Cannondale Lefty Prototype, 2013 Mavic 29er Wheels – More Photos, A Bit More Speculation

2013 cannondale lefty prototype suspension fork spy shot photosWhile we don’t have a whole lot more “news” on the prototype Cannondale Lefty forks or the expected new Mavic 29er wheels since our original posts (here and here), we do have more photos that seem to show a few details.

At left (click to enlarge), the lower stanchion does actually look round rather than hexagonal. Yes, the pic’s a bit dark and the focus seems to be on the jeans rather than the fork, but appearances do seem to confirm what Jeremiah Bishop told us. If it holds true, it means there must be some sort of internal keying mechanism to keep it from rotating, or it simply gets some hard edges further up inside the leg. C’dale’s marketing rep Bill Rudell says the needle bearing strips are about 4″ to 5″ long inside the leg, but typically this would be placed just inside the outer leg to prevent fore/aft/lateral play. It’ll be interesting to see how they did it.

Cannondale is set to launch their 2013 bikes in July, and we’ll be there to cover it. Assuming this “fork” makes it into the 2013 model year, we’ll get the low down…possibly earlier.

More pics after the break, one which clearly shows their X-Loc hydraulic lock out, something they’ve offered for a while. Another collabo they’ve been running with Rockshox is the Solo Air system, but as Bishop told us, he’s heard the internals are changed, just doesn’t know how.

Check the pics, some of which have pretty good shots of the purportedly new Mavic wheels, and leave a comment if you see anything we missed!

2013 cannondale lefty prototype suspension fork spy shot photos

Photos are from Cannondale’s team camp. Above, the complete bike, below, the close up crop.

2013 cannondale lefty prototype suspension fork spy shot photos

About the only difference we can see other than hub color and the obvious fact that it’s for a Lefty, is that the rim looks to have a slightly taller sidewall with slightly shorter mid-section between the ISM spoke bed and sidewall. What we noticed on this and the prior pics we posted was that the rim is all black with only their smaller decal…but, the top pic in this post shows a black hub with more traditional C29SSmax stickers. Perhaps they’re bringing two spec levels out, a top level race version and an “everyman’s” model for 29ers. That would certainly help expand their market share potential since there’s just one option now. Our bet is there’s even a third “budget” offering.

2013 cannondale lefty prototype suspension fork spy shot photos

Air valve is clearly visible on the bottom of the fork leg.


Dan Gerous - 03/15/12 - 10:35am

Those Mavic wheels have been used by Manuel Fumic almost the whole 2011 season. The rims have Mavic’s 3D ISM to make them lighter… But for this weekend World Cup opening round in South Africa, Fumic (maybe the other riders too) has a version of the 29er Crossmax SLR with lighter tubular rims. Keep your eyes peeled…

greg - 03/15/12 - 10:55am

some clerical errors- the standard lefty lower is square (or octagonal depending on perspective), not hexagonal. the lockout is their X-loc. rocloc was giro’s first back-of-the-head helmet retention device.
besides that, keep up the good work!

Ripnshread - 03/15/12 - 12:44pm

Looks like they may have adopted some of the tech that is being put into dropper seatposts or they just rounded the lower around the seal and moved the bearings up. Good for them. Looks like they can use a real wiper seal now. That “boot” has always been ugly. The old roller bearing tech was left over from the headshock days and was a pain to work on. Though, IF they did get rid of the roller bearings I’m not sure how they are combating stanchion friction.

Brian - 03/15/12 - 12:52pm

Heard from a bird the stanchion tapers to square, and also the bearings remain but have been revamped to self align, eliminating migration issues. Yay.

Andy - 03/15/12 - 3:52pm

“Heard from a bird the stanchion tapers to square, and also the bearings remain but have been revamped to self align, eliminating migration issues. Yay.”

Yay! Having to do bearing resets is not the end of the world, but is a bit of a ball ache. Should mean fork just needs an oil change every 100h?


Tyler (Editor) - 03/16/12 - 8:50am

Greg, thanks, made the X-Loc change. Good catch…was typing the original post in a hurry!

gringo - 03/16/12 - 9:32am

650b skunkworks wheel teaser just in time for XC WC #1

MissedThePoint - 03/16/12 - 10:00pm

Wonder how it’d ride if they put a Terralogic in it.

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