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  1. #1
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    Stumpjumper Comp vs Cannondale Flash Alloy

    Hi, this is my first post so hello to everyone on this forum. I'm a road rider/racer for more than 15 years and was looking to buy a hardtail mtb for winter training and occasional races. I did some mtb races back in the 90' but never rode one since then.

    I did look around LBS to ask questions and my choice was almost done on a Stumpjumper Comp. This bike felt pretty light, look well equiped and the fork look like a nice one. But then I saw the new Cannondale Flash alloy serie. I don't know which one of the F1,F2 or F3 can compare to the Stumpjumper Comp, price wise but I always been a fan of the Lefty fork.

    So for a similar price (between 1500$-2000$), which one of those two bike will give me more?
    BTW, I have to ask this question...I saw tons of post about 29er vs 26er and clearly I never understand the 29er advantage. In fact, here in Quebec,Canada, it's really hard to find 29er in stores...so would I benefit the bigger wheels with my road background?(I'm 5'7" with a 30" inseem)

    Thanks...so much questions for a newbie...

  2. #2
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    You know what you like and you pick well. These 2 bikes have the pedigree winning XC races in the early '90s. Maybe the reason you are choosing between them.

    That said, Stumpjumper Comp has the better Avid brakes and the $700 msrp Fox front forks.
    OTOH, the Cannondale Flash F3 has the Handmade in the USA frame - a rarity nowadays, although proprietary (meaning you need Cannondale services) Lefty fork has 4.5 chili ratings on the review board. The front wheel is also proprietary to Cannondale. More of love 'em or hate 'em. I like the fact that you can change tire without removing wheel

    As often said here, fit and ride should decide for you. And most important intangible, which one you like looking at.

    29s will be more weight - frame, wheels, tires and forks. They look good on big people though.

  3. #3
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    Both great company's, and both are great bikes. Your best bet is to try and find a shop that has both and ride them back to back. If you can't do that, at least try and ride them on the same day, if u still cant decide, ride some other makes and models, then go back and ride these 1st two again. Things will start to become clearer. Bikes are always a compromise, you just have to figure out what suits you best, and what you feel comfortable with.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the reply. Shop around here usually keep minimal stock so it's hard to have a test ride. In fact, I will probably order the bike down in Burlington, Vt and buy it there. This way, I'll save around 400-500$ on a 2000$ bike sold in Canada
    Btw, I received a quote for the 2010 SJ comp: 1550$, Cannondale F3:1600$,F2:2000$ and F:2300$...all US$.
    So which one would give me more for the money if we forget the test ride?

  5. #5
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    Personally i would never buy a bike with out riding it 1st. A bike that's sized correctly, is comfortable and just "feels right" is a lot more important then small variations in spec.

    Even if you can't ride the exact same spec, try and ride a bike with the same frame.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by emartin
    Thanks for the reply. Shop around here usually keep minimal stock so it's hard to have a test ride. In fact, I will probably order the bike down in Burlington, Vt and buy it there. This way, I'll save around 400-500$ on a 2000$ bike sold in Canada
    Btw, I received a quote for the 2010 SJ comp: 1550$, Cannondale F3:1600$,F2:2000$ and F:2300$...all US$.
    So which one would give me more for the money if we forget the test ride?
    Looking at the Cannondales, I like the F2 in red with white fork but the difference is $400 from the F3 which is also good looking in blue with white fork. I don't have any experience with Avid brakes. I think the Juicy 3 is lowest model and the Elixir 5 maybe the next model. I don't see any difference in the Lefty fork for the F2 & F3, which is carbon for the F1 with DT rims and hubs apparently lesser in weight. Both F2 & F3 have more or less similar drivetrains. The wheels on the F2 are Shimano hubs on Sun rims while F3 has Formula hubs on Maddux rims. Formula hubs are good hubs with the Fixed and SS crowds, Maddux I believe are Made in Taiwan just like Formula hubs. Taiwanese manufacturers are also suppliers to some popular brands.

    So for $400 more for the F2 you get better brakes and known brand hubs and rims. Are they worth that much? $400 is a lot of money, you can upgrade the brakes for that much and made in Taiwan wheels are not exactly Mavics but I don't think they are POS either.
    Other components are house brands and not so expensive to upgrade.

    If it were me I'll choose between the blue F3 or red F2 based on color. Save the $400 for future upgrades should you go with the F3.

    ...maybe somebody who has actual experiences with the Avids and wheels can put in their comments.

  7. #7
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    I would try to ride both bikes or similar bikes and decide which one fits you better. Any reputable dealer would have a F4 or a Rockhopper you can ride. The geometry is close, but there may be a shorter stem on these bikes compared to the race style hard tails you are considering.

    Consider the top tube length and geometry and choose the one that best fits your body. Both bike are excellent choices so you can't really go wrong.

    I have done the same thing you are doing right now and will opt to get a Cannondale Flash 1 alloy.

  8. #8
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    1) I would take the Flash over the Stumpy.

    2) 26" vs 29" is a personal thing. Riding style and your size will probably help you decide there.

    3) I'm biased toward the F1......I have one. It has better brakes then the F2/F3, lighter stem, much better wheels, better cassette, better derailleur, lighter post, lighter saddle, lighter bars. 23.6 lbs out of the box. The lefty is NICE. My only complaint would be that the crank is a tank, but you can buy a better one that is lighter AND BB30.

  9. #9
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    Thanks but I end up buying a very slightly used 2009 Team Marin: Scandium frame, Sid Race fork, XT/XTR for alot less then a new stumpy or Flash. 21.5 lbs !!!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by emartin
    Thanks but I end up buying a very slightly used 2009 Team Marin: Scandium frame, Sid Race fork, XT/XTR for alot less then a new stumpy or Flash. 21.5 lbs !!!

    Good find

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