Cannondale Trail SL 29er 5 29er Hardtail

4.33/5 (6 Reviews)
MSRP : $750.00


Product Description

  • Fork: Rigid Aluminum Post Mount 29'er
  • Rims: Maddux DC3.0 Disc 29
  • Tires: Kenda Small Block Eight, 29 x 2.1" Wire
  • Handlebars: Cannondale C3, 680mm, 20mm, 31.8mm


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Reviews 1 - 6 (6 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mtb_matt a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: May 23, 2012

Strengths:    Strong Frame
1.5 headtube
Altus/acera componenets
Bars/stem


Weaknesses:    Stock pedals - Spindle broke after one 15 mile ride
Stock tires (Kenda small block 8) - poor on wet terrain


Bottom Line:   
This bike is GREAT! The frame is so sold and the the RST fork isn't bad. Overall awesome buy.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   The Bicycle Shop


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Larry B a Cross Country Rider from Miami, FL. USA

Date Reviewed: December 27, 2011

Strengths:    The best bike for the money that I know of, great looking cool blue color gets a lot of looks, great tires for me, quality for the money , 1.5 headset, lightweight

Weaknesses:    Fork is a little soft, I would prefer 100mm , preload and lockout help, also the specs said the fork would a be RST DEUCE, and I got RST BLAZE fork ???

Bottom Line:   
I bascially use my bike for beach cruising, riding around neighborhood , and some trail parks, I am not serious mountain bike rider that is why entry level components work for me, there not many hills or mountains near Miami beach. I am happy it is all the bike I need, in fact I will buy another one, same color as insurance, the only other bike I liked was the Specalized Carve, which is $1200, the next best in my price range was the Giant talon 2, The Trek 29er bikes disspointed me -

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Beach, Greyolds Park

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $630.00

Purchased At:   Lee's Bikeshop

Similar Products Used:   29ers: Trek Wahoo, Marlin, Mamba, Specialized Hardrock, Rockhopper, Giant Talon 2, Scott, Cannon SL 4

Bike Setup:   I changed the handlebars to 3 inch riser handlebar, changed the saddle for more comfort

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by STEVE ELLIOTT a Cross Country Rider from london, ontario

Date Reviewed: July 20, 2011

Strengths:    fast, rigid and responsivehe year out through all . i ride every day 364 days of the year through snow and hail and rain...this bike held tough through the year, thank you.

Weaknesses:    bottom bracket would never stay tight(had to use locktight) to hold it in lace to retain chain tension.Small block 8 stock tire was much to wide for the rear stay.Cannondale and Jay @ Renolds Cyclein London gave me great service on this issue.

Bottom Line:   
CANNONDALE: you make agreat ride!!!!!!!!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   lake Fanshawe

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Village Cycle

Similar Products Used:   whent fron a Norco A line downhill bike to this ...WOW!

Bike Setup:   40- 16 gear ratio, MICHELINE xc A.T (1.9) tires

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by starbuck13 a Racer from Exeter, New Hampshire,USA

Date Reviewed: April 23, 2011

Strengths:    -Strong, stiff frame
-Climbs great
-Reasonable weight
-Suspension corrected geometry (yes it REALLY is)
-Surprisingly comfortable saddle
-Ability to be single speed or geared.
-Versatile
-Great entry level, inexpensive bike, with high end feel and handling


Weaknesses:    -Aluminum fork
-Kenda Small Block 8 tires. Heavy and horrible when muddy or wet. Fast rolling tires on dry pack though.
-BB5 brakes take time to break in, BB7's are a nicer set up.
-Rear wheel is strictly single speed. To make the bike geared you will need to buy a new rear wheel.


Bottom Line:   
I have owned many mountain bikes. Mostly XC race bikes. This is my first 29er and I love this thing. I ride mostly where it is really rocky and rooty so I will be upgrading the fork. On the smoother trails the ride quality of the fork is fine, but when you get into the technical rock gardens it gets a little twitchy.
Other than that, I do plan on upgrading most parts on this bike. Not for the lack of quality of the stock parts though. I just want to build it into a lightweight single speed. The frame is worth upgrading. I would recommend this bike to anyone interested in an inexpensive single speed.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Technical, flowy singletrack, with rocks and roots.

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $550.00

Similar Products Used:   XC race bikes, full suspension and hardtail.

