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  1. #1
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    Flash 29er Upgrade Advice

    I have a '12 Flash 29er Alloy 2 and I'm starting to get the upgrade itch...it's currently stock except for the grips. Swapped 'em out (who hasn't) for some Ergon GX1s. But that doesn't really count does it?

    Over the winter I'm thinking a wheelset upgrade to Mavic CrossMax ST 29er and go tubeless with them (read mixed results with going tubeless on the stock Infernos and don't want to take the risk).

    After that, go to a 2x10 drivetrain as I don't find I'm using the big cog at all. Other than the crank, which other components would need to be changed? And which crank to go with, of course? Would like Hollowgram but I don't think I can justify the $$$.

    OR...should I just put away my pennies for a '13 or '14 Scalpel Carbon or F29 Carbon?

    Thanks for the help.

    PS: Is there a field-packable Mavic spoke wrench?

  2. #2
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    George, sorry no one has replied yet so I thought I might try and help a little. I'm not a pro just a biking enthusiast so others may not agreed with my suggestions...

    I recently switched from my F3 to a Flash 29'er and struggled on which model to buy. During my buying research I rode a '12 alloy 29'er 1 on a 20 mile demo ride and loved it. I instantly was sold on a 2x10 drivetrain so I can confidently say you are correct in wanting to swap out your 3x9 system. The love of the 2x10 and the cost to upgrade from a 3x9 forced me into at least the alloy 1 model as it just didn't make $$ sense to buy the alloy 2 and replace most of the drive parts IMO.

    I may not be 100% correct but to switch to a 2x10 you would likely need to replace both shifters, chain, cassette, derailures and crank assembly which is expensive as you know. So for just that alone I would just sell your alloy 2 (as there is a big market for the Flash 29'ers) and pick up a higher level Flash model with the drivetrain you really want to have. Plus it might have a better wheelset also depending on which model you chose.

    Personally I went up to a '12 Flash 29'er Carbon 3 and do not regret it one bit. The Flash alloy's are sweet bikes but the carbon is just that much better it is worth the cost up charge IMO. Stiffer front triangle and bottom bracket area for more precise cornering and more compliant in the rear over the already great alloy Flash. I tried the Carbon 2 but the $1400 cost difference was not noticeable to me so I got the Carbon 3 and added a SAVE seat post I found for only $80. That post, carbon frame and going tubeless makes for a comfy hard tail ride where my Caffeine framed F3 would just beat me up in only a few miles.

    I have been running tubeless since day one with the stock Equalizer 25 wheels and Racing Ralph tires with no burps or problems at all. I run them low at 20 and 23 psi and I'm a big guy at 6'4" 250 lbs but still no issues with the set up.

    Depends on where you ride if you want a Scalpel or not but going to a carbon F29 would be a worthy upgrade IMO. Good luck with your decision.

  3. #3
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    Stan's Arch EX or Crests, depending on your weight. Set up tubeless with tires that work well in your area. Next, go 2x10, IMHO. Good luck and have fun. Upgrading is part of the fun!

  4. #4
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    Your upgrade suggestions are spot-on.Just consider the cost vs perhaps a new Flash with 2X10.
    And if you do upgrade to 2X10 "highly recommend" i would go 38/24 or 36/22 on the front rings unless you ride flat ground.

  5. #5
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    Yikes! I think I'll keep my drivetrain as is and give tubeless a try.

    Just to give you some background...I have the Alloy 2 because I was able to free up some $$ by about late July and really wanted to come back to MTB with a Cannondale (previous bike was 20+ years old), and that's pretty much the best of what I could find in my area in-stock at about what I could afford.

    And second, I really didn't know what I was doing as far as what I needed. Don't get me wrong, I love this bike. But again, being out of the game for so long....

    I too am I big guy (6'1", 270 and falling) and that was my concern about a tubeless setup. I was looking at Stan's as well. Much more reasonably priced than Mavic, and may go to them if I'm not one of the lucky ones that get Sun rims working tubeless.

    Thanks all very much for this! Putting my first $100 into the Carbon Scalpel/Flash fund

  6. #6
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    Here's mine: Upgrades include going tubeless, removing the outer ring and adding a bashguard, nicer grips, and putting on some nice Easton EC70 carbon bars. Really no need to do anything else yet until things start to wear out...Just some suggestions for you
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flash 29er Upgrade Advice-flash-001.jpg  


  7. #7
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    Alright, I have a renewed interest in 2x10 and a couple of questions for you A-Ray...with removing the outer ring and not changing the front derailler/shifter, do you just try to remember not to gear up, or can you set the upper limit on the FD to not try to shift to the (now missing) outer ring? Second, not that I'm a weight weenie, but what is the weight savings of the bashguard vs. stock chainring?

  8. #8
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    The difference in weight between the outer ring and the bash guard is nominal at best. I do this on all of my bikes because of the terrain I ride and never needing to be in the outer ring, gives a higher ground clearance as well, which is welcome when rolling over logs and rocks. You can easily adjust the stop on the front der so it doesn't move any further out, or just remember not to shift up any further than the 2nd ring. The carbon bar is considerably lighter than the stock bar, and going tubeless is a no brainer.

  9. #9
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    Makes sense. Thinking I should switch my bar out as well. Much appreciated.

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