Cannondale has made major inroads in carbon fiber frames in recent years but will return to its deep-running roots with the addition of an all-new aluminum version of the stunning Flash Carbon hardtail introduced earlier this year. Though the latter's paltry 950g claimed weight (2.09lb) and impressive design elements (penned by former Scott collaborator Peter Denk) are undoubtedly appealing, privateer racers will surely find the new aluminum cousin substantially easier on the budget.
Like the showy flagship, the aluminum Flash will feature an aggressively proportioned front triangle mated to flattened stays for a modicum of rear end comfort. The burly dropouts are deeply relieved for weight savings and both BB30-compatible and standard threaded bottom bracket shells will be offered depending on model. Claimed frame weight is a still-competitive 1.4kg (3.09lb).
Naturally, Cannondale fits the front end of the aluminum Flash with its own Lefty suspension fork but even that has gone on a significant diet with a new aluminum assembly that includes the upper leg and both steerer clamps in a single forged part. Claimed weight for the mid-range 100mm-travel Lefty Speed DLR fork is just 1365g (3.01lb) – over 100g lighter than the Fox Racing Shox 32 F100 RLC and 200g lighter than the Rock Shox SID Team with better steering stiffness than either to boot.
The marathon-oriented Rush and long-travel Moto platforms will carry into the new model year unchanged but the 130mm-travel Rize range will split into more specialized 120mm and 140mm variants for 2010 with appropriately specific builds kits for each.
On the road side, last year's comparatively weighty Six Carbon range drops a substantial amount of weight for 2010: 100g from the frame thanks to a new fiber lay-up schedule and a whopping 300g with the addition of a proper all-carbon fork. Aluminum CAAD9 'cross frames will enter the upcoming season with no changes – not a bad thing considering they were already highly refined as is.
Cannondale continues to grow its urban and commuter lines substantially, however, with nine Bad Boy models plus eighteen other pavement oriented machines including a production version of last year's stunning On concept bike – though only 200 will be offered worldwide to the tune of €3900.
This year's Eurobike show brought yet another jaw-dropping urban concept bike, this time based on the Flash Carbon hardtail frame and built with a one-off rigid carbon fiber Lefty fork plus a modified Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 group. Cannondale engineers passed over the usual Dual Control levers and instead just went with a pair of tiny shift buttons per side – mounted underneath the clear grips.
The Di2 control box was tucked into the steerer tube, ultralight Formula R1 hydraulic disc brakes and coated alloy rotors provide the stopping power, and Cannondale's own Hollowgram SL crank fills out the drivetrain. Cable and hydraulic hose routing was fully internal throughout.
Oh, and the weight? Just 6.8kg (15.0lb) without pedals. Cannondale marketing man Scott Struve says the company currently has no plans for production but then again, that's also what was said about the On.
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