by Dave Anderson
April 18, 2013
Cannondale Trigger 29er.
At the end of March Singletrack was lucky enough to be sent to Finale to join in the Cannondale Team camp and be forced into racing XC with the olympic bronze medalist and then get thrashed by the Cannondale Over Mountain team at a mini Enduro contest as well.
Apart from painfully gasping for air and blinking at the strange orb in the sky, we also got a to ride the Cannondale 29er Trigger; Cannondale’s answer to the new breed of longer travel 29ers that are starting to appear on trails near you and perhaps more importantly to Cannondale on race courses.
Before we talk about the bike one thing that really comes across when talking to the people behind Cannondale is how much they are still a race orientated company who believe that racing leads to better products for us mere mortals to ride on. They also believe in following their own path from the Lefty to the Diad rear shock.
Back to the Trigger in a typically unique Cannondale fashion they’ve produced a fairly unique take on the long travel 29er trail/am full susser. Much of the technology used in the 26″ Jekyll has been “up- sized ” to fit the requirements of a 29er.
Starting at the front we have the new Lefty Max – a 130mm 29er specific Lefty fork, air sprung with with “PBR”; a combination rebound adjuster and lock out button with a blow off valve if you forget to undo it on a descent. To work with the shorter stems that most riders want these days, the Lefty max also comes with an offset front axle that lets the fork leg sit further back so the crowns are now out of the way (the bike we were riding had 70mm stems and it looked like you could definitely run shorter)
The main triangle is the classic Cannondale oversized smooth welded goodness that you’d expect. I even gave it a flick of the finger to make sure it was aluminium and not carbon. Instead of the centrally mounted linkage that attaches to the seat tube and down tube on the 26″ version of the bike, Cannondale uses a tiny rocker linkage to actuate the shock that swings via the top tube. In the quest for stiffness Cannondale use what they call ECS-TC (Enhanced Centre Stifness Torsion Control) which uses a 15mm axle to join pivots where it can and double rows of bearings where it can’t. The bearings also use a collet style preload system sitting between the axle and clamp, rather than spacers and washers to preload bearings to further improve stiffness. The rear triangle and wheel are all finally tied together with a Syntace 142mm rear end.
Rear suspension is taken care of via the DYAD RT2 Dual shock which is a joint project with Cannondale and Fox. Effectively you have two shocks in one, activated with a small bar mounted remote. A shorter travel mode that reduces the travel, firms up the shock and also steepens up the head angle and seat angle for climbing; the other a longer travel more linear shock and with that a lower BB plus slacker angles for when the bike turns downhill.
There’s three version of the Trigger currently available. The Trigger 1 comes complete with Carbon Lefty, with two models below offering less boutique finishing kit and forks from Fox and Rockshox.
What better way to test a trail/enduro mountain bike than with a mini enduro, and what better place to do it at the end of February than Finale on the Italian coast…
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