So BikeRumor.com just this morning published details about the upcoming 2013 Cannondale models, primarily all-new models and models with significant changes/improvements. There is not one, but TWO bikes that I feel would complete me. One of the bikes is a more long-term object of need/want: a carbon Super-X cyclocross bike with disc brakes. I didn't even realize the current model came in my size (previously Cannondale didn't build them smaller than a 48cm, which is a size too large for me in a CX bike with its higher clearances). Someday my über-bike will be something carbon or titanium with disc brakes and 2 sets of wheels: the stock set with knobby CX tires for cyclocross races and gravel backroad rides and a lighter set mounted with slicks for road riding. Then I can easily swap wheels depending upon where my whims want to take me.
In another year or two DS will likely fit both my current road and CX bikes, so that may be the logical time to consider such an upgrade. Then when he's done with them we could sell them easily enough.
The primary force driving my desire is that my 11 year old DS is already starting to take over my little 2-wheeled fleet. A week ago we attended an evening trail ride with a few other families. The trail is relatively easy, but DS handled it mostly very well on his CX bike (especially considering he's still a relative noob on that bike and a mere 3 months ago it terrified him). The CX bike is not ideal for loose sand or large roots, however. Prior to leaving, DH attached DS's flat pedals to my too-small-for-me (we got a good deal on it, since Cannondale had a bunch of Petite/XS F5s languishing in a warehouse and sold them off at half price...I really should be on a small) mountain bike and did a short lap with Dane. Almost immediately he was confidently rolling over things that were a struggle with his CX bike.
So now the discussion has turned to getting me on a more appropriately sized bike, that way the 3 of us can go ride trails together...or at least DS and I can ride together on easier trails until we both improve enough to ride more with DH on the more advanced terrain.
|Cannondale Tango 29er|
I could easily fit on pretty much any size small 26er on the market, but 29ers are rapidly taking over the mountain bike market in much the same way that digital displaced film photography. I've done a lot of reading re: 29er vs. 26er and it appears that a rapidly shrinking minority prefers the smaller wheel format. Now that more companies are producing 29er frames with geometry that can accommodate shorter riders, that tide is likely to turn even more in favor of the larger wheels. Generally the accepted advantages of 29ers are that they roll over larger objects better, climb hills better, and are more forgiving/less twitchy than their smaller-wheeled counterparts. EVERY person I know who has made the switch to a 29er style bike has said they would never go back to the more traditional 26" wheeled style.
Word on the street is that Cannondale starts releasing new models in July. So maybe I'll be able to hit some single-track with BOTH of my guys on a funky new ride by Fall! We're starting to discuss taking some sort of family vacation involving mountain biking, too. We have at least one ski resort here in MI that has some pretty extensive mountain bike trails and cycling-specific packages, even making use of their chair-lifts to take riders to the top of trails...wheeee!!! A longer-term goal would be a family trip out to DH's beloved Moab & Fruita mountain biking meccas.