Cannondale Bikes - Interbike 2009

Oct 7, 2009
by Mike Levy  
Cannondale has proven themselves to be one of the most innovative bicycle companies around. Debuting new technology every year has kept them at the forefront of the cycling world and inside we'll have a closer look at a new 120 mm travel platform, the RZ One Twenty. Using 3D forging, a single piece Si stem and steerer unit, and an amazing 3 lb 120 mm travel Lefty fork, the RZ platform continues push the limits.

Watch the video and listen to Cannondale's Doug Dalton explain the new RZ One Twenty
Views: 5,822    Faves: 1    Comments: 5

The RZ One Twenty 1

Cannondale's RZ One Twenty is a bike that a lot of riders will find more than capable enough to tackle their local terrain, as well as a fresh approach to a shorter travel platform. The little brother to the One Forty, the new RZ is a firmer platform and aimed at riders who are looking for a bike with a bit sportier feel to it. While we are used to seeing longer travel bikes boast about stiffness improving qualities, the RZ series has some interesting features that keep the 5" travel frame rigid and precise.

The RZ's entire seat tube, BB shell, and pivot assembly is a single 3D forged structure to ensure perfect alignment and maximum stiffness

Meaty chainstays and captured pivots at the dropout to further enhance rigidity

The RZ One Twenty can brag about having some very neat technology built into it. The heart of the bike is its 3D forged seat tube, pivot points, and BB shell (think along the lines of a high-end seat post being all one piece). Forging ensures that this important piece is perfectly straight and stronger than a welded together unit. Large diameter aluminum pivot hardware and captured dropout pivots help to boost stiffness even more. Although the BB30 bottom bracket system can be found on many other bikes now, Cannondale was the first to use this large diameter spindle and bearing design and it makes another appearance aboard the RZ One Twenty's frame. One of the most unique pieces on the One Twenty is the Si stem and steerer tube combination. Si is an acronym for System Integration and the stem/steerer are just that, a one piece unit that does not rely on bolts or clamps of any kind to hold it together. Lighter, stiffer, and pretty damn neat!

Cannondale are the originators of the BB30 bottom bracket system and it is used here on the RZ One Twenty

RZ One Twenty 1 full specs
Frame and SizeCannondale RZ One Twenty
•Si BB30
Rear ShockFox Float RP23
ForkLefty Ultra Carbon w/PBR, 120mm
HeadsetCannondale HeadShok Si
CrankarmsFSA Afterburner BB30 w/Carbon Spider, 44/32/22
Bottom BracketFSA BB30
PedalsCrank Brothers Candy
ChainKMC X9 CP 9-speed
CassetteSRAM PG-970, 11-34
Rear DerailleurSRAM X-9
Front DerailleurSRAM X-7
ShiftersSRAM X-9
HandlebarFSA XC-282 660mm, 18mm riser, 31.8mm
StemCannondale XC3 Si Stem/Steerer
GripsCannondale Morse Alloy Locking grips
BrakesAvid Elixir CR, 160/160mm
Front WheelDT Swiss XCR 1.5 Custom, Lefty SL 24h hub
Rear WheelSDT Swiss XCR 1.5 Custom, DT 340 24h
TiresSchwalbe Racing Ralph EVO Folding, 26 x 2.25"
SaddlePrologo Vertigo Max, chromoly rails
SeatpostCannondale C2 Black, 31.6mm

A Lefty Ultra Carbon w/PBR and 120 mm of travel at the front of the RZ One Twenty 1

Lefty Specs

• 130 mm of travel, 3 lb. weight
• Push button lockout
• Rebound adjust
• Solo air spring w/ self adjusting negative air spring
• Si single piece stem and steerer unit - lighter and stiffer

The Lefty may be different than what you have seen but has been around for a decade now in many travel and damper options

Despite the fact that the proven Lefty fork platform has been in service for many years now, even outlasting any competitor's models, it still has its fair share of doubters simply based on the fact that it is a single sided system. Those riders who would like to learn more about the Lefty fork and why it has been so successful over the years should head over to Cannondale's Why Lefty?' page and familiarize oneself with the internal workings of this misunderstood fork. Remember kids, don't hate, educate!

