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  1. #1
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    26er FS vs 29er HT for NICA Racing?

    Hey guys, let me explain my situation here.
    I currently have a 26er 2011 Trek Fuel EX5, almost completely custom. Its got:
    SRAM X0 Rear Derailleur
    SRAM X0 Shifters
    SRAM S800 3x9 Crank
    SRAM XG999 10-34T 9 Speed Cassette
    Spinergy Carbon Laced Wheelset
    RaceFace Carbon Next Handlebars
    Avid Juicy 3 Brakes
    RockShox Recon Silver TK Fork
    Fox RP2 Rear Shock
    Crank Brothers Joplin 4 Dropper Post
    Some Bontrager Seat (the name slipped my mind, nothing special though)
    Stock Bontrager Stem
    Schwalbe Hans Dempf 26x2.35 Tubeless Tire
    Forte Pisgah 2.3 tubed tire (just popped my 2.3 Nobby Nic and this was ALL I had in my garage
    Stock Shimano Alivio front derailleur

    I believe thats it for my bike. I bought this bike used on Craigslist.

    I owned the bike for less than a month, and boom broke my collarbone. Doctor doesnt know how hard I can go on it for a while so I cant do much. I race XC for my high school and this is my first year doing that so I have no idea how I'm going to do. However, in racing for the league, I got a sponsorship from Cannondale. Now that I might not be able to go hard on this bike, would it be smart to sell it and buy a F29 4 2014?

    I love everything about the bike, I am just scared about the bike for some reason. I am really fond of lightweight bikes so thats a plus. I have never heard anything bad about them. Im scared that it cant take a beating. I am not a big rider AT ALL. 5'5 125 pounds. But I do like to trail ride on the weekends, and that does include getting a little air. Could the bike handle that? Thats probably a stupid question, I know, I just have to be sure about this bike. Thats one option. I could also sell majority of the upgrades and go Shimano XT 2x10 and try and get the Fuel sub 27 pounds. Doubt thatll happen. What would you do if you were in my shoes? Thanks

  2. #2
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    Define your sponsorship. Are we talking a shop discount?
    I guide and rent bikes in Northern Utah

    http://www.facebook.com/AdventureEarthRides

  3. #3
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    30% off all Cannondale products. I believe it is only through my LBS.

  4. #4
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    Although $1000 out of my price range, would the Scalpel 3 be the right bike for me in this scenario?

  5. #5
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    Not really a sponsorship worth selling a bike over then. I'd hang on to your bike and save up for other things. Just an fyi, all high school racers can get a Cannondale for 30% off. Take care of yourself, good luck with the collar bone!
    I guide and rent bikes in Northern Utah

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  6. #6
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    But I won't be spending anything. I bought the bike used for 1400, sell it for at least 2000. That money can get me a F29 4.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTB_Shawn View Post
    But I won't be spending anything. I bought the bike used for 1400, sell it for at least 2000.
    Good luck with that. Realistically, you prolly won't get $2K for the Fuel, even with all the bling.

    I would say the Scalpel is more suited to NiCA style courses but your Fuel will also work well. It's more about how you train and work on riding skills.

    Btw, at your weight, the Scalpel will hold up fine if you are adept at picking lines and don't simply mow over everything.
    "I love the bike. It's my meditation. I think I'm bike-sexual." -Robin Williams

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the eye opener. Ill see what I can do with my bike, and for whatever reason have mostly decided on a F29 4. I miss a Hardtail, I miss having full control of the bike if that makes sense. And the 29er wheels, and of course the crazy light weight for an aluminum frame. (No tubes or pedals is like 22.8 or something like that in a size small)

    I think I can pull some strings on the Trek The Scalpel 3 is amazing and a beautiful bike but its way out of my range.

  9. #9
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    I'm a big fan of Cannondales and Lefties, with an N of 2 as the basis for that opinion. It seems like Cannondale frames are either awesomely tough or fragile, but if you get a fragile one you've got the warranty on a new bike as a back up. A year and a half ago ago I bought a several year old Caffeine 29er (basically a F29 from the early years) ridden by a local racer for my son to ride and race in the Colorado league. The racer was big (200 lbs) and the bike was well-used but well cared for. It turns out to be a perfect fit for the boy and took about 5 pounds off bike weight for him (he too had a Fuel). The Cannondale has lasted about 3 seasons under a big guy and it has been totally solid over the last year and a half for my 170 lb son (he's big for his age). I even knocked it off the roof rack driving under an awning at a motel in Leadville and it came out unscathed -- it's one tough bike.

    From one race to the next in his freshman season he switched from the Fuel to the Caffeine and moved from just inside the top ten to inside the top five, only a minute off of the front of the race -- I honestly feel it was all about the bike. And he stayed inside the top five during his recently completed sophomore season. I'm not convinced the Fuel is a race bike -- I could just see the rear suspension robbing power, and add in the extra weight -- it's just not an XC race bike in my eyes. If you can swing it financially, I don't see how a F29 won't be a better tool for the job. And good tools can make doing the work (training) to do a good job (racing) more likely -- at least that's been my experience. Good luck healing your collar bone and racing in the future!
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  10. #10
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    Wow. What a perfect answer, honestly. I could not have gotten a better answer. I plan on throwing my trek on craigslist asap, and getting a Flash. I cant wait to be back on my bike, and i cant wait to take 1st haha i hope i can at least. But thank you so much.

  11. #11
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    Any chance you might need the Full Suspension to ride as you fully recover from your injury?


    There are some great 2013 C-Dale leftovers out there. Its a good bike where the Company stands behind the frame, and the Lefty shock has developed to become very,very reliable.

    Check out the Scalpel 3 (leftover) ?


    Specials - Bike Junkie - Bethpage, NY

  12. #12
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    I live in So Cal

  13. #13
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    yea, I figured you may not be an Eastie. Not sure exactly how it works, but every year C-dale sells out the previous leftover model year at great discounts as the current models come out. This was done a few months ago. Seems that there are so many of these Scalpel 3s that they are still around and at a great discount.

    This is not a deal specific to this store. I am not even sure how the deal works but I would think it is available to all c-dale stores and customers?

    Just throwing it out there.

  14. #14
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    Is there anyway I can check to see if they have any Cannondale F29 alloy 1's left?

  15. #15
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    Contact your local c dale dealer and have them check. Most 2013 leftovers are gone by now, also the typical discounts are not so deep unless they are way overstocked. I think the huge amount of leftover Scalpel 3s is not typical. They are rolling around here and multiplying like rabbits.

    Don't forget the most important thing is to get a bike that fits.

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