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  1. #1
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    All Mountain Mods to my Cannondale

    Hey everyone, first post looking for some thoughts on my winter project.

    I have an all stock 2011 Cannondale RZ 120

    Rear Shock Fox RP2
    Fork Lefty Ultra PBR, 120 mm, OPI, Solo Air
    Cassette Shimano SLX, 11-36, 10-speed
    Crankarms Shimano M552, 42/32/24
    Rear Derailleur Shimano XT
    Chain KMC X10, 10-speed
    Front Derailleur Shimano SLX
    Shifter Pods Shimano XT
    Handlebar Cannondale C2 riser 680 x 20 mm 2014 alloy
    Stem Cannondale C1 HeadShok, 31.8
    Grips Cannondale Locking
    Brakes Hayes Stroker Trail Carbon, 180/160 mm
    Hubs Lefty SL front, Shimano M525 rear
    Spokes DT Swiss Competition
    Rim Mavic XM-317 32 hole
    Tires Kenda Slant 6 2.1", folding
    Seat Prologo X10 STN
    Seatpost Cannondale C2, 31.6 x 400


    I haven't been able to ride much the last couple years due to some injuries and health issues but this past summer and fall I have gotten the bug to ride more again.

    What I will be doing for sure is convert it to a 1x10 with a 32T RaceFace chainring and an E13 42T cog. I used Sheldon Browns gear ratio calculator and with this setup I lose very little in range and most importantly I still have a granny gear for my weak ass legs and lungs.

    A dropper post is on the list, probably a 9point8, like what I have seen a read about the product.

    The next is wheels......I am pretty sure I want Industry 9 hubs but cant decide on the rims. Spank Oozy or SubRosa, or Stan's Flow EX?? I am not sure how wide a tire my bike will accept or if one is overkill or not strong enough.....leaning towards the Flow.

    Thanks for your thoughts....

  2. #2
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    at 69* HTA your bike will be a little nervous on the DH. Can you put an angleset or slack it out some other way?

    Dropper's very helpful.

    I'm having a good time on my 29*2.4 on 23mm and 27.5*2.25 on 19mm, so while wide rims are neato, not sure they're essential.
    2012 Specialized Camber Comp
    2014 Kona Taro
    2014 Giant Trance 27.5 1

  3. #3
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    I believe a wider bar and a meatier front tyre would increase the AM-ness of your bike a lot more than changing drivetrain components. I agree with you on wheels those 317s are too skinny by modern standards. The geo is morw on the trail/XC side of things, so don't go too far on overbuilt components.

  4. #4
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    I never thought about the geometry? The 1x10 was more for just simplifying the drivetrain and after calculating the ratios it just made more sense.

    I guess the Spank Oozy's wouldn't be too overkill, strong and light.

  5. #5
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    Geo's kind of a big deal. Bikes have gotten much more slack in the last couple years. I find the bike feels much more stable on the downhill, with very little downside on the uphills.

    I didn't even really notice until I rode a 68* vs my 70*. Now on 67* and going to 66* with a longer fork.

    1x is great!! My bikes are 30x11-36 and 30x12-36. Don't find that I need more range, so you might try a 30T or 32T NW with your existing cassette before putting the 42 on.
    2012 Specialized Camber Comp
    2014 Kona Taro
    2014 Giant Trance 27.5 1

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by justwan naride View Post
    I believe a wider bar and a meatier front tyre would increase the AM-ness of your bike
    This. Wheels, tires and cockpit will give you biggest bang for buck. The DT changes you made will not necessarily make it more AM, but it will make the overall ride a lot nicer.

    Dropper post is always worth it

  7. #7
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    The bar is already 680mm wide, how much wider would you go? Does a wider bar give you better control? I have been searching threads for tire widths but I have been finding mixed information. And what are the benefits of using different widths front and back?

  8. #8
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    When you shorten the stem, the bars' effective input on the steering increases (or somesuch geometric hubbub). Wider bars slow this back down and increase leverage, which increases stability.

    Lots of bars are 700-800 these days. Wider tends to follow larger wheels... 720 on my 27.5 feels about the same as 750 on my 29er.
    2012 Specialized Camber Comp
    2014 Kona Taro
    2014 Giant Trance 27.5 1

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordElsinore View Post
    The bar is already 680mm wide
    Unless you're very short that is very narrow. My advice is to buy something around 750mm wide and cut it down if it feels too wide or you're clipping trees.

