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  1. #1
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    Cannondale F29 Evolution

    New to Cannondale and have some questions about the evolution of the F29 Caffeine, Flash and F29 among other questions:

    1) Is the current F29 formerly the Flash and did the Flash model evolve from the F29 Caffeine?

    2) I'm doing a build on a used 2010 Flash 1 aluminum frame and just wondering what the closest current Cannondale frame is to the 2010 Flash 1?

    3) Are any Cannondale frames still made in the US?

    4) Can you purchase a Cannondale frame alone or Cannondale only sells complete bikes?

    5) Does Cannondale make any clear-coat (unpainted) aluminum frames or is that something they decide year to year? (I really prefer the look of straight aluminum and that's why I ask.)

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    I have a 2009 Caffeine 29er 2 alloy. It's completely different from the 2010 Flash 29er alloy. My 2010 USA built Flash 29 alloy is similar to my 2011 Taiwan Flash 29 alloy frame. The front half looks the same size, but from the seat tube back it's different. To the best of my knowledge, no more USA built frames. I don't about only purchasing a frame. The last bare alloy Flash frame I remember is the one you mentioned. I believe they were called ball burnished.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey 29er View Post
    I have a 2009 Caffeine 29er 2 alloy. It's completely different from the 2010 Flash 29er alloy. My 2010 USA built Flash 29 alloy is similar to my 2011 Taiwan Flash 29 alloy frame. The front half looks the same size, but from the seat tube back it's different. To the best of my knowledge, no more USA built frames. I don't about only purchasing a frame. The last bare alloy Flash frame I remember is the one you mentioned. I believe they were called ball burnished.
    Thank you! So I guess these Cannondale models had little to no relations with one another. Seems like the product line is extremely rigid these days, meaning, they get what they get from overseas and that's what they will ship to the LBS and since the frames are not made here there is little that can be done to change that. I guess I'm trying to understand the working model and what to expect in the event I need to purchase a new frame.

    I seriously wonder if margins are that much better with having the frame production done overseas.

    Unless of course someone else knows different regarding the purchase of frames.

  4. #4
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    I seriously wonder if margins are that much better with having the frame production done overseas.

    As long as it's even a dollar per bike it's worth it. Companies only care about profit.

  5. #5
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    I guess I bought the 2011 Flash at the right time. It was the first year the Flash was made in Taiwan. The 2011 Flash 29er 1 list price was $2149. The 2010 Flash 29er 2 list price was $2249. Better spec'd and lower price. The price jumped to $2549 for 2012 and $2749 for this year. I like all of my bikes, but I guess I'm sentimental for the US built bikes. I don't want to start a US vs. foreign rant, but it's all about the money.

  6. #6
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    Same here, I did not want to start an argument on where frames are made, I was just wondering since I am new to Cannondale.

    I'll watch eBay for used USA made frames but I suppose I can only do that for so long.

    As far as margins goes, all the money I am spending on parts (drivetrain, brakes, etc...) is not going to Cannondale because I did not like the newer painted frames or the lack of choice that seems to stem from the rigidity with foreign manufacturing. So it might be a complicated equation since I elected to purchase a used Cannondale frame.

    So does anyone know if Cannondale sells frames alone?

  7. #7
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    You would have to check with your Cannondale LBS, but I seriously doubt they will sell you just a frame. But it is worth an ask at least.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flash29r View Post
    You would have to check with your Cannondale LBS, but I seriously
    doubt they will sell you just a frame. But it is worth an ask at least.
    Already sent an email asking.... I also seriously doubt it.

  9. #9
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    Just spoke with my LBS and the answer is YES they sell frames but the higher end models which means you're paying a premium.

  10. #10
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    Not all frames are available as frames only... But some are yes, and yes, usually only high end models. But Cannondale has always been in the buisness of selling whole bikes, frames are priced in a way that makes it much more interesting for you to buy the complete bike that has the frame you want and sell all the parts. But ask your shop, you may get lucky. When the cyclocross models went from the CAAD9 to the CAADX and SuperX, they had stocks of new CAAD9 CX frames and you could buy them for a very low price, but only people in the know knew.

    As for asian frames vs US made frames, yes, they cost a bit less to manufacture in Asia but the warranty rate is now better too. It's not that the US made frames weren't well made, but they were not as consistently well made as they are now. They don't get as many back that they need to replace, which costs less for Cannondale, and is better for more of their consumers.

    Another option for a raw alloy frame would be to strip off the paint, get replacement decals (if you want them) then clearcoat it. You'd lose the warranty though but if you buy a used one, you wont have a warranty anyway.

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  11. #11
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    Are you only interested in Cannondale? You might consider a titanium frame. Lynskey used to offer a mirror polished option on their frames. I'd love to have a raw alloy Cannondale frame like yours, but I couldn't find an XL.

  12. #12
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    @Dan, it makes sense that they would want to sell complete bikes, more money in the markup on components. Since I am new to Cannondale I'll take your word on the quality and consistency. Not a bad idea to strip off the paint and then clear coat, I might even have a place that would do it for me.

    @Jersey, before starting this build I was seriously looking at Lynskey but are talking with others, the extra expense for titanium and the fact that I couldn't test drive any Lynskey was an issue. I agree, I really love the raw aluminum frame.

    By chance I saw the Cannondale Trail 6, TRAIL 29ER 6 - Trail 29er - Hardtail 29er - Mountain - Bikes - 2013 which comes in silver. Again, being new to Cannondale, frame alone, in terms of build quality, do you think this frame is any less compared with the F29 1 alloy? Or is this a "cheap" quality frame (again, not talking parts). The Trail 6 complete is under $700! Would you get it, rip every part odf and slap high end parts on it? Can it take a Lefty shock? Does the bottom bracket limit anything?


    Kind regards,
    Derek

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