Pro bike: Marco Fontana's Cannondale F29

1x11 cross-country rig with 29in Enve hoops

Sometimes Olympic bronze medalists have to make tough decisions — like figuring out which bike to race. When Marco Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing) shows up at races, he'll have to decide between his Cannondale F29 with the Italian national champ paint job or his stock Cannondale Factory Team F29.

"I would say they both look great," said Fontana, the current Italian mountain bike and cyclocross national champion. "Probably the national championship colors will hit the World Cups. For training and smaller races, the normal team custom paint job will do. I like the fact that the bikes look light, too, with their lines and colors."

Both of Fontana's F29 bikes are built up on stock, medium-sized Cannondale F29 frames, each with their respective paint jobs.

Enve 29in hoops wrapped in Schwalbe Racing Ralph rubber

The carbon hardtail F29 has a 2013 Cannondale Lefty XLR fork with remote lockout and 70mm of travel. It's the newest style of Lefty in production, referred to as the "hybrid" because it includes half needle bearings and half bushings instead of all (88) needle bearings like in 2012. It uses air for the suspension and oil for the damping. It also features a round lower leg and ditches the shock boot and air filter vent since the new closed system offers more resistance against weather and mud, Cannondale says.

Fontana works with a European company called 88+ Tuning to dial in his fork. Shims and internals help him adjust travel and fork dynamics.

The biggest changes on Fontana's bikes for the 2013 season are the updated SRAM drivetrain and Enve wheels.

"This year, we're going with the 1x11 [SRAM drivetrain]," he said. "We had switched in the middle of 2012 to a 1x10. We also changed wheels for this season. These are carbon wheelsets, high profile. The changes make for a different kind of ride, but I already feel competitive with this setup."

It features a 36-tooth sram xx1 chainring and 10-42 sram xx1 cassette: it features a 36-tooth sram xx1 chainring and 10-42 sram xx1 cassette
No front derailleur here: the SRAM XX1 drivetrain

Fontana's SRAM XX1 drivetrain uses an 10/42 cassette and a 36-tooth chainring.

The 1x11 drivetrain eliminates the front derailleur and therefore front derailleur mis-shifts and dropped chains. It also makes for a lighter, cleaner-looking system.

The Enve wheels are XC29 rims with DT Swiss 240S hubs (Lefty-specific up front) and DT Aerolite spokes. Fontana's team mechanic said the new wheels save 250g over the previous wheels.

Another special element of Fontana's bike is the custom XX1 spider on his Cannondale SISL2 crankset, which spins on a Cannondale SI bottom bracket.

At most events, Fontana will race Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.1 tires with Snakeskin protection on the sidewalls.

Prologo handles the contact points at the hands and butt by providing grips and a Prologo X0 CPC saddle.

An FSA K-Force (670mm) bar, with nine degrees of back sweep and 4 degrees of up sweep, attaches to the frame via a Cannondale OPI stem/steerer and Cannondale Headshock headset.

The cockpit of the bike is very clean with just one rear sram xx1 rear shifter and a fork remote lockout: the cockpit of the bike is very clean with just one rear sram xx1 rear shifter and a fork remote lockout
The absence of the left shifter (and the right fork leg) makes for a minimalist look

FSA also makes his seatpost, a 27.2mm diameter K-Force with 25mm of setback.

Fontana's bike weighed in at 8.45kg (18.6lb) with tubeless-compatible rim tape and tubes installed. He plans to race a tubeless setup.

The Italian national champion is not making any major changes to his position, but he noted that he is constantly tweaking it.

"I always change my measured position from day to day, from season to season," he said. "When I change the seat, I feel if it needs to be lower or higher. I move the position a lot. I go more by how it feels - it's more about feeling. Maybe on my road bike, I keep the same setup, but off road I'm always moving my cleats and shoes forward and backward. Sometimes my feet are more in toward the cranks, sometimes more outboard, and I have new shoes."

Marco fontana's cannondale f29, with custom italian national champion's paint job: marco fontana's cannondale f29, with custom italian national champion's paint job
The Italian champ F29 is one of Fontana's 10 Cannondale bikes for the season

Speaking of both his position and the weight of his bike, he said, "It's not about numbers - that's not what matters. It's not always about what's lightest."

The good-humored Fontana pointed out that there is one remaining important 2013 bike setup detail pending.

Speaking of the bike he intends to race at the Worlds Cups, he said, "I still need to talk with her, and see if she's ready for winning, but we haven't had time to talk yet."

For the record, Fontana has 10 Cannondale bikes to ride for the 2013 season: one national championship F29 bike and one CFR painted F29 bike to stay with the team truck and travel to races; one training F29 bike; one Scalpel 29 bike; one Jekyll (26er) bike; one Super 6 Evo road bike; and four Super X disc cyclocross bikes.

The sram xx world cup rear brake works on a 140mm rotor: the sram xx world cup rear brake works on a 140mm rotor
SRAM XX World Cup caliper with a 140mm rotor

Complete bike specifications
FrameCannondale F29
SizeMedium (stock size, custom Italian national champion paint job)
Rear shockNone
ForkCannondale Lefty XLR Hybrid, 70mm travel, remote Rockshox lockout
HeadsetCannondale Headshock SI
StemCannondale OPI (One Piece Integration)
HandlebarsFSA K-Force 670mm, 9 degrees backsweep, 4 degrees upsweep
Tape/gripsPrologo
Front brakeAvid XX World Cup, 160mm rotor
Rear brakeAvid XX World Cup, 140mm rotor
Brake leversAvid XX World Cup
Front derailleurNone
Rear derailleurSRAM XX1
Shift leversSRAM XX1 (rear only, no front lever)
CassetteSRAM XX1, 10-42T
ChainSRAM XX1
CranksetCannondale SISL2 (with 36T chainring)
Bottom bracketCannondale SI, BB30
PedalsShimano SPD XTR
WheelsetSee Rims/Front Hubs/Spokes
RimsEnve XC29
Front hubDT Swiss 240S, Lefty-specific
Rear hubDT Swiss 240S
SpokesDT Aerolite
Front tireSchwalbe Racing Ralph 2.1 with Snakeskin sidewall
Rear tireSchwalbe Racing Ralph 2.1 with Snakeskin sidewall
SaddlePrologo X0 CPC
Seat postFSA K-Force 27.2mm diameter, 25mm setback
Bottle cagesCannondale Alloy
ComputerMio Cyclo 105
Critical measurements
Rider's height1.72m (5'8")
Rider's weight68kg (149lb)
Seat tube length, c-c385
Seat tube length, c-t440
Saddle height, from BB (c-t)710
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars560
C of front wheel to top of bars645
Top tube length590 (actual)
Total bicycle weight8.45kg (18.6lb)
Sue George
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