Bike Setup:   Mostly stock
-Maxxis Crossmark 29 X 2.1 tires
-Ergon grips
-Shimano XT pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by jalbes a Cross Country Rider from Barrie, ON, Canada

Date Reviewed: April 13, 2010

Strengths:    - 1.5" Head Tube
- Stiffness
- Quality of Welds and fabrication
- 680mm Factory Handle Bars
- 180mm front rotor
- Affordable 29er SS
- I measured the Axle-to-Crown length at 470mm (+/-5mm) so it is suspension corrected


Weaknesses:    - Aluminum Fork - It doesn't make the hands or arms numb, but I do find the front end a bit skittish over rough terrain.
- Not really a weakness, but I'm considering a ti seat post for a smoother ride.
- Stock gearing (Comes from factory set at 33/20 which I found a bit too easy - I'm swapping in a 19 tooth cog in the rear and might go as far as an 18 tooth cog)


Bottom Line:   
After owning an old, beaten, 29'er (converted to SS) mountain bike, I was on the hunt to find a new, long term replacement. I was down to choosing between the Cannondale Trail SL 29'er 5 and the Kona Unit and ultimately chose the Cannondale. For my second 29'er, I'm delighted with it.

Weight - Weight wise, it's not top of the line but it is lighter than my steel frame and feels lighter when climbing - most likely because of how rigid the frame is.

Rigidity - coming from a steel frame, this bike responds much faster and transfers power very effectively.

Handling - The handling is great. The wide handle bars tend to get in the way when riding between trees, but the extra leverage is great when climbing hills.

Fork - The fork is very rigid and causes the front end to skip now and then on rough terrain, but it doesn't fatigue the arms or hands as much as I've read about aluminum forks. I might consider different tires before swapping out the fork. The headset will allow upto a 1-1/2" steerer for a future fork upgrade.

Brakes - The brakes are still breaking in and are "ok" for what I need - for now. I wouldn't mind a bit more stopping force through.

Affordability - It was priced exactly the same as the Kona Unit, with similar components. In the end, the bike shop is what really won me over with the Cannondale. The Kona shop was a bit unprofessional when I went shopping around and the Cannondale Shop impressed me with their service. Overall, the bike was a good buy.




Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $899.00

Purchased At:   Black Tooth Grin

Similar Products Used:   - Kona Unit
- Surly Karate Monkey
- My old bike - some 29'er converted to SS (was repainted and no name on the frame) - steel frame with Surley Fork and v-brakes.


Bike Setup:   Factory, except clip-less pedals.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by VicnPA a Cross Country Rider from PIttsburgh PA

Date Reviewed: January 30, 2010

Strengths:    Well It looks great. Very affordable 29er SS. BB7 is a great brake for the money.

Weaknesses:    Ridgid fork is Aluminum, not suspension corrected. Pedals are throw aways, heavy 26 pound single speed. Tires are wire bead.

Bottom Line:   
Don't buy this bike if your after quality. The fork is ridiculus. It's way worse than I imagined. It's ridigid Aluminum. So it really beats you up, needs a steel or carbon ridgid fork. It's not suspention corrected and I emailed cannopndale for a accurate axel to crown length, They said :We don't know" The inside of the frame was reamed poorly and the sharp edges shredded the finish on the seat post. Everything about the bike feels and looks cheap. Very un cannondale like. For the same money the Kona Unit is probably a much better bike. If your going to cruise the bike path or some light trails, you're probably fine. If your looking for a serious Mountain SS. Forget it

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Coper's Rock

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   City Cycle

Similar Products Used:   Niner MCR, Fisher Rig, Cdale Rush, Cdale Hardtails.

Bike Setup:   Stock. Just got it.

Reviews 1 - 6 (6 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Cannondale Trail SL 29er 5

I found a new 2012 Trail SL 29er 5 for $550 at a lbs. I am thinking this would be a good first MTB but I don't know alot about Cannondale. I thought I had decided on the Trek Marlin but I got distracted. Any issues that I should know? I will mainly be doing light trails and some asphalt with frie ... Read More »

Thoughs on Cdale trail sl 5 29er?

I'm on the hunt for a ss 29er...and test rode this. This will be my first real forray into the land of mountain cycling, and was wondering what everyone's thoughts are. It seems spec'd well for the money... I like the tires, the brakes and the handling. One thing I noted was the minimal stando ... Read More »

Cdale Trail SL 29er 5?

Whats the typical retail? I'm considering one as I trashed my last bike(parts are expensive and kept breaking). So I want to go with a SS rigid, and with all this talk about 29er's handing better, This seemslike my ideal bike. I'm 15, aproxx. 220lbs, 5'10"-6'.Read More »

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