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  1. #1
    Bassmaster
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    Cannondale Trail 29er SL 3

    Hi all, noob to the forum and the sport. I am hoping to take delivery this week from my LBS. Just wanted to say hey. I mostly just ride the local rails to trails segment on my current BSO but I plan to ask the LBS to hook me up with a group for beginners so I can try out some of the local trails and beginner loops.

    I stumbled into the LBS on a whim to get a speedometer and realized I grew up with the owner (same street even), Got to talking bikes and he took the time to go over everything I needed to know. He recommended either the Trail SL 3 29er or the GT Karakoram 2.0 (or 1.0 if I preferred) and actually preferred to put me on the Scott Scale team 29er but said he is currently unable to obtain any sizes other than L and XL.

    Pretty excited about my new ride. appreciate all the info I was able to collect just lurking in this forum. No need to ask any questions because most of them have already been asked multiple times. Anyway thanks to all the legends on here that take the time to reply, it helps more people than you may realize.

  2. #2
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    He was right about Scott, but ask him when he could get you an Elite. It would be worth it because of the fork, especially with a good neighborhood discount.

  3. #3
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    Reputation: leesrt's Avatar
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    I've been told that the difference between the SL5 and the 4 and 3 are not worth the money. The logical jump is to for from the 5 to the 2.

  4. #4
    Bassmaster
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    This is the thought process that lead to the purchase, I am not quoting them all as facts other than the specs:

    according to specs the 5 is basic, going to the 4 gives you hydraulic discs, going to 3 gives you adjustable rebound, octolink, alivio/deore F/R and then going to a 2 saves a little weight (sram vs shimano as well so). From what I was told the 2 forks (SL2 air fork vs SL3 coil) perform similarly with the air being lighter and more adjustable but requires more of that adjustment. Again, I ride rails to trails so...his thought was the bike would be more capable if I did want to make a right or left off the trail but would leave room in my $1200ish budget to buy gear (shorts, pedals, shoes, trail kit, etc). If I get more serious add a benjamin to the price difference between the SL2 and SL3 and buy a way better fork. He also stated approaching the Scott Elite or even the SL2 price range put me close to an RZ120.

    It's like anything else a few bucks more buys you the next best thing, you start to approach the point of diminishing returns although in this sport that seems to happen sooner. At some point you have to say "no mas" and ride what you got.

    Again, he was a bigger fan of the scott's but said they are on backorder for quite a while in the smaller sizes.

    Thanks for the replies here and elsewhere

  5. #5
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    I'm currently in the same boat as you, and with VERY similar bikes on the list. I really like the way the SL3 looks in red, but for couple hundred bucks, the Trek Cobia is a very nice unit as well. I guess the only thing that really shines on the Trek is all the components are SRAM vs Shimano

  6. #6
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    I like the Cannondale Trail frames for the money. I have an F5, weighs in at under 4 pounds and it takes a beating. I'm riding 26 inch wheels, and those dc 3.0 or 4.5 wheels that come with the Cannondales are total weight pigs, but in my mind the frame is worth building a sweet bike around so have some fun with it!

  7. #7
    Bassmaster
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    I don't have enough experience to know anything about SRAM vs Shimano. I am an avid bass fisherman and use all shimano reels, curado and chronarch. In that world, they aren't fancy but they are great performers (even when specs are average) and they are workhorses that will last forever. They manufacture reels with some of the tightest tolerances in the business. So I would lean towards shimano for that reason alone, makes no sense really but I would.

    Trek was not an option for me as he is not a trek dealer, I wanted to stay in town and support an old friend. I did browse the mamba and cobia online though, look sweet.

  8. #8
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    The 2012 and 2011 Cannondale SL 5 does not use the same frame as the SL 2 3 4 according to my LBS.
    I was recently purchasing one and I was going to swap parts on any of them so I wanted the cheapest version of the frame kit.
    They advised me to get the SL4 but not the 5 as it was a lower grade frame.

  9. #9
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    here's my plan. Ask for his best prepay price on an Elite and buy it.
    Now see what he has around the shop or at home for you to use until it comes in. Anything will do. He can point you to some favorite trails for pedalling into shape and learning about things. Maybe he'll throw in some pointers.

  10. #10
    Bassmaster
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    lol you're pretty keen on the scott...he was too.

  11. #11
    Bassmaster
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    got it


  12. #12
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    Congrats man!!!

    Do I see the kenda small block tires?

  13. #13
    Bassmaster
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    yes, came stock on the 2012s

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fat1 View Post
    yes, came stock on the 2012s
    Yea I thought so.
    Depending on the terrain you ride you will love or hate them.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhasdrums View Post
    I like the Cannondale Trail frames for the money. I have an F5, weighs in at under 4 pounds and it takes a beating. I'm riding 26 inch wheels, and those dc 3.0 or 4.5 wheels that come with the Cannondales are total weight pigs, but in my mind the frame is worth building a sweet bike around so have some fun with it!
    hmmm you say the wheels are heavy ? i recently had both mine off and was surprised at how light they are.
    so what do other wheels weigh roughly on a bike of this price ? im quite impressed with the weight (28lbs), and am surprised its not lighter. it certainly feels it. im looking to put fatter tires on to replace the 2.1"s, anyone know the max i could get on there ?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazee horse View Post
    hmmm you say the wheels are heavy ? i recently had both mine off and was surprised at how light they are.
    so what do other wheels weigh roughly on a bike of this price ? im quite impressed with the weight (28lbs), and am surprised its not lighter. it certainly feels it. im looking to put fatter tires on to replace the 2.1"s, anyone know the max i could get on there ?
    I have the exact same bike as the OP, even the same color. I love the bike but personally am not a fan of the Small Block 8s. My biggest gripe is that even if the trails are slightly wet, they lose traction all over the place. I swapped my front tire out to a Maxxis Ardent 2.25, and this performs noticeably better. I run the front tire about 30 psi and I noticed on higher PSI, it "bounces" more and isn't as enjoyable.

    The DC 3.0 wheel - I didn't weigh this by itself, but I already ruined the front wheel. I took a spill, not really that bad in my opinion, but the DC 3.0 taco'd pretty bad. I was disappointed. I replaced it with a Sunrims wheel my LBS had laying around at a great price. Last time I weighed my bike it was about 30.2 pounds.

  17. #17
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    I'm new to mtb and bought a 2011 SL4 last year. I taco'd my front rim as well after a year of riding it. I was able to pick up a set of Stan's ZTR Flow with X9 hubs (I know, the hubs aren't the best) for $302 out the door of my LBS(which included them transferring over my cassette, rotors, and using their own stan's sealant as well).

    I didn't care for the SB8 in western PA, so I switched them out with Maxxis Ignitors and have been very happy with them.

    Have fun with your new SL3!

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