I have been riding and enjoying the Cannondale Rize 1 for several months now, and I have gained intimate knowledge and experience from long term testing. The Rize is a new model replacing the Prophet series. But any comparisons to that previous model shouldn’t be made, as the Rize stands head and shoulders above it (and most other trail bikes). When writing about about how well a bike performs, it’s often best to define what the bike is built for, in the first place. The term trail bike itself is not readily defined. But as a light weight (it weighed 24.7 lbs on the official Mtbr office scale, without pedals) 130mm travel mountain bike, the Rize strikes an almost perfect balance between XC racer and All Mountain bomber.
Its light weight and efficient climbing means that you could race XC with it. Its 130mm of travel (front and rear) mean that you can still bomb most of the rockgardens and jumps that you can on a 150mm travel bike. And the Rize will handle any length of all day epic ride that you can throw at it. More details about just how it rides at the end of this article.
The first thing I noticed about this bike is that the finish on it is beautiful. The white finish with black and red highlights give it an elegant but racey look. And of course, the Lefty Max gets looks anywhere you go (if you are in to that sort of thing.) Even after the half dozen demo days and my rides on it, the bike still looks fresh.
The build kit is also quite solid, with CrossMax wheels, XT/XTR drivetrain, XTR brakes, RP23 rear shock, FSA carbon bars…..But it is the Hollowgram SL cranks and Left Max Carbon fork that stand out (full specs below).
The Hollowgram SL cranks are rumored to be the lightest cranks out, right now. I have not personally verified that, but even with the lightness, they are super stiff and efficient and they hold up to trail abuse.
I have to admit that this is my first time riding a Lefty, any Lefty, and this fork has a super plush feel and ride. At first I was concerned that the fork might be too plush, since it exhibited a lot of brake dive while tooling around the office. However, out on the trail, this was not a problem. The fork operates as smooth as the best of any conventional (two-legged) fork, but is much lighter. While riding, you forget that the fork is single sided, as the stiffness and tractability of it is spot on. The brake dive was not a problem on the trail and I never once went OTB (or felt like I was going to go OTB.) And the PBR feature (stands for Push Button Rebound….what else?) is very easy to use for locking out the fork.
From the Manufacturer:
“Looking for a premium play bike that eats other all-mountain rigs for breakfast? The Rize brings all-new metalforming technologies to the bike industry, creating a lighter, stiffer and plusher platform to enjoy the backcountry. Traditional Cannondale innovations, including Si-equipped head tubes and bottom bracket shells, make the Rize a dreamy ride. ”
Stiffer, lighter and stronger: Cannondale introduced to the bicycle industry new metalforming technology on the Rize. The Backbone combines the BB30 shell, lower pivot, and double-butted seat tube into a 3D forged part.
- COMBINATION OF MATERIALS
Cannondale’s designers choose materials to achieve a highly tuned ride. Example: The parts of the frame that receive compressive loads use aluminum. But where light weight and lateral stiffness count, carbon fiber is called to duty.
- SYSTEM INTEGRATION
Si has long been used on Cannondale’s bicycles, and the Rize is yet another example. Making machined headset cups integral to the frame eliminates unneeded parts; combining the stem and steerer also reduces the flex inherent in joining two separate pieces. The net result is a bike that weighs less, steers better, and allows cyclists to out-accelerate their riding partners.
Cannondale has a mini-site called The Lodge explaining all of the new features of the Rize (and Moto) here: http://www.cannondale.com/thelodge/