Spotted: A new Cannondale XC Race hardtail

EF Education First – Nippo Pro Cycling road team rider Alex Howes has posted an Instagram update with what appears to be a new version of Cannondale F-Si Carbon Cross Country Race Hardtail. Alex was riding the bike in practice 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 lowered seatstays which now meet the seat tube at about nine-tenths the height, as opposed to the top tube junction as on the current model. This is a design inherited from road cycling and claimed to provide excellent vibration and impact cushioning.

Most of you have already done the math but today it’s officially official, no Cape Epic for me this year. When I first broke my hand (pretty sure it happened about 4 seconds after Elevation Wheel Company took this photo) I had hoped there would be a chance that the damage is not as severe as it appeared and that a quick recovery would be possible. Certainly not. Doc said the other day, “we hope to have you out on the bike 12 weeks after surgery” to which I may have mumbled something about it just being a little finger and he must have his meds mixed up because that only a person raised as a kite would say something like that to a professional athlete and expect it to happen.

Anyway…I’m devastated to miss the epic. It’s been such a long dream that seems so close for a year and a half. It’s this trout that breaks all records and somehow got rid of not once but TWICE.

So yes, I’m disgusted. And I’ll probably stay disappointed for a while. But that’s OK. I have been disappointed before. I’ve had broken bones before and I’ve been much worse. For now, I enjoy running in a new pair of running shoes, changing diapers with one hand, and pecking at the keyboard while I write workout 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 line, but those bikes are aluminum, not carbon like the one above seems to be, and we’re very skeptical that a cycling pro on road would opt for a budget hardtail when getting ready for one of the toughest mountain bike races around!
Most pro XC racers now ride a full-suspension bike for the entire season, 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 frame against the likes of Specialized Epic HT and Overtaking the Canyons.

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

Comments are closed.