Have a look at the entire RZ One Twenty lineup!

Cannondale Moto Carbon 2

Watch the video to learn more about the Moto's Hatchet-Drive suspension and how Cannondale used Carbon fiber on their 6" AM bike
Views: 4,213    Faves: 5    Comments: 4

It must be blast to work in Cannondale's R and D section. The big C always seems like it has something on the go that is pushing the limits, or at least making some of their competitors scratch their heads. I think the Moto ticks both of those boxes off. Not content to slack out an existing bike and bolt on a longer stroke shock, Cannondale developed the 6" travel Moto from scratch for last season. Never one to follow any trends, the Moto has a look that is all its own. Built from carbon fiber, still a rarity in the 6" travel sector, the Moto uses Cannondale's Hatchet-Drive suspension to avoid mounting the shock to the front triangle. Thru-axles front and rear, a full length seat tube, and all-mountain geometry are the other important ingredients that make up the Moto package.

Cannondale Moto Carbon 2

The Moto's Hatchet-Drive suspension

Look closer and you'll find that the Fox shock that handles rear suspension duties is not mounted to the front triangle, but to the black link at the top and the swingarm at the opposite end. This allows the engineers at Cannondale to accomplish two things. First, it lets them build both a lighter and stronger front triangle because it no longer has to be braced to accept any force from the suspension. Second, they have another place to control the rate of the suspension. The Hatchet-Drive is driven via a Cannondale staple, a simple and solid single pivot and a substantial swingarm.

A 12 x 135 mm rear Maxle for stiffness and quick removal

Moto Carbon 2 full specs

Frame and SizeMoto Carbon, 160 mm
Rear ShockFOX DHX 4.0 Air
ForkFOX 36 Talas R, 160-130-100 mm
HeadsetMoto 1.5" Integrated
CrankarmsShimano XT, 22/32/44
Bottom BracketShimano Hollowtech II
PedalsCrank Brothers Smarty
ChainShimano 9-speed
CassetteShimano XT, 11-34
Rear DerailleurSRAM X-9
Front DerailleurShimano LX
ShiftersSRAM X-9 Trigger
HandlebarFSA XC-190AOS, 25 mm rise
StemCannondale XC3 1.5", 31.8 mm
GripsCannondale GRIND Locking
BrakesAvid Elixir CR
Front WheelDT Swiss E2200
Rear WheelDT Swiss E2200
TiresContinental Mountain King Supersonic, 26 x 2.4"
SaddleFi'zi:k Gobi XM w/MG rails
SeatpostThomson Elite

The rear shock attaches to the Hatchet-Drive at the top and to the swingarm at the opposite end, not to the front triangle

While there are both carbon and aluminum Motos available, the carbon frame is stunning in person and will be appreciated by any true bike nerd out there. The shapes of the tubes are eye catching, as well as the bits of unpainted carbon. Besides looking great, the carbon also allows Cannondale to build a massively strong frame without the usually equally massive weight penalty. Have a look at the immense head tube and surrounding area as evidence.

The front of the Moto features a massive oversized head tube

Visit for more info on the RZ One Twenty 1 and the Moto Carbon 2!

Mike Levy


  • 6 0
 "Innovative 3D forged technology" = forging. Forging has been around longer that mountain bikes and what they're doing is nothing new. Every bike manufacturer who has product on this site deals w/ forging in many different ways, whether it's a tube/frame assembly, drop-outs, pivot-links, etc.

That's like saying "ground-breaking differential materials manipulation" when all it could mean is butted-tubing. It's a bunch of jargon to make it sound cool to people who don't know what it is.

Integrated headset as a feature?(or semi, can't remember, don't want to watch the vid again) Gimme a break, everyone has one in their line-up. It's like pointing out the bike has a rear derailleur.

