for $1500 its good! Fast Class 3. We are around the same size. So I must ask, "what chain are you using" I will definitely pay more.
Have you considered going tubeless? The kickstand uses a 10/32" screw. You have to remove it and cut it. Great chatting with you. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Clear Ebikes even here in SF will be around a long time.
 

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DouglasB

Active Member
Hi Doug,

No one buys them. I should say no one will pay that much for the tech? I think the ceiling on these commuter bikes is $2500? Have a look at the 2019 offerings. Manufacturers have largely ditched the exposed battery mid-drive and resorted to hub drive with cassette. I have a buddy that bought a Cannondale Neo for $1500 its good! Fast Class 3. We are around the same size. So I must ask, "what chain are you using" I will definitely pay more.
Have you considered going tubeless? The kickstand uses a 10/32" screw. You have to remove it and cut it. Great chatting with you. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Clear Ebikes even here in SF will be around a long time.
I have the original OEM chain and it is still with in tolerances. Did you cut your kickstand down? There is an adjustable part at the end to lengthen or shorten it but it's already as short as it will go. If I cut it down it, it looks like I'd have to redrill and tap the hole for the adjustment screw. That screw holds the extension piece on.
 
I have the original OEM chain and it is still with in tolerances. Did you cut your kickstand down? There is an adjustable part at the end to lengthen or shorten it but it's already as short as it will go. If I cut it down it, it looks like I'd have to redrill and tap the hole for the adjustment screw. That screw holds the extension piece on.
Hi Douglas,

Exactly, that is exactly what I did. It's over-engineered. I basically removed the moving telescopic potion. sawed off 1". Punch, drilled and tapped it. Chamfered the edges.
Do you have any pictures of your bike? I'd love to see what you've done, if anything. I seem to be doing more upkeep on this bike. It might be cheaper to drive!
 

DouglasB

Active Member
Hi Douglas,

Exactly, that is exactly what I did. It's over-engineered. I basically removed the moving telescopic potion. sawed off 1". Punch, drilled and tapped it. Chamfered the edges.
Do you have any pictures of your bike? I'd love to see what you've done, if anything. I seem to be doing more upkeep on this bike. It might be cheaper to drive!
I haven't done a lot with it. I added a thud buster seat post and got rid of that horrible seat. I was having a lot trouble with hand numbness. One of the things I did to help with that was to lower the bars a bit and also cut 1" 1/4" inchches of of each end. That brought my hands in so I wasn't so "winged out". I found the original position too wide. It was as if I were preparing for flight. I also added a set of Ergon3 grips with the horns. I'm not overly fond of the "horns" but any change up in hand position seems to help. I originally purchased a set of Ortlieb panniers because esveryone was raving about them but I found them to be way over kill. They would be great on an around the world tour but for every day riding I found something lighter and more accessible.
 

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Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
I agree! A combined 300lbs of rider and stuffed work/gym accouterments and, occasionally the charger. Tt's been the best Cannondale I've ever owned. They nailed it with this one. Spot on, except for the price. People don't appreciate what they are getting. It really is the top of the heap.
You know I had a Trek Commuter bike and it's 12 years old. Only had the chain and cassette replace once. Ebikes are different. The terrain? My shift work is butter. I shift with the power curve and at appropriate points. I even upgraded the front rotor from the 180mm to a 203mm. For the mountain passes going to work.

<iframe height='405' width='590' frameborder='0' allowtransparency='true' scrolling='no' src='https://www.strava.com/activities/2597389708/embed/4ca24a1dc7862bda8fcb1d13a066ee7c4b115001'></iframe>
I can't help but notice the dirty cassette. With that cassette any new chain will degrade in 3 months.
 
