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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

The title is almost self-explanatory, but here are some details and background information:

I am 6'6''@190lb and currently own a 26" Stumpjumper M4 hardtail. I only recently upgraded the SJ with some nice Hope wheels and Elixir CR brakes. All the other parts are handpicked (Syntace carbon bar, Thomson seat post...) as well and although some of them may be nothing special the combination just works better than most alternatives I've tried so far. I use the bike for endurance training, marathon racing, and soon also for cross triathlons.
I also have a heavy duty full-susser for relaxed touring, so the bike should be lightweight and a real alternative. Less than 25lb race ready would be great (XL frame!), but at the same time I don't want any flimsy compromise. The bike must take being hammered down singletracks with lots of roots and occasional 15'' drops by a rider of my weight.

So far there are two bikes in the shootout:

1) The Cannondale Flash 29er 3. Which has a superlight frame and possibly the better forks. I've owned Cdales before and liked them very much. What I'm not especially fond of is the black and white paintjob. Boring fashion. Also I cannot get the frameset, but only the built bike. This means I could not use any of the parts of my current ride. Still the price seems fair considering the top-end carbon frameset and expensive forks. Here is another point of criticism: I'm still not convinced that a 900g carbon frame and a dual crown fork are a good match. Isn't there a good chance to destroy the frame if the fork switches and hits it during a (minor) crash?

2) The Niner Air 9. It's a bit heavier, but hopefully also a bit beefier?!? It also comes in nice colors and I could continue to use lots of the parts of my current ride. I would only need new rims, tires, forks, and cables. Still I'm not sure whether it's the better offer. In the end it's not much cheaper than buying the Cdale bike and exchanging some of the parts (drivetrain etc.).

What's your opinion about all this? Other suggestions?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Does anyone have an idea how much heavier the Trail SL is compared to the Flash?

Edit: I mean the frame, not the built bike obviously...
 

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I am not sure why you can't get a deal with a good Cdale dealer in Germany. I know some dealers are not so cool about working with you on exchanging of parts or giving credit for parts you don't need.

I must disclose, this is my favorite shop ever and Frank, man who owns it is a very close friend, but he has always been fair when it comes to exchanging parts on frames. http://www.wheelsports-weselberg.de/ He sells a lot of Cdale road bikes and often has a few 29ers in stock built up for you to test ride.

Living in the states, Niner is much easier to buy and much cheaper than in Germany. I like the frames they make and if I was looking to purchase a frame that was not custom they would be on my short list. I have had a couple of issues with the German dealer of Niner. Their Berlin offices don't seem to reply to (written in German) requests for info. I also find the pricing they use to be a bit higher than what is exactly needed. I mean making a Euro or two is fine, but I believe that the Euro distributer is a little high on his pricing to dealers. http://www.revolutionsports.eu

IMO opinion, I would look at the Singular Ti Frame instead of either the Cdale or Niner, but if you are set on carbon, both are nice bikes. Which ever you choose you can't go wrong.
 

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I have been in the same debate myself. After lots of thinking and questions I have gone with the Niner. I like the fact that its versatile for SS use and any BB etc and im hoping its pretty tough as well.
The other thing is availability - In the UK the cdale is virtually impossible to get.
I also ride an EMD at the moment and really get on with the geometry so that was a big factor.
 

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deuxdiesel said:
2 year warranty on the Niner vs. lifetime on the Cannondale.
Actually...the Air 9 Carbon, and all carbon products from Niner carry a 5 year warranty. If this matters to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
scarkinsmel said:
I am not sure why you can't get a deal with a good Cdale dealer in Germany. I know some dealers are not so cool about working with you on exchanging of parts or giving credit for parts you don't need.
Actually I don't think the dealer is a major problem. Even if he'd insist on selling the complete bike I wouldn't mind disassembling and selling what I don't need.

It's the different dimensions that make transplanting the gear from the SJ to the Cdale difficult: 1) I obviously need the Lefty hub 2) different seat post diameter 3) different bar diameter 4) BB30 vs. BSA bottom bracket

The whole thing may be a bit complicated cause I kind of got attached to the Stumpy, but at the same time looking for something new. And there's definitely no way I will buy a new bike w/o parting with an old one.

As for the Niner I actually thought about the aluminum Air 9. The Air 9 Carbon frame costs almost as much as the complete Flash! I might also look if I can get a good deal on the Flash aluminum bike - which is officially not available in Germany at all...
 
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