How much travel does it have? What damping adjustments does it offer? Full cartridge damper, emulsion, or open bath? Adjustable air volume? Does it run a full length 1.5″ steerer or can I mount it on a non-Cannondale frame that doesn’t suck?
None of these questions are answered, but after reading the press release I can cite several vague buzzwords that probably maybe sort of kind of represent the opinions of three athletes who are paid to ride the fork. Sweet.
Press releases can be daunting things for the uninitiated, so Team Robot will help translate for those not versed in the language of PR:
PR: “The team riders were instrumental in the development of the SuperMax’s new internal components, most of all its new Wide Mouth Piston, which increases the small bump sensitivity and high-speed suppleness of the fork.”
Translation: All four team riders were brought together for two important product development meetings. The first meeting was two years ago, where marketing and engineering got together and listened to input from the riders on what they would like to see in a new all mountain fork. One of the four team riders asked for specific product features and specs, citing other comparable products and sources of design inspiration. The other three riders asked for a fork that was “totally sweet,” “more badass than the last fork,” and “bitchin on bumps and turns.” The input from all four riders was promptly ignored by marketing and engineering departments, and development of the fork began as if the meeting had not occurred. The second meeting happened 4 months ago, before the fork went to market, but long after all important decisions were made and after any significant changes could be affected. After presenting the mostly-final product to the riders, one of the riders cited specific shortcomings in the product and asked for iterative changes to upcoming model years, and the other three riders nodded up and down whenever representatives from marketing or engineering used large words or acronyms. When pressed for their opinions, the same three riders said the product “looked pretty dialed” and that it “should ride pretty sweet.”
All four of the team riders currently believe that “Wide Mouth” was the name of the informant in Woodward and Berstein’s famous investigation of the Nixon Whitehouse in the 1972 Watergate scandal.
PR: “Cannondale is excited to announce that its North American OverMountain team will be racing and adventuring on the all-new SuperMax suspension fork for the 2014 season and beyond. The SuperMax will debut in the Enduro World Series under OverMountain team riders Mark Weir, Ben Cruz, Jason Moeschler and team newcomer Marco Osborne.”
Translation: All four guys have been talking about which race will be the designated 29er pedal-fest race where they can run this new Cannondale quagmire and not hate life, because they have to race this fork at least once to get their Lefty paycheck. They all agreed it would probably be the Scotland race. When asked if he would consider running the new LeftyMax in EWS events, Cannondale’s Jerome Clementz apologized and explained that he’s trying to actually win races.
PR: “The SuperMax’s dual crown structure makes it radically stiffer than the competition, yet the minimalist single-leg design makes it as light as some of its competitors lightest cross country race forks.”
Translation: This was literally copied and pasted from Cannondale ad-copy from the ’99 Raven Super-V 2000.
said mountain bike legend Mark Weir. “After I got on it and started riding, it is a difference you would have to ride to believe. I’ve been riding the same corners for 15 years, and I try to carry my speed through every time. On the SuperMax, I’ve never been faster.”
PR: “Weir’s teammate, Jason Moeschler, says “After riding and testing the SuperMax, I never want to let my fork go.””
Translation: Cannondale team rider Jason Moeschler was actually out riding when the emails started circulating to finalize this press release. The above sentence was actually penned by Dylan Overton, a Cannondale marketing intern who is currently getting C’s in business classes at Southern Connecticut State but who has always wanted to ride Slickrock in Moab, who loves the “soul of the ride,” and who states that the “technical, rooty, and rocky” terrain in Connecticut “is the sickest.” Others in the marketing department felt that the sentence was vague and meaningless, but also recognized that sentences that far into a press release never get read by anyone anyway, and they returned to emailing videos of motorcycle crashes to each other.
PR: Cannondale’s newest OverMountain rider, Marco Osborne, comments “The new SuperMax fork is perfect for my style of riding. I am pretty hard on my equipment and so far it has taken everything I could throw at it.”