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Discussion Starter #1
I need some help. I cant decide between the 2. I have test ridden both and I like the way both ride.

The Giant http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/bikes/model/xtc.29er.2/7366/44092/

The Cannondale http://www.cannondale.com/usa/usaeng/Products/Bikes/Mountain/29er/Flash-29er/Details/2523-1FA292LWHT-Flash-29er-2

I like the parts spec on the cannondale more and I feel like the Lefty would be a better fork. On the other hand It could be a disadvantage if I'm off on vacation some ware and Have a need for service. The giants 15mm TA and tapered head tube could make it just as stiff. So Its more if an issue of how the 2 forks would perform.

Im inclined not to look at the parts becasue I have a hardtail that I can take all the parts off. Its all XO, X9, XT stuff. So It would be no big deal to just swap every thing. Its really going to be what bike is going to give me the best frame, fork, and wheels. Giant is $1300 I can get the Flash for $1700.

I'm asking you guys for input because I have no experience with 29ers or Lefty forks. I have also never used a Marzocchi fork.
 

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I just bought a 2011 XTC 29er 2 (Giant). I did my research, and this was the best bike for what I wanted to pay. The Giant kicks butt, and looks totally awesome too. I got my bike cheaper then $1300.00 also from my LBS!
 

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Cannondale has slightly better components and a badass fork. That being said I just sold my aluminum specialized because it was stiffer than sin and am building up a steel jabberwocky right now. I should have just bought a steel bike to begin with, but I let the LBS salesman talk me out of it.
 

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I've owned a Lefty and they're fabulously performing forks! Incredibly smooth, stiff and light. That being said, if you don't like maintenance, steer clear. They need bearing resets intermittently, which isn't a big deal if you're handy, otherwise you're going to making random visits to the CDale dealer. Another downside is the proprietary front wheel. You might run into bike rack issues depending how you transport your bike. Also, you will need to unbolt the front brake every time you want to remove your front wheel. All these things are quibbly issues, just be aware of them. I loved the performance of the Lefty but I have several bikes and simply wanted to have interchangeable components. If I were to taco a wheel, I wanted the ability to swap to another one. They are incredible forks but you have to pay to play;)

All that being said, my new tapered/15mm thru axle Fox feels every bit as stiff but I can feel the weight difference. The front wheel is ever so slightly harder to loft and the travel isn't as smooth. The pluses are, the fork is more "reliable", meaning, it doesn't require as much maintenance and when it does need maintenance, it's cheaper and easier to find help. Neither fork has had catastrophic failure but I have more peace of mind knowing there's Fox dealers pretty much everywhere I will ever be.

If I was a sponsored racer, or had bottomless pockets, I would ride the Lefty. Since I'm a poorish trail rider that pays for and maintains my own stuff, I ride a Fox;)

As for Marzocchi, the TST2, from what I've read, is a very nice and dependable fork. It's downside is it's not the lightest fork out there. As I previously said about my own choice, if you're just going to ride trails, I would recommend the Giant/Marz. If you plan on racing, or are a certifiable, rich, maintenance savvy weight weeny, go for the Lefty. You really won't regret either choice because they both have their highs and lows. The Marzocchi has lower highs and higher lows and the Lefty has higher highs and lower lows. Did that make sense? It's bedtime...

As for wheels, neither bike has fantastic wheels. Personally, I'd say, go with the Giant and use the extra cash for a nice set of Stans wheels. You could probably sell the stock wheels for a couple hundred or keep them around for another bike project.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
DFYFZX said:
I've owned a Lefty and they're fabulously performing forks! Incredibly smooth, stiff and light. That being said, if you don't like maintenance, steer clear. They need bearing resets intermittently, which isn't a big deal if you're handy, otherwise you're going to making random visits to the CDale dealer. Another downside is the proprietary front wheel. You might run into bike rack issues depending how you transport your bike. Also, you will need to unbolt the front brake every time you want to remove your front wheel. All these things are quibbly issues, just be aware of them. I loved the performance of the Lefty but I have several bikes and simply wanted to have interchangeable components. If I were to taco a wheel, I wanted the ability to swap to another one. They are incredible forks but you have to pay to play;)

All that being said, my new tapered/15mm thru axle Fox feels every bit as stiff but I can feel the weight difference. The front wheel is ever so slightly harder to loft and the travel isn't as smooth. The pluses are, the fork is more "reliable", meaning, it doesn't require as much maintenance and when it does need maintenance, it's cheaper and easier to find help. Neither fork has had catastrophic failure but I have more peace of mind knowing there's Fox dealers pretty much everywhere I will ever be.

If I was a sponsored racer, or had bottomless pockets, I would ride the Lefty. Since I'm a poorish trail rider that pays for and maintains my own stuff, I ride a Fox;)

As for Marzocchi, the TST2, from what I've read, is a very nice and dependable fork. It's downside is it's not the lightest fork out there. As I previously said about my own choice, if you're just going to ride trails, I would recommend the Giant/Marz. If you plan on racing, or are a certifiable, rich, maintenance savvy weight weeny, go for the Lefty. You really won't regret either choice because they both have their highs and lows. The Marzocchi has lower highs and higher lows and the Lefty has higher highs and lower lows. Did that make sense? It's bedtime...

As for wheels, neither bike has fantastic wheels. Personally, I'd say, go with the Giant and use the extra cash for a nice set of Stans wheels. You could probably sell the stock wheels for a couple hundred or keep them around for another bike project.