I appreciate your observation. I clean the cassette everytime I lube the chain. So at least monthly.
I haven't done a lot with it. I added a thud buster seat post and got rid of that horrible seat. I was having a lot trouble with hand numbness. One of the things I did to help with that was to lower the bars a bit and also cut 1" 1/4" inchches of of each end. That brought my hands in so I wasn't so "winged out". I found the original position too wide. It was as if I were preparing for flight. I also added a set of Ergon3 grips with the horns. I'm not overly fond of the "horns" but any change up in hand position seems to help. I originally purchased a set of Ortlieb panniers because esveryone was raving about them but I found them to be way over kill. They would be great on an around the world tour but for every day riding I found something lighter and more accessible.
You have a nice set. You look like you're keeping the bikes, your's and the wifes, clean and safe!
I can't help but notice the dirty cassette. With that cassette any new chain will degrade in 3 months.
Yes, It's dirty. I clean it weekly. After the next cassette is installed I'll perform a concurrent chain swap and return to wax and detergent baths. There's a misconception about living on the coast. That the coast has cleaner air, fresh breezes. I wish it were so. We might have cleaner air but there are significantly more people. Pollution is rampant, litter, dog scat
I haven't done a lot with it. I added a thud buster seat post and got rid of that horrible seat. I was having a lot trouble with hand numbness. One of the things I did to help with that was to lower the bars a bit and also cut 1" 1/4" inchches of of each end. That brought my hands in so I wasn't so "winged out". I found the original position too wide. It was as if I were preparing for flight. I also added a set of Ergon3 grips with the horns. I'm not overly fond of the "horns" but any change up in hand position seems to help. I originally purchased a set of Ortlieb panniers because esveryone was raving about them but I found them to be way over kill. They would be great on an around the world tour but for every day riding I found something lighter and more accessible.
Your bikes are awesome! Seeing that you have a workspace it appears reasonable to assume you have a compressor. If you have the time you can easily conve/.rt to tubeless. The contro-e rims Sun SingleTrack are not tubeless ready but conversion is totally possible and IMO worth it. No more flats! Whats was wrong with the Ortlieb panniers? Did they work with the stock rack?
 

DouglasB

Active Member
I appreciate your observation. I clean the cassette everytime I lube the chain. So at least monthly.

You have a nice set. You look like you're keeping the bikes, your's and the wifes, clean and safe!

Yes, It's dirty. I clean it weekly. After the next cassette is installed I'll perform a concurrent chain swap and return to wax and detergent baths. There's a misconception about living on the coast. That the coast has cleaner air, fresh breezes. I wish it were so. We might have cleaner air but there are significantly more people. Pollution is rampant, litter, dog scat

Your bikes are awesome! Seeing that you have a workspace it appears reasonable to assume you have a compressor. If you have the time you can easily conve/.rt to tubeless. The contro-e rims Sun SingleTrack are not tubeless ready but conversion is totally possible and IMO worth it. No more flats! Whats was wrong with the Ortlieb panniers? Did they work with the stock rack?
The Ortliebs worked fine as far as mounting. If I have any fault with them it's that they are over engineered and over built. I didn't like the heavy material and found the roll up style of closing system a bit frustrating. I was always fighting with the closure clips for some reason. You could probably go scuba diving with them but honestly I never ride in the rain. As for going tubeless, I don't know? I don't mind the occasional flat (rare occurrence) so I'm not sure the effort would be worth it. I did discover a neat chain cleaning technique though. I put the chain in a 32oz, plastic juice bottle with a large mouth (2" or wider). Drop the chain in with a half cup of solvent and do your best martini shake for five minutes. Pour off the solvent, add a little bit more for a rinse and you've got a sparkling clean chain. Dry and lube. If you haven't cleaned your chain in a while you may find you need to use a tooth brush. I clean mine about every couple of months so there's never any serious build up. It all comes off in the martini shake.
 

DouglasB

Active Member
I just whacked off 3/4 of an inch from the kickstand on my Contro-e and am much happier. The stand is easy enough to remove but you have to drill and thread a new hole in the bottom of it to accept the adjustment screw. It now leans over at a more comfortable angle that isn't succeptable to being knocked over by the slightest bump.
 
Hello Douglas,

I'm, glad you took the plunge. Do you have any pictures? I re-aligned the components on the Contro-espeed. like the Corvette of yore, there isn't much aesthetically you can improve. It's a statement by Cannondale. If I didn't require panniers I'd remove the rack.
 

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DouglasB

Active Member
The seat was the first thing to go. It looks good but is fmore for a road bike where some of your weight is on your hands. The Controls-e being more of an upright riding position requires a wider seat in my opinion. I'm sure the Controls-e kickstand is from another Cannondale build. It doesn't really fit this bike. They had to adjust it all the way in for it to even come close to working and then if you even look at the bike funny, it falls over. The fix is pretty simple. Two hex bolts hold it to the frame. Remove the adjustment screw and take the outer adjustment sleeve off. Whack off about and inch of the aluminum stand and then drill and tap for a new adjustment screw, using the hacked off piece for a template. It being soft aluminum I was able to make threads by using a standard screw for a tap. I think you should be able to find a self tapping screw to do a better job.