“I attacked it like a rabid beaver” | Our favourite bike designer’s wild restomod Cannondale F29

Industrial designer Daniel Manfredsson commits his vision to carbon, restoring a 2012 Cannondale F29 to create "his dream bike"

Local Bike Chop Cannondale F29

Daniel Manfredsson is an industrial designer based in Stockholm with an inarguably impeccable taste in bikes and a flair for imagining truly wild concepts for the bikes of the future.


Taking his concepts out of the digital realm, Manfredsson’s (née Gunnarsson) latest project sees his vision committed to carbon, renovating a 2012 Cannondale F29 Carbon to create his “dream bike”.

As we’ve come to expect from Daniel – who is also known by his online alias, Local Bike Chop – this is no normal ‘neo-retro’ makeover.

He’s gone as far as hacking the frame “like a rabid beaver” to add internal cable routing, repairing cracked carbon wheels and adorning the bike with a sensational splatter paint-job.

The results speak for themselves – this really is a unique bike and it’s a joy to see Daniel’s vision come to light.

Here, Daniel talks us through why he chose this bike as his dream bike and how he actually constructed it. There is some truly bonkers stuff in here, so sit back and take the time to check out each gallery.

Local Bike Chop Cannondale F29 custom paint
The finish on the frame itself is amazing.
Local Bike Chop

Being a designer and bike nerd, people often think I am most interested in the most expensive or the ‘most beautiful’ bikes – but that’s not really the case. What I really like to see is character in a bike, and character is often not the most beautiful – but it is oh so interesting.

I like Lauf forks, I like the Canyon Grail’s Hover bar, I like Lefty forks – that’s just the kind of guy I am.

With my bike collection, I try to fill it with bikes that really have a personal connection to me. I also like to collect bikes that will, hopefully, irritate some people in the generally very conservative bike community.

Before you look at the pictures and think ‘what a moron spending all that money on that bike’, let me explain – I am a self-confessed Cannondale fanboy.

My first real mountain bike was a Cannondale F800 some 20 years ago, and I have been riding their bikes since then.

I am drawn to a specific era of Cannondale’s bikes, not necessarily its newest models – just like a Porsche, the new 911 is fantastic, but the air-cooled 964 and older feel purer to the brand’s original concept. Not necessarily better, but purer.

My preferred era revolves around the Flash, F29 and FSI models ranging from roughly 2009–2017. I have owned six of these bikes, right the way from 26in-wheeled bikes to the latest 2017 29er. They all have fantastic carbon frames that, when they were introduced, really pushed the limits of manufacturing as well as low weight.

The beautiful design was an organic evolution of Cannondale’s smooth welded aluminium CAAD frames.

The crazy Cannondale-ness also shines through with the Lefty fork, mad fork-specific headset standards, the BB30 bottom bracket standard, the asymmetry of some components, the SI integrated components and so on.

Similarly, in stark contrast to industry standards of the time, Cannondale retained QR axles and external routing right up to the end of that era because they made for quicker wheel changes and easier servicing.

I believe this era of bikes is truer to Cannondale’s uncompromising ‘we do it our way’ philosophy than its newer bikes – again, they’re not necessarily better but, in my eyes, purer to that concept.

I have never kept a bike stock. Even when I buy a new bike, I see them as examples of how it can be built, but I often find myself tearing the bike apart and building it up with components to my personal tastes.

With this build I wanted to push things a bit – I really wanted to build my dream bike. It is best thought of as the manifestation of a personal love affair with a brand, rather than an attempt at building the ultimate crowd pleaser – if you are a Cannondale nerd like me, you will understand my obsession.

I decided from the beginning to go with SRAM´s wireless AXS shifting system, so I decided to remove all external cable guides and build an internal cable system for the rear brake.

As I was going for a 1x setup, I also removed the front derailleur mount.

This meant a lot of carbon fibre work, covering all the holes I had created in the frame. One key benefit of working with older frames is that the warranty is long gone – I attacked it like a rabid beaver without any anxiety at all.

Once I had the frame smoothed out, I let the painter at one of my local bike shops, Cykelcity Stockholm, go nuts with the paintwork. I really wanted an 80/90s inspired paint job and, for me, that meant there was only one option – splatter paint.

When I choose the components for this bike, I wanted a mix of old and new. I also wanted to pack in as much of the cool stuff I had seen through the years as a Cannondale nerd, but could never previously afford.

Local Bike Chop Cannondale F29
It’s hard not to admire Daniel’s commitment and passion to the brand. Here, he recreates the overall style of Cannondale’s catalogues of the era for his own creation.
Local Bike Chop

Nowadays, these high-end parts don’t cost that much secondhand, and even less if you – like me – buy a cracked and oval-shaped carbon wheelset and then spend hours upon hours on fixing it.

Is this really worth it? Yes. Does buying old pedals then repainting and refurbishing them make sense? In my mind, yes.

Local Bike Chop Cannondale F29 wheelset
Though you’d never know, the wheels have actually been repaired by Daniel.

Now the build is finally finished, I think I can describe it as ‘nu-retro’ – it is based on a frame from 2012 and the components are a mix of parts from early 2000s to the latest we have today.

The aesthetic expression is very much inspired by 80/90s era mountain bikes, but with a much cleaner overall look with no triple cranksets or front derailleurs. Likewise, the stance is more modern XC race bike.

Local Bike Chop Cannondale F29
It’s hard to believe this bike could have turned out even more wild.
Local Bike Chop

Despite its nineties influence, I decided to resist going [over the top] with anodized CNC parts, though have used a oil slick screws to complement the coloured splatter paint.

I’ve called this build ‘Save-a-Dale’ – I want to inspire people to keep these old race-bred machines rolling.

Modern trends aside, these bikes still have a lot of life left in them and with modern updates, they are still amazing to ride.

And again, when all warranties are long gone… well, it is so much easier to go nuts.

Local Bike Chop’s refurbished nu-retro Cannondale F29 specs

Local Bike Chop Cannondale F29
The full build comes in at 8.57kg.
Local Bike Chop
  • Frame: 2012 Cannondale F29 HiMod BallisTec painted in “white and power puff puke”
  • Fork: Cannondale Lefty XLR Alu 100mm
  • Rims: Tune UD carbon, 32h
  • Front hub: Tune Cannonball
  • Rear hub: Carbon Ti X-Hub
  • Tyres: Specialized Renegade 2.3in
  • Pedals: CODA 500
  • Crankset: Cannondale SI
  • Chainring: Carbaruk NW 36t
  • Derailleur: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS
  • Cassette: SRAM XX1 Eagle 10-50
  • Handlebar: USE Ultimate Alu
  • Grips: ESI Chunky
  • Stem: Leonardi Racing Johnny
  • Brakeset: Avid XO carbon with Ashima rotors
  • Saddle: Fabric ALM
  • Seatpost: Use Ultimate Alu
  • Seat clamp: Tune Schraubwürfer
  • Bottle cage: Supcuz TiFly Oil slick
  • Weight: 18.9lbs/8.57kg