"Hydro-formed" tubeset. Looks nice, too bad the wall thickness is inconsistent and all over the place when you use that style of manufacturing. Which results in the need for more material, which means it's not as light or strong as it could be using other styles of tube manufacturing. And again, they're dropping jargon and terms that aren't cutting edge the way there were 3 years ago.

Okay, so I ranted. Don't get me wrong, Cannondale makes really nice bikes. I've ridden two in Canmore, Alberta and they were both sick, light, stiff, responsive! I just get frustrated when I see companies trying to jazz up "common" technology when all they're basically doing is releasing a different travel version of a previous bike.
  • 3 0
 "one of the busiest and most innovative bike companies in our sport today. They are always looking at ways to make things different, never ones to look inside the box, but rather spend all their time out side it making cool products"

er, no. they haven't designed anything new since they came out with the lefty about 3000 years ago, and they've been flogging it like a dead horse ever since.

'hatchet drive suspension' ? - is that what everyone else would call a 'single pivot with a linkage' ?

show me something new please.
  • 1 0
 not seen their new SI bottom brackets them?
  • 6 1
 I wonder why Cannondale has stopped making DH/FR bikes? Their Perp and Judge were pretty good bikes!
  • 1 0
 i read its something to do with them being purchased by pacific,also the chase has gone too.pacific are probably marketing dale as a XC/AM brand an aiming/marketing other purchased companys (GT,monngoose,iron horse)at other riding styles
Very BIG buisness!!!
  • 1 0
 you are right they discontinued those because of the merger chase and the rest of the cut i believe will be riding for the goose. damn big box company's i say in 5 years c-dale will be a mass market company selling bikes to sporting goods stores and mail order
  • 2 0
 I love the visual appeal of cannondales manufacturing. their aluminum bikes have always had flawless welds as if they were cut from a solid stock. the lefty is weird!! I felt slightly handicapped while testing it out. plus isnt cannondale the only place to have the lefty rebuilt/repaired? that takes out ride time!!
  • 1 0
 Most Cannondale dealers can service the forks. major rebuilds and warranty has to be sent back to Cannondale. Exactly the same as RS, Marz, Fox or Mani.
  • 1 0
 yea that is true the maintainenc is made in the shop were u bought the bike but wranty is pretty fast too it takes about 7-10 days from europe...
  • 2 0
 Coming from one of thier reps, they just don't have the market for big bikes or thier chase anymore. When you look at a company that does so many different bikes, there is little they can do to keep up with a company that specifies in a jump bike, like blackmarket. As for the lefty, having ridden one, they look sketch when sitting on one, but when your riding, how much are you looking at it and not the trail. Personally i feel that there are better things you could focus on...

And owning a moto, i think that they are sick bikes, when looking for solid AM bike. its a great bike. I had a choice between specialized, cannondale, and santa-cruz for bikes the LBC sold, and i went with this. Like it alot. Granted there may be lighter things out there, and that it might have the whole"crack and fail" name to it, but isn't that why they make life-time warrenties?.... So you can trust their ish, and if it just so happens to break, get a new one?..
  • 1 0
 no they shortend the waranty time on 5 years
  • 1 0
 For 2010 or 2009?

As of 2010 in Canada they still have the lifetime warranty
  • 1 0
 all bikes since 09... as far i know and i am work in a shop were they are sold...
  • 1 0
 As do I. They still have a lifetime warranty.
  • 2 0
 I demo'd a moto last season and its a sick bike, but this kinda bugged me:

"Look closer and you'll find that the Fox shock that handles rear suspension duties is not mounted to the front triangle, but to the black link at the top and the swingarm at the opposite end. This allows the engineers at Cannondale to accomplish two things. First, it lets them build both a lighter and stronger front triangle because it no longer has to be braced to accept any force from the suspension."

