Cannondale Flash Carbon Review
The Cannondale Flash Carbon range of hardtail mountain bikes are among the lightest around, allowing you to nip nimbly up steep climbs and tackle particularly daunting trails without being weighed down (pun intended!).
Cannondale Flash Carbon 4
The Cannondale Flash Carbon 4 is the most affordable way to experience the cleverly implemented BallisTec Hi-MOD full carbon frame. This material is obviously going to be light, but it is also able to match many alloy mountain bikes for strength and stiffness.
The SPEED SAVE micro suspension system that is integrated into the carbon stays means that the back end of the bike can be vertically supple while remaining laterally stiff. This translates into pedalling efficiency and great power throughput while the rider’s seated position and overall experience is made more comfortable and stable.
The front fork is a Fatty DLR80 with 80mm of travel and the SRAM X7 and X9 groupsets make up the drive train for fast changes and acceptable weight. Avid Elixir 7 hydraulic disc brakes are paired with DT Swiss rims and Schwalbe Rocket Ron Performance tyres.
Cannondale Flash Carbon 2
Sticking with the same carbon frame formula, the Flash Carbon 2 adds a Lefty Speed Carbon XLR fork into the mix, with 100mm of travel for that extra hit-taking power.
Shimano XT and SRAM X0 components comprise the transmission and there is yet more carbon involved thanks to the Avid Elixir X9 brakes, with a 160mm rotor at the front and a 140mm rotor at the rear. Schwalbe Race Ralph PaceStar tyres are durable and grippy, while the DT Swiss XCR spokes are able to take plenty of punishment.
A Fi’zi:k Tundra 2 saddle is paired with a Flash Carbon seat post for lightness, while the adjustable stem and FSA SL-K flat handlebar delivers consistently responsive handling.
Cannondale Flash Carbon 1
While the frame and fork remain consistent between the Flash Carbon 1 and 2, there are many other updates which help to reduce the weight of this model and thus justify its price.
Shimano XTR drive train components transfer power to the DT Swiss rims with aerospeed spokes and Schwalbe Furious Fred PaceStar tyres. The feather light Avid Elixir X0 carbon brakes are equally capable, with carbon levers completing the package.
Cannondale Flash Carbon Ultimate
As the name suggests this is the range topping model in the Flash Carbon range and if there were any stops it seems like all of them have been pulled out. Which certainly comes at a price.
To the BallisTec Hi-MOD full carbon frame are added the Lefty Speed Carbon XLR 100mm fork. The drive train is comprised of the Cannondale Hollowgram SL crank and the full SRAM XX groupset. Avid XX World Cup hydraulic disc brakes join these components, while the Mavic CrossMax SLR Lefty wheelset is also present and correct.
The Tundra 2 carbon saddle goes well with the carbon seat post, while the FSA K-Force handlebar features Cannondale foam locking grips to eliminate slips and improve comfort.
The stiffness of this bike is right up there with the best of them, but it is the clever integration of the various systems which really helps when it comes to saving weight and improving power transfer.
Each bike in the Flash Carbon range has something to offer, provided you have the skill to make the most out of the kind of capabilities that they put on the table. These are the kinds of hard tail mountain bikes that are chosen by the professionals, which is why they are priced in a professional grade bracket and outfitted with the appropriate components for the job.