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
    mtbr member
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    Apr 2007
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    Cannondale vs. Trek for Beginner

    Hello,
    I am a road rider that has mainly pedaled in California on a Trek single and Cannondale tandem. Now living in North Carolina, I am looking into MB (and getting excited about it). I have zero experience in MB but it seems that there are some very nice trails to ride here. My experience in road biking shows that finding a good dealer is almost as important as the bike… especially for me the beginner. I have been to a LBS that I feel quite comfortable with and I (think) have my choice narrowed to three:
    1) Cannondale F4
    2) Cannondale F5
    3) Trek 6500 disc

    A couple of questions if I may:
    1) From this forum, I have narrowed my choice down to hardtails… this from your advice for a beginner to hone my skills and technique on a HT. Plus I would like to keep it sub $1K… do you agree with this approach?

    2) I have already test ridden the bikes for a short test ride… my LBS will allow me to demo the bikes for a fee that I can then apply to the purchase… I might do this for two of the bikes (Cannondale and Trek). What are your thoughts?

    3) Is the component group and fork on the F4 $300 more superior then the F5?

    4) How does the F4 compare to the Trek?

    5) Is the extra gear on the F4 noticeable for a beginner?

    I am leaning to the F4 and I am sure some of you will say then get it…. It would still be valuable to me to hear your thoughts for a beginner MB though.

    Much Thanks,
    Regards,
    Joseph

  2. #2
    R.I.P. DogFriend
    Reputation: jeffj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,622
    Also take a look at the Caffeine 3.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    Apr 2007
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    27
    i have the caffeine F3, and i absolutely love it, couldn't have made a better purchase.

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