Cannondale had a vision, a concept bike packed full of cutting edge technology that would see its world debut at EUROBIKE (Germany) on 8/29/2012. Forkless, chainless, and dynamically adjustable, the concept was radical. But turning a sexy concept illustration into a working prototype is a tall order. It would require creative engineering, design sensitivity and serious fabrication capabilities. Priority Designs had all of those, along with the passion to sweat every detail…and get it done in time for the show.
The CERV features a dynamically adjustable headset that moves both fore-and-aft and up-and-down. The genius lies in achieving the above 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. Doing all this with a traditional fork in place wasn’t going to cut it, so a single-sided swing arm was proposed. Designing a forkless front-end has its own challenges, integrating it into a multi-axis adjustable system is another degree of difficulty altogether.
Priority Designs took the original concept sketch and got to work exploring mechanical solutions to the challenges presented. In addition to working through the mechanisms in SolidWorks, mock-ups were built and key components were tested. Ultimately, a proof-of-concept bike was fabricated to validate the engineering principles and define the working envelope. Cannondale reviewed the mechanical solutions and dimensional realities revealed by the test mule. A revised concept illustration was created and the team at Priority Designs was given the green light to turn the vision into a reality.
With the concept direction clarified, Priority Designs pushed ahead with CAD modeling and the part detailing required for fabrication. CNC, SLA and a host of other methods were used to create the parts, then good old-fashioned artistry and talent took over. Fitting, finishing, painting and assembly were all completed on-site. The result; Priority Designs delivered a stunning realization of the advanced concept dreamed up by the team at Cannondale.
While you might not see one on the road tomorrow, the bike is an example of the thought leadership and commitment to advanced technology from Cannondale…and a demonstration of the engineering and fabrication capabilities of Priority Designs.