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  1. #1
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    ? on F7 or what appears to be its replacement, 2011 Trail 5

    Hello wise ones,
    I'm in the market for a bike. As Ii have sort of a strange build, basically 65% legs and no torso, I'm somewhat limited on my choices, however, Cannondale's seem to do the trick. I've basically test rode every competitor out there (rockhopper, sport disc, trek 4500, 4300 disc, giant yukon, gt Avalanche 2) and it looks like its down to the trek and the Cannondale. The Cannondale I was looking at, for reference, was the F7 (will spen 550-600 out of pocket). I'm seeing, in 2011, the C02 models will be dumped in favor of an extension in the trail series. My LBS showed me the 2011 Catalogue (just arrived 3 days ago) and this F7 appears to very closely hit the new "Trail 5" price point (Model down of the Trail SL 4). However, I'm wondering if anyone has information on this new bike before Ii order one up. The specs on the Trail 5 are peculiar, as the MSRP is 649, store price of 599, however, it is decked out with x5/deore tier, still with the bb5 discs and fork lockout. Seems interesting for Cannondale to outdo the rest of the competition for components in a price range, it was quite the opposite in the last few years. Has anyone any information on this bike, or advise for me not to get that Trek? Also, should I be worried about the single butted vs double butted frame, it seems in other companies, the bikes I'm looking at are the first in the next tier of aluminums (Eg, Alpha black on the 4 series, M4 vs A1 in the Specialized). Looks like the F7, if I were to hunt down a 2010, is in their basic aluminum tier.
    Thanks a TON!

  2. #2
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    I'm going to look at a Trail 5 at my LBS after work today, I've been researching/shopping for about a week and ready to pull the trigger.
    Looking at the following...
    Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc
    Trek 4500 or 4300 disc
    Cannondale

    My issue was components, of all the $500-600 bikes I was shopping the Specialized Hardrock sport disc with SRAM shifters and BB5 brakes seemed to have an edge but the suntour fork was not great and I'd be looking to upgrade in 6 months plus because of it.
    If the Cannondale trail5 has the same shifter and brakes and a better fork than the Specialized than it'll be a winner.

    Anyone know yet if the trail 5 fork is better than the Suntour XCT on the Hardrock?

  3. #3
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    Please fill me in with some specs after your visit. Your trek and Cannondales of that tier will outperform the Specializeds fork, as the xct cannot lockout while there is weight on the bike. If you could toss up the derailleurs and fork when you get a chance I'd be
    much obliged.

  4. #4
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    OK, I didn't ride it, may go back and take it for a spin but its $599 and very comparable to the 4300/4500 from Trek and the Hardrock Sport Disc which are all in the $590 price point.
    Had an RST Gila pro shok with lockout, Alivio Shifters, and Cannondale in house/generic brakes according to the bike shop guy.
    His opinion was that the brakes were "ok" and comparable to the Avid BB5's. But when I asked him to breakdown the differences between the Trail 5 and the next model up in the line that was $799 the first thing he mentioned was that the $799 model had Avid BB5's on it and shifters comparable to what I would get on the Hardrock Disc sport.
    At the end of the visit I was pretty much off the Cannondale completely, I'd half to spnd another $200 to get one with some of the components that come on the $599 Hardrock but the Cannondale probably has a better fork.
    But, the biggest thing was that I just wasn't crazy about the look of the bike, it was kind of boring, and if I'm looking at 2 or 3 different items in a large purchase and can't make a decision based on specs I go with which one I like looking at, thats not going to be the Cannondale.
    I am going to make one last visit to Richardson Bike Mart here in town to do a hard compare and ride of the Trek 4300/4500 in my price range as well as the Hardrock and Gary Fischer's before pulling a trigger. If I get lucky and find a 2010 Rockhopper disc around $600 than I'll buy it immediately.
    My LBS has a gray 2011 Hardrock disc sport 29er with white rims I can get for $660, if I like it as much as the salesman said I would it may be my purchase.

  5. #5
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    Looks like the F7's spec went down as we went to the Trail 5. BB5's were on the F7. Alivio Shifters are comparable to the sram x4's on the hardrock sport disc /sport disc 29er. As far as the look, did you see the black or blue one? That's basically why I'm holding out too actually...wasn't too sure about the black (matte or gloss) and the blue is too bright I guess. I 'm starting to like the new bronze the 4300 disc has to offer...

  6. #6
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    He tried to find me an F7 on his list, appearantly there is a list Cannondale puts out to dealers of what they have in last years stock of bikes, only F7 they had were not the right size for me. The trail 5 they had were all black with gray trim, kind of boring to look at in my opinion. If I don't find a Trek/Specialized at Richardson Bike Mart I love and buy after work then I'll do a proper test ride of the Trail 5 before pulling the trigger on something else. If I'm not really liking it any more than the Hardrock sport disc than I'll buy the better looking bike, sounds ridiculous but thats how I roll.

    Bronxe 4300 is a cool color in person.

  7. #7
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    Do you recall what rear dérailleur the Trail 5 had? I might look into the alternate blue color.

  8. #8
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    mad if your up for a drive bonzai cycle worx in north ft worth has 2010 f7's in stock.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Dankie but I bought a Hardrock 29er yesterday here in Rockwall.

    beardcomber, good luck with your search and I don't recall what the rear derailler was on the bike.

  10. #10
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    Grats and enjoy it!

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