Cannondale is officially launching an updated version of their lightweight XC hardtail mountain bike, the F-Si today. The Cannondale team, with the likes of Maxime Marot, Manuel Fumic, and Henrique Avancini will race the hardtail in Germany this weekend. It appears the team may have raced the updated bike down the rocky, log-filled course in Stellenbosch, South Africa back in March.
The F-Si was first introduced to the Cannondale line-up in 2015, and it was positioned as a World Cup capable XC bike. The 2018 model is 80g lighter than the previous version, and Cannondale claims it’s their lightest mountain bike frame to date.
The F-Si keeps Cannondale’s Asymmetric Integration, which spaces the drivetrain further away from the frame to allow shorter chainstays and better traction, according to the company. The bike is designed to accommodate tires up to 2.35” wide while still offering ample mud clearance. The F-Si retains the ability to mount a front derailleur for riders who choose to do so.
The head angle has been slackened by a half-degree to put it right at 69° while the seat tube angle is set at 73.1°. Cannondale calls this OutFront geometry when paired with their updated fork, the 100mm travel Lefty Ocho. They say this reduces the “trail,” effect, where the rear wheel chases the front when steering.
Pricing for the F-Si starts at $2,199 and tops out at $8,199.
The Lefty Ocho fork
What’s with the name, Lefty Ocho? Well, it’s the eighth version of the Lefty, which was introduced in 2000. The new version incorporates what Cannondale calls a GuideGuard, which sits on the inside of the stanchion, against the wheel to protect against cable rub.
For the Ocho, Cannondale managed to reduce the weight by a half-pound. The actual weight of the new carbon Lefty is 3.19 pounds, while the alloy version weighs 3.82 pounds. In comparison, the 100mm travel Fox 32 Step-Cast, which has seen a lot of use on the World Cup circuit, is 2.98 pounds. The Ocho won’t be the lightest XC fork option on the market, but the difference is only 86g.
Cannondale says the new Lefty features an updated damper and fewer “friction-causing seals and bushings.” The company also claims there is less friction on the inside of the fork than other cross-country forks, and that the Lefty Ocho is at least 9% stiffer than any other World Cup fork. It’s also equipped with a remote lockout lever and variable compression settings.
The Lefty Ocho will be available in carbon and aluminum models and will fit either 27.5 or 29er wheels. The fork will be featured on seven of the F-Si models. Lower-end builds will feature the Rock Shox Reba.