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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Better components / bike: 2013 Trek X-Caliber or 2013 Cannondale Trail SL 29er 1

    Hello All,

    I am new to the forum and to mountain biking. I have friends that ride almost every day on not too difficult trails and I've finally decided to join in the fun.

    I have learned a lot so far from what I've read from you guys and pretty much now know exactly what I'm looking for in my 1st bike. I do not want to do upgrades any time soon so I intend to go for an intermediate mountain bike from a reputable manufacturer with good forks and I have narrowed it down to these two and I need your help making the final decision.

    Each bike is at a different LBS and I'm been offered the same price: $1430. The Trek guy claims that even if both bikes have the same components, the trek is better because of Gary Fisher's G2 Geometry design which supposedly makes it easy to maneuver unlike other 29ers. Is that really true?

    Both bikes felt the same to me but I'm wondering if any one has had any hands on experience with either bike. Your input will be greatly appreciated. Otherwise, given the specs below, which would you choose. Thank you all so much!

    2013 Cannondale Trail SL 29er 1

    Frame - Trail SL 29'er, Optimized 6061 alloy, SAVE, 1.5" headtube
    Fork - RockShox Recon Gold TK 29, 80mm, Solo Air, lockout, rebound, 1.5"
    Crank - FSA Comet, 42/32/24
    Bottom Bracket - Included
    Shifters - Shimano Deore
    Cog Set - Shimano HG62-10, 11-36, 10-speed
    Chain - FSA CN910
    Front Derailleur - Shimano Deore, 31.8 clamp
    Rear Derailleur - Shimano XT, Shadow design, 10-speed
    Rims - Maddux DC3.0 29'er, Double Wall w/eyelet, 32 hole
    Hubs - Shimano HB-RM66 front, FH-RM66 rear, center lock
    Tires - WTB NINELINE, 29X2.0"
    Pedals - FPD Platform
    Brake - Shimano BR-M505, 180/160mm
    Handlebar - Cannondale C3, 680x20, 6061 double-butted alloy
    Stem - Cannondale C4, 1.5", 31.8, 7 degree
    Headset - Tange Custom 1.5"
    Spokes - Stainless Steel, 15g Black
    Saddle - Cannondale Stage 3
    Seat Post - Cannondale C3, 27.2x350MM (S,M) 400mm (L,X)
    2013 Trek X-Caliber

    Colors Trek Black/Viper Red
    Frame Alpha Gold Aluminum, butted & hydroformed tubing,
    G2 Geometry

    Front suspension RockShox Reba RL 29 w/Solo Air,
    Motion Control remote lockout, rebound, custom G2 Geometry w/51mm offset, 100mm travel

    Sizes 15.5, 17.5, 19, 21, 23"
    Wheels Bontrager sealed cartridge bearing, alloy axle
    front hub; Bontrager sealed cartridge bearing, alloy axle
    rear hub w/Bontrager Mustang 32-hole Tubeless Ready disc

    Tires Bontrager 29-1 Expert, 29x2.2"
    Shifters SRAM X7, 10 speed
    Front derailleur Shimano Deore

    Rear derailleur SRAM X7
    Crank SRAM S1000, 44/33/22
    Cassette Shimano HG62 11-36, 10 speed
    Saddle Bontrager Evoke 2, chromoly rails
    Seatpost Bontrager SSR, 27.2mm, 12mm offset

    Handlebar Bontrager Low Riser, 31.8mm, 5mm rise, 9 degree sweep
    Stem Bontrager Race Lite, 31.8mm, 7 degree
    Headset 1-1/8" threadless, semi-integrated, semi-cartridge bearings
    Brakeset Avid Elixir 1 hydraulic disc brakes
    Grips Bontrager Race

  2. #2
    The Dude
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Cannondale Trail 29er

    I just got the Cannondale a few weeks ago and it is an amazing bike for the price. Not to say that the Trek isn't, but I have not ridden it so I don't know what it's like. But I can tell you that the Cannondale rides like a much more expensive bike and the components perform very well for being at the lower end of the spectrum. I think what's great about it is that it is very versatile. I have been racing it in the local Over the Hump mtb race series and it does great on the twisty, dusty, up and down trails there. It is also a great trail bike. It even has holes drilled into the frame if you want to add a rack or fenders. You should pick up a copy of the June issue of Mountain Bike Action magazine for a full review. Their review of this bike is spot-on. Good luck.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 722ish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Better components / bike: 2013 Trek X-Caliber or 2013 Cannondale Trail SL 29er 1

    G2 geometry has its pros and cons, not unlike anything else. Finding replacement forks with the 51mm offset is very limited, if you're set on that offset. Otherwise I don't think g2 is a huge deal, although I do own two bikes built on it. I had the best time with really tight technical stuff on the bikes I have, but I am not sure if I can attribute that to the g2 geometry alone. The drivetrain is a good thing to consider. I used to hate shimano, and be SRAM all the way, but after getting used to my new bike I am changing my mind. Spend a little time messing with shifting and general feel, paying attention to shifting and position etc.
    Another thing is that I would prefer the Reba and the 100mm travel, over an 80mm travel bike. My gary fisher/trek cobia is 80mm and I blow through that so fast on anything rough it may as well be rigid. Both seem like quality setups, and the xt shadow is good stuff, I have it on my new bike. The 80mm could likely be increased to 100 quickly as well if you were interested. I have no idea what adverse effect may arise in terms of handling or durability, but it is worth considering if you like both well enough.
    I'm not sure if the trek is a tapered head tube, but that is a nice addition as well.
    10 Gary Fisher Cobia - 13 Trek Madone 5.2 - 14 Trek Fuel Ex8

  4. #4
    Reputation: MTBeing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    I'd go with the Trek for the 100mm Reba fork. 80mm is a wee to short if you get into any gnarly stuff, and the Reba is a step above the Recon.
    Please donate to IMBA or your local IMBA chapter. It's trail karma.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Better components / bike: 2013 Trek X-Caliber or 2013 Cannondale Trail SL 29er 1

    Trek for sure

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