1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Cannondale Trail SL 29 2

    Anybody else riding one? What are your thoughts? I really like mine but dont really have a clue what I'm doing. The shop I bought it from hasnt been much help with my questions, at least in the front of the house. The Techs are busy, I dont like bothering them if I can avoid it. I rode 4 or 5 different bikes before choosing this one. Well, circles in parking lots anyway.

    I am about 200 lbs and roughly 5 10. When I picked it up a few weeks back they assured me they set it up for my weight and not to worry about it, the forks would only need air at a minimum of once a month. The front fork seemed really mushy, I finally went and got a pump and found there was only 50 psi. According to the specs on the fork there should be about 120 psi for a fat slob like me. No more mushy!

    I have a tendency to lose traction on hills too, I will figure that out though.

    Mine is a medium, seems to fit pretty good but I am not sure I would know the difference. You could read about it for weeks.

    Its my first bike in many, many years. I have a lot to learn. I have no technique. Its not like riding when I was a kid...balls out, coast, balls out, coast... My 47 year old out of shape body cant ride like that for long! My riding is kind of like this post, all over the place.

    Anyway, just curious what others think of theirs. I did a search, the last specific SL 2 thread that popped up was from 2012.

  2. #2
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    I don't have a Trail but an F29 and IMO Cannondale has some fantastic bikes. They do a ton of R&D and I'm sure you made the right choice with your selection.

    It sux that you don't have the best support from the shop you bought your bike from. Maybe show up with a 6er for the techs and I'd bet they'd be more than happy to help you out with your concerns.

    Traction, that could be tires or technique or both. Just make sure you get some weight shifted over the rear wheel but not too much or the front will lift. It's a balancing act. Spinning rather than mashing can help too, if that's possible. I know when starting out...even in the lowest gear I would still have to mash rather than spin. That will come in time with better fitness, if you are in the same boat that is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

  3. #3
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    Must mash in the lowest gear when starting out? No real reason for that. Low gear is so damn slow on a trail triple, someone at twice his weight can spin up the steep sections, like me.

    OP: Did you try a large while you are there? Most of us 5'10ers are towards the high end of a large frame. 6'1"-6'3" seems to be when an XL frame is a must. You certainly can ride a medium, but if the saddle to bar distance is too short, your breathing will be restricted and you will overwork your arms on the trails. What is your inseam?

  4. #4
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    WTB Nineline, 29X2.0" is your tire. Wider tires would help with traction. Air pressure also influences traction. You could run the rear at 30-32 and the front at 26-28 and see if you don't get rim hits or rollover in the curves.
    Nobby Nic Performance 2.2s are one option of a higher volume tire.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    Must mash in the lowest gear when starting out? No real reason for that. Low gear is so damn slow on a trail triple, someone at twice his weight can spin up the steep sections, like me.

    OP: Did you try a large while you are there? Most of us 5'10ers are towards the high end of a large frame. 6'1"-6'3" seems to be when an XL frame is a must. You certainly can ride a medium, but if the saddle to bar distance is too short, your breathing will be restricted and you will overwork your arms on the trails. What is your inseam?
    Not everyone runs a triple and I didn't go look at the bike specs to see what his bike had. It was just a suggestion that spinning helps rather than mashing and some people aren't in the shape to spin, even in a triple granny gear, believe it or not.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

  6. #6
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    For sure spinning is always the most energy conserving and controlled way to climb. The rear tire will never slip when weighted with you in the saddle no matter how smooth the tire. As for the fork if it was properly set up and in a short time lost that much air there may be a issue with the fork.

  7. #7
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    I'm having problems with my smart phone and I'm almost at work, so I'll keep this short.

    Google "peter white fit" and set your bike up to fit your body. If you prefer mountain biking, try to do a lot of your test riding on the trail - it'll change your results.

    Learn to spin at least 90 rpm. You don't have to do it all the time, but you really need to have it available as a tool.

    Learn to climb cleanly out of the saddle. I usually shift up 1-3 gears when I do this - it's a much slower cadence. That also makes it useful when I run out of gears.

    Good luck!
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    OP: Did you try a large while you are there? Most of us 5'10ers are towards the high end of a large frame. 6'1"-6'3" seems to be when an XL frame is a must. You certainly can ride a medium, but if the saddle to bar distance is too short, your breathing will be restricted and you will overwork your arms on the trails. What is your inseam?
    I actually rode a large first. After that I went to several other stores in the area and tried a variety of brands and sizes. To me it felt like the mediums fit better but I didnt much care for what I rode or it wasnt within my budget. The cannondale also seemed to have the best mix of components and bang for the buck in my price range. I didnt want to spend a bunch on upgrades until I knew I was going to enjoy and stick with it.

    I went back to the first shop and tried the Cannondale again in a medium, the large wasnt bad, but the medium felt a little better. The guy in the shop nudged me towards the medium too.

    Thank you all for the input. I am going to air down a bit and adjust the seat to see if I can get a little more room.

  9. #9
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    I'm 5'8" and ride mediums with about the smallest non-weird stem for my bar width. 5'10" on medium sounds pretty good to me. It's not going to result in much more reach, by the time you're in a riding position, or much higher a saddle or bar position.

    Since you rode some larges, I don't think you need to second-guess yourself.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
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    I am 5'11" and ride a medium Trail SL2. I'm about 315 geared up and ride with 150psi in the fork. That is still well below the maximum pressure. I check fork and tire pressure before every ride. I upgraded the wheelset and went to a single 32t chain ring up front but everything else is stock.

  11. #11
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    I had one and it was awesome!

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