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  1. #1
    Harmonius Wrench
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    One Thousand Is The Magic Number

    Apparently, Cannondale is still tossing around the idea of building a twenty nine inch wheeled mountain bike. According to one of their product engineers, the "magic sales figure" to guarantee a profitable venture is 1000 bikes sold. They are not sure that the market will support a Cannondale 29"er at that number of units, or higher.

    Furthermore, they have a question as to how they would implement the Lefty design to provide enough travel to satisfy the masses. Yes, they are aware that people are pursuing the use of the Lefty fork on 29"ers and other bikes. They are VERY concerned about this, and DO NOT RECOMMEND IT! The forces exerted on a frame not originally designed for a Lefty may cause catastrophic failure. (That said, considering the number of "do it yourself" tubeless people on this board, I'm sure I'll get flamed for reporting that!) Anyway, the engineers at Cannondale apparently see designing a 29" compatible Lefty as a very expensive and time consuming project, given that they do extensive in house product testing.

    So, if you are a fan of C'dale, or would just like to see another choice in big wheeled fun, start pestering your dealers for a 29" C'dale offering. Saying that you'll buy one wouldn't hurt, and if they see enough demand, you just might see an aluminum big-wheeled monster from Bedford, PA. The idea is still on the table at C'dale. What do ya'all think?
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  2. #2
    dirty hippy mountainbiker
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    What is it about the lefty that's so bad for the frame?

    I'm not interested in their frames. Just the lefty.

    -M
    Mike Henderson, Dirty Hippy Mountain Biker and part owner of Jet Lites.

  3. #3
    Harmonius Wrench
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    The Force

    According to C'dale, the forces transferred to the headtube area of a bicycle frame by a Lefty are unique and unlike any other fork on the market. C'dale has designed their frames to work in unison with the unique requirements of a Lefty. They have no idea what may or may not happen to a Lefty mated to another frame of another manufacturer. However; the high probability that another frame was not designed for use with a Lefty leads them to believe that the resultant combinations may lead to things like head tubes shearing off.
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  4. #4
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    Hey Cannondale-

    Here's an idea: Use some of that alu tubing you've got laying around to build a longer legged Headshok. That's gotta be the cheapest 29" fork conversion around, not to mention a way for you to milk a few more years out of that design.

    Give the bike you put it on tight geometry and spec it with lightish parts, then offer two price points, "mid level" and "semi-bling" and you'll have the raciest 29" ride around.

    And I guarantee you'll sell as many as you can build.

    MC

    P.S. Contact me if you need a contractor to design the bike for you.

  5. #5
    Frame Building Moderator
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    Pretty much like any dual crown fork

    The lefty doesn't exert forces that are really that different than a conventional dual-crown fork. In the mid 90s, when dual crown forks first came out, some frames couldn't handle them, partially because people were slapping 100+mm forks on frames designed for 63mm, or none at all. Since then, things have improved a lot. Cannondale is just covering their butts here - there's no reason to worry about putting a lefty on any modern frame designed for that amount of travel.

    That said, I'm no engineer, so if your 29er lefty breaks the headtube off of your 29er frame of choice, it ain't my fault.

    I think C-dale has become quite a bit more conservative about profitability for weird new projects after the moto fiasco. Sounds like they might do a 29er though, which would be neat.

    -Walt

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    According to C'dale, the forces transferred to the headtube area of a bicycle frame by a Lefty are unique and unlike any other fork on the market. C'dale has designed their frames to work in unison with the unique requirements of a Lefty. They have no idea what may or may not happen to a Lefty mated to another frame of another manufacturer. However; the high probability that another frame was not designed for use with a Lefty leads them to believe that the resultant combinations may lead to things like head tubes shearing off.

  6. #6
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    I don't know how good Headshocks are, but I love the idea that they stay clean and out of the way. I also imagine that they don't require as much maintanence (but I could be wrong). I think it would be pretty cool.

  7. #7
    Harmonius Wrench
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    You "think" correctly!

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt

    I think C-dale has become quite a bit more conservative about profitability for weird new projects after the moto fiasco. Sounds like they might do a 29er though, which would be neat.

