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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys!

I have a Cannondale Trail SL2 29er, and so far I've been loving the bike! However, it only has 80mm of travel, and for the riding I do I think I need a little more. I do mostly singletrack, but the trails I ride are very washed out and full of roots so the 80mm travel is really on the limit.

As I am relatively new to upgrading and buying components for mountain bikes, I would really appreciate some advice. The head tube on the SL2 is 1.5", so I'm wondering If I can buy a tapered fork 1 1/8"-1.5", and get an adapter or something, or if would I have to buy a fork that's 1/5"? All this technical stuff has me really confused. Also, how much more travel can I add? The SL1 has a 100mm fork and uses the same frame, so I thought I could go up to 120mm, or should I just play it safe and go upto 100mm?

My budget for a fork is around $300-450, so if anyone can recommend something good, I would really appreciate it!

Cheers!
 

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A Manitou Tower Pro in 100mm should make a difference. Going 120 would slacken your ht angle and slow up the steering a bit.
Cane Creek 40 top headset bearing(call Tech at Cane) should work with a tapered. You could build up a lighter front wheel in 15mm for the best weight drop when combined with the new lighter fork.
m615 or SLX brakes or at least the front are another recommendation. Currently $111.36/pr. for SLX at Ribble with free ship. Change the currency and destination for US price. Jenson should match for the correct lever side orientation(not moto). Sometimes a sale price is worth jumping on.
 

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I have been reading great things, as well, about the xFusion slide. Also, in your price range, with some shopping around, you could find a Reba, which at about 1500-1600 grams would probably save you a lot of weight and "fun" up the bike a lot more. Your 1.5 ht is fine to use a tapered fork. you just need a different top headset bearing, as mentioned above.

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You'll get a lot of votes for the Reba or Tower Pro, but you can get a good deal on a Suntour Epicon through the upgrade program (if your bike came with a stock suntour fork)... Just another option to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The Rockshox Reba and Manitou Tower Pro look like really popular options, and they're in budget which is great! I'm planning to get more kilometers on the bike in varying conditions to make sure I really want the upgrade, but atleast now I know what to buy. Cheers for the replies!
 

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The solo air Reba needs help over bumps at low speed like when climbing-no compliance.
Possibly a damper upgrade to a SID RLT Motion Control DNA $170 part.
You can also check out this mod from #72 to help small bump compliance.
http://forums.mtbr.com/shocks-suspension/solo-air-vs-dual-air-735115-3.html
The Tower can be setup with a different small spring to handle initial compliance. I run a medium.
 

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It looks like your bike comes stock with the Rockshox Recon AIR (RockShox Recon Silver TK 29, 80 mm, Solo Air, lockout, rebound, 1.5").

I'm almost certain there is probably a spacer you can take out of that and get 100mm of travel. I wouldn't go 120 on a bike built around an 80, you will for surely void your warranty and could risk stressing or cracking the frame. On the Cannondale website it says the SL1 comes with an 80 as well, but Recon Gold fork. So no (safe) go on a 120.
 
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