GT - Cannondale 2013 Launch: Lighten up.

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Less is more. Some people think it applies to air travel attire, others when it comes to coffee consumption, neither of which I agree with. Cannondale also endorses this theory, but with more palatable results; lighter bikes, new lighter Leftys and the short travel Trigger. The important new stuff rolled out at the 2013 launch in Sydney.

The Trigger is basically a little brother to the Jekyll, with 120/70mm of switchable travel from the Fox DYAD pull shock and new carbon Lefty front and... left. If it rides as nice as the Jekyll I've been on in Aus, then it'll be a winner for the trail bike rider. The DYAD shock gives the bike a split personality and actually does what it's meant to; shorten and stiffen on the climbs, full travel and big bump-eating ability in open mode.

The shock is controlled by this simple, small lever. Magura brakes are getting a lot of love from Cannondale too, and are featured on most of the higher-specced models in the MTB lineup.

 

And the big wheeled alloy version also offers 120/70mm of travel... I didn't see a Lefty version in the 29er and the bikes aren't expected to be seen for a little while yet (expected in Feb), but this should be a popular bike in their lineup judging by the attention it garnered. Even though it uses a smaller DYAD shock, the frame and linkage is also tweaked to fit everything in between the big wheels.

The carbon hardtail Flash now becomes the F29, with the new Lefty Carbon up front... lots of carbon hoops around, these ones are Reynolds, while ENVE wheels were seen on a few bikes too.

The Scalpel Ultimate had quite a few drooling, and picking it up to photograph it I nearly threw it across the room, so light it is. Of course a bike dripping with such carbon goodness doesn't come cheap; if you have to ask, you can't afford it. And if you can, then you'll have to get one in especially.

Heaps of 'cross models from the big C too, full-noise carbon models, Di2, hydro discs... the Super X could be ridden as a disc road bike it's that nice. There are a couple of alloy options with 105 or Ultegra drivetrain...

 

Cannondale's VP of Bike Development, Steve Metz, holds court as he explains the features of the new Lefty to the throng...

What he would've been telling them is that the 80-odd needle bearings of the old model have been cut back to 60, swimming in an oil bath for better lubing, and they self 'reset' now too (Lefty owners will know about that). The big ol' rubber boot has gone, replaced by a wiper/seal assembly to keep the gunk out and the fork sliding more smoothly, and a new lower leg moto-style protector down there. There's a new one-piece lower leg/axle made from a single chunk of alloy, and the all-alloy models feature a one-piece crown and upper leg assembly, also hewn from one big chunk of metal. The new forks are easier to set up and service too.

For the little ladies who like a big wheel, the Tango hardtail offers a heap of standover clearance and keeps the weight low and centered. There's a couple of models to choose from.

They aren't mountain bikes, but these electric pedal-assist town bikes were pretty popular and were getting a good thrashing around the cavernous halls of the exhibition centre. They get along at quite a clip!

Worrall's won't be stocking all models in the Cannondale and GT ranges, but with CSG just a kookaburra's call across the ditch, they can have your new dream bike of choice in New Zealand before you have the chance to chuck a shrimp on the barbie. Just flick them an email here.

Many thanks to Worrall's and CSG for getting us to the show and making it a good one, to Mick at Gateshead Cycles for the loan of a Jekyll, and to the K-Man for the lift and hospitality.