Cannondale Khione Carbon Fatbike- 29er to Fat Conversion

There has been more information and will be further updates on this and all my other carbon fiber work at on facebook here and also on my website here.

Khione is the greek goddess of snow and yet, somehow, no one has given that most obvious name to a fatbike. My goal for this project is to showcase my carbon repair and customization business and to suggest that Cannondale considers entering the fatbike market. It's surprising Cannondale hasn't already entered this market. Actually, not just "entered" the market but built something up to the standard of their incredible mountain bikes. Many of the new entries in the fatbike segment have copy-cat, boring, middle of the road geometry and design. They seem to be coming out of the same mold from Asia.

The evolution of fatbikes has been an amazing and rapid process. Two years ago I combined a heavy, steel, Surly Pugsley rear triangle with a Colnago C40, threw some older, durable parts on it and thought it was pretty great. Things have evolved, more fat specific parts have become available and fatbike races have popped up everywhere. Fatbiking used to be all about snowmobile trails and riding on lakes but more and more the opportunity to ride and race real singletrack has become available. It became clear it was time to build a new bike to better take advantage of those opportunities.

This frame is a 2010 Flash Carbon in medium which was in rough shape. I repaired 3 stays and raced it for a season or so then it was shelved in favor of a 2012 Flash carbon EVO. In order to become fat the entire rear triangle of the frame was removed. A Paragon Frameworks Ti bottom bracket shell was fit through the stock BB30 interface. The stays were individually constructed. Due to my desire to use a 135mm offset rear end, and stay away from super costly hubs of dubious cost vs. reliability ratio, this made for a good amount of fabrication. Finally, the stays, seat cluster and bottom bracket area were all integrated. The frame weight is 1545 g with derailleur hanger, seatpost clamp and headset bearings/1 ⅛” adaptor in place. I love the handling characteristics of the stock Flash. The only major change to the geometry was a 1” lengthening of the rear end. The front has been pushed up a bit with the slightly longer fork but I will be able to run a lefty with virtually dead-on stock geometry when desired.

The current fork is a Carver O’Beast. I built my own fat fork for my previous bike, but can’t beat the O’Beast in quality so going with it when rigid. With the steerer cut I’m right around 2100g for the total, ready to build, frameset. Maybe not crazy, but it’s in line with the high end frames out there and I might have saved a bit with the 135mm hub.

Ben Witt of Milltown Cycles built both of my current wheelsets using vintage Coda branded DT Swiss hubs laced to Surly Marge Lite and Rolling Darryl rims with DT spokes and brass nipples. The Rolling Darryl’s are pictured on the bike with 26x4.0 Husker Du tires. The rest of the build consists mainly of a ‘poor man’s XX1 group’ with an X0 gripshifter, X9 type 2 rear derailleur, 11-36 shimano cassette and 34t narrow/wide chainring on E13 cranks. Brakes are the absolutely awesome Shimano SLX 675. A 42t add-on cassette cog is also on it’s way. The cockpit parts are a Ritchey mix other than a carbon specialized saddle that has been repaired and recovered.

I’ve ridden about 150 miles now and can’t wait for more. Hope Cannondale or any other new players in the fatbike market come out with their own bikes with similarly aggressive geometry. I would also hope others will see that old frames can be repurposed in order to extend their usefulness.

Lastly, after the snow melts I will be switching to a lefty for the summer. No surprise there. The interesting part will be the 29 x 75mm carbon rims I plan to use. Can’t say much more about that yet as I’ve only just begun the rim construction, but follow over the next couple months if you are interested.

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