The star riders of the Cannondale Factory Racing Team lined up at the start line of the Albstadt XCO World Cup round with the best ever Cannondale XC bike. The completely redesigned F-Si is faster, stiffer, more efficient than the previous top of the line model, and it’s equipped with the new revolutionary Lefty front fork, the Lefty Ocho. According to the manufacturer, presently the Ocho is the lightest and the most sensitive XC fork on the market.
What’s new on the F-Si?
The F-Si was introduced in 2015, which redefined the XC hardtail bike category. It was the first MTB hardtail designed especially for the technically challenging, modern XCO race courses.
For the newly-introduced F-Si series, Cannondale has retained all the successful features from the original model, like the OutFront geometry and the AI rear triangle design. (I’ll dwell into the technological details later.) On the other hand, the new F-Si is lighter and more efficient, hence it’s clearly the fastest XC bike Cannondale has ever offered.
The mass of the new F-Si Hi-MOD carbon frame is 900gr on the spot, losing 80gr over the previous model, the lightest MTB frame in Cannondale’s long manufacturing history. The redesigned AI rear triangle is extremely short, the chainstays are a mere 427 mm.
Added to the above-mentioned “weight loss”, the change further enhances the bike’s climbing prowess. Moreover the control of the bike also benefits from from the new super-short rear geometry. Despite the shrinkage at the back, tire clearance remains at 2,35″ with plenty of space for mud. Thanks to the AI (Asymmetric Integration) technology, the drive side is moved 6 mm sideways, leaving more space for the wheel even with the shortest 29er chainstays on the market.
Faster on level ground:
The new F-Si is stiffer than ever which aids sprinting. Many of the top-level competitions are decided in the final sprint, so it’s crucial to provide the out-most stability, transferring the rider’s energy instantly to the wheel. The Ballistic Carbon technology permits the out-most frame stiffness to improve power transfer, while retaining the necessary flexibility for comfort in other areas. Moreover this technology increases frame fatigue resistance, so Cannondale is able to offer life guarantee for the F-Si. Built to last, it’s a bike you can trust!
By the slackening of the head tube to 69 degrees, and offering above-average offset for Lefty fork (the essence of the OutFront geometry), Cannondale endowed the new F-Si with unparalleled control over the challenging descends. Clearly the new Lefty Ocho’s suspension performance also plays a key part in the bike’s downhill prowess. This fork trail modification provides more agile control uphill despite the slack head tube. Since the trail of the fork geometry remains more or less the same, these two bike geometry “tweaks” cancel each out an the climbs.
– The rear Thru-axle can be removed with ease, hence wheel change will also be quicker.
– The integrated seat binder not only offers a cleaner appearance, but it also enhances rider comfort. It anchors the seat post at a lower point, providing longer extension, the post can flex more thereby effectively absorbing road shock and unwanted vibration.
– The SAVE micro-flex rear triangle is also designed to enhance comfort, the structure can move vertically while providing increased stiffness on the horizontal plane.
– The new frame offers Flat mount disc attachment.
Let’s examine the Lefty Ocho!
The first Lefty was introduced to the market 18 years ago, and proved to be a milestone in fork technology. Cannondale promises another success story with the Lefty Ocho, which is the first single crown one-sided bike fork on the market.
Cannondale states that its engineers have spent countless hours developing the Ocho, fine tuning it’s performance to achieve the best XC front suspension ever. The Leftys have always enjoyed a very good reputation in both sensitivity and low weight. According to the American brand, the new model shaves off another 250gr from the most advanced previous Lefty, and the near perfect performance has also been improved.
The new three-sided Delta Cage roller bearings are responsible for the added sensitivity, the movement is silky smooth and the stiffness is also on par with the renowned previous Lefty model. The engineers managed to minimise the drag of the bearing elements, hence the stellar sensitivity to all road surface variations.
The dampening unit has also been improved, the Lefty Oco offers a self air bleeding, heat compensating system with external compression and dampening adjustment. Compression dampening is controlled from the handlebar, which is new feature on the Lefty forks.
The Lefty Ocho will be available in both carbon and aluminium versions, for 29er and 650b wheel sizes. The new Cannondale F-Si comprises of five model variations. More information of these technologies can be found on the Cannondale website.