Cannondale's legendary lefty fork and XC frame are back, lighter and faster than ever
Words - James Raison Images - Cannondale
We choose our media releases carefully. Products we feature have to be really big, really important, or really weird. So when the new Cannondale Lefty Ocho/F-Si frame info hit our inbox we said "oh hell yes!" It's the trifecta baby.
You won't have to wait to see them in action; the new 'Dale is getting raced in anger at the XC World Cup Circuit in Albstadt, Germany. So what's new? Read on!
Cannondale's new XC hardtail has been revamped to make it an even more hectic XC speed demon.
Frame weight makes some light road frames look thicc. It's just 900g - an 80g reduction over the last generation. It's the lightest MTB frame to escape from the Cannondale stable.
The Outfront geometry and Ai rear triangle have carried over but been "pushed harder and further than ever" according to Cannondale. We don't know exactly what that means but we want it. They've updated the Ai offset drivetrain to allow for a short 427 mm chainstay length to improve agility. It also allows clearance for up to 2.35" tyres.
Its head angle has slackened off to 69° which works with the extra long fork offset to give greater control when descending. That all sounds lovely to us and we'll certainly be knocking on some doors to try and take an F-Si out for a spin.
The Left Ocho
Can you believe Cannondale's bizarre Lefty fork is now 18 years old? That's right, the Lefty fork pre-dates the iPod, Facebook, South Sudan, Yeet, YouTube, and the successful mapping of the human genome. Thanks Wikipedia! For its (sort-of) 18th birthday (and 7th generation), the Lefty hasn't passed out in a gutter behind an Irish pub like normal 18 year-olds. It's chosen to lose some weight and hit the gym to get shredded.
The Ocho has lost a full 250g off its predecessor. Cannondale claim it's the stiffest of the ultralight suspension forks. It's been a major redesign from the crown-on-down.
Jeremiah Boobar, Cannondale’s Director of Suspension Technology states; "With its new, three-sided Delta Cage needle-bearing telescope, fewer friction-causing seals and bushings than any other fork, and the supple new Chamber Damper, Ocho is simply the smoothest fork ever made. At any load, in any situation, there’s no sticking, no binding, no shuddering or hesitation. It’s just pure, smooth suspension action, for ultimate control."
The Lefty Ocho has been designed to fit 27.5 and 29-inch wheels. It'll be specced on the new F-Si frame and MY19 Scalpel Si.
We have only had brief contact with a Cannondale Lefty on a Slate 105 we reviewed. It was a strange but entertaining beast we took on some single tracks, fire trails, and tarmac. We hope to get our hands on a new Cannondale so we can test its purest XC form.