Spotted: A new Cannondale XC Race Hardtail

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EF Education First – Nippo Pro Cycling road team rider Alex Howes posted an update on Instagram with what appears to be a new take on Cannondale’s carbon F-Si hardtail mountain bike. Alex was cycling in training for the Cape Epic but was unable to participate due to a hand injury.

First spotted by Bike Rumor, the biggest difference on the frame is the drop-down seatstays that now join the seat tube at around nine-tenths of the way up, as opposed to the top tube junction like on the current model. This is a design inherited from road cycling and is believed to provide excellent cushioning against vibration and impact.

Most of you had already done the math but today it’s officially official, no Cape Epic for me this year. When I first broke my hand (I’m sure it happened about 4 seconds after this photo was taken by Elevation Wheel Company), I had hoped that there would be a chance that the damage are not as serious as they appear and that a speedy recovery would be possible. Certainly not. Doc said the other day, “we hope to have you outside on the bike 12 weeks after surgery” to which I maybe mumbled something about a pinky finger and he must have his meds mixed up. because only someone tall like a kite would do it say something like that to a professional athlete and expect it to happen.

Anyway… I’m devastated to miss the Epic. It’s a dream for so long that has seemed so close over the past year and a half. It’s that record-breaking hook trout that sort of pulled itself not once but TWICE.

So yes, I am disgusted. And I’ll probably be disappointed for a while. But that’s OK. I have already been disappointed. I have had fractures before and have been much worse. For now, I enjoy running in a new pair of running shoes, changing diapers with one hand, and pecking the keyboard while I write training plans with Team EF Coaching. And while I’m disappointed, I have to admit I’m really excited to see how Lachlan Morton and Kenneth Karaya are doing.

The same discontinued design is used on Cannondale’s budget Trail SE lineup, but these bikes are made from aluminum, not carbon like the one above appears to be, and we’re very skeptical that a road cycling pro. go for a budget hardtail when get ready for one of the toughest mountain bike races!
Most professional XC racers now use a full suspension bike all season long, which leaves the F-Si carbon in an interesting place. Will it become more of an endurance frame? Or will it join the battle to be the lightest production cadre against Specialized’s Epic HT and Canyons’ Exceed.

Massimo Alpian, Global Media Relations Manager at Cannondale, told us: “I can confirm that Alex was driving a Cannondale. Our legacy is rich with new innovations and that continues today and although I cannot specify the model at this time, we hope to see you soon. ”



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