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  1. #1
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    Does $800 buy you less of a bike now than 10 years ago?

    I recently picked up a couple of Cannondales (an F5 for me and an SL3 for my girlfriend). I went with Cannondale because I bought an F700 in 1999 that served me very well. The light frame was perfect to build and upgrade components from and the initial components endured some beatings while holding up.
    I'm not sure if I'm having some bad luck or if the components in general are of less consistency than they were 10 years ago but there are a host of nagging problems with both bikes. My front derailleur cage is quite loose and sloppy. My rear wheel has become untrue twice in the first 400 miles of riding. Her rear cassette has more than a mild wobble accompanied with an overall loud drive train (cranks seems to be clunky too). She also has a strange clicking happening from the fork as well. I can't say the LBS has been super supportive and any one of these problems alone wouldn't really trouble me too much, but with them all happening together with my bike just over 400 miles and hers at 200 I'm a little disappointed and surprised over the number of little issues that are happening.

    Do you normally take up these problems with the LBS, Cannondale or the maker of the component (SRAM, etc...) We both have the intention of upgrading components on these bikes over the coming years, but thought getting one good year out of the initial equipment would be reasonable... Maybe these same problems happened with my old Cannondale but I wasn't quite in tune with all the mechanics as much as I am now and just didn't notice, or I got used to the top of the line components that were on it when I had sold it in 2005, but it's a bit annoying so far...

    Thanks for any input and I'm definitely curious to hear what others' experiences have been with the sub $1,000 Cannondale Mountain Bikes.

  2. #2
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    Ah, and in regards to the actual title thread. I definitely concede that disc brakes are a pretty solid improvement in ride quality than the old V brakes and the travel in the shock is pretty nice (although I'd trade for my old headshock with much less travel in a heartbeat if I could).

  3. #3
    TXTony
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    I would for sure let the LBS address your drive train issues...sometimes new bikes need to be readjusted after a few rides as the cables loosen up and such..as far as getting less bike for the money these days...I think it is pretty much the same as it was back in the day as far as level of components you get..but the LBS is where you need to take and have them address the issues you are having...as 400 and 200 miles is not really a lot of miles..I can not speak on the bikes you own as the only Cannondale I have is a Moto and I have had zero issues with it...

  4. #4
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    Funny, I was thinking the samething today. I own a 1998 F800, a 1999 R2000 and a 2009 Rize.

    But there is something very important that you need to take into account, which is called inflation. According to "http://www.westegg.com/inflation/infl.cgi" -> "What cost $800 in 2000 would cost $1002.64 in 2010. " and "Also, if you were to buy exactly the same products in 2010 and 2000, they would cost you $800 and $627.20 respectively."

    I can get a carbon road bike today for the exactly the same price as the R2000 in 1999 (the original owner told me about $2,000 and something), while it's probably a few pounds lighter, I'm not sure if it wold be as durable.

    My 2009 Rize is "comparable" to a 1999 Super V 2000, 120mm travel and disk brakes, probably 5 or 6 pounds heavier than my 140mm Rize. I'm not sure about price, in 1999 I was still in high school so I couldn't even dream to own one.

  5. #5
    Can't stop the Prophet
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    Ever hear the saying "They don't make em like they used to"?

  6. #6
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    Definitely DITTO on this, things just aren't made like they used to be. As to do you get less for $800 today as compared to 10 years ago? Hell yes, just do the search and check inflation and the cost of raw materials 10 years ago as compared today and that will answer your question, heck even compared to 5 years ago, you get a lot less for your $$$.

    Now all that being said, just went over a RZ140 a guy had bought towards the end of '09, never seen it before then and was absolutely gob smacked at how shittly the bike was assembled, the fact that Cdale chose the wrong FD for the bike and installed too low allowing it to eat away at the Big Ring trying to make it work and doing a shitty job of it. Guy's a total no clue as far as mechanics go, so he knew no better. Also changed the cable routing running to the RD from the bottom of the DT and ran it smoothly along the chainstay and not using the big kink curve up onto the mounting point they put.