And that lightness in the front triangle due to not have to brace it for suspension forces can be found in the rear triangle being braced to take the force there. Correct me if I'm wrong, but considering the vector of the force on the lower shock mount is pointed almost right at the pivot throughout it's entire travel, is it fair to come to the conclusion that the shock force is still being transferred to frame through the rear triangle, then to the pivot, and ultimately to that section of the frame? Someone that knows their physics - is this correct?
  • 1 0
 Yes. The forces are applied over three points in down tube. Obviously is a sick bike, I enjoy my one, but the marketing is bigger, like all today.
  • 1 0
 Well, they're just taking advantage of the fact that people don't think about things. If cannondale tells them, it must be true.
  • 1 0
 The other day a Cannondale rep. came into my LBS and i overheard him saying that Cannondale is not going to be producing a DJ hardtail or a Dh anymore. He said that this means that Arron Chase is going to have to switch bikes.. I dont know if this is true.. but i sure hope not, becuase chase has been a great innovator rep for the company by coming up with new concepts and designs, such as the "soft-tail" design and the freecoaster cassette body.
  • 1 0
 If Arron could bring something to the table beyond DJ/Street/DH-design-help I'm sure they'd find a way to keep him around since he slays it on a bike and in particular, is so good w/ people, other bikers and press.

However, in a market that, although it's hard to see if you're only reading PB, is seeing sluggish, slow and in some cases, dwindling sales in big bikes and DJ/Street bikes at all price levels, it's unfortunate but no surprise that Cannondale is looking to "put their money where the market is".

To clarify, brands like Giant have such competitive pricing since they're vertically integrated (build other brands bikes at a higher price than it costs to make their own) that they can rework their DH designs and stay competitive in the DH marketplace with a design that was already successful. Same goes for Blkmrkt, they eat, breath, sleep Street/DJ so people are almost always going to be asking for their bikes.

I'd say it's a smart move by Cannondale. There's only so much time and energy you can put into fighting for a portion of a specific market and when everyone else is doing the same thing while at the same time sales are probably slumping a bit as well, it could be a very good call.
  • 1 0
 since cannondale was bought by pacific cycles I wouldn't be surprised to see Aaron riding for mongoose, gt or iron horse.
  • 1 0
 Not to split hairs but Cannondale was purchased by Dorel, a Canadian company who also owns Pacific Cycles, who is the manufacturer of Schwinn, Mongoose and GT.
  • 1 0
 sucks i am at the bottom who will make it to me.carbon fibre is the shit i have a manitou supernova 7" travel fork. carbon lowers, still rocks and it has been in use for or since 2000. and i have a killer v500 it came as a ridged bike in 96-97 cannondale didn't sujest a suspension fork. i ran it with a 3 to 4" travel fork since 2001 retired last year. that bike would take a 6' drop. i built up a f5 to replace it. i want a lefty for it but they cost too much so i bought a fox. i trust cannondale never let me down and thier paper thin
  • 2 0
 Did they ever fix the carbon frame cracking problems around the bottom bracket? Or was that just the early models?
  • 2 0
 I am not a Cannondale fan but that Moto Carbon 2 looks awsome with great components!
  • 2 0
 Cannondale ever touches the feelings... Kids, don't warry, your bikes are cool to.
  • 3 2
 And the gemini dh? i think that was one of the best aswell!Comeon cannondale!!!!Whats with the Dh lineup??
  • 1 0
 Gemini - have you actualy ridden one lately? I owned a Gemini DH-Team Replica 2 years ago then changed to Santa Cruz Nomad AM/light Fr bike - U can't even compare how much better Nomad rides DH. I don't need to pull him like a donkey to take it out from each corner, It doesn't take 5 seconds to shift the weight from back to front over this XC bike worthy super long top tube. I no longer need to show the bike with all my body, heeeey! this is where i want to turn! Turn now, tuuurn! I just look there on my nomad and it just follows. Gemini was good at its own time, when there was not much to compete with - Orange 222, Giant Dh Team. Now a regular Am bike outrides it with ease.
  • 1 0
 check over my albums,and u will understand why im asking whats with gemini lineup....ive had 2 gemini dh-s now,a team replica and now this cedric signiture modell,and i hated the was a size S and it was useless,now this M size with these parts totally different.Alto ive had 64 other frames including orange 222s demo 9s stab supremes,and all kind of other stuff,and gemini dh is a realy nice ride compared to others,altho there are much better doubt.
  • 1 0
 Well I don't want to start an "own preference" discussion Wink The examples you have given, especialy the Demo are somewhat hard to compare. I just personaly believe that Gemini can't match today's bikes. I've had the M sized DH replica - appropriate for the "size of me" and I liked it as long as I haven't ridden the Nomad as my bike, and few other bikes of my friends. High bottom bracket, long top tube, single pivot... I don't know, maybe U just like these types and I don't Smile CHEERS!
  • 3 3
 its because they are a shit to get spares for! our shop stopped dealing with them because they were useless for warrenty and spares! wouldnt touch one....
  • 1 0
 YukonFXrider - You can drop the fork to 100mm of travel since it has the TALAS riding up front.
  • 3 5
 The first sentence of this review is all I had to read to know it was full of crap. Really, most innovative? Christ. Most proprietary? That I'd give them.

