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  1. #1
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    6'6 and 195lbs...Cannondale Trail SL2, thoughts???

    Guys/gals, I'm strongly considering a Cannondale Trail SL2. I need to go ride the Trek Marlin and Mamba pretty extensively along with the Cannondale to know for sure. But given my height the Cannondale just felt a bit better, though perhaps after full adjustment for my height it wont matter much? The frame geometry also seems to be a bit better on Cannondale or Specialized vs Trek for someone my size.

    I had an original budget of 750ish but I can get an SL2 for right around 800 which is a great deal and I like the bike a lot. I'm not opposed to an SL3 or SL4 but the component difference seems worth the extra coin to move up to the SL2.

    Thoughts specifically pertaining to my height/weight etc on some of the various bikes? Not opposed to other brands but the shop 2 miles from my house sells Cannondale and Fuji and I really want to keep my money here if possible. If not I can move to the larger metro area if necessary but thus far I'm digging the Cannondale.

  2. #2
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    At 6'6" you would be doing yourself a favor by testing out some 29ers...both Cannondale and Fuji make good models in your price range.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72 View Post
    At 6'6" you would be doing yourself a favor by testing out some 29ers...both Cannondale and Fuji make good models in your price range.
    I'm definitely not opposed to 29er's. But I don't like the 200 dollar premium + lower grade components that I may have to pay for a 29er. Big guys (myself included) rode 26's for years with appropriately sized frames...

    But I will definitely ride some.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6SpeedTA95 View Post
    I'm definitely not opposed to 29er's. But I don't like the 200 dollar premium + lower grade components that I may have to pay for a 29er. Big guys (myself included) rode 26's for years with appropriately sized frames...

    But I will definitely ride some.
    That was the case a few years ago...however if you for instance look at the Cannondale Trail SL2 and the Trail SL 29er 2, they have nearly identical spec's for the same MSRP of $1069

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72 View Post
    That was the case a few years ago...however if you for instance look at the Cannondale Trail SL2 and the Trail SL 29er 2, they have nearly identical spec's for the same MSRP of $1069
    Except I can get the 26 for less than 800 bucks and the 29 for 980...

    This has been the case with Trek and many others, the 29ers just sell better I guess.

    edit: also there are some significant component differences between the two SL2.s

  6. #6
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    I think people forget how long we used 26 inch wheels and they worked fine! Yeah 29ers are cool, but they are not the end all be all in mountain bikes. I think a SL2 would be a perfectly fine bike for you. We sell a ton of them at my shop and have a rental fleet of them that hold up awesome.

  7. #7
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    As a fellow 6'6"'er I HIGHLY suggest trying out some xxl 29ers before you make a purchase. My xxl Tall Boy is the first bike I've owned as an adult that feels like a true fit. Paying a little more for a better fitting frame with lesser components will be a good thing in the long run.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by loonskisrt4 View Post
    I think people forget how long we used 26 inch wheels and they worked fine! Yeah 29ers are cool, but they are not the end all be all in mountain bikes. I think a SL2 would be a perfectly fine bike for you. We sell a ton of them at my shop and have a rental fleet of them that hold up awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by Schlitz Domino View Post
    As a fellow 6'6"'er I HIGHLY suggest trying out some xxl 29ers before you make a purchase. My xxl Tall Boy is the first bike I've owned as an adult that feels like a true fit. Paying a little more for a better fitting frame with lesser components will be a good thing in the long run.
    I'll do a lot of riding Friday afternoon. Then again the next weekend.

  9. #9
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    Im 6'4 195 and just got a Cdale sl2 29er recently in XL. It fits great. Deffinitely test ride a few bikes as you will find the one that does fit.

  10. #10
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    I just picked up a SL2 in XL I'm 6'3" about 225 and I can't believe how awesome it is. I have a loop I ride takes about 45 minutes on my 26" finished in 38 minutes and felt less tired. Love my new 29 !

  11. #11
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    I have the Cannondale Trail 4 29'er & I'm 6'5", 270lbs. I tried all the Trek, Fuji, Giant & GT 29s I could get my hands Between 4 different bike shops in the Richmond area that had XL-XXL bikes on tap. The Cannondale Trail 29 was the best fit. It rode (to me) far better than the rest & generaly to make sure I've been jumping on other 29'ers every now & then just to make sure I made the right decision & I did. You wont regret the Trail 2 it's an awesome bike. The only reason I went with the trail 4 is because I like to ride rigid & just put a Karate Monkey up front.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 6'6 and 195lbs...Cannondale Trail SL2, thoughts???-100_1693.jpg  


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by hbombkillya View Post
    I have the Cannondale Trail 4 29'er & I'm 6'5", 270lbs. I tried all the Trek, Fuji, Giant & GT 29s I could get my hands Between 4 different bike shops in the Richmond area that had XL-XXL bikes on tap. The Cannondale Trail 29 was the best fit. It rode (to me) far better than the rest & generaly to make sure I've been jumping on other 29'ers every now & then just to make sure I made the right decision & I did. You wont regret the Trail 2 it's an awesome bike. The only reason I went with the trail 4 is because I like to ride rigid & just put a Karate Monkey up front.
    Thanks for the info...

