Thursday, March 06, 2008

08 Cannondale Rize and Moto Bikes

Sorry for the bad picture but it's all I got of the new Rize from Cannondale. 130mm travel bikes from less than $2k to almost $6k. The lightest ones should be around 24lbs. This one is the Rize Carbon 2, the almost-nicest bike in the line.

This Rize is a BIG step for Cannondale. They have been beating the single-pivot drum for 15 years or so. 'Super simple, super-low maintenance, super stiff!' Sure, and super pedal input on the shock causing it to ride a bit unpleasantly. With the platform shocks hitting the market, Cannondale squeezed a few more years out of single-pivot. I think the RP stuff from Fox is too pronounced unless way open and then you realize the limitations of any design. With all of Cannondale's engineering genius, I would hope they could design their own shocks for their bikes since they managed it with forks but no. Maybe it would have happened in a world of no bankruptcy but who knows. But I digress. This bike is a linkage bike and I have heard it compared to a Jamis many times already. Nothing wrong with that. If Jamis could get their 5" travel bike down to this weight, it would be a better comparison.

Now on the left, we have the new 08 Moto bikes. Yes, the top line models are carbon, just like all of the other Cdale bikes these days. The Moto is 160mm of fun-lovin' travel. You'll notice Fox forks on a lot more bikes these days as Cannondale can't afford to put Lefty forks on a lot of bikes. Ok, that's not the right way to say it: Leftys are SUPER expensive and it's hard to put a $1k fork on a bike that costs $2k or less.

I'm a big fan of the Lefty forks. They are super-stiff. They are light. They are buttery-smooth because they roll on bearings instead of rubbing on bushings.

The feedback that I hear from Cannondale is that they still have some trouble getting people on Lefty forks. You see them constantly working with Fox on various products including some Fox internals in some forks. That has been going on for years. I understand why they do it but I'd rather see some changes and travel upgrades on the Lefty so that Cannondale offers more of a unique product.

I have ordered a few of the Rize bikes for our Demo Fleet. We will see the Moto bikes when the Cannondale trailer rolls into town. This is my cup o tea! If the weights are down and the brake jack and pedaling are dialed, it should be fun. I'll work on getting some weight info on the Moto. I'm sure they are all over 30lbs with the Fox 36 on the front but maybe the carbon bling-bling bike is under 30, which would be rad!


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