New Cannondale Hardtail — Cannondale is a polarizing company because they integrate their bike systems. That means that their parts are largely proprietary, which makes them harder to work on and find parts. But they will tell you, and we generally agree, it also means that they are not bound by industry standards that are less than ideal, their parts work better together, and you’re getting something you’ll never get elsewhere. Their Lefty MTB forks are a good example. They don’t fit on your bike. They look crazy. But they are very awesome.
The new Cannondale Hardtail, the F-Si, is another example of Cannondale’s engineering approach. They say their new bike climbs and descends better than other hard tails, and with a Team build coming in at 18.6 lbs, it may be the nastiest race bike money can buy. Here are the highlights:
Most notably, they shifted around the driveline to realign the wheel. Now that the industry is skewing hub flanges to the side to accommodate huge 10 and 11 cog rear cassettes, the stiffness of our wheels is being compromised.
To fix this problem, Cannondale curves the left chainstay of the frame 6mm to the right, the front ring is also pushed 6mm to the right, and the result is that the bracing angle of the rear wheel’s spokes even out.
The wheel gets stiffer by a claimed 34.5% after realigning the spokes evenly. They are calling this technology “Asymmetric Integration”. We’d call it “Re-symmetric”, as the spokes are actually symmetrical again. Nicely done Cannondale.
The F-Si also claims to have the best stiffness-to-weight ratio, the shortest chain stays on the market, and a class leading front end with slack angle for high speed stability, paired with huge offset for low speed stiffness. They also reworked the lefty clamp width so all the racer types, especially short riders, don’t need to order stems that look like they are trying to get the cover shot on https://slamthatstem.com.
Available in August 2014 at less than $5k for 22lb build (F-Si 2), $9,000 (F-Si Team) for 18.6lbs build, and $11k for a Black Ink build (weight TBD).