Since the frame is what gives every bike it’s overall rating and performance, we can start there. For the Carbon 5, the team is using good ol’ BallisTec Carbon, allowing them to tune every aspect of this ride. BallisTec is Cannondale’s proprietary carbon technology that creates each bike layer upon layer, allowing the team to tune any aspect they deemed fit. To best explain how it all works, I've uploaded a video at the bottom to accompany your reading.
Taking care of any drops, bumps, and vibrations at the front of the bike, is a Fox Float 32 SC fork with 100 mm (3.93 in) of travel, remote lockout, and tapered steerer. More than enough for an XC bike, but then again, this one’s for racing.
Since the bike is a hardtail, you’ll also need to rely on your tires for suspension. Standard, Cannondale has the Carbon 5 equipped with a 29-inch Schwalbe Racing Ray Performance tire on the front, and another 29-inch Racing Ralph Performance tire on the rear. Both tires use Schwalbe’s Addix Compound and are tubeless ready. WTB STX i23 rims are responsible for holding onto your tires.
While some bicyclists may frown upon the fact that the bike is equipped with a lower-end drivetrain, let’s be honest, you’re getting a carbon frame XC MTB bike from one of those teams you see on TV, at a fraction of what we’ve seen in the past years. Why not go one step further, strip the bike, and equip it with your favorite drivetrain?
On the other hand, don’t rule Shimano out of the game just yet, because they aren’t. This team is present with MT400 front and rear hubs, and the entire braking system, this time with MT500 hydraulic disc brakes and 160 mm (6.3 in) rotors.
If bicycle manufacturers like Cannondale continue playing with carbon construction for the next few years, I feel we’re going to start seeing carbon being used like aluminum; fingers crossed. Nonetheless, $2,700 (€2,200 for the European market) is a small price to pay for your very own carbon fiber XC MTB.