The Cannondale Claymore range of full-sus mountain bikes is designed to give you both an all-round off-road experience which is suitable for cross country travel and ascents along with the potential of an excellent downhill cycle melded into one neat package. This means that you do not need to pick between these two biking genres, but can instead get the best of both worlds.
Cannondale Claymore 2
The standard Cannondale Claymore comes with a SmartFormed alloy frame which is deliberately designed with weight and strength in mind. The tubing allows for impressive lightness from an alloy bike without compromising rigidity or durability.
The suspension setup on this bike is what makes it so versatile. It consists of a Fox VAN O/B fork at the front, which offers up to 180mm of smoothly delivered travel, along with the Fox DYAD RT2 rear shock.
The DYAD is impressive because it allows you to pick from either 180mm of travel or 110mm of travel. The former, known as Flow mode, gives you the ability to accelerate quickly and climb efficiently so that varied, technical terrain is not an issue. The latter, which is called Elevate mode, opens up the full 180mm of travel so that downhill trails are there to become your playground, not your worst nightmare.
It is worth pointing out that this advanced suspension setup actually gives the bike quite different geometry, as well as using separate damping circuits. As such the ride really alters and you can feel the benefits as a result. A handlebar-mounted switch lets you change the modes on the fly for convenience and responsiveness.
On the transmission you get SRAM X7 and X9 components with a KMC X10 chain to keep things together. SunRingle Inferno 27 rims are hard wearing and also light, while the Schwalbe Hans Dampf Performance tyres can keep you from sliding off course or spinning ineffectually as you try to put down power.
Avid Elixir 7 hydraulic disc brakes are chosen and are a good match for this bike, with a 200mm rotor at the front giving you breaking that is both responsive and reliable.
Cannondale C3 handlebar and stem components are joined by the C2 seatpost, so the Cannondale Claymore 2 gets a solid grounding in tried and tested kit to keep serious riders’ confidence up.
Cannondale Claymore 1
The Cannondale Claymore 1 does not attempt to mess with the setup which makes its sister bike such a solid choice, so you get the same SmartFormed alloy frame that is adaptive and stiff despite its full-sus capabilities.
This kind of bike can end up feeling a little wishy-washy and imprecise, but the designers have made sure that there is the ECS-TC Thru-Axle system in place in order to counteract this and improve responsiveness as a result.
Shimano XT shifters and derailleur are combined with SRAM components for a transmission that gets the job done. Avid Elixir 9 brakes are lighter and tighter than before, while the SunRingle Charger Pro wheelset with Schwalbe Hans Dampf Snakeskin Trailstar tyres offer yet more fast rolling performance and long term durability.
An FSA Gravity Lite handlebar and X Fusion Hilo seatpost help to lighten the load without altering the feel of the bike, with the Prologo Scratch X18 saddle keeping the rider in the right position to experience both the stiffness and comfort of the frame’s adaptive nature.
If you want lots of travel on a sporadic basis but are put off by the specialist downhill mountain bikes then either one of the Cannondale Claymore models might be a suitable alternative for all day riding on any surface.
New Cannondale Claymore 1 2013 Specifications & Compare Prices
- Front Fork: Fox Talas R, 180mm travel
- Rear Shock: Fox Dyad Rt2 Dual Shock
- Front Derailleur: Sram X9
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano Xt
- Gears: 20
- Chainring: 36/22T
- Cassette: Sram Pg-1070, 11-36, 10-Speed
- Shifters: Shimano Xt
- Brakes: Avid Elixir 9, 200/180Mm
- Wheels: Sunringle Charger Pro, Tubeless Ready
- Tyres: Schwalbe Hans Dampf Snakeskin Trailstar, 2.35″ Tubeless Ready