CSG Connection 2016 Part 1 – Cannondale
For those of you who don’t know, Cycling Sports Group (CSG) are a huge global supplier of bikes and accessories for a number of big brands, and a few smaller ones. GT, Mongoose, Cannondale, Charge, Fabric, Sugoi and Sombrio all fall under their umbrella.
CSG invited us to make the long trip south to Poole, Dorset to the CSG Connection – an opportunity for them to show off all their new wares to gathered media and retailers. Now, the south coast is a long way from Yorkshire, but there was mention of a barbecue and a bike ride so we fired up the ‘driving tunes’ playlist and hit the road.
Pulling up to CSG HQ, with
Bryan Adams [insert cool band here] blasting out of the stereo, the sun was shining (it’s true, it really is sunny all the time down there) and there were shiny bikes as far as the eye could see. Here’s a run down of some our highlights from Cannondale.
Check out part 2 for GT and Charge
We’ve already covered ‘Dales new cyclocross range, but we got to check them out here in the flesh and damn fine they look too. Most striking has to be the SuperX 105. The mostly black frame features shocking pink Cannondale graphics, and the forks/stays are covered in more day-glo. Look closely, and you might recognise those graphics though. It’s the classic Cannondale ‘station’ logo of old. Why is it called the station logo? Well, the triangular stylised design is meant to emulate the gable end of Cannondale Train Station, back in the States.
The bike isn’t all about rad graphics though. It comes equipped with a Shimano 105 hydraulic groupset, except for the cranks which have been swapped out to the Cannondale Si alloy numbers. Interestingly Cannondale have stuck with a ‘two-by’ drivetrain on this model. If you do want to go 1x, the front mech hanger is completely removable. The frame and fork are all carbon, and it will retail at £2499.99
We also checked out the top-end SuperX Force (£3799.99). It shares many of the features of the lower-specced 105 model, but unsurprisingly comes with a SRAM Force groupset and new for this year – Cannondale carbon wheels. The Hollogram Si clincher wheels are actually made for ‘Dale by Stan’s, but are exclusive to the brand. They are a nice ‘not too deep, not too shallow’ 35mm depth, and 19mm internal width.
If you aren’t looking for an out-and-out ‘cross race bike the Cannondale Slate has to be one of the most talked about bikes of the last year or so. Combining a Lefty fork, with 650b wheels and drop-handlebars was bound to set tongues wagging. It also proved popular with consumers, and it’s no surprise that the bike is back for 2017, with a new entry-level model also available. There’s also a women’s model introduced into the range, although it is currently only available in the base spec.
In the afternoon, Tom took out the Slate Force CX1 out for a spin. He’s currently working out an elaborate blackmail plan that would foil even Liam Neeson – it was That Much Fun.
Finally, we spotted a few not-strictly #dirtydropbargoodness offerings that were too good to not show you…