    -Walt
    Exactly! That's why you really haven't seen the "off the main trail" ideas that used to be so prominent with them throughout the 90's. They have a conservative board of directors to answer to now.
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  8. #8
    Just Ride!
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    I have sent Cannondale an email about 4 times in the last year or so with a link to the 29er forums in hopes they would take an interest in this market. I have always liked the design of the headshock and a 1FG Ultra would be right up my alley, not to mention there is a dealer up the street.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    Apparently, Cannondale is still tossing around the idea of building a twenty nine inch wheeled mountain bike. According to one of their product engineers, the "magic sales figure" to guarantee a profitable venture is 1000 bikes sold. They are not sure that the market will support a Cannondale 29"er at that number of units, or higher.

    Furthermore, they have a question as to how they would implement the Lefty design to provide enough travel to satisfy the masses. Yes, they are aware that people are pursuing the use of the Lefty fork on 29"ers and other bikes. They are VERY concerned about this, and DO NOT RECOMMEND IT! The forces exerted on a frame not originally designed for a Lefty may cause catastrophic failure. (That said, considering the number of "do it yourself" tubeless people on this board, I'm sure I'll get flamed for reporting that!) Anyway, the engineers at Cannondale apparently see designing a 29" compatible Lefty as a very expensive and time consuming project, given that they do extensive in house product testing.

    So, if you are a fan of C'dale, or would just like to see another choice in big wheeled fun, start pestering your dealers for a 29" C'dale offering. Saying that you'll buy one wouldn't hurt, and if they see enough demand, you just might see an aluminum big-wheeled monster from Bedford, PA. The idea is still on the table at C'dale. What do ya'all think?

    They say "The fork will only work on our frame" because if they were to say it does work on 29'ers or other frames it makes them liable if it does break anything. It would be great to see a real 29'er C-Dale with a lefty.

  10. #10

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    This might have already been posted...

    http://thebradblog.iuplog.com/default.asp?item=110975

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by VERVE 29er
    This might have already been posted...

    http://thebradblog.iuplog.com/default.asp?item=110975
    Cool! I'm the "Matt" that sent the 29'er request. I had not been back to the site since posting the question.

  12. #12
    Recovering couch patato
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    I think Cannondale would do themselves and their dealers a big favor to just ditch the 1FG for a similarly spec'd and priced 29FI. Maybe with geared option on the dropouts so people can get creative with it, use it as a build kit to stick spare geared parts on if they like 29" or find to dislike singlespeed.

    I recommend Mikesee as a designer, and if he's budy I'd gladly do it myself in return for one copy.
    With an experienced 29" rider//fiddler at the drawing board, first prototype can be pretty much production ready and super easy to sell.

    Designing and marketing a few geared models as race-specific sounds like a great way to attract otherwise non-Cannondale buyers, and keep loyal customers with you. Sell the 29"ers as a new race tool. Faster, and more fun to boot. And the Cannondale team riders will like having a new tool to win their races on. Beijing is around the corner...

  13. #13
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    A Cannondale HT with a headshok was my last 26" wheeled bike, and I reckon as far as lightweight mass-produced Al hardtails go they're pretty damn had to beat. I'd definitely like to see them bring this to market. My preference would be for a headshok rather than lefty - if only from a purely aesthetic standpoint.

    Sam

  14. #14
    Harmonius Wrench
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    To mikesee, et all

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Hey Cannondale-

    Here's an idea: Use some of that alu tubing you've got laying around to build a longer legged Headshok. That's gotta be the cheapest 29" fork conversion around, not to mention a way for you to milk a few more years out of that design.

    Give the bike you put it on tight geometry and spec it with lightish parts, then offer two price points, "mid level" and "semi-bling" and you'll have the raciest 29" ride around.

    And I guarantee you'll sell as many as you can build.

    MC

    P.S. Contact me if you need a contractor to design the bike for you.
    I think that you Head shock proponents are right about the advantages to using that design for a 29" wheeled C'dale. However; I would like to know how you would address the added heighth to the front end of the bike. It seems to me that a headshock equipped twenty niner would be quite tall, which many have said is a drawback to achieving the "racey" posistion they had on their 26" wheeled bikes. It seems that the headshock would be a disadvantage in this area, especially in smaller sizes. Any ideas? Am I wrong?
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  15. #15
    minister of chaos
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Hey Cannondale-

    Here's an idea: Use some of that alu tubing you've got laying around to build a longer legged Headshok. That's gotta be the cheapest 29" fork conversion around, not to mention a way for you to milk a few more years out of that design.
    An even easier way from a manufacturing standpoint is to just machine a new set of clamps with 1.5" of downward offset. They they could use the existing leg and internals with no need to design an entire new fork. It would probably be 50g heavier than extending the leg, but as a way to test the waters it would be great.
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  16. #16
    minister of chaos
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    In talking to our local rep and pestering him everytime he comes in the shop, he's told me that a lot of reps are heading back to HQ saying that people are asking for a 29". He also said that they are a bit more conservative these days, and that he "didn't see a prototype in the lab" . When a tech guy came by for a headshok inservice, he was very interested in my setup, took some pics, etc.

