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UPDATED! Prototype Cannondale SuperX Disc Brake Cyclocross Bike

tim johnsons prototype 2012 cannondale super-x disc brake cyclocross bike
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tim johnsons prototype 2012 cannondale super-x disc brake cyclocross bikeLeaked last week, Tim Johnson’s prototype disc brake Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike was captured on film by Bikeradar (photo at left) at this weekend’s UCI races in Boulder, CO.

As confirmed by Zipp, who provided the wheels, the rear end is spaced at 135mm. This provides better spoke spacing for a stronger, laterally stiffer wheel…and it takes advantage of the massive variety of hubs already available. These were built up with White Industries’ MI6 disc hubs on Zipp’s Firecrest 303 tubular rims.

Bikeradar’s reporting that Cannondale was able to make their Speed SAVE design work better on this frame because they didn’t have to reinforce areas for cantilever brakes. The Speed SAVE design, which is on their current SuperX and other bikes, creates a “micro suspension” with wide, flat seat stays and intentional flex built into the fork.

The removal of cantilever brake posts on the fork also gave them plenty of clearance for muddy tires.

UPDATED! Cannondale’s official statement on the bike posted after the break…

From what we’ve seen around the interwebs, this disc model is only about a half-pound heavier than Johnson’s traditional SuperX. Keep in mind, disc components are still being optimized for road and cyclocross applications, so expect the weights of top tier bikes like this to drop substantially over the next year or two.


It should be no surprise that Cannondale is an advocate for disc brakes. The superior all-weather stopping power and modularity of disc brakes help control our customers and factory riders alike. In late 1997, we developed our own disc brake for use on mountain bikes and featured them in our 1998 Cannondale line (see CODA disc brake 1998 Cannondale Bicycle Catalogue). Our development of this disc brake in ’97 came before some of the biggest disc brake names in the industry. For the 2003 ‘cross season, six years after our first mountain disc brake, we equipped our ’04 model year cyclocross bikes with disc brakes.

Cannondale has always worked to improve cycling no matter the discipline or direction of the rider. We provide great products for those that race or ride casually. Prototyping disc brakes on the SuperX is not out of the ordinary for our vision. Our history shows that we have consistently thought far in advance. Cannondale is excited for the feedback that we will receive from our partnership with Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld and how it will influence our future product development.

What we can tell you about the SuperX disc frame:

  • In 2010 we launched our full carbon Super X frame/fork with industry leading weight, stiffness, and compliance. We are now working with our top athletes to adapt this frame platform for disc brakes.
  • The frame features a completely new rear triangle that is optimized for the loads and clearances for disc brakes. Dropout spacing is 135mm with post mounts for a 140mm disc brake rotor.
  • The fork is 450 grams with post mounts for a 140 mm disc rotor. Adapters can be used both front and rear for riders that want the increased power gained from running 160 mm rotors.

Any else betting Cannondale will have the caliper’s post mounts as full carbon fiber and molded into the frame when this thing hits production? We’re also betting the disc brake hose/cable either goes internal or moves to the top of the top tube. It’s currently running along stuck-on cable guides on the underside of the top tube.

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12 years ago

internal hydro hose seems like a bad idea

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