I thought I'd post up some pics from my initial off road ride yesterday. Mr. 24 has some pictures and a cool movie of the Caffeine 29"er that you should checkout too.
Here is a nice profile shot of the bike in it's pure stock setup.
Nice Script! The Raw finish looks polished and "satin-ny" in this photo, but up close you can see all the industrial looking brush marks on it. My camera was fooled by the shiny clear coat that protects the frames finish from corrosion.
Cannondales typical double pass weld joints that are sanded down after welding give the frame an almost fillet brazed appearance.
I show this picture to illustrate that the current crop of new "knobular" fatties on the scene might be a problem here. I don't think they are really appropriate for a bike like this; myself, but some folks out there seem to want the fattest tires in 29 inch size that they can get. I won't get too far into it here, but having super huge, knobby tires in 29 inch sizes is going to start causing all kinds off clearance/ geometry/ drivetrain problems that designers of these bikes don't have a solution for without radically changing standards currently in vogue.
That said, I think this bike is really best suited to fast singletrack, XC, enduro, and all around trail riding where having the fat, super knobby tires isn't the first choice for tires 75% of the time. The 25% of the time that it is advantageous to use a knobby fatty, I think one could find a decent enough compromise set up that would work on the Caffeine. Note: I haven't actually put one of the Nevegals or Rampages in this yet, so it might just clear the frame. (emphasis on just!) However; I did note a fair bit of side to side flex induced by single speed like mashing on the Caffeine that would definitely buzz the chainstays with a Rampage/Nevegal tire mounted in the rear. Just beware of that and perhaps choose a Kenda Klaw, Maxxis Ignitor, or that new Michelin tire that no one seems to have noticed out there. On the front end, you've got no worries!
Okay, enough Caffeine for now! This weekend I'm going for some Salsa!There are a couple of guys from the crew coming down for some fun single track riding this weekend. I'm really looking forward to this! I think that there may be a few surprises in store, so look for some interesting posts this weekend.
That is, if the weather co-operates! We were having an excellent "Indian Summer" until today. Howling Northwest winds, light rain lashing down, colder temps, and possibilities for snow showers are making riding today look challenging. Saturday should be good. Chilly but good.
Where ever you find yourself in the world this weekend, get out and ride a bike, if you can! I know I will be!
You can find more discussion on the Caffeine 29"er here, here, and here.