Table of Contents
Cannondale catalyst isn’t known for playing it safe. CAAD aluminum frame, Hydraulic Disc Brakes, and Lefty mountain bike forks are just a few of Cannondale’s innovative and assistive features that have outraged some but won over many forward-thinking bikers.
Born in Wilton, Connecticut, this scrappy American company has developed from a quirky small bike maker to one of the industry’s most prominent players. Cannondale believes that ongoing innovation is the key to great bikes.
Cannondale offers race-ready road bikes to trail-shredding mountain bikes, to everyday commuter cruisers. But which Cannondale bike is best for you?
This article covers Cannondale’s current bike lineup. It will explore Cannondale’s history, its most popular roads, gravel, and mountain bikes. There are a few omissions: time trial, electric, urban, and cheap bikes. Find out what sort of rider each model suits so you can purchase with confidence.
Unique Cannondale technologies and designs are well-known. Here are a few major technologies presented on current Cannondale models.
The Lefty fork is a classic Cannondale mountain bike component. The spring (air or coil) is located on the left leg of the fork, while the damper governs the spring’s behavior. The Lefty integrates these two components into the left leg, thus the name.
Consolidating the fork components into one leg decreases weight, which is important for cross-country riding. In addition, the fork’s rigidity is improved, stiction is reduced, and bushing bind is eliminated. Compared to a cross-country fork, a Lefty is more comfortable and controllable.
The Lefty Ocho is found on the F-Si and Scalpel cross-country bikes. The Topstone Carbon Lefty gravel bike has a 30mm Lefty Oliver Gen2 fork.
The Lefty is a controversial device with a rich history and technology. Should you nimble ride a Lefty fork? It is a comprehensive guide to everything Lefty.
The CAAD (Cannondale Advanced Aluminum Design) frame series is aimed at serious riders. When Cannondale introduced large-diameter aluminum tubing in the early 1980s, they generated a rough ride. So in 1997, Cannondale introduced the CAAD series.
CAAD decent frame employs heat-treated 6061 aluminum alloy frame and tubes for increased strength and durability while improving riding quality. In certain circumstances, they are tapered to provide unique riding qualities in various frame parts. The welds are then filed smooth to remove stress risers (this only applies to CAAD10 and later models).
Many companies have demoted strong aluminum frame to entry-level bikes since carbon is the mainframe material. But Cannondale has always believed in aluminum and continues to create high-performance CAAD models that equal carbon rivals in weight, aerodynamics, and riding quality. Riders who value and longevity above performance have always appreciated this. As a result, aluminum has recently regained prominence, led by bikes like the CAAD13.
Ai Offset tails
Ai stands for Asymmetric Integration. Ai Offset rear ends relocate the rear triangle and drivetrain 6mm to the right. In addition to better handling and responsiveness, shorter chain stays enhance tire sidewalls clearance.
The rear 27.5-Inch/650B Wheels wheel may be manufactured stronger and stiffer because the offset aligns the rim symmetrically between the hub flanges. Even spoke tension and bracing angles assist an Ai rear wheel. Cannondale says Ai offset wheels are up to 60% stiffer.
Aftermarket wheels need to be re-dished to fit Ai offset motorcycles. Most bike shops can perform it in 10-15 minutes, but it can be done at home with the right equipment. Some aftermarket wheel manufacturers also provide a factory Ai offset.
The SuperX, Topstone Carbon, F-Si, Scalpel, Cannondale Habit, and Jekyll all have offset rear ends.
Cannondale Gravel Bikes
Cannondale debuted the Slate gravel bike in 2015. It comes with a Lefty Oliver 30mm carbon fork and 650b tire size. The Slate stunned riders with its revolutionary design and speed. Multiple victories in the world’s greatest gravel event, known as Unbound Gravel 200, helped redefine expectations. The Slate-inspired current high-volume 650b gravel tires. Then came the gravel-specific suspension forks and 650b wheels and narrow tires.
The Topstone Carbon is Cannondale’s premier dirt bike for 2019. Its unique gravel tech: Kingpin rear suspension. It has a thru-axle pivot on the seat tube that enables the frame to bend 30mm. It’s like rear suspension, but lighter. The Topstone is a formidable gravel bike with the new Lefty Oliver Gen2 fork.
It’s a trade-off. That’s always been the case with downhill bikes. Cannondale used basic shock valving and suspension kinematics for their Jekyll enduro bikes to boost pedaling performance.
The Gemini shock is a Fox Racing Shocks collaboration. Riders may choose between “hustle” and “flow” modes with a bar-mounted lever. This option keeps the shock open for downhill riding. Changing to “hustle” decreases shock air volume by 20%, minimizing travel. The rear end feels significantly firmer for climbing, cycling, and pumping in undulating terrain.