After nearly two years of planning, Cannondale last weekend called a global summit in Gran Canaria to announce the release of two new bikes—the 130-millimeter travel Rize and the 160-millimeter Moto.
The two new platforms split duties of what Cannondale has identified as "all-mountain" and "big-mountain," and the long-awaited additions round out the company's full-suspension mountain bike lineup, which now includes six bikes stretching from the 100-millimeter Scalpel to the 220-millimeter Judge.
The bikes will replace Cannondale's four-year-old Prophet, which with 5.5 inches of travel and weighing in around the 27-ish-pound mark with a carbon Lefty fork was as much ahead of its time in the all-mountain category as it was unconventional in appearance.
Both new bikes will be made in Cannondale's Bedford, Pennsylvania, factory and come backed with a no-rider-weight-limit lifetime frame warranty.
The bikes' unveiling came via a mass flogging by some 40 international cycling media wankers. After racking up seven flat tires in just two days of riding, I can vouch for the legitimacy of Gran Canaria's rugged mountains.
The Rize has a lot going on, and its backbone is as good a place to start as any. Cannondale called on decades of experience working with aluminum to produce what appears to be an industry first: a BB shell, main pivot and seat tube all made from a single forging.
This "backbone" bypasses the difficulties of keeping welded frame pivots and BB shells properly aligned, while simultaneously taking advantage of forging's considerable strength-to-weight benefits.
In terms of forging technology, Cannondale has pulled off quite the feat. It's easy to imagine the 3D forging process, with high-grade aluminum flowing into place like Play-Doh, but actually making it happen is about as easy as solving a Rubix cube drunk and blindfolded…with your feet. According to Cannondale's test lab engineers, all that work pays off with four times the fatigue life over a welded structure. And it's lighter.
Cannondale also employs a key forging for the Rize's main-pivot yoke, which connects asymmetrical chainstays for what Cannondale says is its stiffest rear end ever—including the Moto you're about to read about, and its current downhill bike.
The Rize will come with two frame options across five different models ranging from $1,799 to $5,499. The two high-end models feature carbon fiber front triangles, and all of them have the backbone, forged yoke and carbon seat stays.
Both the Rize and Moto are modified single-pivot designs, and the two make a good case that all single pivots are not created equal.