For premium brands, the fight never stops, and most of them know that products can always be improved in one way or another. But then again, what more could we expect from Cannondale for the season looming ahead?
Lefty isn’t left aside
It’s been about 14 years since the Lefty entered the bicycle market and just as many years of constant upgrades, so it shouldn’t be any wonder it counts as one of the lightest and stiffest XC forks, surpassing even All-Mountain models in terms of strength as well. Responsible for the smooth gliding of the mechanism is an upside-down system that employs double crowns like in the case of downhill forks, but also two stanchion diameters of 40mm (upper), respectively 32mm (lower). The engineers at Cannondale made the Lefty flex less by concentrating the loads in its upper part, and while they also state that their product’s stiffness tops by far everything else, it would really take a huge person to start riding the bike in order to actually spot the differences. Nevertheless, Lefty still remains a great fork, that works in a manner that you’ve hardly seen before.
Its new iteration bears some visual upgrades, but, more important, some mechanical ones too, of which the most important is the repositioning of the wheel axle, the offset growing from 45 to 55mm. The head tube angle also got more relaxed (for instance, in the case of the F-Si it went from 71 to 69 degrees), which improves the bike’s performances on downhill sections.
Also, the new Lefty includes pistons with larger diameters, a thing that enhances oil flow that in turn leads to a faster response when crossing over bumps at medium or high speeds. And, with a redesigned rebound, that allows more levels of set-up, and a larger air chamber, there’s no doubt about what this fork wants or where it aims.
Introducing a new hardtail: Cannondale F-Si
Cannondale has a new star for the ever-so-popular XC discipline in the form of the F-Si, the weapon of choice for the likes of Manuel Fumic or Marco Aurelio Fontana, that put their faith in this high-quality carbon 29er.
If the decision to use a slacker head tube angle will pay off, we’ll just have to wait and see, but in any case, the F-Si shouldn’t let too many people down as it’s the heir of the Flash and F29 models.
The manufacturer will mount its own crankset on this mountain bike, which is now moved 6mm towards the exterior in order to let the rear wheel align with the frame perfectly, therefore the spokes will sit evenly on both sides. Also, this construction type will allow wider tires to be used.
The System Integration concept implies that most of the components present on the bike (crankset, stem, fork, seat post and wheels) are designed especially for this model, and made to work together as harmoniously as possible. Also, the shorter chain stay (429mm) works in favour of a more agile temper, and we can’t simply cross over the 960 grams of the frame, in the L size. But then again, don’t get very excited, as the bike, fully-equipped, can reach prices of around 10.000 euros, for the highest specified versions.
The new Trigger, with 27.5 inch wheels
Starting with 2015, Trigger will feature 27.5 inch wheels, but, more importantly, the shock developed together with Fox, DYAD, has been revamped. It now includes two separate air chambers designed to be used when you’re riding uphill or downhill, and will be engaged via a remote found on the handlebar. The system allows you to choose between an 140mm or 85mm travel, also influencing the ground clearance by 1cm, and the head and seat tube angles by 1 degree.
An opportunity hard to miss out on, we took a Trigger featuring 130mm shocks for a ride, only to get to the conclusion that Cannondale got it all right, even the climbing mode of the shock being truly effective.
As for road bikes, Cannondale focused on the endurance category, releasing a very elaborate iteration of the Synapse, about which you can read here.