by Tom dB
July 4, 2009
A new hardtail from Cannondale. The aim was to product the lightest, but stiffest hardtail frame. The Flash is the first carbon frame to receive a stiffness to weight ration of over 100 (102 to be exact – see below…). While winning the feather-weight title at 950 grams. And there is no rider weight limit. The Cannonadale designers were giddy with excitement over this one.
The frame is built using high modulus carbon, as well as a very tough resin usually reserved for baseball bats – so stone chips shouldn’t be an issue. The slightly lower models are built using standard carbon, at 1100 grams, but the same stiffness.
Compliance in the rear triangle and seatpost give a very comfortable ride. The ‘SAVE’ seatpost has a flattened section to allow flex. Various figures around the 30-40mm mark were banded around – depending on rider weight. If this feels too much you could run a standard 27.2 post. Cannondale asked us to comment on the amount of flex in the seatpost as they’re still finalising its design, but the general view of all the journos was that it was right. We were riding some very rocky trails and it took the edge off nicely. They’re also considering offering the post aftermarket.
The bike felt very smooth over rough terrain, as hardtails go, it felt like riding a high quality steel frame compliance wise. But because of the stiffness around the (BB30 only) bottom bracket area pedaling drove you forward fast. Just what you need in a race frame.
The frame has a lot of attention to detail. Tire clearance is good, happily accepting the 2.4 Rocket Rons we were running. Cable routing runs along the down tube for happy shouldering. Rear disc mounts are designed for a 140 mm disc, again to save the weight, but an adapter will have you back up to 160 if you want it.
All in it’s a stunning bike. You won’t be able to blame the bike for any errors, they’ll be down to you alone.
The top end bike, featuring a Lefty Speed Carbon SL 110, DT Swiss carbon wheels, SI carbon cranks (BB30) and full SRAM XX groupset, and weighing only 7.5 kg will cost you a lot more than the 16.5 pounds this equates to. Try 7999 Euros! Luckily there are various price points, and even an alloy range, should this tickle your fancy.
Try the Flash Team, HiMod 1, HiMod 2, Carbon 3, Carbon 4.
Available in F1, F2, and F3.
Choose your weapon.
Stiffness to Weight Ratio
Basically, they hang weights off it and wiggle it a bit to see how much it deflects.