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Cannondale question

Old 04-03-10, 02:45 PM
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Cannondale question

Hi! I'm a fairly new biker...I use to ride a lot in my twenties and I'm getting back into the fun and fitness of it! I'm purchasing a Cannondale RZ mountain bike. I'm trying to decide if I should get the RZ 140 5 all mountain(140mm travel) or the RZ 120 4 marathon(120mm travel)? Both bikes have the same price. I read that you can do marathons and cross country with the RZ 140's even if its a bit heavier (but sturdier)among other things. I like a little of both: long rides and going down hills jumping certain terrains. I would also like to ride on the road to go the gym or to enjoy the beautiful day. Personally, I've checked the specs for both bikes and they are both pretty close in detail except for a few parts; I heard there's not that much difference other than the suspension travel. I'm a fairly big dude (5'9 220 + lbs) and I'm incorporating bike riding into my fitness to get into shape. A sound (beginner to proffesional) advice would be appreciated! Thank you!
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Old 04-06-10, 12:36 AM
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Bikes: BiknBrian brand custom 26 inch commuter trekker, Cannondale F600 Single Speeded MTB, Nashbar Cro-Mo CX, some other bikes and parts that could be made into bikes.

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I think either bike is a fine mountain bike if your into the full suspension thing. I don't think either bike will be particulary suitable for riding on the road.

When I was very new to biking, I was convinced that I wanted a full suspension bike. I was also convinced that I was actually going to be able to use a trail capable full suspension bike to commute to work. I also didn't know jack about bikes.

Just my opinion, but if your just getting into biking, think about whether you really need a full suspension bike. It's more stuff that has to be maintained and setup. Unless you're into serious downhilling (think ski lifts and dirtbike looking safety gear), not just riding trails that go downhills, the full suspension/front suspension debate is very much a matter of personal preference. A hard tail can be very capable in the woods, but it can also make a decent road going machine with different tires and a locking or rigid fork.

Around here (South West PA), you can go to an amtatuer MTB race and look at the top finishers. A couple of guys might be on high tech full suspension bikes, a couple might be on high tech hard tails, and a couple might be on rigid single speeds. Every one of them certainly knows a lot about bikes, and is darn fast, but each one has a different preference and riding style.

Do you know you personally prefer full suspension over a hard tail? Or do you just think that if you're going to be in the woods, that you need it, or that it makes a better bike?

Last edited by biknbrian; 04-06-10 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 04-06-10, 03:57 AM
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Originally Posted by biknbrian View Post
I think either bike is a fine mountain bike if your into the full suspension thing. I don't think either bike will be particulary suitable for riding on the road.

When I was very new to biking, I was convinced that I wanted a full suspension bike. I was also convinced that I was actually going to be able to use a trail capable full suspension bike to commute to work. I also didn't know jack about bikes.

Just my opinion, but if your just getting into biking, think about whether you really need a full suspension bike. It's more stuff that has to be maintained and setup. Unless you're into serious downhilling (think ski lifts and dirtbike looking safety gear), not just riding trails that go downhills, the full suspension/front suspension debate is very much a matter of personal preference. A hard tail can be very capable in the woods, but it can also make a decent road going machine with different tires and a locking or rigid fork.

Around here (South West PA), you can go to an amtatuer MTB race and look at the top finishers. A couple of guys might be on high tech full suspension bikes, a couple might be on high tech hard tails, and a couple might be on rigid single speeds. Every one of them certainly knows a lot about bikes, and is darn fast, but each one has a different preference and riding style.

Do you know you personally prefer full suspension over a hard tail? Or do you just think that if you're going to be in the woods, that you need it, or that it makes a better bike?
Just purchased 2 2010 GT Avalanches (1.0 and 3.0 Discs...) last Saturday and looked at a full-suspension bike. I rode it around the store and it was ridiculous. It was originally like a $1400-$1500 bike, but since it was a 2008 model, it was knocked down to $900. It was also a GT, but I'm not sure which model.

Anyway, given the price on this bike, I took it for a spin around the store. While the frame was a Small, which is too small (I'm 5'11, 210-215 lbs), the constant "flexing" was very taxing. It was clear that this full-suspension bike was a one-trick pony. My suggestion is to get yourself a nice hardtail bike. I'm not sure how deep into the sport of mountain biking you are, but if you're just going to be hopping things from time to time, look into bikes like Trek 6000s, Giant XTCs, GT Avalanche 1.0s, Fuji Tahoes, and Cannondale F5s. They all run about $900, and they're all pretty comparable. Based on my experience from sitting on a Giant XTC 2 "29er," it was probably the lightest of the bunch, and I can only imagine it may be lighter in standard 26-inch form.
 

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