On 6th August, bikebiz.co.uk carried the news that Cannondale had been participating in the HPV World Championships. http://www.bikebiz.co.uk/.../article.php?id=1542 broke the news to a wide audience following speculation on a recumbent newsgroup mailing. HPV sites around the world then went into overdrive following up the bikebiz.co.uk story. Grainy photos soon started appearing of the Cannondale 'bent being tested.
Now Cannondale comes clean and admits the Rhurbarb and Custard is, indeed, one of their machines.
And not before time, especially as Peter Eland of VeloVision talked about the bike with Cannondale Europe on this site over the weekend.
It's a medium wheelbase, full-suspension recumbent with a 20 inch rear wheel and 16 inch front and has Cannondale's trademark fat aluminium tubes.
Dave Larrington, editor of the British Human Power Club newsletter, said Rhubarb and Custard looked a lot like a BikeE, the recumbent that has sold 15 000+ units in the US.
It's the baby of Chris Dodman, one of Cannondale's coterie of engineers. Dodman is British and was formerly the design bod behind many of Middleburn's creations. He left for the US three years ago.
Tom Armstrong of Cannondale HQ in Connecticut, USA, said Cannondale would begin shipping its first units by the end of 2001.
"The new Cannondale is being targeted towards cyclists who traditionally have opted for hybrids or comfort bikes," said Armstrong.
"[It will] feature a compact frame with low step-over height to make getting on and off of the bike easy, and it will have a low bottom bracket to position the pedals low to simplify starting and stopping. The new model will be hand-welded and heat-treated from 6061-T6 aluminum tubing using Cannondale’s patented production process, and it will also make use of Cannondale’s extensive experience designing front and rear suspension systems."
A statement from Cannondale said Chris Dodman first began designing prototypes three years ago. Throughout the recumbent’s development, Dodman utilized CAD (Computer-Aided Design) tools and Cannondale's sophisticated testing and prototyping systems.
The bike's next outing is at Interbike at the end of the month.
As well as the pic above sent by Cannondale, check out http://www.velovision.co.uk for a close-up pic taken by VV editor Peter Eland.