Saturday, March 22, 2008

DDave's new Cannondale Judge

The Judge Arrives...

As you probably know, I managed to crack my trusty Gemini frame. Thankfully, it was still in warranty, and after a bit of persuasion, Cannondale agreed to replace it with a Judge (as opposed to the Perp they initially offered).

I am really beginning to miss my Gemini... I had developed a rather irrational attachment to it, after all the places I’d been on it; Fort William World Cup track, numerous welsh/Shropshire races, and 2 years in France. I knew how it rode, it suited me, and never once did I feel it was holding me back. Say what you like about single pivot – it works, especially if you put in the right place!

Well, the Judge turned up on Thursday and of course I could barely wait to build it up – in fact I didn’t! By 11.30, it was fully built and ready to go!

The Detail

The Judge/Perp ranges are effectively evolutions of the Gemini platform; using similar front end designs but with more travel and reinforcement.

The most noticeable difference in the two frames is the rear suspension; The Judge has 9 inches of staged travel. The old Gemini was a simple single pivot, and while the swing arm was a work of CNC’d art, it was prone to flexing. To be honest it’s not something that I ever noticed throwing me offline, in fact it seemed to help give a ping out of corners….

Anyway, back to the Judge

It has two little neat links that “actuate” the shock – not only does this stiffen up the rear swing arm but also gives a 3 stage travel effect the first stage is supple for small bump performance, the 2nd provides a stable platform for pedalling and the 3rd is ramped for big hits – making sure that full 9 inches is on tap when you need it most.

All in all, the frame is finished to the high standard you’d expect from C’dale, here are some of those:

* Judge machined out of box section in the swingarm – looks proper trick!!!
* BB and pivot mount one piece BB shell is 83mm wide for extra stiffness and better chainline (yup, that is 83mm!)
* 12mm Bolt through rear axle
* Beautifully CNC'D Links
* Floating brake arm – isolates braking from the suspension
* Gear cable routed through the swing arm keeps everything nice and neat
* 1.5inch headtube keeps everything stiff and strong

The build itself has been a straight forward transplant from the Gemini, with the only new part needed being a new set of Saints to accommodate the wider BB shell. It came supplied with a brand new DHX5.0 – this came straight off and my Push’d Ti sprung unit went straight on in its place – eBay for the new shock, then!

* Forks: 2007 Marzocchi 888 World Cups
* Cockpit: Easton EA70 31.8 Lo-rise bars on a direct mount Straightline stem
* Drivetrain: Full X.0 (Carbon Shortcage rear), PC971 chain turning a Durace cassette
* Pedals/Cranks: Burgtec Penthouse Flats MKII (simple the best, do some research and be prepared to fall off your chair when you find out how much these flat pedals cost! These turn in some new spangly 83mm Saints – you just can’t fault um for sheer stiffness and strength. Keeping everything in order for the last 3 years is my trusty MRP T3.
* Wheels: EX823’s and a spare set of EX721’s on Hope Bulbs
* Other: Sunline grips - the best I’ve found to date, Hope bolt up seatpin, (no need for QR and it looks neater) Thomson Elite seatpost with a SDG Bel Air for those sit down moments – soon to be replaced by a racier Funn saddle (when it turns up).

It’s got a killer spec, and on paper it should ride great if the reviews are anything to go by but I’ll just have to wait and see. I'm certainly very chuffed to have a frame I've wanted since it came out! Further pics can be found here:


Farqui said...

Oh my goodness, "how much travel?".

I'm glad Crack'n'Fail sorted ya's out, she does look to have some schweet features.

How much does it weigh ? - you can tell I'm XC/AM orientated ;)

dahnhilla said...

Overall weight comes in at about 41 lbs!

I've gained weight in the frame and the recent addition of the 888's.

The frame weighs about 11 lbs on it's own and the 888's are a couple of lbs more than my old Boxxers :(

Might have to put it on a diet!

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Anonymous said...

any probs with play in the linkages?

Dangerous Dave said...

Not play, just coming loose.

Took it out to France last year and the main pivot nut fell off... which was expensive to replace!

Also found the linkages coming loose but over the last few rides they've stayed in place.