Thanx that's the kind of thing I was hopping to get from this thread. I spent 10 years as a shop mechanic so I know my way around a bike. But I don't want something that I will have to work on all the time ether. I'm also by no means rich.

As for transport. I have a roof rack so I will have to get a forkup for ether bike. This will also be my only 29er so I wont have wheels to swap with other bikes. So What ever I get for this bike will be just for this bike.
 

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I put well over a 1000 miles on my Lefty equipped ride last year and only had to do one bearing reset. Takes about 15 minutes. The Lefty performs awesome. This is on a non C'dale frame though.

With that being said my team mate broke a C'dale Flash 29r frame last July and still hasn't recieved his warranty replacement. You may be better served by Giant if a problem were to occur.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
DekerfTeamST said:
With that being said my team mate broke a C'dale Flash 29r frame last July and still hasn't recieved his warranty replacement. You may be better served by Giant if a problem were to occur.

That is definitely one of the things I am afraid of. Cannondale has had the reputation for braking for as long as I can remember. I don't want to have to deal with a broken frame and waiting forever to get a new one. I have a 26" Giant XTC for a few years now and its been a really nice bike.
 

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my local bike shop sells both c'dale and giant and they have both flash2 and xtc2 in stock side bye side, i HAD put a c'dale on hold but after talking to the sales person he did say the lefty will be more work to keep up than other forks and he is a racer and said someone last summer did break a c;dale frame at the bottom bracket he swayed me into the giant xtc2 he threw together a 22 inch frame for me to ride and the rest is history im on a giant this year and im saving 400.00 doing so lots of extra cash to upgrade the giant where needed. the c'dale is a very cool ride and the lefty fork is great but the over all geo. on the giant just fits my body alot better and the satin white on the giant looks alittle better in my eyes plus the frame tubing on the giant is just insanely thick and just adds to a very robust look. i just think giant hit a huge home run with the xtc but c'dale has also hit a home run with their bike also but cost wise the giant is a better value to me. the salesman also said the marzocci fork on the giant is around 5lbs! the 22 inch xtc came in at 27lbs still not to shabby for a trail rider like me but it can go on a diet. the extra large c'dale was i think 25lbs and i can feel it when i ride it but 2lbs can be fixed pretty easy. both are good rides but man the giant geo. for my body is the best ive rode yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think you guys have talked me in to the Giant. And the $400 im saving will go nicely in to upgrades. It looks like the fork is 4.95lb or 2250g. I don't think thats too bad for the price range. Marz. does have a ti version of it. Hmmmmm I wonder if I could get a steer arch and lowers and swap it out? I also think I can but it on a diet rather quickly. That crank and BB has to be a boat anchor.
 

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Isn't Cannondale the fabled aluminum frame builder?

I just bought a Flash 1 and have only been out for two mid range trail rides but I'm quite satisfied. I took the XTC 1 for a spin and was impressed but the C'dale frame Lefty combo was very light and responsive. The power transfer also seems to be significantly better. But in your case, $400 is a lot of money towards upgrades that can really improve the bike.
 

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pulser said:
I think you guys have talked me in to the Giant. And the $400 im saving will go nicely in to upgrades.
Just go with the XTC 1 and you will be upgraded:thumbsup: I just bought the XCT 1 and paid $1744. That gets you the Fox fork and XT all over.

I do like the looks of that lefty, but being a clyde, i was concerned about torquing it.

Good luck.
 

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jayboyd said:
Just go with the XTC 1 and you will be upgraded:thumbsup: I just bought the XCT 1 and paid $1744. That gets you the Fox fork and XT all over.

I do like the looks of that lefty, but being a clyde, i was concerned about torquing it.

Good luck.
That's a great price for the XTC 1. Was your local shop having a sale?
 

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G-Choro said:
That's a great price for the XTC 1. Was your local shop having a sale?
Nope, I just waited him out until mid Feb. and he was hungry. I have found that Feb in the midwest is a great time to buy bikes. Super slow after Xmas and still too early for the fair weather buyers.

I stopped by the shop today and finished paying it off and dropped off my Azonic 420's and Ergon GX1 grips. The killer is that I had abdominal surgery last Friday and have a 4" incision that has my lifting under 15# for next 3 weeks, and of course no riding:madman:

I did take a picture of it today, and as much as the shop encouraged me to take it, i know myself too well and decided to leave the bike at the shop for at least another week. If I took it home there is no way I could resist. It is awesome.

 

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I bought the Flash 2 29er last year. It has been a great bike for me so far. I feel like I'm in a good position on the bike and the lefty is a fantastic fork and really smooth - I really forget that it is there. For the record, my old bike had the Manitou Black Elite shock with heavy springs - so that is my basis for comparison. I've got about 700 miles on the bike and haven't had to do a reset, so it has been fairly maintenance free and a good buy for me.
 

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I have both the Flash 29er carbon and XTC. After riding for a year now, (XTC is a little heavier) I think the XTC is a better built bike. It's also less expensive (about $800), for those who are interested in just getting the frame set. However, not as stiff as the Flash (a little flexy in the back w/ XTC, imo; don't know for sure since I have different wheel sets on both bikes). Don't know much about Giant warranty, since I have not had any problems as of yet, but it's just another Chinese bike so who knows how long it'll last. But, check to see if it's lifetime warranty w/ XTC like Flash. I hope it is.
 

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