The blatant lie about the Lefty lasting the longest is great too. I can name probably 15 forks off the top of my head that have remained the 'same' as the Lefty.
  • 5 1
 Really? Go ahead and tell me 5 forks that have been around since 1998.
  • 2 1
 Here's a start off the top of my head:

Rock Shox SID
Rock Shox Boxxer
Risse Trixxy
Risse Champ

Anyone else care to help?
  • 2 1
 Lol, Risse. Sorry i should rephrase my question. Name 5 forks that have been around since 1998 that people actually still ride.

Thought you said you could name 15 off the top of your head?
  • 2 0
 It was ettore that said he could name 15 of the top of their head, I was just helping him along. I really doubt that list is 15 long. I think it is five. I would like to see ettore to finish the list.

I used to race on Risse Champs. I still think they are the butteriest forks ever. Most young 'uns would have never felt their suppleness. They used to sag under their own weight, ha ha! They were the easiest fork in the world to work on. They took 350-400 mls of oil. Nothing else comes close to that volume that I know of. More oil = better damping.

I saw two guys few weeks ago starting out for a session and they were both running Trixxies. One set was attached to a Risse Larsen. I'd never seen one before. I do know at least two guys that run Champs.
  • 1 0
 Remained the same in NAME, or actual functionality ? Just want to make sure I get it right before you rip on me because of a name change.
  • 2 0
 cedric gracia used to ride a lefty for mx
  • 1 0
 He rode a Prophet with a Max. No wonder they are awesome on singletrax and fire roads!
  • 2 0
 i would like to see the new perps and judge please
  • 1 0
 their not making perps or judges this year because they just couldnt sell enough. my work held a cannondale test day where we learned about the product and test rode some of the bikes. the rize and moto ride absolutely amazing!!!! :-)
  • 12 10
 Lefty's just scare me!
  • 7 1
 I second that, but then I think, if they can have single sided forks on super-bikes, and single sided hubs on wheel chairs for the super obeese, then it should be fine on a mountain bike... Smile
  • 2 1
 Well, except superbikes ride on perfectly smooth tarmac ... a better comparison would be if MX used it (which I don't believe they do).
  • 1 1
 there have been a few from one-off no namers, but you're right, none from the mainstream companies.
  • 2 0
 i've ridden a prophet with a lefty on it and i was amazed at how balanced it felt, but when you look down it just looked wrong!! i don't think i would have enough confidence in the fork to ride anything to heavy-duty. excellent for xc, though.
  • 4 0
 if you are willing to fly and land in an air plane or drive a car then leftys make sense cause both of these examples use single sided shocks.....
  • 1 0
 DOWNHILL BIKES ??? where is the judge???
  • 1 0
 gone and forgoten sadly Frown
  • 1 0
 What happened to their Fr/DH line?
  • 1 0
 and just how strong is that lefty carbon fork?
  • 1 0
 1st bike na,2nd yeh
  • 1 0
 yeah cannondale rocks
  • 4 4
 Very Nice Big Grin
  • 2 3
 I like that Moto Carbon alot!
  • 1 4
  • 1 3
 agreed cannodale can suck my ass
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment

Copyright © 2000 - 2019. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.039673
Mobile Version of Website