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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to Mountain biking, I'm 5'8" and about 170 lbs. Looking to ride Greenways with my kids and also be able to go on trails. There are some great trails where I live in Charlotte, NC. I have ridden all 3 bikes that I'm mentioning, but need some help. The 3 bikes are Cannondale Trails SL 3, Speciaized Rockhopper Comp, and Scott Scale 970. Like all 3 bikes and can't seem to be able to make up my mind.
 

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And which one feels the best for you? All 3 are pretty comparable in components with the Cannondale having a slide edge. I like that the Cannondale has a 1.5" headtube. Have you checked used bikes around your area? That $1100-$1200 can go a long way if you can find one that is slightly older. You can check out the Airborne Goblin which is right in that price range as well, but has components found on bikes that are in the $1800 range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
And which one feels the best for you? All 3 are pretty comparable in components with the Cannondale having a slide edge. I like that the Cannondale has a 1.5" headtube. Have you checked used bikes around your area? That $1100-$1200 can go a long way if you can find one that is slightly older. You can check out the Airborne Goblin which is right in that price range as well, but has components found on bikes that are in the $1800 range.
I have looked on Craigslist, but have not seen really anything I like. It is either a lot more than I want to spend or not worth looking at. With regard to which one feels better they are all really close. I'm leaning more towards the Cannondale and Specialized because of the better Shock, but the Scott bike seems to transfer my power better to the wheels.
 

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I purchased the Cannondale SL3. I supported my LBS and am really enjoying the bike but somewhat regret not giving more thought to the airborne......it's true about the components.
 

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I purchased the Cannondale SL3. I supported my LBS and am really enjoying the bike but somewhat regret not giving more thought to the airborne......it's true about the components.
congrats on the purchase. its a great bike!!! I hope you get to ride it a lot. :)
 

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Rogue Exterminator
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New to Mountain biking, I'm 5'8" and about 170 lbs. Looking to ride Greenways with my kids and also be able to go on trails. There are some great trails where I live in Charlotte, NC. I have ridden all 3 bikes that I'm mentioning, but need some help. The 3 bikes are Cannondale Trails SL 3, Speciaized Rockhopper Comp, and Scott Scale 970. Like all 3 bikes and can't seem to be able to make up my mind.
Personally I wouldn't buy anything Specialized. Not because of quality but because the Mike Sinyard is a douche.

That being said all bikes pretty much offer the same quality and level of components.
So if they all feel about the same to you, price is about the same, etc etc. Then reward the shop you like best with a sale. Which shop offers the best service after the sale? Which shop had the friendliest most helpful employees? Etc, etc, etc. Remember you will probably have them service your bike after the sale and if they are not friendly before the sale, they won't be helpful after the sale.

All 3 bikes will get the job done for you.
 

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29ers Forever
2021 Rocky Mountain Altitude A70
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Why don't you look at the Trek X-Cal 9? That bike has great components for the price.
The Scott Scale 970 has a Suntour fork, so cross that one off of your list.
The Specialized has a cheap thin 28mm stanchion fork and Tektro brakes and the MSRP is too high for it, so cross that off of your list.
The Cannondale has comparable components to the X-Cal 8, but the fork on the Cannondale has 30mm stanchions (compared to 32 on the Trek). If you are after price, the Trek X-Cal 8 is less expensive than the other three you are looking at (and has better stuff on it). But the X-Cal 9 (retail at $1300) is a great upgrade from all the other bikes I listed, but because you were looking at bikes around $1000, it may be too much money.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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OP, I'm typing with my thumbs and don't feel like Googling.

What fork is on each? What about the brakes and shifters? All 29ers?
 

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29ers Forever
2021 Rocky Mountain Altitude A70
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OP, I'm typing with my thumbs and don't feel like Googling.

What fork is on each? What about the brakes and shifters? All 29ers?
The Scott has a Suntour, the Specialized has a XC28 RockShox, the Cannondale has a XC30 RockShox.
The Scott has base Shimano hydraulic brakes, the Specialized has Tektro, the Cannondale has Shimano M446 brakes.
They are all 9 speed drivetrains.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Why don't you look at the Trek X-Cal 9? That bike has great components for the price.
The Scott Scale 970 has a Suntour fork, so cross that one off of your list.
The Specialized has a cheap thin 28mm stanchion fork and Tektro brakes and the MSRP is too high for it, so cross that off of your list.
The Cannondale has comparable components to the X-Cal 8, but the fork on the Cannondale has 30mm stanchions (compared to 32 on the Trek). If you are after price, the Trek X-Cal 8 is less expensive than the other three you are looking at (and has better stuff on it). But the X-Cal 9 (retail at $1300) is a great upgrade from all the other bikes I listed, but because you were looking at bikes around $1000, it may be too much money.
I actually tried it out and was my first choice before I rode it. Just didn't feel right. Might try it again at a different size see if that helps.
 

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I actually tried it out and was my first choice before I rode it. Just didn't feel right. Might try it again at a different size see if that helps.
Bikes ride different on trail than on a paved parking lot. To get more 'trail' feel ride in and out of ditches and on the grass.
 

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29ers Forever
2021 Rocky Mountain Altitude A70
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I actually tried it out and was my first choice before I rode it. Just didn't feel right. Might try it again at a different size see if that helps.
For 5'8" you should try the 17.5". If that is too small try the 19".
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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The Scott has a Suntour, the Specialized has a XC28 RockShox, the Cannondale has a XC30 RockShox.
The Scott has base Shimano hydraulic brakes, the Specialized has Tektro, the Cannondale has Shimano M446 brakes.
They are all 9 speed drivetrains.
Spec on the Cannondale sounds best. The XC30 doesn't sound like a fork one would keep for 5+ seasons, but the brakes are well-reviewed, so that's something.
 
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