    I'm sure that it is just a matter of time.
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  17. #17
    LFJ
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    headshok

    My vote is for Cannondale to do a race ready 29er aluminum hardtail with a headshok. To address the added height of the headshok, my simple (no scientific data) solution is to reduce the amount of travel from 80mm to 60 - 65mm on the headshok. This would reduce the height of the front end slightly. Also this would allow for a very minimal amount of suspension. Remember the earlier rock shox sids were set at only 63mm of travel.
    With the big wheels and minimal travel with a lockout I think this would be a great race bike. Just my opinion. Now if I could only convince Cannondale of this.


    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Tuesday
    In talking to our local rep and pestering him everytime he comes in the shop, he's told me that a lot of reps are heading back to HQ saying that people are asking for a 29". He also said that they are a bit more conservative these days, and that he "didn't see a prototype in the lab" . When a tech guy came by for a headshok inservice, he was very interested in my setup, took some pics, etc.

    I'm sure that it is just a matter of time.

  18. #18

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    For a company that does "extensive in house testing" they sure have a problem with sending out products that needed a bit more testing/tweaking.

    1st generation Scalpels have serious issues with the bonding of the seat-stays letting go, Gemini swing arms also had bonding issues, the damn Raven was a big mess(remember the foam fix?). Headshocks are a great fork if you ride a few times a year. Big milage folks need constant service of that little, bitty cartridge in the fork.

    Maybe a Headshock with the new Magura aftermarket internals? I a much bigger fan of the Lefty now that Manitou is providing the guts.


    I would love to see Cannondale make a bike, I think the bike geeks/engineer types would eat them up.

  19. #19
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    I vote for a Scalpel 29er

    i'm not a mechanical/bike engineer, but why couldn't Cannondale simply add about 1 inch to the Scapel chainstay length and have a neat FS XC 29er prototype......

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonassterling

    Maybe a Headshock with the new Magura aftermarket internals? I a much bigger fan of the Lefty now that Manitou is providing the guts.

    Someone correct me if they know something to the contrary, but I believe all of the high-end C'dales with Headshoks are using the Magura internals this year.
    -Sean

  21. #21
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    GuitarTed, just a flipped Mary bar does the trick, doesn't it? If this really becomes an issue for Cannondale, they could always just stick some CODA logo's flipped on a generic 2" riser bar. Give it a cool name, make the bike look fast.

  22. #22
    Harmonius Wrench
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    Not too fashionable

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    GuitarTed, just a flipped Mary bar does the trick, doesn't it? If this really becomes an issue for Cannondale, they could always just stick some CODA logo's flipped on a generic 2" riser bar. Give it a cool name, make the bike look fast.
    I remember back when Cannondale stuck their headsock design on their XC race bikes back in the 90's. Remember back when everyone had their bike set up with a zero degree stem and a saddle height at least three inches above the bar, which was flat, and had big ol' bar ends.........AH! I digress! Anyway, the headshock required that you run a negative rise stem to attain the "posistion du jour" and purists cried foul. I think something similar would happen should C'dale take you up on your suggestion, Cloxxki.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    I remember back when Cannondale stuck their headsock design on their XC race bikes back in the 90's. Remember back when everyone had their bike set up with a zero degree stem and a saddle height at least three inches above the bar, which was flat, and had big ol' bar ends.........AH! I digress! Anyway, the headshock required that you run a negative rise stem to attain the "posistion du jour" and purists cried foul. I think something similar would happen should C'dale take you up on your suggestion, Cloxxki.
    I was just thinking the same thing. BTW, I still have a flat bar, long stem, seat 3 inches above the bar and barends lol.

  24. #24
    SALSAFIED endurance racer
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    I'd like to have a 29" Rush - this would be great fun to ride & race ...
    It's got to be AUSTRIA !!!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by realbiker
    I'd like to have a 29" Rush - this would be great fun to ride & race ...
    This would be an AWSOME bike .. especially for all the 24 hour racer types

  26. #26
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    I used to own a cannondale f1000 sl before it got nicked and would be very interested as that bike was a fast as **** off a shovel.

