The CERV features a dynamically adjustable headset that moves both fore-and-aft and up-and-down. The genius lies in achieving this without altering the seat-to-crank height. This system puts the rider in an optimal position based on the terrain. The headset translates forward and down for a clean, low-drag position when descending. When climbing, it moves up and back, creating a more upright position for maximum leverage on the crank. Accomplishing this with a traditional fork wasn’t going cut it, so a single-sided swing arm was proposed. Integrating a forkless front end into a multi-axis adjustable system added another degree of difficulty. Our internal teams worked together from an original concept sketch to design, engineer and develop a fully-functional dynamic system.
To work though mechanisms for the bike, mock-ups were built and key components were tested. Ultimately, a proof-of-concept bike was fabricated with over 80% off the shelf parts in a short timeline to validate the engineering principles and define the working envelope. In this prototype, function and quick turnaround time were critical. Cannondale reviewed the mechanical solutions and dimensional realities revealed by the test mule. A revised concept illustration was created from this early prototype and the team was given the green light to turn the vision into a reality.
With concept direction clarified, the prototype team starting figuring out the best materials and methods for the job. Most of the frame was 3D printed parts with cutouts and channels for the CNC machined aluminum and stainless steel components to fit into and be invisible. The team used the 5-Axis CNC router to make perfectly complementary wheels to go along with the sleek design. Turning new components for off the shelf Cannondale hubs to fit the new design saved time and money. Then the project went into finishing where every detail became crisp and 3D print lines and machine marks disappeared. The project went on to the paint department where the bike was disassembled and the first color painted on. It then had to get masked off with precision cut masks on a laser cutter. The process was repeated for a second paint and masking, then a third and so on until the paint was complete. Once finished and reassembled it look like a production bike that just rolled off the line. The result? A stunning realization of the advanced concept dreamed up by the team at Cannondale.