Cannondale engineers are in the final stages of development
of a new lightweight full-suspension cross-country racing bike. The new
bike packs a lot of innovation into a targeted weight of just 23 lbs (10.4
kg), including a full 2.5 inches of useable rear wheel travel, dual disc
brakes and tubeless tires. The as-yet unnamed bike will be used by Volvo/Cannondale's
cross-country racers at most events during the 2001 racing season, and
should arrive in Cannondale dealers' showrooms in May.
According to Cannondale frame designer Mike Parkin, the
new bike is a direct outgrowth of the company's close work with the pro
racers on the Volvo/Cannondale team. "Our team riders have a very
clear vision of what they wanted in a full-suspension bike - super-light
weight, an uncluttered front triangle for easy portaging, and a laterally
stiff rear triangle to prevent any loss in pedaling efficiency. This bike
delivers all that and more. There are no compromises."
2000 Olympic bronze medalist and two-time Swiss national
champion Christoph Sauser of Volvo/Cannondale test-rode the new bike on
trails near Cannondale's Connecticut offices in November, and recently
brought it with him on an extended winter training trip to South Africa.
"I love the bike," says Sauser. "I've ridden it in all
kinds of terrain, and it feels very good in any situation. It's very stiff,
very light, and the suspension is very active. The bike gives me great
traction on rocky uphill climbs, and it works with my body's movement
and not against it. The bike makes it easy to maintain my speed, since
it helps me keep a smooth pedaling rhythm. I'm really looking forward
to riding it at the first World Cup race in Napa."
The new bike is the latest in a long line of Cannondale
innovations developed with the help of the company's road and mountain
bike racers. In the past few years alone, the company has teamed with
its pro racers to develop CAAD4 and CAAD5 road and mountain bike frames,
CAAD6 road frames with integrated, dedicated components, and the Lefty
front suspension fork.