    Have you been in any situations where you wished for the better components? Specifically the hydraulic brakes?

  13. #13
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    I got rid of the crap suspension fork & went with a Surly karate Monkey because I like riding rigid. At the moment I'm installing Avid BB7 brakes with 185mm rotors & Avid Speed Dial 7 Brake Levers. All of it running thru Jagwire Ripcord. This is my first mod, my second mod comming up will be to get the Shimano SLX Kit: F/R derailers, cassette, crankset, rapidfire shifter pods & new chain. My last mod will be for a Velocity chukker wheelset. Those things are built to be used & abused by big boys. I've taken the stock bike out on 7 miles of the Buttermilk MTB trail here in Richmond, VA quite a few times. Buttermilk can get really technical & a bit scary decending alot of steep rocky hills & cliffs. The Trail 29'er 4 performed great just the way it was. The upgrades are just things I wanted on a bike that didnt come on any bike I tried. I could have just got a frame myself & built up from there but when I rode the Cannondale I fell in love with the way she felt. Upgrading is realy a presonal thing, everyone has different ideas of how a bike should perform for them. I realy don't like hydro brakes, too many problems to deal with but my buddies wont ride without them. All in all the bike is awesome on all levels. I would have got the trail 2 but it didn't have anything I wanted on it so i went with the trail 4 & droped on some sweet upgrades.

  14. #14
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    New upgrades so far... Surly KM fork, Avid BB7's 185mm rotors front & back with speed levers all run thru jagwire. Right now this bike is a beast. I'm thinking of changing the wheels to Salsa Gordo 29ers now.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 6'6 and 195lbs...Cannondale Trail SL2, thoughts???-2011-07-09-11.44.29.jpg  


  15. #15
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    Looking good

  16. #16
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    Thanks

  17. #17
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    I'm 6'6, 260lbs. I'm picking up the 2012 Trek Marlin (8 speed) in a couple weeks. Coming out on July 18th apparently. I rode the 2011 at the store and it felt great. I just want the ability to lock out the front shocks, which the 2012 model will have. I'm on a budget under 700 so I think its perfect. 23" frame is as good as it gets without having to special order something for thousands of dollars apparently. Give it a whirl. Components aren't anything special but I'm not that concerned. Anyway, check it out.

  18. #18
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    The front fork on the Trek is crap too. The Cannondales has a lock out also but all those entry level suspension forks are crap. Theirs a little sticker on the inside bottom of the fork that will tell you not to try any real MTB using this fork. Don't need no stinking suspension fork anyway, ride hard go rigid!

  19. #19
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    Hmm

    Yeah I really have no knowledge about the quality of parts but I know its better than something I'd pick up at the general store. I definitely don't ride as hard as all you guys so i'm sure it will work for me. Since your vouching pretty hard for that Cannondale, may I ask how much cash you put out for it? I'm not dropping more than 700 so it might not even be an option. BTW I have to mention that you resemble my father, Hbomb. LOL

    Thanks.

    Edit - Would I be better off with a Specialized Hardrock. They seem to be praised by everyone riding one. Apparently with better components than what come with a Trek Marlin. And I really have no intention on upgrading unless I break something.
    Last edited by kingoliver; 07-11-2011 at 11:22 AM.

