Cannondale is making a big push into the 29er market for 2012, with several new hardtails added to its line.
We headed down to Cannondale importer Cycling Sports Group in Poole last weekend for a first look.
Flash Carbon 29er 3
At £2499.99 the Flash Carbon 29er 3 caught the eye with an sleek paintjob and lovingly made frame. Cannondale put a huge amount of effort into the Flash platform with weight a key concern, and so it’s no surprise to learn that this example weighs well just 950g.
Made from high modulus carbon fibre with a tube-to-tube construction process as used on its flagship road bikes, Cannondale has gone all out to optimise every aspect of the frame to ensure it’s as light as possible.
Cannondale’s BB30 bottom bracket forms the backbone of the frame and is a wide junction for the flared and oversized seat tube. There’s an oversized head tube with Cannondale’s Lefty fork plugged into place.
Continuous carbon fibres flow from the top tube into the chainstays to remove excess material and increase the lateral stiffness. Straight skinny Thinline seat stays, rather than the curvy affairs Cannondale’s have traditionally been seen with, offer stacks of tyre and mud clearance.
Picking it up revleas
Flash Alloy 29er 2- £1799.99
Offering the same race-focused 29er geometry the more affordable Flash Alloy 29er 2 uses a 6061-t6 hydroformed frame that distills Cannondale’s years of expertise with the material into a frame that weighs just 1450g.
The frame is stiff where it needs to be with a BB30 bottom bracket and oversized head tube but comfortable elsewhere with skinny S.A.V.E seat and chainstays.
Trail SL 29er 3 SS
Easily the standout bike from the range was this £599.99 rigid singlespeed 29er for the mountain biker who wants to tick all the niche boxes in one fell swoop. It uses an aluminium frame with a huge Fatty rigid fork offering literally a lot of mud clearance. There’s a derailleur hanger should you decide to fit gears at a later date.
More at www.cannondale.com