    Quote Originally Posted by brows141 View Post
    Ever hear the saying "They don't make em like they used to"?
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  7. #7
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    With Cannondale moving their production of the cheaper lines to China, you'd think that would make up for the small amount of inflation in the metal markets. Aluminum was selling at $.60/pound ten years ago, and was also selling for that same price as recently as 2008 just prior to the recent economic bubble popping. It's gone as high as $1.20/pound since then, so we're only talking a difference of $5 in overhead on materials per frame at most. Cost of transportation of goods has definitely hurt overhead costs with the move to Chinese production, but still I don't think that makes inflation as much as a factor here. Inflation doesn't hit all of the markets evenly anyway. Technology has gotten cheaper over the past 10 years (computers, cell phones, DSL). When you compare the products/services that you get now you'll see an enormous increase in what you get for little or no increase in price. I think I actually paid closer to $600 for the bike in 1999 anyway. I'm going to chalk it up to that being my first real mountain bike and just being psyched with anything halfway decent. Over the next 4 years I upgraded everything (wheelset, shifters, derailleurs, seat, etc..) and when I was last riding the bike it performed perfectly. Now I'm back to having all those starter components and noticing things I probably never noticed or cared about the first time around...

  8. #8
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    I have a 2003 F800 which came with approximately the same component set as what you get in the 2011 Flash F2. Their purchase prices are almost identical, but our currency (CAD) has strengthened against the USD, which means that you're paying more for the same stuff today.

    Oh, and my F800 comes with a US-made CAAD5 frame, which might make it even more valuable, perhaps?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhasdrums View Post
    I recently picked up a couple of Cannondales (an F5 for me and an SL3 for my girlfriend). I went with Cannondale because I bought an F700 in 1999 that served me very well. The light frame was perfect to build and upgrade components from and the initial components endured some beatings while holding up.
    I'm not sure if I'm having some bad luck or if the components in general are of less consistency than they were 10 years ago but there are a host of nagging problems with both bikes. My front derailleur cage is quite loose and sloppy. My rear wheel has become untrue twice in the first 400 miles of riding. Her rear cassette has more than a mild wobble accompanied with an overall loud drive train (cranks seems to be clunky too). She also has a strange clicking happening from the fork as well. I can't say the LBS has been super supportive and any one of these problems alone wouldn't really trouble me too much, but with them all happening together with my bike just over 400 miles and hers at 200 I'm a little disappointed and surprised over the number of little issues that are happening.

    Do you normally take up these problems with the LBS, Cannondale or the maker of the component (SRAM, etc...) We both have the intention of upgrading components on these bikes over the coming years, but thought getting one good year out of the initial equipment would be reasonable... Maybe these same problems happened with my old Cannondale but I wasn't quite in tune with all the mechanics as much as I am now and just didn't notice, or I got used to the top of the line components that were on it when I had sold it in 2005, but it's a bit annoying so far...

    Thanks for any input and I'm definitely curious to hear what others' experiences have been with the sub $1,000 Cannondale Mountain Bikes.
    I just brought a SL3 as well and I'm experiencing the same drive train clunk your gf is experiencing. I have a lil wobble on the 5th gear on the rear cassette but i think that is from me power shifting like a dumb ass ( I didn't know any better). I brought my C'dale expecting that it was built in the USA like my fathers CAAD5 but that was a let down as well. I still think it is a good bike and looks very sexy in flat black, but the drive train is def. its weak spot.
    2011 Cannondale Trail SL3
    2012 Santa Cruz Tallboy DXC

  10. #10
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    I think you get a lot more bang for your buck disc vs rim brakes, better forks, lighter frames, components are better, wheels are stronger. Last time I bought a $800 bike was back in 1994 and have been lucky enough to be in a higher bracket since then. I buy a new bike every year or two and have always felt like I am getting a better bike than the last one.

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  11. #11
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    In general, I'd say new bikes get crisper shifting (for a little while) better braking (almost all the time) and better suspension and tires. On the other hand, durability is nil. And nothing stays adjusted for more than a few rides (or are bike shops in league with shimano?). And I'm not sure there is a bike out there that has good climbing geometry anymore. Remember when you didn't have to use a lockout?

    Do I love my 09 Scalpel? YES! Do I love it more than my Beast of the East? NOPE.

  12. #12
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    This thread confirms that my desire to build a bike from one of the CAAD frames is a logical one then... That being said, I'm feeling pretty good about the F5 overall. These wheelsets seem much more responsive than the ones that came with my 99 F and the disc brakes do allow me to descend much more confidently when exploring new trails. I like the additional travel of the front suspension to a degree, but I could make arguments in favor of that tiny head shok with something like 40mm of travel in terms of cornering and overall awesomeness... I was a bit of a gram weenie back then and by the time I had upgraded the components on it, it probably weighed close to 10 pounds less than this one so I think that's the big thing that catches my attention with this one.

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