The much rumored, oft predicted, and highly anticipated Cannondale 29"er is very close to being released for sale and has a name. That name would be "Caffeine". Originally, the project worked under the moniker, "F-29", but since that is too close to being confused with the 26"er line up, and the notion that Cannondale wanted to take the naming of their bikes in a different direction, the name became Caffeine.
The first ever 29"er for Cannondale should be available in mid September. As I mentioned yesterday, the spec will include a Lefty fork. Specifically, it will be the Lefty Speed Bonded DLR2 with 80mm of travel In a post on the Cannondale forum on mtbr.com, Cannondale Bear Naked Team rider, Matthew Lee explained that the 80mm of travel on his proto type 29"er fork was "smooth" and that he was getting all of 80mm out of the Lefty. He went on to say that the 80mm of travel felt like more than that and that he didn't really think the bike needed more than that much travel. This report would be consistent with with what alot of people say about front suspension on a 29"er. Also noted is that ultra-endurance freak and 29"er nut-case, Mike Curiak recently did a 29"er fork comparo and gave the Lefty very high marks.
A further look at the spec reveals a SRAM X-7 trigger shifter set and rear derailluer, a LX front derailluer, FSA crankset and 31.8 handle bar, Avid BB-5 mechanical disc brakes, and Exi Wolf tires. All of this for $1599.99. The word put out by none other than Matthew Lee is that Cannondales first production run will be a small number of bikes. They want to test the waters in the market and if there is good seel through and support for the product, then we may see more products in the future. I've a feeling that the Caffeine will be snapped up rather quickly when word gets out about it, so if you are thinking about one, I'd turn that into action. The market place has very few production, geraed only, front suspended choices out there and this is a high quality one with an unusual front fork. I'd say that they will be hard to come by because of demand, just my opinion though.
At any rate, the hard tail will be available in Team Bear Naked white/ blue/ orange and in Raw aluminum. Interested in getting one? You'll have to contact your local Cannondale dealer. I happen to know where one of them is!
Finally, thank you to Cannondale for taking this step! It should prove to be a sucessful launch and a great bike!