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 ???
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 -
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
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.
from Exeter, New Hampshire,USA
Date Reviewed: April 23, 2011
Strengths: -Strong, stiff frame
-Suspension corrected geometry (yes it REALLY is)
-Surprisingly comfortable saddle
-Ability to be single speed or geared.
-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.
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.
Favorite Trail: Technical, flowy singletrack, with rocks and roots.
Duration Product Used: 6 months
Similar Products Used: XC race bikes, full suspension and hardtail.
Bike Setup: Mostly stock
-Maxxis Crossmark 29 X 2.1 tires
-Shimano XT pedals
a Cross Country Rider
from Barrie, ON, Canada
Date Reviewed: April 13, 2010
Strengths: - 1.5" Head Tube
- 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)
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.
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.
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.
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
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 »
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 »
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 »