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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In general which of these bikes are better. I have previously owned an inexpensive trek hardtail. I am getting back into biking and would like something a little nicer in a FS to ride single track trails here in NC but dont have 1000+ to spend so I thought i would buy used. So which line is better Cake or Sugar? Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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Double-metric mtb man
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Depends on a lot of factors, jpwvu. Some of the earlier Cakes has some issues with bearings and chain-suck, but later ones were excellent. I've got a Cake 2 DLX and it has handled everything my clyde class (200+ lb) butt has put it through. Never ridden a Sugar, but I've heard good things about them too.

Do you have specific years and models in mind?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No specific models in mind. Just wondering overall. There are some on ebay I was looking at. Really just wondering if there is any significant advantages of one over the other or if one is considered crap for some reason. Ive heard Sugar frames crack easily. Although i dont think I will be hardcore enough to crack any frames.
 

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I've been riding a 2003 Sugar 2+ that I bought new and the frame is still going strong, despite the fact that I put a dent in it during the first month I owned the bike. The only issue I had with it was occasional chain suck. However, that was due more to the crappy bontrager cranks than anything else. Switched to all XT components and it has run smooth ever since. Other than usual maintenance (cassettes, chains, cables, brake pads) the bike has held up pretty well to xc riding with occasional rock gardens. I'd expect that if you're buying used, some of the components were replaced long ago.

A friend of mine has had a Cake for the last 3 or 4 years. I think he bought it the first year they came out with it. No significant problems that I know of.
 

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Sugar design is better

I have an '03 Sugar 3+ that has been nothing short of bulletproof. Simple, efficient design, and climbs like a mule. Relatively light too... 28.5 pounds stock.

I feel the Cake was the result of Fisher looking to 'try something different" for a brief time that did not work.

Look what fisher is making now - the Hi Fi series has a similar suspension design to the Sugar. If it was not a superior design, then why go back?

Have not ridden a Cake - but have had ZERO problems (thankfully) with the Sugar...
 

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Ice Station said:
Look what fisher is making now - the Hi Fi series has a similar suspension design to the Sugar. If it was not a superior design, then why go back?
Well calling link actuated SP a superior design to conventional SP is a bit of a moot point...there really isn't that much of a difference. There are differences, but that doesn't make one superior to the other (or everyone would be using a single suspension design at this point).

Pure SP bikes have done well (look at how popular the SC Heckler is) and GF has done well by them. Certainly, the link allows some tuning refinements but also has its own difficulties (like the folding HiFi's we've heard about and seen pictures of). "Pure" SP machines are simpler and have fewer things to break, but may not be as refined. Which is better...depends on what you like and how, where and what you ride.
 

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I am still in love with my '03 Sugar. I will upgrade one day(BLT2 maybe) but not anytime soon. I did have a little taste of the chain-suck issue but after installing FSA K-force crankset it's been smoove as buttah. I've never ridden a Cake but i have heard great things about them too, so I don't think you will go wrong with either choice.
 

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I have a Sugar 3+ and a Cake 2. I like both bikes a lot. The Cake 2 is more plush ride and the Sugar is just a great bike. I prefer the regular Cake over the DLX version since the DLX has 5 inches and the 1,2,3 have 4 inches. I just think for XC that I do, 5 inches is too much.

So you can't really go wrong with either model...I'd go 2003 or later with the Sugar or 2005 or later with the Cake to avoid the Cake pivot issue. Just stay away from the DLX unless you are a freeriding jumper/downhiller.
 

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I have a 04 Cake 3 that I ride as my primary bike and I wouldn't take anything for it. I love this bike! I have road a sugar one time, so I can't really compare the two. I have had no problems out of mine ( Also Clyde Status 215lbs.). I always outclimb my buddies on hardtails and the downhill is great too. I have another buddy that has a 04 Cake 2 DLX and he seems to have slight BOB issues, but I'm wondering if that's just on the DLX's.

My wife is currently riding an 02 Sugar4+ and loves it. So if at all possible see if you can find a way to ride both, then make a decision!
 

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I'm riding an 06 Cake 3 that I bought new (leftover model on closeout) in Feb of this year. It has been nothing but stellar. The components aren't the best but I added Avid BB-7 disc brakes to it and I'll upgrade the drivetrain and other components over time. I have around 500 miles on it and I have absolutely no complaints so far.
 

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I have a Sugar 3+ and a Cake 2. I like both bikes a lot. The Cake 2 is more plush ride and the Sugar is just a great bike. I prefer the regular Cake over the DLX version since the DLX has 5 inches and the 1,2,3 have 4 inches. I just think for XC that I do, 5 inches is too much.

So you can't really go wrong with either model...I'd go 2003 or later with the Sugar or 2005 or later with the Cake to avoid the Cake pivot issue. Just stay away from the DLX unless you are a freeriding jumper/downhiller.
I thought all cake models 1,2,3 and the DLX versions have have 5" of rear travel. I know the fiirst year they were made in '04 the difference between the regular cake and the DLX was the DLX came with disc brakes and 120mm to 130mm front forks instead of 100mm front fork on the regular Cake, but all had 5" rear travel.

As far as the pivot issues before 2005, I have a 2004 cake 3 (5" rear travel) that I use primarily when i ride the Tahoe rim trail (lots of black diamond drops). Bike floats down the chunk, climbs like a billy goat and stays on target in the singletracks. However, since it is a 'one pivot' single pivot suspension, you must dial in the rear shock to eliminate peddle bob.

I have replaced my front shock to rockshox recon 120mm, rear shock to fox rp23, switched to avid disc brakes, added easton xc II's wheel set and had the pivot rebuilt once. It is an almost ten year old bike so rebuilds/replacements are expected. Also, I weigh in at over 240lbs and do not take it easy on my equipment. I have only managed to dent the frame (1st year I owned the bike) and break some of the components, like both front and rear shocks, original peddals and bent the original rims, but the bike on the other hand is solid, well at least I can attest the '04 is, with it's true triangle frame, strong and stiff frame design.
 

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Mack's understanding of the travel on the original frames is right, other than the WSD version they did make with 4" out back.

My '04 1-DLX still rolls with its Minute fork but a variety of other change-outs I made right at the outset, at 27lb with 2.4" 's and sauce in the tires. It climbs great and, since I swapped the pivot bearings during the recall all those years ago, it doesn't have chainsuck issues so long as I don't cross-chain in the pixie.
 
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