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  1. #1
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    Help convince me: Flash 29 2 vs. Stumpjumper Expert Carbon

    I know this is a Cannondale forum so the response should be overwhelmingly in favor of the Flash but I just wanted to hear from Cannondale owners what makes the Flash so much better (or not) compared to the Spesh.

    I'm doing entry level (Cat2-3) marathon racing starting next March. I currently have an EMD (a nice set up for sure) that I train on but I'd like to get a carbon bike for race days. The courses I'm riding are 28-50 miles and will be between 3500-6000 ft of climbing (ballpark figure) and I'm wondering what specifically will make the Cannondale a better choice for this type of riding.

    Climbing is my biggest weakness so I can use all the help I can get in that department until I get better at it

  2. #2
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    P.S I have a great LBS that I love that sells C-Dales...that's another thing thats making me lean that way.

  3. #3
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    Ride both, see which one you feel more comfortable on.

  4. #4
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    There isn't a carbon flash at the same price point as the spesh. Which flash model are you looking at 1, 2 or 3?

  5. #5
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    Ditto. Only way to know for sure before you ante-up the big $$$.

  6. #6
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    Usually these answers comes down to "test ride both".

    The new Lefty is pretty unbeatable though.

  7. #7
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    If you could get an F29 Carbon 3, that would be my choice. It's a nicer bike as a starting point for upgrading IMO.

  8. #8
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    F29 vs Stumpy

    I recently shopped for a 29 HT and looked closely at the 2 you are considering. I assume you are comparing a Carbon 2 and a Stumpy Carbon expert. Here are my thoughts.

    1. Forks. Personally I am not a big fan of brain technology. I bought a F29 carbon 3 mostly because it was one of the few hardtails that had a functional lockout. Fox's CTD system sucks for race bikes IMHO. The climb setting is not stiff enough to resist bobbing on short out of the saddle efforts, and is too stiff to provide any small bump performace. It offers the ride quality of a rigid fork with weight and bobbing of a suspension fork. The Brain is better then CTD as it does actually provide a good lockout feel, but you can always feel a slight hesisation where the brain resists movement and then lets go. They also require alot of maintainance. The Lefty has just what I was looking for. Good solid lockout when I want that, push a button, and it has the best small bump performance of any fork I have ever owned. I have never felt my lefty bottom out on big hits either. The Lefty is the biggest advantage to the F29. The only downside to the lefty is more difficult wheel removal if you have a rack that requires that.

    2. Wheels. The F29 carbon 2 pictured on cannondales website has Stans Crest wheels on it but the specs say it comes with arches. For a Race bike unless you weigh 200 + I think the arches are overkill. The Carbon 2 also has pretty low end hubs for a $5000 dollar bike. My Flash came with the same hubs, and there is really nothing wrong with them, but they are noisy and heavy. Canondale cheaped out on the wheels for the carbon 2. It really deseves a light XC race wheel set, and do you really want to upgrade wheels on a brand new $5000 bike? The Stumpy comes with Roval Control wheels which I have never owned. My understanding is the hubs are bassically DT swiss, and they are light and tubess ready, so I think the Specialized wins in the wheel department.

    3. Other Parts. The bikes have similar drivetrains both of which I think will work great. F29 has avid Elixer brakes which are know to be noisy and prone to rub. Maybe avid improved the design for 2013?????.

    Overall I agree that buying a F29 carbon 3 is a good option. I did that exact thing. F29 Carbon 3, and upgraded wheels, cassette, and switched to a carbon bar. I also agree that test riding is a good idea. You need to do it on a trail not just around a parking lot. I liked the ride of both bikes and would have been happy with either, but the Lefty is what pushed me to pick the cannondale. It is lighter, smoother, and is one of the only forks on the market to offer a real lockout that I can turn on and off with the simple flick of a switch.
    Visiting St george/Hurricane? Stay at my vacation rental. Discounts for MTB's

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  9. #9
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    I also noticed that the Stumpjumper Marathon Carbon comes with Carbon Roval Wheels, a Sid instead of a heaver Reba, and is only $700 more. If I was going to get a Stumpy to race thats the one I would get.
    Visiting St george/Hurricane? Stay at my vacation rental. Discounts for MTB's

    http://www.vrbo.com/392904

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  10. #10
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    Good luck getting an F29-3 before June, especially in a medium, unless your LBS has one sitting on their floor... I rode both the Spesh Carbon Comp 29er, and the F29-3 (retail within $50 of each other), and to me, very very close in fit and build, and both ride fantastic. The Comp weighs a bit less than the F29 (22 lbs. 5 oz without pedals).
    I was actually about to pull the trigger on the F29 though regardless of the weight difference as it was my first choice (I already own a Scalpel) and the shop I deal with was going to give me a smokin' deal on it. The deal breaker for me was that my LBS said he could not get the F29-3 until at least May. I asked another local shop the same question, and they told me the same thing, and that May would even be pushing it... There was no way I was going to wait 3 months.
    So I ended up getting the Spesh, and quite honestly I am happy with my decision, because both bikes were so close in price and feel. However... I was not happy with the Magura MTS brakes on the Spesh at all so I swapped them out immediately... Some love those brakes, some hate them. Not sure what the Expert comes with, just letting you know what my experience was with the Comp...
    2011 C-Dale Flash 1 650b
    2013 Scott Genius 930

  11. #11
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    I would get the carbon Flash. I'm naturally bias though.

    The Lefty will mean that the Flash will handle a lot better. A lot of people have commented on how snappy and nimble the Flash is for a 29er. I would also expect the Cannondale to be stiffer than the specialized which will give you faster acceleration and help you on the climbs. If you're doing marathon riding, you might want to consider things like SAVE. I think overall the Flash is just better designed and all round, a better bike. True the wheels aren't as good, but you sound like you're planning to upgrade it. You can always sell them and get some Industry 9 hubs laced to crests or maybe a set of Mavic SLRs.

    Also, you get life time warranty with Cannondale which have an excellent reputation (in most cases).

    It looks cooler and is worth the wait!
    and no, I am not missing the other half of my fork....

  12. #12
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    Cannondale! I'm biased but recently I had to make the decision - F29 carbon 1 or S-works Stumpy. I test rode both. Pricewise, they were the same through my shop. Ultimately I went F29. The nimbleness of the bike is just indescribable. Both bikes give you a solid ride, transfer power to the back wheel very efficiently, and handle well. The difference for me was how nimble the F29 was in cornering and just how efficient I felt on the trail. This is a race bike for me so that was an extremely important advantage in the F29's favor. A month and a half later I couldn't be more pleased with my F29.

    You should really try to ride both. You won't go wrong with either choice.

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