The cross-county hardtail is not dead. There are dozens of us, dozens! Full-suspension bikes have come a long way, but they still can’t match the climbing ability of a good hardtail. Ahead of round two of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup this weekend in Albstadt, Germany Cannondale has just announced a new generation of its F-Si carbon hardtail and Lefty fork.
The Lefty Ocho fork is a single-crown version of the funky one-sided fork that’s been in Cannondale’s lineup for 18 years. Cannondale says the fork is 250 grams lighter than the previous Lefty Carbon, it weights in at just 1,446 grams (~3.2 pounds). The fork is also available in alloy, the Ocho Alloy weighs 1,735 grams. All versions have 100mm of travel. Despite slimming down, Cannondale says it is still the stiffest World Cup XC fork it has tested.
Inside the fork is a new OppO air spring with self-adjusting positive and negative chambers which offer a more supple feel and easier setup. Inline with the OppO is a new Chamber oil damper, with adjustable low-speed compression and rebound adjustments, plus remote lockout.
Claimed weight on the Hi-Mod F-Si carbon frame is even more impressive at just 900g (80g lighter than its predecessor). The standard-modulus version is still just 1,100g. With a 69-degree head tube angle, it’s more relaxed than most hardtail race bikes.
Similar to the Synapse endurance road bike, the new F-Si also adopts the Proportional Response tubing sizing design to deliver the same experience to riders of all sizes. Larger frames get larger tubing to provide more stiffness to the while the smaller sizes get smaller tubing. As most bikes are designed for M/L sized riders, this adaptable tube sizing makes smaller bike more compliant. Cannondale’s Ai asymmetric frame design offsets the chainring and the entire rear wheel 3mm to the driveside which allows the frame to fit tires up to 2.35 €³ wide while maintaining ultra-short 427mm chainstays.
There’s a new quick-release disc-brake mount up front to make wheel changes easier and the F-Si’s rear dropouts get Mavic’s SpeedRelease design for faster wheel changes in the back too.
Cannondale will offer the new F-Si in seven builds, ranging from $2,200 to $9,000.