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  1. #1
    Senior Member ac29593's Avatar
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    New to the sport, have some questions regarding first bike

    I have been on these forums for years on the road bike section, and lately took an interest in mountain biking so decided to take the plunge and buy a bike.

    Most of my rides will mostly be riding novice trails and some roads that take me to the paths.

    I have a budget around $1000 figuring it would get me a nice bike without spending too much for more than I need or too little to regret the purchase down the line.

    I rode a few bikes already, a Scott which I did not like at all, and very disappointed when I rode a Trek model that was one jump above the Mamba which seems to have amazing reviews... Just didn't like the feeling of it.

    I then rode a Cannondale Trail 29 S5, the lowest model, and absolutely loved it.

    The shop is putting together an S2 for me to ride this weekend and also a Specialized Rockhopper to compare.

    I am most likely going to be riding away with a Cannondale since it fit me so well almost like an extension of my body, but wondering if I should spend the extra money for the higher end S2.

    Will the upgraded fork (the only significant difference I can see between the models) be worth the extra money?

    Any opinions appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Two-Wheeled Aficionado ColinL's Avatar
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    It would be money well spent if you ever graduate from the novice trails to more challenging ones, which you should. (If you don't ride anything more than smooth gravel roads, consider a cyclocross or hybrid bike instead.)

    What's better? It's not just the fork. It's the crankset, shifters, derailleurs and brakes that are all considerably better. The wheels are pretty meh on both bikes. I wouldn't suggest anything less than the fork that comes on the SL2 for technical trail use. The Rockshox Recon Silver is pretty much the most cost effective fork that has an honest chance at getting the job done. The fork on the SL5 isn't up to roots, rocks, jumps, etc.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ac29593's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    It would be money well spent if you ever graduate from the novice trails to more challenging ones, which you should. (If you don't ride anything more than smooth gravel roads, consider a cyclocross or hybrid bike instead.)

    What's better? It's not just the fork. It's the crankset, shifters, derailleurs and brakes that are all considerably better. The wheels are pretty meh on both bikes. I wouldn't suggest anything less than the fork that comes on the SL2 for technical trail use. The Rockshox Recon Silver is pretty much the most cost effective fork that has an honest chance at getting the job done. The fork on the SL5 isn't up to roots, rocks, jumps, etc.
    Thanks for the advice. I tested out a few more models, even rode some of the new Kona bikes and found i like the Cannondale best.

    I bought the 2013 Trail SL2 in Black. It comes with different tires than the 2012, but same fork. The bike is full SRAM X5. They put the only one they had together for me, I rode it and it shifted extremely smooth. It was definitely the best bike for me since it fit me best, but also seemed to shift better than the other bikes i tested. It was the blue color, not like the 2012 S5 it was more of a light blue. I decided to order the black one and it will be ready at the end of the week. Can't wait!

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