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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    Good job! Cannondale Trail SL 4 or Trail SL 2? Please help me.

    Hey guys, just joined the forums today as I'm about to buy my first decent/a bit expensive bike and wanted some advice.

    Cannondale's dealer(according to the official site) in my country, Mauritius is a company named emcar.

    Here is the link to the website for the mountain bikes:

    Trail SL 4 2013 model (Rs 25000 i.e about 820 USD)
    Cannondale Trail SL 4 - 2013 - Cycling - Sports - Emcar - Mauritius

    Trail SL 2 2013 Model (Rs 35000 i.e about 1150 USD)

    Cannondale Trail SL2 - 2013 - Cycling - Sports - Emcar - Mauritius
    Trail SL 4, I think it's 2012 model( Rs25000 i.e about 820 USD)

    Cannondale Trail SL4 - Cycling - Sports - Emcar - Mauritius

    Just added the 2012 SL 4 model to get advice. Maybe some of the parts used in the 2012 model is better than the ones used in the 2013 model.


    My question is which one should I get? Is the SL 2 really worth the additional $330? Should I buy the SL 2 rather than buying the SL 4 and regretting later? Please if possible download the pdf files from the site to get and idea of what's buying used in the SL2 and SL4.

    By the way, they have lifetime warranty on ALL frames and that's awesome. I read on cannondale's official site that it covers only manufacturing defects. So what if after riding it for like 2-3 years part of the frame breaks or something? Will cannondale replace it for me? How about their customer service?

    Also in general, I guess a bike at this price point should last like forever if properly maintained and parts replaced on time?

    I'll do mostly about 40% light to medium off roading and about 60% on road.

    Thanks for taking your precious time to read and any help/feedback is highly appreciated

  2. #2
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    Cannondale Trail SL 29'ER - Cycling - Sports - Emcar - Mauritius
    I'd look at this 29er for your combo of riding. The site doesn't have any specs on this version.

  3. #3
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    Re: Cannondale Trail SL 4 or Trail SL 2? Please help me.

    Since the frame is the same, I'd go for the cheaper one and use that leftover money for future upgrades and maintenance. You can always sell parts, add some extra and buy new stuff.

    29er is a good suggestion if you ride on the road a lot. However, I'd try both 26er and 29er before buying to see which suits me better. Good luck

  4. #4
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    @eb1888, I'd prefer the SL 4 if it was good coz of the price. There's only one 29er on the site and maybe it's the SL 4 29er. Also what's your opinion about the 2013 and 2012 SL 4 and the 2013 SL 4 vs 2013 SL 2?

    @discohospital, I'm pretty sure I will be riding it stock for quite some time because the purchase price is quite high. Maybe when replacing parts, I'll upgrade them. And it's nice to know that the frame are 100% identical and that only the decals would outline which bike is which model

    I'm buying the bike to keep fit. Maybe like 1 hour riding everyday.

  5. #5
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    The 29er will be better for the road and trails. The fork on these bikes is the most important component for trail riding. But some good deals come up on ebay shipped from Taiwan.
    So you can get a less expensive model and upgrade off ebay with a better fork for less than buying the SL2 with its ok fork.

  6. #6
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    I have the SL-5. I got it in September 2012. I got the 2012 model because it was discounted and essentially the same as the 2013. I got the 26er because it is better for the trails I ride.

    The bikes you are considering will last a lifetime given the riding you do. But keep in mind, you ought not be doing big jumps or drops. That requires a tougher frame.

    While you don't want to find yourself regretting not having bought the more expensive bike, you don't want to find yourself regretting having spent more than you can afford.

    I think you will be very happy with the SL-4. Upgrade parts only when really necessary - which should be a long time away.

  7. #7
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    You will probably want to look at your local Cannondale country's website, as they may be spec'd out differently between countries.

    Keep in mind that a fork is not a relatively inexpensive item, so during an initial purchase you may want to make sure that the equipment that comes with the bike will be suitable for your local riding.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    The 29er will be better for the road and trails. The fork on these bikes is the most important component for trail riding. But some good deals come up on ebay shipped from Taiwan.
    So you can get a less expensive model and upgrade off ebay with a better fork for less than buying the SL2 with its ok fork.
    Could you point me to some sellers on ebay that sell fully built bicycles like cannondale or giant or taiwan and ship worldwide? Shipping to Mauritius for one bike from taiwan i saw was 200 USD, so ain't it better to spend the $200 on the bike that I buy locally? Buying from ebay, my budget will be around $550 then, no longer around 800ish usd coz I'll have to pay shipping and tax. Thanks

  9. #9
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    Re: Cannondale Trail SL 4 or Trail SL 2? Please help me.

    It's really not worth it at that price level, I'd just buy locally. When you become aware of the limits of the fork, you can always replace it with a better one for just about 200$, maybe even less.

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