Thoughts on Cannondale Flash 3 (alloy) 2012?

Discuss light weight issues concerning mountain bikes & parts.

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hjb1000
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by hjb1000

I quite like the look of this bike, and it seems pretty reasonably priced:

Image

I tend to ride fairly easy single track and firetrails etc. I'm not super interested in hardcore downhill stuff.

What are peoples opinion of this model- I think it's very well specced for the price. The only obvious difference from the other more expensive models is the fork. How is the Fatty 80mm regarded? And indeed is 80mm sufficient for my needs? There is a big step-up in price when you get the Lefty fork. I quite like the simplicity of the Fatty as it means I can use my existing wheels.

Being a Flash, I expect it to be quite favorable in the weight department :)

Many thanks!

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yourdaguy
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by yourdaguy

I don't have any personal experience, but after paying $200 to get my Fox rebuilt and knowing that 80mm is plenty of travel for me, I think the fork is a brilliant idea and probably much lighter than the almost 4 lb Fox and SRAM forks.
For certain parts stiffer is more important than lighter.

quattrings
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by quattrings

I have a Flash 1 so can't comment on the the Fatty fork. I do feel 80mm of travel is sufficient for general off road riding.

The frame itself is pretty good. It's very agile, perfect for singletracks. It does however have a relatively harsh ride, the flexible chain stay design doesn't work as well as on the carbon equivalent.
I'm gonna try a wider tire in the future to compensate for this.

On the subject of forks, my Lefty developed a creak and was serviced under warranty.
So good points there for the customer survice.

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hjb1000
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by hjb1000

Many thanks for replies!

I was hoping 80mm would be enough travel, so that allays my doubts.
Interesting you mention the Flash frame being rather harsh- I suppose the ride quality and geometry is more suited to a race bike? Like you mention better keep the tyre size larger.

Cannondale say the Flash frame is 1450 grams- how does that compare with other aluminium hardtail frames? The Fatty fork is 1250 grams I believe which should result in a pretty light bike.

legsrburnin
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by legsrburnin

I think for the money it's a reasonably light bike.

The Fatty HeadShok is like an institution at Cannondale. It's a tried and tested reliable set up. It's what Cadel Evans was using when he was winning MTB World Champs all those years ago.

I havent checked weights in that category, but if it's around the weight of an equivalent Scott Scale I'd say you're onto a good thing.
Lefty heaven

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hjb1000
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by hjb1000

Just a question about changing over the cranks- I'm probably going to get the 2 chainring XTR M985 cranks as an upgrade and get rid of the triple this bike comes with.
If I get the XTR cranks, will I also have to get the specific double front derailleur and XTR shifters? Or can I just use the existing triple stuff but limit off the triple?

legsrburnin
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by legsrburnin

You should be able to just adjust the limit screws and tune it to just 2 positions on the shifter. I've done it on both Shimano and Sram in the past.
Lefty heaven

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hjb1000
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by hjb1000

Thanks for the reply.

And now I'm tossing up the sizing- Cannondale sizing is a bit weird in that I'm 179cm tall, the medium is 43.3cm/17" while the large is 47.5cm/18.7".

I've opted for the large but I sort of fit between the medium and large which is annoying

reippuert
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by reippuert

How did the size L work out for you?

I'm 184cm and my road bike is a Merlin CR size M (55,5cm actual top tube with a 120mm stem). I really like the low stand over height - also for riding curves because i can use my underlegs to balance the bike through tight corners when descending standing up while in the hoods.

I tend to prefer smaller bikes, but Cannondale size guides says that if your between 179 and 186 should chose a size L. however the top tube seems kind of long and stand over height is 1cm taler than my road Merlin - This is my first MTB.

Does anyone know the standard stem length on Cannondale Flas 26" MTB size M and L ?
--
mvh. Morten Reippuert Knudsen @Merlin Works CR, Chorus 15, Reynolds 46/66

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hjb1000
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by hjb1000

reippuert wrote:How did the size L work out for you?

I'm 184cm and my road bike is a Merlin CR size M (55,5cm actual top tube with a 120mm stem).


Pretty well! I'm 180cm and the large is on the slightly larger size, but it's totally fine. What's difficult is that I'm a height which is pretty much between a medium and a large so I could totally ride either. Good thing about the large is that I can run a standard 100mm stem, while with the medium I guess I'd need to run a 120mm stem, which of course is getting long for modern MTB standards.

The only negative with the large is that the standover height is marginally higher.

Here is an image of the bike when I first got it to give you a sense of the seatpost height:

Image

02GF74
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by 02GF74

L frame, 303 mm from top of seatpost clamp to top of saddle.
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CBRE
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by CBRE

Is the Flash still available with the fatty head shock fork? I can't find it listed, I want one to replace my old reliable 26'r.
Curt Brown

2016 Cannondale EVO Etap 13.8#'s
2012 Cannondale Supersix EVO etap 13.7#'s
2017 Cannondale SUPER X Force 16.0#'s
2016 Cannondale FatCad2 28.1#'s
2011 Cannondale Carbon Flash 1 17.9#'s

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