  20. #20
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    In truth I've only been at this MTB thing for 6 months. I've got severe OCD & ever sence I stoped playing music to spend more time time with my family MTB has taken over my life. I'm lucky I'm very mechanical because when I get into something like this I tend to take it a little too far. I bought the Cannondale based on my weight & height, the frame is solid, light & it had good rims & large enough tires to hold me without blowing. I really didn't care that it was a MTB bike I was going to use it to commute to work. Anyway a bass buddy of mine asked me if I wanted to tag along on a trail one day. Ive known this guy for years & had no idea how hardcore he was into MTB... I guess because we mostly saw each other at night gigs. Anyway I hit my first trail & got bit by the bike bug within 10 minutes! I wanted to do this all day, everyday. It's messed up because I'd ride by the main entrance to the buttermilk trail everyday on my commute & sometimes hit it up & get to work late or just hit it up in the afternoon... Anyway you get the picture & it may happen to you. The Specialized Hardrock is an awesome bike & I'd go for that before the Trek. I paid $750 I'm not a big fan of performancebike.com but they have 2011 GT Karakoram 2.0 29ers on sale for $679 & thats one heck of a deal.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 6'6 and 195lbs...Cannondale Trail SL2, thoughts???-bmbv.jpg  


  21. #21
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    Very cool man. I'm a bit like that with computers. So maybe I will end up just like that. I'm going over to check out a 2012 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc(Assuming there even shipped here yet) . It's listed for 690 on the website but hopefully I can knock that down a bit. I'm in Ontario so I'm really not into the idea of ordering a bike online and having it shipped from the States. And I'm crazy impatient so I got to get something now!!

  22. #22
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    I'm the same way. The Specialised rides great, more like the Cannondale less like the Trek.

  23. #23
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    Ordered the SL2 29er yesterday. Arrives on Monday or Tuesday of next week.

  24. #24
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    Awesome! Let me know how it goes.

  25. #25
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    Congrats on the new bike, we need some pictures!

    I'm 6'6" and 175lbs and ride a BD.com Windsor 29er. I was 198lbs back in 2009 before I got back into mountain biking. Once you start riding that 29er for a while you'll see what all of us tall guys are referring to.

    I have a mild case of the upgrade bug: 780mm wide Salsa Whammy Bar, Ergon GA1 Grips, Crank Brothers Joplin seat post, Ritchey Streem V2 Saddle, and a few other small things.

    Next on my list is a tubeless conversion, Sunline XC1 stem, 185mm cranks with a 2x9 setup.

  26. #26
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    hbombkillya, what band are you in? is that the canal club? awesome

  27. #27
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    Yep thats the canal club. I was in Chalklinebeauty... myspace.com/chalklinebeautyrva we broke up because some people (our guitarist Jeff) couldn't tour, his girlfriend had him whiped up good. I'm currently looking for other projects. metal, folk, shoegazer, evil blues, indie, you name it i've played it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 6'6 and 195lbs...Cannondale Trail SL2, thoughts???-nugget-072.jpg  


  28. #28
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    6speedTA95 howz the bike I just got a new 2010 Fox 32 F29 RL 100mm Fork to put on my trail 4.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by hbombkillya View Post
    6speedTA95 howz the bike I just got a new 2010 Fox 32 F29 RL 100mm Fork to put on my trail 4.
    Don't have it yet. It was shipped 3 day but didn't leave last week...they are hoping to get it tomorrow and assembled so I can pick it up after work...we'll see.

  30. #30
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    awesome.

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    picked it up today

  32. #32
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    Hell of a camera. Looks great.

  33. #33
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    Yes that baby is sweet! They even put the high end shimano skewers on it. I just added an Origin 8 suspension seat post to mine. It's an adjustable air spring up to a 300lb. rider. You can also see my new Fox fork in the upper corner.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 6'6 and 195lbs...Cannondale Trail SL2, thoughts???-2011-07-29-14.31.21.jpg  


  34. #34
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    Damn your Trail SL 2 is sweet! I wish I had held out for that one.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by hbombkillya View Post
    Damn your Trail SL 2 is sweet! I wish I had held out for that one.
    Thanks man

    I need to get the seat adjusted, I adjusted it up about 1 to 1.5 inches after I rode about 4 miles, then rode another 2 or so. It seems to be a bit short still...I can barely touch the ground but my legs still aren't close to being straight on the downstroke...the downside to being 6'6 I suppose.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingoliver View Post
    Hell of a camera. Looks great.
    T2i...actually those pics don't look that good, I'll post some more tomorrow with proper exposure and WB and I think you'll be more pleased with those

  37. #37
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    yeah thats the downside man i've got a 36" inseam but i've learned to live with it. try not to have your legs so straight on the downstroke unless your clipless. If your just using pedals keep a slight bend in your stride so you get some power to those pedals. BTW get some wider pedals with grip the ones that come on the bike suck.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by hbombkillya View Post
    yeah thats the downside man i've got a 36" inseam but i've learned to live with it. try not to have your legs so straight on the downstroke unless your clipless. If your just using pedals keep a slight bend in your stride so you get some power to those pedals. BTW get some wider pedals with grip the ones that come on the bike suck.
    OH man yes they do! I have a size 13 to size 15 shoe depending on the brand and the pedals are like trying to keep your foot on a something the size of a quarter.

