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The predecessor to the Lefty; remember this?

Uncategorized 21 2005

One of the best things about writing this blog is the email that I receive. Last week, Lee at Cannondale sent me this shot of the monoblade front suspension system (I hesitate to call it a fork) from the prototype Cannondale Magic mountain bike. The idea was that this trailing-link front suspension would absorb bumps like a skier’s knees. Wow, what a blast from the past! I am sure many of you will remember this mountain bike design by Alex and Skooks Pong. I was definitely excited about this concept bike when I first saw it in the early nineties. I hadn’t heard much about it lately, so I was glad to find out that they still have a prototype together at the Cannondale offices in Connecticut. Does anyone besides me want to see a few additional pictures of this bike? If enough of you are interested, maybe Lee will polish this bare aluminum beauty and take a few nice glamour shots that I can post here. What do you think? Leave a comment if you interested in seeing more pictures of this bike, which I think was way ahead of its time.

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  1. Anonymous January 24, 2007 at 5:21 pm -  Reply

    Get on it Lee! Lets see what you’ve got.

  2. ritter h vonali January 24, 2007 at 5:26 pm -  Reply

    more pics please!

  3. Anonymous January 25, 2007 at 1:59 am -  Reply

    I do remember that rollerblade bike from Interbike. I think it had a 700c rear wheal, right? More photos of the Cannondale please. You can’t tell where your going unless you know where you’ve been.

    Great blog!

    John C

  4. Edu&Nano January 25, 2007 at 6:55 am -  Reply

    More,more photos, please,

    They really gives the Aluminium his right treatment.


  5. TR January 25, 2007 at 8:41 am -  Reply

    Ive never seen that bike but I want to see more pics…please

  6. Fritz January 25, 2007 at 2:33 pm -  Reply

    Yeah, I’d like to see more of this bike. I remember the rollerblade bike, too.

  7. 54 January 26, 2007 at 4:51 pm -  Reply

    So, my question is…what killed the bike? or was it anything remotely realistic. CNC the whole frame was prohibitly $$$ then, and is even now….specially with the price of Al twice as expensive as 15 yrs ago….

    Do like to see more picture of it,definitely. Seen small pictures of it, here and there, but I wanted to see the detail shots!

  8. Graham January 26, 2007 at 9:47 pm -  Reply

    The aluminum wheels don’t look very practical. Would they ever need truing? Where’s the brake? Inside the front hub?

    Interesting though.

  9. James January 29, 2007 at 12:23 pm -  Reply

    If I remember correctly, this bike had front and rear disc brakes when I first saw it. It is hard to tell what the brakes are in this picture.

    Funny you mentioned the wheels Graham. I remember magazine articles pointing out that these wheels “never needed truing.” That may or may not be true, but either way I have a hard time imagining that these would perform as well as lightweight spoked wheels. Still, it is a concept bike, so I wouldn’t expect all the details to be worked out. As I have said before, I admire Cannondale for their willingness to try new things.

  10. Anonymous February 1, 2007 at 3:31 pm -  Reply

    While the Pong Magic Mountain Bike had a number of interesting innovations in its conception, it was (and still is) impractical to produce and in some ways unworkable. As mentioned here, the sheer amount of CNC work needed is prohibitive, even now (the prototype in the pictures is made of solid billet aluminum, and weighs around 70lbs). In addition, the suspension pivots were intended to have circular shocks, complete with hydraulic damping, built into them. An intrigueing idea, but one that would have required an exorbitant development budget. The dual trailing link suspension presents some problems, as well; the drastic changes in front and rear geometry as it moves through the travel would tend to make the bike difficult to ride, as well as complicating the drivetrain. What this bike did do was to generate a tremendous amount of publicity, and get bikes in general into the forefront of popular conciousness for a while. Many of the individual innovations have come into common use, as well, so there was a definite technical benefit, too. It would be interesting to see what Mr. Pong would come up with if he were to favor the bicycle industry with his unique perspective again. Val

  11. Anonymous February 2, 2007 at 10:23 pm -  Reply

    I want to see that bike! Let’s get the polish compound.

  12. Anonymous March 10, 2007 at 12:32 am -  Reply

    I remember a picture of this bike in mountain bike magazine in the early to mid 90’s. From what I remember, it looked more streamlined than this one and had front and rear disc breaks. I forget what the wheels and spokes looked like. It was a great looking bike. I wish I could remember the issue of mountain bike magazine it was in. I think it was in ’94, though.

  13. Anonymous April 26, 2007 at 10:14 am -  Reply

    That is the bike from the original photos. The only tool need supposedly was a 5mm Allen. It was totally unrideable… a media ploy that paid off in spades for C Dale, as they got EVERY bike cover that month, and generated huge buzz.I remeber folks asking me when they could buy one and how cool it was. I called it right on as a marvelous move not by C Dale R&D, but rather by marketing. The Pongs were gone shortly thereafter, their crank being the only thing they left behind.

  14. Anonymous January 18, 2008 at 3:36 am -  Reply

    Polish polish post post!

  15. Anonymous October 16, 2008 at 12:09 am -  Reply

    awesome! lets see the rest of it.

  16. Boltz February 3, 2015 at 11:42 pm -  Reply

    How sad that next to no one remembers this bike and more than half those who responded to this article are confusing this amazing mountain bike with that just as amazing road bike with the 4 small rollerblade wheels. Both Alex Pong creations I believe. I still want that magic mtn bike with or without the Cannondale logo I don’t care, I just want that bike!

    I would settle for more pics, and would love you forever if I could get some! Seems no one has commented for 7 years. I wonder if anyone will respond or is even still alive from this article. I hope.

    • James Thomas February 4, 2015 at 1:22 pm -  Reply

      I remember the Magic Mountain bike well. Here is a picture of it in all its CNC machined glory for any of you who don’t remember it. I would love to know where this prototype is today. There have been dramatic changes at Cannondale since this post, but I am curious if the bike pictured here is still around. Anyone know the status?

  17. Paolo February 4, 2015 at 6:38 pm -  Reply

    yeah I’m very curious to see this proto in action !

  18. thomas February 5, 2015 at 1:40 am -  Reply

    I actually remember that bike.
    And I remember thinking “what’s next? Is this the future?” CNC-bikes were not the future. Maybe Lasermelting brings out weiter concepts like that again. I look forward to see more pictures.

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