Cannondale unleashed a wealth of fantastic new bikes at this year's Eurobike, covering a gamut of categories incuding women's, time trial and triathlon, cyclocross and even the ultra-competitive trail bikes. While it will be a little while before the new bikes will be available, 2013 is looking like a good year.
"Ugly fast" Slice RS hits the road
Cannondale's new Slice RS time trial/triathlon bike has been under the riders of the Liquigas-Cannondale team for some time now, but it was only at Eurobike that the company finally revealed details on the bike.
While other brands have focused on truncated airfoils and wider cross-sections recently, Cannondale has adopted a 'narrow is aero' philosophy – and the new RS is certainly narrow.
The chain stays are almost hidden behind the BB shell
Starting up front, Cannondale has fitted the new Slice RS with hidden linear-pull brakes and an external steerer fork that provides the stiffness and steering precision of a tapered design but with much slimmer dimensions, on account of what is effectively a dual-crown layout.
The level top tube sits directly behind the stem – further reducing frontal area – and the down tube and seat tube are both slab-sided from top to bottom, to present minimal surface area to the wind.
Out back, chain stay mounted linear-pull brakes afford sleeker seat stay shaping, while the chain stays themselves hug tightly to the frame's centerline before kicking out to the dropouts. The seat tube closely follows the outline of the rear wheel, as is standard practice for the genre, but Cannondale has also carved a channel out of the inner surface to relieve pressure turbulence from the spinning tire.
And what about that weird looking seatpost? Well, the UCI's current 3:1 rule places strict limitations on section profiles. Given the seat tube's narrow width, Cannondale had few options on seatpost shaping.
Cannondale director of product marketing Murray Washburn admits that the Slice RS isn't necessarily the prettiest bike to look at, but that its performance on the road should speak for itself. As he puts it, "it's ugly fast".
In other road-related news, Cannondale's SuperSix EVO will spawn a women's-specific variant for 2013, for riders who need a slightly altered geometry for a better fit. Key changes include slightly longer head tubes, shorter and more drastically sloping top tubes, and increased fork rakes to reduce the chance of toe overlap.
The top-end version of the women's SuperSix EVO
Cannondale will offer the new women's-specific bike in standard modulus and high modulus frame variants. The company isn't going small on the spec, either, with the top-end model boasting a new SRAM Red group, Mavic Ksyrium SLS aluminum clincher wheels, FSA and Fizik cockpit components and Cannondale's own Hollowgram SiSL2 crankset. It should be a fantastic all-purpose racer.
New big-wheeled Trigger 29er
Cannondale's enduro-friendly Jekyll, with its 90-150mm of on-the-fly adjustable travel, will have a new little brother for 2013 - Trigger. While the already announced 26in-wheeled version will sport 70-120mm of adjustable travel, Cannondale also launched a new 29er model at Eurobike, with a more all-mountain feel and 80-130mm of travel.
While the 26in-wheeled Trigger will come with a carbon fiber frame, the 29er will be built exclusively around an all-aluminum frame – at least for now.
Key design features are shared by the bikes, though. These include clamped large-diameter axles at the main pivot and upper shock link pivot, plus twin cartridge bearings elsewhere for rigidity, a 142x12mm rear through-axle and a custom dual-mode Fox DYAD RT2 twin-chamber rear pull shock with a tidy cable actuated handlebar remote.
Only the top model will get the awesome looking new SuperMax fork, though – essentially an extra-burly version of Cannondale's remarkably capable Lefty. Whereas the current version's trump card is light weight, however, the SuperMax capitalizes on stiffness. Upper tube diameter grows from 38 mm to 42mm, the lower leg balloons from 32mm to 36mm, and there's even a new axle stub that allows for a wider hub shell for extra wheel strength under load.
The new SuperMax fork goes for all-out stiffness
Cannondale has also shifted the SuperMax's single leg rearward and reduced the profile of the upper section, to allow riders to use shorter stems than before. According to Washburn, the new SuperMax can now be fitted with stems as stubby as 50mm.
Disc brakes rule the roost for new cyclocross range
As yet another sign of things to come, Cannondale has outfitted its top-end SuperX carbon 'cross model with disc brakes for 2013. Compared to the standard rim brake version, the disc bike gets a strengthened non-driveside fork leg with specific shaping and lay-up schedules, plus altered shaping on the non-driveside seat stay to accommodate the caliper out back.
Tire clearance is improved slightly at both ends – mostly by virtue of removing all that rim brake clutter. But according to Washburn, the disc bike is also more comfortable because the seat stays no longer have to deal with the same stresses up high and can now be thinner and softer.
The top-end SuperX Hi-Mod Disc will come with a SRAM Red transmission, FSA SL-K carbon cranks with CX-specific chainrings, Stan's NoTubes ZTR Alpha 340 rims and Schwalbe Racing Ralph clinchers. Unfortunately, SRAM still doesn't have its hydraulic disc brakes ready for market, but Cannondale's spec sheet suggests a new high-end Avid BB7 Ultimate cable-actuated disc is at least on its way for the coming season.
The Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com team will be using disc brakes across the board
In yet another cutting-edge move, the second-tier rim brake-equipped SuperX Hi-Mod will come with a Shimano Ultegra Di2 electronic transmission and matching Ultegra tubeless wheels.
Finally, Cannondale has revamped the aluminum CAADX frames for 2013, with tube shapes borrowed from the CAAD10 and SuperX, slightly flattened stays to improve ride comfort. Just like the SuperX, the top offering will come exclusively with disc brakes.