Cannondale Flash

by 21

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.

A flash of green
A flash of green

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.

USE supply the seat bracket

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.

Flash Alloy


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.

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Comments (21)

    Liking the alloy ones. Any idea on the geometry?

    70 degree head, and 73.5 seat (72.5 on Large and Jumbo!)

    WTF is a ‘stiffness rating of 102’?
    I’ve got an amp which goes upto 11.

    baseball bat..resin ….leg pull

    WTF is a ’stiffness rating of 102′?
    It’s funny you should ask. I just got hold of the stiffness to weight ration presentation.
    Have you noticed the BBC iPlayer goes up to 11?

    Looks like it’s floating away in that first picture.

    7999 euros must be a new level of being stiffed! Can you get a stiffness to stiffed ration?

    looks fantastic! I’ve often wondered though, why is it possible to make a MTB frame close to the weight of a road frame, but not rigid forks?

    Could be because MTB rigid forks are almost always designed for disc brakes, so the forces that the fork legs have to withstand are significantly greater than for a rim braked road fork?

    I suspect its because a frame is anice big triangulated structure, so however thin you make the tubes it wil stil be stiff and strong enough.

    Whereas a fork is a cantilever, so its weight will ride in relation to the forces its expecting to be applied. I guess if you had the time and inclination you could buil something like the whyte J forks incredibly light as they triangulate off the downtube?

    I like the ide of a 30mm suspesnsion post with no pivots though, sounds awesome!

    30 mm is frame plus seatpost. The seatpost would need to wave around an awful lot to get 30 movement!

    But seatpost does sound interesting. Only thing that would put me off is the seatclamp. One of my friends has always had issues with his USE seat clamp.

    soon to be owned by rich bankers/lottery winners and Cannondale team members..

    That stiffness test sounds like a bunch of a4se. Where abouts are they hanging the weights on it? Around the bottom bracket? or are the hanging equal weights on opposite extremities on the bike? 97Nm is only 10kg dangling off a rod 1m long anyway…and at a meter thats a degree is a 2cm deflection…

    They wont sell. Its a top of the range gimmick? Plus that Whyte carbon frame….WANT ONE!

    Aaaaaargh, seems I need to go work at a ‘Dale dealer to get staff discount then!

    Good to see that companies are starting to chuck more R&D monies at l-i-g-h-t w-e-i-g-h-t carbon fibre hardtails at last.. If this carries on, maybe properly light weight bikes might start becoming affordable?

    …Just a pity that this Cannondale is the king of u.g.l.y, when it could’ve been soooo much prettier? Lime green graphics..? ‘Dead’ glossy black..? Hmmm.. Also, it’s a Cannondale – which means somewhere in there there’ll be a little – but critical – piece of engineering that is typical 4rse-munching-ness. Recalls people, recalls..

    I’d still like to have a go on one of these though!

    aye ian.. but that frame goes 2 louder,not just 1!

    i still see lightweight carbon frames as disposable and fit for the bin after a year of racing. fine if you can afford it..

    …and afford to risk yer bits.

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