I was afraid this was going to happen. Since purchasing my Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5 105 road bike a few months back I have been able to log a decent amount of riding time. Lately as I have been riding I start thinking about how much I enjoy the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5 105. It’s such an improvement over any road bike I have ever put a leg over. It also makes me wonder just how much mountain bikes have changed since purchasing my Gary Fisher Sugar 3 Disc way back in 2002. Sure I love my Gary Fisher Sugar 3 Disc but I also spent as much on Shimano XTR upgrades as the bike cost to get it just the way I like it.
This has left me with a few questions:
- Have the suspensions been greatly improved?
- How much has the geometry changed?
- Are the current mid level controls superior to my aging Shimano XTR’s?
- How much lighter are the current bikes or are they lighter at all?
- Has the energy transfer improved on full suspension mountain bikes?
- Do I want to try a 29er or 650b?
- Will I ride enough to justify a new bike? I can only use one bike at a time.
Some might question why consider a new mountain bike if I like the Gary Fisher Sugar 3 Disc so much. Well even after all the money spent on the Gary Fisher Sugar 3 Disc it’s still not perfect. These bikes had one issue that was geometry related and that was “chain suck“. While upgrading to the Shimano XTR drive train helped it never fully eliminated the chain suck. The other issue was related to the local terrain here in Connecticut. The trails here are typically obstacle filled with trees, boulders and roots. Lifting the front wheel or hopping the bike over these obstacles is necessary and constant. The Gary Fisher Sugar 3 Disc was good at neither. Both techniques required a huge amount of energy to get over obstacles that my old Cannondale M800 would just hop over.
Lastly a bike that handles, shifts and rides better is also a safer bike. At the time I write this I an 46 years old. I no longer heal like a kid. Any mechanical advantage I can gain over my slowing reflexes is a good thing.
Feel free to comment or give your opinion