Bit of a report on my new Cannondale Trail SS 29er.
Bought his bike from Triton cycles for £420, what a bargain. Was stuck on whether to go for an 18" or 20" (6'2" with 36" inside leg), opted for the 20" and now I've ridden it I'm glad I did.
Ridden it a couple of times, 1st commuting to work and then an offroad ride today and I'm well impressed.
-OUT OF THE BOX. Required alot of setup and things adjusting, the brake were shocking, needed setting up from scratch. One issue was too much tension in the chain, didn't realise to begin with as the rear wheel was fitted from the factory but the chain was pulling the rear wheel out of the dropouts and I found it near impossible to get the rear wheel fitted without loosening the chain (not something to do trail side with the ebb).
-COMMUTING. Was really impressed with it on the road, stuck 50psi in the tyres and mangaged the 11miles to work only a couple of minutes later than on my previous commuter. The tyres roll surprisingly well on tarmac.
-OFFRAOD. What the bike is made for. Really really happy with it, my 1st 29er, thought I would notice slower acceleration and any handling differences but I honestly couldn't feel any issues with it, ok it might not be as nimble as a 26" bike but for 'XC' riding it's spot on. To begin with it felt a bit more sit up and beg position than I'm used to, but after a full ride it feels more that I'm sitting in the bike rather than perched on top. The 29" wheels roll well, over any lumps or bumps, found myself sprinting along any singlestrack whether it was up/down/flat (as opposed to just attacking on the downs/flat on my BFE). The bike doesn't feel like a £420 bike (£600rrp), it feels like it should cost alot more. The forks are harsh (rigid aluminium with 1.5" steerer), my arms were knackered after a couple of hours but that's probably down to riding it like a bike with squishy forks. Basically it climbs well, descends as well as any rigid bike and is fast on the flat bits.
-PARTS. As you'd expect for a bike at this price, the components are basic but functional, well apart from the brakes. The brakes are psobably the only real problem. Even set up properly they are awful, they have loads of modulation but no power. Have ordered BB7s to replace them. I needed to remove all headset spacers and flip the stem to get the bars low enough (still wanted them a bit lower so have ordered flat bars). The wheels weight a ton, I imagine a combination of thick tubes, wire bead tyres an cheap rims add up to a hefty set of hoops... but the roll pretty well. The fram and forks are fantastic and are little gems. For me the bike will be upgraded over time with some lighter more bling parts starting with the wheels, but if you're not bothered the bike is fine as it is... apart from the brakes.
Overall, if you're after a SS 29er, then you won't be dissapointed with the Tail ss 29er, I love it... Just replace the brakes.
Did I mention the brakes are c**p.