Cannondale and others like to describe the Bad Boy as kind of an "urban assault vehicle" or a 'stealthy fighter with attitude" and other such colorful descriptions. I admit that I actually really like the Bad Boy name. I even like the marketing terms used for it but in the end what you are really going to get is a Hybrid Bike ~ a cross between and road bike and a mountain bike.
The Cannondale Bad Boy is often placed in the Urban or Recreational categories. Although Cannondale may have had urban riding in mind (hopping curbs, dodging potholes and riding busy city streets) when the Bad Boy was designed, this bicycle can handle urban riding as well as any other style of riding where you need the features of a mountain bike combined with a road bike.
For more serious riders, this bicycle can handle urban riding (as advertised) commuting, touring and long distance rides, comfortably but with much less effort than with a heavier mountain bike but can still handle paved, crushed stone, grass, or fairly rugged dirt bike trails and streets.
Note: As of 9/14/2014 the 2014 Cannondale Bad Boy 9 is currently selling for $699 (new) at REI with Free In-Store Shipping. See 2014 Cannondale Bad Boy 9 for the latest availability, price and customer reviews or to order the Bad Boy online. *
Cannondale bicycles must be delivered to an REI store.
The Cannondale Bad Boy line has been around for years now but the components, pricing and model names and numbers have changed quite a bit over the years.
For 2013, there are 3 models and the numbers are not sequential. The high-end model is the Bad Boy 1 followed by the Bad Boy 5 and finally the Bad Boy 9 (not just 1,2 and 3 like you would expect or like its sister the Cannondale Bad Girl).
All Cannondale Bad Boy models have the Cannondale Bad Boy, Optimized 6061 Alloy Aluminum Frame, Flat Bar Handlebars, Disc Brakes, 700x28 (Schwalbe Kojak) Tires, the same CBB seat and Shimano (lever style) shifters.
The biggest difference in the Bad Boy models are that the Bad Boy 1 and Bad Boy 5 have the Lefty front end suspension, Hydraulic Brakes, better shifters, derailleurs and 27 gears (vs 24 gears on the Bad Boy 9).
If you are not familiar with the Lefty (photo on the right and standard with the BB1 and BB5) the front end (not really a fork) connects to the wheel on the left side only. This design has been around for quite a while now and is accepted as a very light, durable and high quality design although it may seem strange to those who are not familiar with it.
Even with the lower priced model (the Bad Boy 9 ) you will still be getting more for your money than with other lower quality brands and often you can usually find great deals on Cannondale bicycles online (although these bikes must be delivered to a store).
Cannondale known for high quality bicycles and winning races and cycling awards in just about every category. If you have ever ridden or even just checked out Cannondale bicycles in your LBS, then you already know the quality of C'dale bikes.
See the REI links (above) for their automated comparison feature to see all of the specific details.
Cannondale bikes are excellent quality and I particularly like Cannondale Road, Racing and Hybrid bicycles. Cannondale is known for their high quality bike frames (among other things) and I really like the Frame Geometry of the Cannondale Bad Boys.
About the only thing that I am not too crazy about ~ and this is totally a personal preference ~ is that the Bad Boy has lever (or trigger) shifters as opposed to grip shifters.
Although Cannondale Bicycles can be a little more expensive than other comparable brands most of the Cannondale hybrids are more reasonably priced than some of their other lines.
I would recommend the Cannondale Bad Boy 1, with it's Lefty and higher quality components when you are ready for a fast, high quality and durable hybrid bike with all the extras. The Bad Boy 2 still has the Lefty and hydraulic disc brakes and will save you some money but you will not get as good of components as on the BB1.
I would recommend the Cannondale Bad Boy 9 when you still want a high quality hybrid, can live without the Lefty suspension, the extra gears and the hydraulic brakes (the BB9 has mechanical disc brakes) and need to keep your costs down.
Since the Cannondale Bad Boy bikes have been out for quite a while now there are plenty of reviews of prior year models (although I have not found any 2013 customer reviews at the time of this review).
Most customers have rated the Cannondale Bad Boy at 4 to 5 out of 5 stars or better (8 out of 10 at Buzzillions for example) although there have been a few customers that were less enthusiastic.
See more reviews at Buzzillions or see the REI links (above) for the latest reviews and specifications on more Cannondale Bad Boy models.