  39. #39
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    As much as you guys will protest. I picked up a 2012 Trek Marlin. I'm just too impatient and skeptical about spending more cash whether or not its worth it, but I'm loving it anyway. Just not going to overdue it on the trails. Why are the pedals so small on all of these bikes!? And I'm having the same issue with the length of my legs. 38" inseam and I can downstroke fine but I have the seat so high that I can't touch the ground. It's a pain but I'll deal. Anyway, yeah some more pics of that bike would be sweet, looks unreal !!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingoliver View Post
    As much as you guys will protest. I picked up a 2012 Trek Marlin. I'm just too impatient and skeptical about spending more cash whether or not its worth it, but I'm loving it anyway. Just not going to overdue it on the trails. Why are the pedals so small on all of these bikes!? And I'm having the same issue with the length of my legs. 38" inseam and I can downstroke fine but I have the seat so high that I can't touch the ground. It's a pain but I'll deal. Anyway, yeah some more pics of that bike would be sweet, looks unreal !!
    I'm going to raise my seat before I ride this morning some more and I won't be able to touch the ground at that point.

  41. #41
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    with your seat at proper height your feet wont touch the ground easily. But thats ok.It takes some getting used to. Your riding will be much more enjoyable and your legs wont fatigue as easily.

  42. #42
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    Theirs nothing wrong with the Trek Kingoliver. I was realy into that Marlin before I chose the Cannondale. The Cannondales just felt more stable to me. hal0tw0 is correct on your riding posture just keep a slight bend in your downstroke knee this is MTB after all not road racing. Some times I lower my seat even further if I know I'll be doing some slight downhill runs. Gota be able to put your body back behind the seat so you wont endo over the bars. It's very hard to do if your seat is so high up you cant get past it. If your gona use the bike for commuting just raise the seat back to road racing height thats what the quick release is for.

  43. #43
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    6speedta95 did yours come with that chain stay protector or did you throw it on yourself cuz i'm jealous.

  44. #44
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    Here's a few shots with proper white balance I took this morning.






    If anyone's interested here's a couple full res

    The detail on the disc in this one is
    http://treyandkelsie05.smugmug.com/O...7_jLBSfvx-O-LB

    This one turned out interested, the lettering is partly in focus ( intended) but the chain is also in pretty good focus for part of it (unintended).
    http://treyandkelsie05.smugmug.com/O...5_gJcwfw4-O-LB

  45. #45
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    Yeah I hear ya Hbomb. I guess the only problem with my bike that I can see is. it's upgrade ability in case I break anything. I would need 'G2 geometry' compatible parts technically

    And those pics are great. Jealous of your camera 6Speed. Your sites are down for whatever reason though.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingoliver View Post
    Yeah I hear ya Hbomb. I guess the only problem with my bike that I can see is. it's upgrade ability in case I break anything. I would need 'G2 geometry' compatible parts technically

    And those pics are great. Jealous of your camera 6Speed. Your sites are down for whatever reason though.
    Site is definitely not down. What isn't working? The embedded or the linked? or both?

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by hbombkillya View Post
    6speedta95 did yours come with that chain stay protector or did you throw it on yourself cuz i'm jealous.
    Everything is as it came other than the pack under the seat.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingoliver View Post
    Yeah I hear ya Hbomb. I guess the only problem with my bike that I can see is. it's upgrade ability in case I break anything. I would need 'G2 geometry' compatible parts technically

    And those pics are great. Jealous of your camera 6Speed. Your sites are down for whatever reason though.
    WhenI bought my fox fork off ebay there we're alot of other G2 geometry used & new Fox Forks on there. I almost bought one for my next 69er/96er project. The fork is really the only thing you have to worry about when it comes to upgradse on the GF treks.

  49. #49
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    Sorry I should have been more clear. The links were down but only because of site maintenance. There showing up now! And thats great news for me Hbomb. I'll look into that so maybe I can head to some heavier trails one day.

  50. #50
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    Black ice!
    Quote Originally Posted by 6speedta95 View Post
    here's a few shots with proper white balance i took this morning.






    if anyone's interested here's a couple full res

    the detail on the disc in this one is
    http://treyandkelsie05.smugmug.com/o...7_jlbsfvx-o-lb

    this one turned out interested, the lettering is partly in focus ( intended) but the chain is also in pretty good focus for part of it (unintended).
    http://treyandkelsie05.smugmug.com/o...5_gjcwfw4-o-lb
    black ice!

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