CSG 2013: GT and Cannondale

With Chipps having attended Press Camp (you can see all his articles here), and having given the 2013 Cannondale and GT bike ranges a thorough going over, you may think you’ve seen it all – but we did manage to find more than a couple of interesting things from both brands hidden in plain view at their 2013 roadshow…

Cannondale

Cannondale's 'cross-mountain' 120mm travel Trigger, in Ultimate guise.

Okay, so you may have read Chipps’ positive first ride review of the 120mm travel Cannondale Trigger, but this is our first look at the Europe-only Ultimate model. As the name suggests, it’s  the very tippy-top of the range, costing a substantial £7,499.99. For laying out such a chunk of cash you do get, well, the ultimate.

The frame makes a light "BLLiiiiing" noise if you flick it. Fact.

The carbon fibre frame , complete with Fox DYAD custom pull shock, gets ENVE carbon rims, top of the line and freshly redesigned 130mm Lefty fork, Cannondale’s own ‘stiffer and lighter than XTR’ Hollowgram SL crankset and a full XX group. The rear shock can switch between 120mm of travel and low slung, slacker geometry, while switching it to ‘Elevate’ gives 70mm of travel and sits the bike up for faster uphill handling.

All new Lefty forks will get a groovy little MX style fender to prevent rock strikes.

It’s very light – random hand scale reckons about 21lbs – and with less travel than the Jekyll (which Jamie tested here) it’ll be just the ticket for anyone who doesn’t mind hustling a bike a bit more on the tech and just wants to go very, very fast everywhere else.

Different ends of the spectrum: the £3,699.99 Super X HM Disc and the £799.99 CaadX Sora.

Sorry to be blunt about this, but we need to take summer at face value (an utter washout) and move on – to something that’s actually improved by mud, rain and misery. Yes, the cyclocross racing season is almost upon us and Cannondale have a range of bikes from £799.99 to £3,699.99 in both disc braked and canti flavours.

They’re still undecided about discs on full-on race bikes, so even the top, carbon fibre framed Super X comes with discs (£3,699.99) or with cantilever brakes (£2,299.99) so you can make your own decision on whether the extra weight is worth it. Racing aside, we really liked the look of the Caad X Sora (£799.99) as a do-it-all commuter/road/cross bike.

Cannondale Trail SL 29'er in singlespeed form

From one niche to another now, with the Cannondale Trail SL 29′er SS singlespeed (£599.99). There are many things to like about it – the no-messing-about Fatty rigid fork,  classically Cannondale aluminium frame, coke-can 1.5″ headtube, eccentric bottom bracket – but we’d quite happily buy it for the colour alone.

Pictured: No mercy for forearms.

The more we look at it, the more we can justify adding one to the bike collection.

GT

If you’ve been living under a rock, you may be unaware that the Atherton clan are now riding on GT and doing rather well, thank you. For everyone else, you can now emulate the fastest family in Wales and get yourself a replica of the bike Gee and Rachel race on with the Fury Carbon World Cup (£5,999.99). Unlike the bike pictured here, it’ll have e.thirteen LG1+ DH rims, all the top end Fox kit will be Kashima coated and there will be a complete Shimano Saint groupset, even down to the hubs. Tyres will be the hot-off-the-press Continental Rammsteins that we first spotted at Fort William.

There’s a Cane Creek Angleset plugged into the front to give a 63.5° head angle and rear suspension is their long standing Independent Drivetrain system. However, the pick of the range would seem to be the similarly carbon fibre framed Team version, which goes without Kashima coating on the Fox shocks, gets the excellent value Shimano Zee drivetrain, e.thirteen cranks and a no-nonsense build kit for £4,499.99. There are also three alloy models, starting at £2,299.99.

Veering wildly to the other end of the price scale, the Timberline name has been resurrected with a pair of 29″ wheeled entry level hardtails. This is the Timberline 1.0 (£449.99) and it does a startling job of imitating the finish on the titanium Xizang. It’s got an 80mm travel Suntour fork, Promax cable discs and a 8spd Shimano drivetrain and the 6061 T6 aluminium frame uses  the classic GT triple triangle stays.

If bright silver is a bit much, the Timberline 2.0 comes in a much more unstated black and is £50 cheaper – but seeing as you lose the disc brakes and lockout-equipped fork, we can’t see any other reason why you’d want to get it over the 1.0. If big wheels aren’t your thing then the GT Aggressor and Avalanche ranges offer some tidy 26″ hardtails at a range of budgets from £299.99 up to £799.99.

To check out the rest of the GT and Cannondale range, head to the CSG website

www.cyclingsportsgroup.co.uk/

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Press Launch