Throwing back to the early days of Cannondale Factory Racing, Cannondale has painted up a couple of retro themed XC race bikes. The limited edition 2019 Cannondale F-Si Throwback mixes the look of 90s CAAD XC race heritage in their latest carbon hardtail race bike – the new hi-mod F-Si, equipped with the all-new single crown carbon Lefty Ocho fork.

Cannondale F-Si Throwback, limited edition retro modern XC framesets

Cannondale F-Si Throwback, limited edition retro modern XC framesets

Cannondale already has some fervent fans who collect and pore over those oversized aluminum CAAD frames with the HeadShok forks that defined the early days of mountain bike racing. So it seems fitting that they would celebrate the early success of their pro mountain bike team that later evolved into the modern iteration, Cannondale Factory Racing. It doesn’t hurt that I still saw Tinker Juarez under the Cannondale tent, now more than 20 years later, prepping to race on the latest F-Si hardtail soon after it debuted earlier this year.

Cannondale F-Si Throwback, limited edition retro modern XC framesets

Cannondale tells us that during the eight-year run of its early MTB team from 1994-2002, they “racked up an unequaled list of victories including 11 World Championships, 17 World Cup titles, 16 National Championships, 33 NORBA wins, two Olympic medals (Silver and Bronze), and two Pan-Am Games Gold medals” on what were technologically advanced XC bikes of the time.

Cannondale F-Si Throwback, limited edition retro modern XC framesets

Tinker says, “it’s been a fun 25 years. It’s rad to see Cannondale remember the good old days with these frames. They bring back a ton of good memories… I’m lucky to still be part of the Cannondale family. It was a dream then to get the support to do something I loved doing, and it’s a dream now to still be doing it.”

Cannondale F-Si Throwback, limited edition modern XC race bike

Cannondale F-Si Throwback, limited edition retro modern XC framesets

The new bikes are said to have been produced in a “very limited quantity”, so if nostalgia pulls hard on your heart-strings, you should probably reach out to your local dealer quickly.

Cannondale F-Si Throwback, limited edition retro modern XC framesets

The Throwback F-Si is only available as a frameset, matching the latest carbon F-Si Hi-Mod frame to a color matched carbon Lefty Ocho fork. The frameset is available in Viper Red harkening back to early race team from 1994-97 that competed at the first MTB Olympics, and in the Team Blue Gloss that graced the CAAD3, 4 & 5 bikes raced from 1998-2002.

Cannondale F-Si Throwback, limited edition retro modern XC framesets

The retro-themed, modern carbon 29er hardtails share all of the same tech we saw introduced this past spring, including low, low & slack OutFront geometry, hi-mod BallisTec carbon construction, a PF30 BB, Boost-spaced Speed Release 12mm thru-axle, and Ai rear wheel/drivetrain offset. Behind the HeadShok, the fork is the top of the line 100mm travel Lefty Ocho Carbon 29er with remote lockout, and standard 1.5″ tapered steerer. The Throwback frames are available in four frame sizes (S-XL). Sorry no Throwback of the 27.5″ extra-small.


  1. I still have a f1000sl sitting around. They really did have the best tech back then and the bikes were super light, but OMG was the geometry horrible. If you’ve ever met Tinker, you know he’s *tiny*, and the top tube still looks super short even for him. I think I ran a 140mm stem 😮

  2. @duder || I wonder if the longer stems/shorter top tubes were merely a reflection of where early mountain bike technology and racing technology was at the time. I mean I remember suuuuuper long quills on MTBs and roadies not wanting anything shorter than 120mm stems, something I don’t really see at all anymore.

    • Long stems were definitely the fashion back then. The longer your stem, the more badass you were. Over time, riders began to appreciate the handling and positioning of longer top tubes and shorter stems.

  3. Collectable, huh? I still have a Headshok from my F2000 in the garage if someone needs it. It’ll need TLC tho after all these years. Ditto with at least one stem to fit.

  4. Digging he retro paint schemes. But why the single crown Lefty? In exchange for a weight loss of a maybe a couple hundred grams, the new fork loses a ton of travel and most of the rigidity which made it a unique product. And it can’t use Centerlock brake rotors.

      • That’s true, the old Lefty couldn’t use Centerlock rotors, either, but that counts as a strike against the old fork, as well.
        The Ocho is definitely less rigid than the old Lefty. First, it has a single crown, and single crown forks are flexier than dual crown ones; just on the face of things, it’s going to be less rigid. Second, on March 24th, Bikerumor cited some of Cannondale’s own testing and had this to say:
        -“In fact, the Lefty has sometimes felt as being too stiff, so Cannondale dialed back the torsional stiffness of the new Lefty Ocho by 14%.”
        -“Front to back the new Lefty claims to be almost 18% stiffer than the SID and 8% stiffer than the 32. Side to side the Lefty is again the stiffest – 3% more than the SID & 7% more than the 32 [SC Factory 29er].”… These sound to me like serious losses in stiffness; being in the same league stiffness wise as thin XC forks is nothing to brag about.
        From what I have read, Cannondale has gained a reputation for making new products every few years and quickly discontinuing support for them so people buy new ones, since being bought by a conglomerate.

        • @ Tim All you did was copy and paste and make statements based on assumptions. What do you really know? What is your first hand expedience? Your credibility was lost when you used the word “flexier” to describe single crown forks.

          • OK, throw out my statement about single crown forks being flexier, even though it seems hard to deny. Kind of like how if you remove a fork brace, or go to a smaller thru axle size, the fork is going to flex more. All else being equal, it seems pretty reasonable. Anyway, let’s throw out that assumption.
            The statement I copied and pasted was from Cannondale’s own engineering team; Cannondale itself claims the Ocho is flexier than the older, dual crown Lefty.
            You also didn’t address my statement that Cannondale is gaining a reputation for not providing spares for their recent products.

          • Also, as for raw empirical experience, I can add what I felt some years back when riding two forks which were largely identical, except for the number of crowns. In the early 2000s, I rode a bike that had a single crown Manitou X-Vert Super, and rode a friend’s bike which had a Manitou X-Vert DC. The forks had the same lowers, same internals and same upper leg diameter, but the X-Vert DC was far more rigid when braking or turning; I was amazed at the difference. This in spite of the fact that the DC had around 35mm more travel, and that its upper crown was quite slim compared to that of the single crown version of the fork.

  5. i actualy have both these frames in my shed, my first and second real xc race bikes. so cool. i just want to slap a volvo sticker on that blue one.
    want this so bad.
    +1 on trying to put a yellow boot on the lefty.
    when those came out they were the coolest.

  6. OMG! The best thing is the typeface of the RED frame… Eurostile looks so much better than VERYTHING AND ANYTHING Cannondale has dare to use since the mid 90’s

  7. I think these colors are a good example of what a lot of riders are looking for. Perhaps not the yellow cannondale artwork per se, but the RED frame or BLUE frame certainly has something…

    How many times has someone said to you ‘Boy, I really want a black frame with green and white highlights and blue font with grey shadowing.’

    now a RED frame on the other hand…..

  8. Hello Cannondale Lovers. I have, and still use a bike that I brought back in the day, I bet you want to know which one don’t you……well……here it comes :- F2000 World Championship Issue Bike in red “1995”. It is still going well and apart from a break update, ( And tyres), the bike is original. I love it 🙂

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