My Personal Take on the Cannondale SL3 – My Everyday Ride

By John

So I went for a visit to my Mom’s the other day and went looking for something in her storage.

Before finding what I was looking for, I ran into my Cannondale SL3 trail bike that has been sitting for about 4 years.


The tires were flat, the paint was a bit dull, and some of the screws were a little on the rusty side.

The seat was actually peeling and the bike just looked like it was ready to be thrown out.

Being that it was quite an investment at the time, I decided to take it to a local bike shop and give it a nice tuneup.

I got some new inner tubes and according to the bike tech, the tires were actually still in good running condition, so they didn’t need to be replaced.

Pretty sweet if you ask me.

So I got all that done and took the bike home to give it a nice little wash.

To my surprise, it came out looking like a brand-new bike, which immediately got me hooked on this whole bike thing.

This little stunt led to me finding a nice hobby as well as the creation of, which I am beyond ecstatic about.

Unlike the time I got the bike, I actually used it a lot more in just a week’s time compared to the last 4 years that it sat.

Now that I have put the bike to use and could not be happier to have it in great running condition, I can put together this Cannondale SL3 review for those of you who might actually consider this as your next purchase.

Cannondale SL3 Review


The Cannondale SL3 is actually a ready-to-roll, right out of the box, kind of ride.

It comes with all the premium parts and a price tag that will not have you penny-pinching after such a purchase.

This was actually my first real bike purchase and I have no regrets.

I still own this thing and even after 5 years, I still look at it as if it was brand new.

There are many things that made me buy this bike and I want to share them with you, especially if you are in the market for a new bike.

Let’s see what the Cannondale SL3 has to offer.

Look and Style

There are thousands of bikes to choose from and with my lack of experience, I was almost in the hunt for something that suited my taste.

From the $300 bare minimum cycles that had everything you needed to the $1k + bikes that had more than what I needed, I was immediately drawn to the Cannondale SL3.

Not knowing anything about brakes or weight, I had to inquire about this specific bike.

The salesman was actually on my side and insisted that I was fine with some Giant bike that had more to offer for a price tag that my wallet would enjoy.

Without thinking about any fancy parts and whatnot, I bought this bike for its looks alone.

The color scheme and how everything matched the wheels, I just fell for the looks that this bike presented.

For a little less than $1,000 I pulled out that credit card and rode this bad boy home.

So you can bet that these guys get 5/5 stars in this department.

Frame & Weight

The Cannondale SL3 frame is aluminum and at the time, was extremely light to me.

But after feeling some carbon fiber-type frames, this bike got a lot heavier.

Not to say that it is heavy but it is just not going to be your lightest option for a bike frame.

This bike is not the lightest but it is also not the heaviest and gets 3/5 stars for the price-to-weight ratio as it is definitely lighter than most bikes.

Not to mention that this is a trail bike and not a full-blown mountain bike that can use a lot less weight.


Regular old brakes used to be an option compared to disc brakes and that to me, is no longer one to compare.

Disc brakes are where it’s at and I think you should not get a bike that does not come with them.

The Cannondale SL3 is such a bike that comes with disc brakes and they are also very good ones at that.

When this bike was out, you can bet that it packed a lot with a price tag that you can not compare.

With disc brakes in the front and rear, you will definitely blend in with other cyclists that know their bikes.


This is another thing that stood out for me and one that is almost a standard these days.

The Cannondale SL3 has 26″ wheels, so it can grab enough for you to cover more ground.

Compared to other bikes I’ve ridden, you can feel the difference and this is especially great for people like me that use a bike to commute to work.

On top of the bigger-sized wheels, the white lettering really complements the overall bike and this definitely played a part in my decision to get this bike.


Overall, this is a really awesome bike.

For the style and price, you can not find a better deal.

You also have to keep in mind that I got this bad boy 5 whole years ago and even after that long, there aren’t many bikes that can compete.

If you can find this bike for sale somewhere out there, I highly recommend you grab it if you can.

You can always customize other parts of the bike but again, it comes ready to rock right out of the box.

Well there you have it, my review of the Cannondale SL3.

I hope it has given you enough details so that you can make a better buying decision.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to always, use a helmet.


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