Cannondale Flash 29er Review

The step up from a 26 inch wheel to a 29er will really make a difference to your mountain biking experience. The Cannondale Flash Alloy 29er range consists of three hardy hardtails that combine stiffness and efficiency with high speed, smooth performance over varied surfaces. Handling is just as important as straight line acceleration, so these bikes will keep you on the right track and give you the confidence to be more daring.

Cannondale Flash Alloy 29er 3

This base model kicks things off with a SmartFormed alloy frame with Speed Save technology that effectively provides you with responsive in-frame suspension on the stays to lessen the impact of vibrations and big hits without resorting to a full-sus setup.

The front fork is the RockShox Recon Gold TK 29 with 80mm of travel and full lockout availability alongside adjustable rebound. It responds deftly to the situation at hand and helps the bike to handle well without reducing overall frame stiffness or cohesion.

Cannondale has selected a variety of components to make up the transmission, with an SRAM cogset, KMC X10 chain, Shimano SLX shifters and Deore derailleur all on show. The Maddux DC3.0 rims are double walled for strength and are matched with Schwalbe Rapid Rob tyres, which generate plenty of grip without bogging you down when the time comes to build up speed.

Avid Elixir 1 hydraulic disc brakes with a 180mm rotor at the front and a 160mm partner at the rear will operate whatever the weather, complementing the rugged and durable overall design of the bike.

Cannondale Flash Alloy 29er 2

This time the Speed Save-equipped alloy frame is combined with a Lefty 29er PBR shock at the front. 90mm of responsive travel is on hand to take the sting out of serious impacts while still maintaining the driver’s ability to control the bike fluidly.

The SRAM X7 and X9 components of the drive train put forward a united front, giving you the ability to transfer power effectively to the 29 inch wheelset comprised of SunRingle Inferno 25 rims and the same Rapid Rob tyres as found on the more affordable model.

The Avid Elixir 3 brakes are lighter and more capable here, while the Cannondale C3 handlebar and C2 seat post help to keep the weight down in their own way.

Cannondale Flash Alloy 29er 1

The Cannondale Flash Alloy 29er 1 delivers more of the same capabilities as its affordable siblings, but in a package that is a little more toned and honed.

The alloy frame with its 1.5 Si head tube for added control is accompanied by the same Lefty 29er PBR fork and the associated hub at the front. More SRAM X9 components are present in the drive train this time around, while the wheelset remains intact from its last outing.

Lower weight and slicker operation of the brakeset comes courtesy of the Avid Elixir 7 hydraulic disc brakes. Meanwhile there are the lighter Cannondale handlebar, saddle, seat post and stem to combine comfort with manoeuvrability.

29er mountain bikes will appeal to people who want to reduce the kinks in the road ahead and roll quickly and efficiently across long distances that might pose more of a challenge to someone on bikes with smaller wheels. The race ready geometry and compact wheelbase, which is close to matching that of the 26 inch alternatives, means that you lose nothing in terms of handling proficiency. As such it is easy to recommend the Cannondale Flash Alloy 29er bikes to riders who want off-road performance which does not need to be bone-shaking or confidence shattering.

Model: Cannondale Flash 29er
4 / 5 stars
*****