    Give it a while before you decide it's too wide.

  10. #10
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    Good advice, i'm just here to add some negativity.

    -a few tweaks can make the bike more comfortable on rougher terrain, but if you want to go out and jump and shuttle you're better served on a bike designed for that from the get-go.

    -your bike has a low rear mounted single pivot, and a small granny gear lets the chain tension help resist bob, which you will lose swapping to a 1x. You can see it in this picture; the lower pivot is between the granny and middle chain rings. Up to you how much you care about that.



    I've been super happy with the flow wheelset; they've been trouble free on my burly 6" bike. A cheap way to do it if you're savvy tensioning rims is to buy some mavic321s or 31mm sun equalizers which have the same ERD, and move the rims over. Just tape the new rim to the old and move one spoke at a time. Or just be smart with tires. If you're going tubeless don't hesitate to mount up a little stiffer tire. A stiff, knobby 2.1-2.3 will play nicely with your current rims and add some 'all mountain.' Spec butcher sx/ purgatory grid, for example.

    I had an angleset; more trouble than it's worth. Constantly required attention. Won't work with a lefty anyway. Similar point with the stem- i don't think you can go much shorter than ~70mm with a lefty because the fork offset is at the crown. ...which is fine; mega-short stems are goofy.
    .

  11. #11
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    Take the dumb ass lefty off. thats key hahaha.

    but it looks like you should just get a new bike, keep this one as the XC bike it is and have 2, rather than heavily modifying this one and getting something thats iffy at both AM and XC. plus it would end up costing about the same

  12. #12
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    I would love to get a new bike but there is no way I can keep that off the future wife's radar. Since I now have a better understanding of my current setup I will just try and upgrade some of my components to more modern specs. Before this cannondale I was riding a Klein attitude race, lightweight built for speed, which is now a single speed. I'll build up the RZ to be my XC ride and after my girlfriend gets her sparkling diamond I can get a true all mountain.

    My shopping list is now.........
    1x10 conversion for peddle efficiency and weight savings
    Wheels ..... Tubeless, wider up front for improved cornering 2.4? Narrow on the back for proper clearance and rolling resistance 2.2? Improved engagement and rotational mass?
    Dropper post, because
    Bars? Might stay with what I've got for now as I have noticed the trails I ride get pretty narrow in places, maybe something lighter in the future

    Thanks for the input

  13. #13
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    Upgrading everything but skipping the bar would defeat the purpose of the whole thing. Yes, it makes the ride that much better. Stability, leverage, control. I'm 5'5" and have a 750mm bar on a XC bike.

    Give it a week or so, and if you don't see the advantages, start trimming. I got mine intending to cut it to 720, but after the first proper ride it was clear that wide is right.

    Couple it with the shortest stem the lefty allows. 50-70cm is ok on a trail bike with a wide bar. I would be really surprised if you don't like the combination.
    Last edited by justwan naride; 11-12-2014 at 02:12 PM.

  14. #14
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    Are you positive I can go as short as 50mm with the lefty fork?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordElsinore View Post
    Are you positive I can go as short as 50mm with the lefty fork?
    Dude's 5'5, short enough that the fixed chainstay/head tube length you see on all C-dale sizes is gonna mess up his perspective on how long of a stem feels appropriate. (i'm surprised he's happy with a 750mm bar, that's about where i start bashing my shoulders in to trees at 6'3)

    It's been a long time, but i'm pretty sure a 60mm stem only works if you roll the bars forward, and a 50 isn't gonna play along. Cannondale could have changed things or my memory might be faulty.

    I really encourage you to do a handful of rides w/o touching the granny before you marry yourself to 1x. Gear selection affects how the suspension behaves climbing.
    .

  16. #16
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    Απ: All Mountain Mods to my Cannondale

    Quote Originally Posted by LordElsinore View Post
    Are you positive I can go as short as 50mm with the lefty fork?
    I have no idea, just saying that this range of stems feels good with wide bars for me. I know that there are limits to what works with the lefty.

    Just sharing my experiences here, different people ride different places and have different preferences. I'm emphasizing on the cockpit thing because it was a great improvement for me.

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