    Can't understand why they are even having to think about the idea as the Gary Fisher RIG has all but seen off the 1FG.

  27. #27
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    I have seen a few custom builders put their own fork onto a headshock internals.

    I could see what my local builder would charge for something like that.

    I was one of those guys in the 90s with a negative 15 degree stem, total Tinker style.

    Shane

  28. #28
    DSR
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    Ha!

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt
    I think C-dale has become quite a bit more conservative about profitability for weird new projects after the moto fiasco. Sounds like they might do a 29er though, which would be neat.

    -Walt
    True that! I wouldve loved to have been a fly on the wall during the whole motos discussions. "Uh, motos also have two wheels... I guess." Hindsight is 20/20 obviously, but sheesh. I was never a C-dale fan, but the more options the better. S

  29. #29
    tl1
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    I'm not a fan of their ...

    ...proprietary approach to building bikes and components. So if they sold a 29"er with a Lefty, a weird hub or a Headshok I'd never buy one. If my fork breaks, I don't want to be at the mercy of Cannondale dealers only for service and parts. When I had a Headshok that was a frustrating and expensive experience. I think they'd do really well selling a nice light 29"er with a Reba and good fork, toe and tire clearance though.

  30. #30
    Always Learning
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    Quote Originally Posted by LFJ
    Now if I could only convince Cannondale of this.
    Remember, we are talking about an American company that went bankrupt in 2003 and as a result is now owned by one of their 2 largest creditors, Pegasus Partners. The creditor calls all the shots and I imagine "convincing" them involves a lot more than any of us simply expressing "wants" or "desires".

    BB

  31. #31
    Stewed Screwed & Tattooed
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    Quote Originally Posted by tl1
    ...proprietary approach to building bikes and components. So if they sold a 29"er with a Lefty, a weird hub or a Headshok I'd never buy one. If my fork breaks, I don't want to be at the mercy of Cannondale dealers only for service and parts.
    Do you own an Ipod? Or any Apple product for that matter? They are all about system integration but hardly any one I know would turn down an Ipod or say they didn't want one. OK heres a better one. Do you own a car? I could bet my life that a toyota transmission would not work in a Honda. Good companies design products as a unit to work flawlessly together. Cannondale is not the only company to make proprietary stuff (remember it's done to make things better!) so why do they get slammed for it so much?

  32. #32
    TEAM TOPEAK - ERGON
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    Can you say Shimano?

    Quote Originally Posted by bad ronald
    Do you own an Ipod? Or any Apple product for that matter? They are all about system integration but hardly any one I know would turn down an Ipod or say they didn't want one. OK heres a better one. Do you own a car? I could bet my life that a toyota transmission would not work in a Honda. Good companies design products as a unit to work flawlessly together. Cannondale is not the only company to make proprietary stuff (remember it's done to make things better!) so why do they get slammed for it so much?

    Agreed. Alot of companies do this.

  33. #33
    dirty hippy mountainbiker
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    But in cycling there's already an established system of standards and network of aftermarket suppliers. To cut them out limits our options. If it's a good enough idea then it makes sense. I think the Cannondale forks are good enough ideas to warrant it. But I still with I could have had my custom bike built for one and bought a licensed version for it.

    -M
    Mike Henderson, Dirty Hippy Mountain Biker and part owner of Jet Lites.

  34. #34
    tl1
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy
    But in cycling there's already an established system of standards and network of aftermarket suppliers. To cut them out limits our options. If it's a good enough idea then it makes sense. I think the Cannondale forks are good enough ideas to warrant it. But I still with I could have had my custom bike built for one and bought a licensed version for it.

    -M
    If one likes Cannondale's proprietary forks and hubs that's great, more power to them. We could still be friends. I haven't had good experiences having to rely on the very limited number of bike shops that are Cannondale dealers to obtain service and parts for a component that wasn't that great of a performer to start with with in my case (Headshok).

    I would never buy a Cannondale bike with a proprietary Cannondale-only fork again and I'm not alone. Therefore when the CDale engineers worry about having to reengineer the Lefty for 29"er use, it's probably pointless from a sales standpoint to even consider doing so. I don't think many bike buyers are clamoring for those forks in 29"er form.

  35. #35

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    While we're dreaming, I vote for a 5.5" front and rear 29er Prophet to go with the 29er Scalpel and Rush. That'd be SHWEET!

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