PARK CITY, UT (BRAIN) — The meetings—and riding—continue ...
The Bethel, Connecticut-based bike maker is waiting until after its global sales meeting next week here at Deer Valley to reveal much of its 2014 lineup. Still, Cannondale has some goodies to show PressCamp editors.
The Synapse performance/fondo road bike gets its first ground-up redesign since the model was introduced in 2006. Working with testers from the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team the company has fine-tuned the frame’s carbon layup for different levels of stiffness and compliance throughout. Rear seatstays have been engineered not only to flex, but to twist in a helix shape to additionally dampen road buzz, said Murray Washburn, global director of product marketing.The layup of the carbon fork has also been modified for different frame sizes to account for rider weight and prevent a harsh ride for smaller cyclists.
The 2013 Synapse’s proprietary teardrop-shaped seatpost is gone, replaced by a thinner 25.4-millimeter round seatpost held in place by an internal clamp, resulting in more flex at the post. The seat tube widens and splits before joining the bottom bracket shell—Cannondale has dubbed this “Power Pyradmid”—removing excess material in the center of the seat tube while retaining strength at weight-bearing areas on the edge of the BB shell.
Geometry gets more relaxed, with the headtube extended half an inch and the HT angle slackened half a degree. For further comfort—or to do gravel duty—the Synapse also accepts tires up to 28c.
The new two-model Rush 29 line is a hybrid of Cannondale’s midlevel RZ 26-inch alloy platform and carbon Scalpel race 29ers—aimed at bringing some of the handling and performance of the Scalpel to a more affordable price point, Washburn said.
The aluminum 29ers have a four-bar linkage suspension with 100 millimeters of travel, 1.5-inch headtube and fork steerer tube, and triple-chainring drivetrain. The top-end Rush 29 1 (MSRP: $2,180) is outfitted with a mix of Shimano XT and Deore, RockShox Recon fork and RockShox Monarch RL rear shock. The Rush 29 2 ($1,850) has an Alivio drivetrain, RockShox XC 30 fork and X-Fusion 02 RL shock.
Additionally, Cannondale has expanded its top-end Black Inc. road program to its mountain lineup, offering the carbon Scalpel 29 in a murdered-out charcoal-on-matte-black color scheme, Enve carbon rims and bars, and a Shimano XTR/SRAM XO drivetrain at just under $11,000.
Wheel maker Reynolds was an early entrant to the 27.5-inch MTB market, introducing lightweight 28-millimeter-wide carbon and alloy cross-country wheels last year. But the direction of the 650b — er … 27.5 — market has since become clearer.
The wheel size is headed predominantly for mid- to long-travel bikes, so Reynolds has brought on the 27.5 AM wheel (MSRP: $1,900), measuring 31 millimeters wide and 24 mil deep, and weighing in at a still-feathery 1,600 grams with a 28-hole spoke drilling.
“We really made this wheel to target the enduro market and riders who are pushing their limits,”said Rob Aguero, director of sales and marketing for the Sandy, Utah-based company.
Reynolds still serves the cross-country and marathon crowd in the tweener size with the 27.5 XC (MSRP: $1,990), weighing in at 1,500 grams with rims measuring 28 millimeters wide and 29 millimeters deep.
It should come as no surprise that Reynolds’ strongest MTB sales last year were for its 29-inch wheels. Further cementing big wheels’ dominance of the market is the fact that Reynolds will produce no 26-inch aftermarket wheels for 2014. It will supply OEs, however, with the increasingly marginalized wheel size.
Reynolds also continues its alloy rim program, with XC and AM wheels in both 27.5 and 29er, retailing for $725.
On the road side, Reynolds is shaking up its Performance Family of wheels for 2014, widening the rim track on the Attack, Assault and Strike models to 25 millimeters with an eye toward improving handling, comfort and aerodynamics.
The Attack ($1,600) has gone from a 32-millimeter rim depth to 29 mil, and weighs in at 1,365 grams per set. Assault ($1,800) goes from 46 to 41 millimeters deep, tipping the scales at 1,540 grams; it’s also offered in a disc version ($1,850) with no brake track, weighing 1,540 grams per set. And the Strike ($1,900) goes from 66 to 62 millimeters deep at 1,635 grams.
All three Performance Family models should be available this fall.