Cannondale 2011 Trail SL 29 2

4 Reviews for 2011 Trail SL 29 2

  • + 1
 I just started riding and the Cannndale SL2 29'er is what I chose as my weapon of choice. I also tried the Gary Fisher (Cobia) and Specialized Rockhopper (Expert 29er), however, found this to be the best overall setup. There is not much this bike cannot handle, in fact, I have let seasoned riders take the SL for a spin and got rave reviews from them too. My guess is that the reason the above write up says it is a great 'first mountain bike' is more of a component thing than a capability thing.

It will be some time before I feel like I need to upgrade to a new ride anytime soon.
  • + 1
 Great all around trail bike. I'm still getting used to a 29r, but like all 29r's - keep that momentum up, you can roll over just about anything.
The only thing I don't/didn't like on the bike is the tires. It comes stock with Kenda Small block 8s. On countless occasions, the front tire would slide out, and I would completely lose it going into a turn. I swapped out the front tire for a Kenda Nevegal and it seems to be doing the trick rather well.
  • + 1
 I have a 2013 version of the Trail SL 29 and it is a bit different- in a good way (top tube is thicker, the tubing is now hydroformed but the geo is pretty much the same).
I love it, it is an insane shredder and is f*cking FAST. The frame can take ANYTHING, the stock wheels not so much when you get into jumping with it, but this is a fantastic bike to upgrade over time. Runs a little bit small but it just makes it a bit slacker, which is awesome. The 80mm on the fork can be not enough at times, but mostly its fine (I just see it as making you all the more badass). Shifting is eh, but you can't expect much from Alivio and Deore. The 13' SL 29 frames have a 27.2mm post diameter which is a bitch when you want a good dropper post, but I've dealt with it just fine. I plan to put a shorter stem on it, but despite being a bit on the long side, the stock stem is burly as shit and will stand up to anything. This thing climbs and sprints like a boss, descends like a maniac, and picks up speed in seconds. If you are looking for an all-rounder 29 hardtail for a bargain price that is easily race-capable, this should be a top choice.
  • + 1
 I bought my SL 2 new in 2011 thinking I would probably only dabble in mountain biking on the weekends and mostly ride my bike to work as a commuter. Turns out, I hardly commuted but ride single track after work instead.

First major upgrade were the SPD pedals and of course the upgrades to the tires, saddle, and grips. The Kenda Small block tires might be nice where it's hardpack and dry but that's about it. Why they included that tread pattern is still a head scratcher.

Anyway, once I moved from the east coast to CA, I started riding even more to the point where I've started to outgrow my trusty steed. I finally bought a dropper post and wider handlebars which made a massive difference in my abilities on the trail.

The limitations to the 2011 trail SL 2 besides the drive train is the geometry. I find the front end can lose traction in a turn and drop out on you. It's a shorter wheelbase and the stem is pretty far out over the front tire compared to newer geometries. Having said that, as an entry level bike with decent components that can be upgraded to stand the test of time, I would strongly endorse this bike.

I've ridden down the Cannell Epic, El Prieto, Gabrielino, it's earned it's place in my heart. Still riding it as of 7/22/2019 but have to admit... the suspension is on it's last legs and it may soon be replaced with rigid forks for street riding.
  • + 1
flag timo29er (Sep 25, 2020 at 21:19)
 Unfortunately still stuck with this bike ten years later. Frame is still fine after a couple beat downs.
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Avg: 5 (4 votes)
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Cannondale 2011 Trail SL 29 2 (MSRP $0) — Wanna try something new? Trail SL 29’er makes an ideal first mountain bike. The big wheels roll over obstacles with ease, absorb bumps and maintain momentum better. Give yourself an edge. Trail Sl 29’Er Makes an Ideal First Mountain Bike. the Big Wheels Roll over Obstacles With Ease, Absorb Bumps and Maintain Momentum Better. Give Yourself an Edge.

Specifications Compare to other All Mountain/Enduro/XC

Fork RST Deuce 29 Air, 80 mm, lockout, rebound, 1.5"
Cassette Shimano HG-61, 12-36
Crankarms Shimano FC-M430-8 Octalink 44/32/22
Bottom Bracket Shimano ES-25 Octalink
Pedals VP Platform w/ steel cage
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore
Chain Shimano HG53, 9 speed
Front Derailleur Shimano Alivio
Shifter Pods Shimano Deore
Handlebar Cannondale C3 riser 20mm, 6061, 680mm
Stem Cannondale C4 1.5", 31.8
Grips Cannondale Alloy locking grips
Brakes Shimano BR-M445 Hydraulic Disc
Spokes Stainless Black
Rim Maddux DC 3.0 29'er
Tires Kenda Small Block 8, 29x2.1"
Seat Cannondale Stage 2
Seatpost Cannondale C3, 31.6 x 400 mm


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