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  1. #1
    mad aussie
    Reputation: Flying Wombat's Avatar
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    Caffeine 26 or 29?

    I am looking for a bike for long training rides and some marathon races. I can get a great deal through the LBS on the Caffeine (when available). I only rode a 29'er a couple of years ago when I rode a hardtail and Sugar at a Gary Fisher demo and to be honest I wasnt super impressed, it was OK, but nothing spectacular. Scalpel would be nice, but out of my price range and the Rush is too heavy to race in any version that I can afford.

    I was looking at the Caffeine 2, I would probably look at an upgraded wheelset for racing and change out some of the components such as bars, seatpost, stem for lighter items that I already have on my singlespeed. The Caffeine 29'er looks interesting but it has a really cheap spec and would probably take quite a bit of extra money to make it light enough to race. I was figuring on upgrading the wheelset anyway, but you there are no tubeless tires available right now in 29 size and the avid mechanicals would have to go. Looking at the geometry I would be concerned that a 70 degree head angle with the 29 inch tire would be pretty slow.

    For reference I am 5'6" and 140lb my specialty was always on courses with a lot of climbing. I would look at the medium frame because I like to be a little bit stretched out.

    Kevin

  2. #2
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    I don't think anyone here could give you an honest opinion yet of a Caffeine 26 or 29 because they have been on the market such a short time.

    The Caffeine frameset in the 26 has the same exact look as an Optimo and I imagine the ride would be the same.

  3. #3
    likes to ride bikes
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    My LBS says the 29er isn't even gonna be available for another month or so. Where are you finding them available now?

  4. #4
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    When will the Caffeine 29er's hit the bike shops? I have heard November 30th. Anyone know any differently?

  5. #5
    mad aussie
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    I cant get either bike for a while, they are saying early December, but I would like to have the order in early. At this point I am leaning towards the 26'er as it is what I am used to riding, should be lighter and would require a lot less upgrades to get it race worthy.

  6. #6
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    I think that is smart to get the order in early. I have to agree with you about getting the 26'er into race shape alot cheaper. The 29'er would be a considerable chunk of money to get lightened up. I still have chosen the 29'er for myself. I am not going to upgrade immediately.

  7. #7
    Stewed Screwed & Tattooed
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    The Caffeine 29'er owns all other bikes. It is the ultimate all mountain bike. It is however a bit portly, so a race machine it is not. With some real work you could probably get it down to 24 pounds or so. It's just that the wheels are real heavy and there aren't a ton of options yet.

  8. #8
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    From experience with my road bike (C'dale 2001 R3000Si) it is more expensive to upgrade then to buy a bike that already has most of the stuff you want on it. I got the R3000 used on eBay for 1700 and have since put in another 1600 or so to get the bike where it is now. Granted I now have two cassettes, a set of racing wheels, and a set of training wheels, but I would have been a lot better off buying a then new or slightly used Cannondale (2004) and getting a nice set of wheels. What I am trying to get at is go with the 26er. It will cost less in the long run. Not that I follow my own advice (currently upgrading my Rush 600 ).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Wombat
    I am looking for a bike for long training rides and some marathon races. I can get a great deal through the LBS on the Caffeine (when available). I only rode a 29'er a couple of years ago when I rode a hardtail and Sugar at a Gary Fisher demo and to be honest I wasnt super impressed, it was OK, but nothing spectacular. Scalpel would be nice, but out of my price range and the Rush is too heavy to race in any version that I can afford.

    I was looking at the Caffeine 2, I would probably look at an upgraded wheelset for racing and change out some of the components such as bars, seatpost, stem for lighter items that I already have on my singlespeed. The Caffeine 29'er looks interesting but it has a really cheap spec and would probably take quite a bit of extra money to make it light enough to race. I was figuring on upgrading the wheelset anyway, but you there are no tubeless tires available right now in 29 size and the avid mechanicals would have to go. Looking at the geometry I would be concerned that a 70 degree head angle with the 29 inch tire would be pretty slow.

    For reference I am 5'6" and 140lb my specialty was always on courses with a lot of climbing. I would look at the medium frame because I like to be a little bit stretched out.

    Kevin
    I get the sense that you're looking for some support and confirmation on a direction you're already leaning (and hinting at)-You tried 29ers-didn't like them, you want raceable lightness and wheel;s that accelerate up climbs, and you on the short side...but, you've no doubt checked into the 29er forum and been impressed by the over the top love and praise of all things 29er--and so you're feeling like going against your gut instinct.

    I say stick with your initial inclinations-26ers are still great (29ers are great too--)-accelerate quickly and weigh less (and, with similar build are straight up stronger wheels). And yeah, I know their are some shorter riders who lovce their 29ers--but the "taller folks get more out of them" rap is pretty dead-on.

  10. #10
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    i am 5'6" also and i am planning on buying a new 26" caffeine, as my f1000 was recently stolen. i haven't ridden the caffeine 29er, but i have ridden a small sized surly karate monkey and it felt really awkward. but maybe that's just me not being used to it. i race xc and i feel like the 26" bike is a better fit for me, literally and figuratively.

  11. #11
    mad aussie
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperbMan
    I get the sense that you're looking for some support and confirmation on a direction you're already leaning (and hinting at)-You tried 29ers-didn't like them, you want raceable lightness and wheel;s that accelerate up climbs, and you on the short side...but, you've no doubt checked into the 29er forum and been impressed by the over the top love and praise of all things 29er--and so you're feeling like going against your gut instinct.

    I say stick with your initial inclinations-26ers are still great (29ers are great too--)-accelerate quickly and weigh less (and, with similar build are straight up stronger wheels). And yeah, I know their are some shorter riders who lovce their 29ers--but the "taller folks get more out of them" rap is pretty dead-on.
    You have hit the nail right on the head! I didnt feel like the 29'er rode anything special, but it seems like everyone on the Arizona forum is going 29'er but of course most of them are taller than me! However none of the guys on our team who race off road are changing. I just want to make sure I get the most effective tool to get the job done.

    Looks like a neon yellow/green Caffeine 2 is in my future ;-)

    Kevin

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