Cannondale showed an elite few members of the cycling media some new suspension technology. They invited us to take a ride in their “Unimog” out to their super secret desert location known only as “Area 88″. With the press corp riding blind, a simple iPhone (equipped with GPS) assured the test subjects that they were really only about a quarter mile from the Outdoor Demo area.
Once inside Area 88 (actually a public storage facility), the goods were shown. We listened to a presentation by the main R&D guys for this project, complete with informative slide show with an overview of key points and features of the new technology. This project has been five years in the making, so far.
After a short Q&A session, we were lead out of the back of the “warehouse” to the testing grounds and our first real close-up of “SIMON”.
Some members of the press trying out SIMON:
Ace photographer and tester John Ker of Mountain Bike Action:
Big Maurice Tierney (Dirt Rag) getting dialed in:
Nicole Formosa (Bicycle Retailer) enjoying a discussion about SIMON with main designer Stanley:
There were 4 test bikes available and each of the journos took turns getting setup (rider weight entered, type of suspension desired (plushness on a scale of 1 to 6), recommeded fork pressure checked, and sag measured (automatically). The test course was a small area setup with man made wooden structures of primarily two sets of stutter bumps and a small (8″ maybe?) drop, to test fork compliance.