Hi all. New member, first post. I haven't bought a new bike in 10 years, and haven't had a bike the past 2 years. Went looking for a new bike last week, visited 10+ LBS's and tried out several different brands. What sucks is when you have a salesman say "The Chinese stuff is low end, if you want high end, get one made in Taiwan!" REALLY??? I can't seem to bring myself to spend $1500+ on a bike that has "Taiwan" sticker on it. Any way, on my adventures I discovered a Cannondale NOS 08' F29, "Hand Made in the USA", and I was kinda' stuck on getting a 29er, but it was single speed and I definitely need gears as I will be doing 50% of my riding on pavement. I was definately sold on the Lefty, was the best handling of all the bikes I had tried, though a Gary Fisher with Fox shocks was a close second. Over the weekend I scoured the bowels of the internet...Craigslist...eBay...google searches (google had a neat header over the weekend) for bike shops in the surrounding states...and could not find an American made Cannondale 29er anywhere. So I ended up going back to the shop, picking up the SS 29er at a price that was well under my budget. Now I'm off to scowl the bowels of eBay again to convert this very nice rig over to a 9 speed. Any helpful hints or suggestions on this conversion would be greatly appreciation. Biggest setback I see at the moment are getting new stops and guides added to the frame, and switching to a rear derailure hanger.
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