The 2010 Cannondale On: A commuter bike that isn't all there

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    The 2010 Cannondale On, which lacks a rear triangle and half of a front fork, will sell in limited quantities for $3900.
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The annual Interbike trade show hit Las Vegas this week, and, as usual, there are no shortage of surprises, curiosities, and head-scratchers.

This year's winner for perhaps all three is the Cannondale On, a limited-run production bike that looks like someone took a hack saw to it. The front right fork, chainstays, and seatstays are completely missing – indeed, almost the entire rear triangle is gone.

The secret, according to VeloNews's Zack Vestal, is a structural rear chain case that's machined (like Apple's MacBook Pro notebooks) out of a single block of aluminum. It's bolted to the bike's bottom bracket, and fully supports the back wheel and drivetrain. Cannondale calls it SiCC – the System Integrated Chain Case. It covers the 9-speed hub-geared drivetrain, keeping grease off pantlegs, and giving the bike a clean look and feel.

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Up front is one of the company's proprietary "Lefty" forks, named such because their asymmetrical design leaves off the right half.

The result is quite the head-turner. Riding the On (that still looks like a typo) has to be a bit like driving a Plymouth Prowler or Chevy SSR – packing all the start-a-conversation-with-complete-strangers capabilities one could want, but without much practicality. (Although one BikeForums poster points to a redeeming value to the design: change a flat – front or rear – without removing the wheels.)

Though pretty to look at, it seems like the On is the answer to a question no one's asked. That said, it's not as if this bike-commuting blogger doesn't really want one. (But at an estimated $3,900 apiece for one of the 200 slated to be produced, best probably to just move along.)

For a VeloNews gallery of the On and other bikes from Cannondale's urban bicycle line-up at Interbike, click here.

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