[TEST + VIDEO] Cannondale Trail SL2 – 29er

 

The Trail SL 29 2 is a trail mountain bike. Trail bikes sit in between cross-country and all-mountain bikes, allowing them to perform well on a diverse set of terrain. They typically have between 120-160mm of front travel and a more relaxed geometry than cross-country bikes.

The Trail SL 29 2 has a hardtail frame and 100 mm of front travel. Trail bikes tend to have 120 – 160 mm of front and/or rear travel, so this may even be considered a cross-country bike. Cross country bikes are built to be more agile, which the Trail SL 29 2 would be due to the reduced travel. Below $1500, it is probably best to stick with a hardtail trail bike. If a full-suspension bike is less than $1500, it probably means they are cutting corners elsewhere. If you’re willing to spend $1500 on a new trail bike, you might want to look for a full-suspension bike. The addition of a rear shock will give you extra control and added comfort while riding.

The Cannondale Trail SL 29 2 frame weighs 1,600 g. This is about the average (1,600.00 g) weight of a hardtail trail bike frame.

The Trail SL 29 2 has 2 chainrings on the crankset, and 10 gears on the cassette, giving the bike 20 possible gear ratios (speeds).

This 20-speed trail bike has a max gear ratio of 38/11. This gear ratio, combined with the 29-inch wheels, give the Trail SL 29 2 a max gearing of 100 gear inches. This is a high max gearing and will allow you to pick up speed on flatter terrain with great efficiency.

The Trail SL 29 2 has a minimum gear ratio of 24/36 (19 gear inches). This minimum gearing is about average for a mountain bike. All but long climbs or the steepest ascents will be doable.

The Cannondale Trail SL 29 2 has 29-inch wheels. The larger diameter of “29ers” means they are slower to get going than smaller wheels, but once up to speed, they carry a lot more momentum and have a higher top speed. They provide more grip and a much smoother ride over obstacles than smaller wheels. However, the extra diameter also makes them more sluggish and cumbersome on tighter, twisting trails. 29ers are especially useful on cross-country and trail bikes, where the race course is faster and less technical. The larger wheels significantly improve the rideability of hardtail bikes and build confidence for more novice riders.

The most common groupset on the Cannondale Trail SL 29 2 is Shimano Deore. These are entry-level components. Entry-level components are good for an introduction to the sport of mountain biking. They won’t hold up against a lot of abuse, but it is a good option if you’re looking for a bike to get you started.

Deore is considered to be Shimano’s lowest tier performance-ready off-road groupset. It has benefited from the “trickle down” effect, and utilizes a lot of the technology developed for some of the more expensive groupsets.

Photo courtesy by cannondale.de

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