Cannondale On: Prototype Full-Size Folding Bicycle

Although folding and other portable bikes are commonplace in many areas, many are not full-sized when deployed. Bike manufacturer Cannondale is throwing their expertise at the idea of a folder and have developed the "On," a full-sized folder that incorporates some smart design and weight-saving techniques to make a bike that is both durable and light. (In theory!) A 2004 "Jacknife" prototype, developed in partnership with the Elisava Design School in Barcelona, had a hydraulic pedaling system that ditched the chain entirely. The On has a chain, but one encased fully inside a single-sided "fork" that can be fully detached from the rear wheel without loosening the gears or disk brakes. For now Cannondale just has the prototypes, which I imagine they'll be shopping around to retailers and customers to see what the interest level might be. Even if they don't release a commercial version, it's quite a piece of engineering. Project page and build details [ via Gadget Lab]
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6 Responses to Cannondale On: Prototype Full-Size Folding Bicycle

  1. RideTHISbike says:

    At just 22 lbs, the $169 Kent Superlite folding bike is more than just “light in theory.”

    Costing less than the Dahon Boardwalk yet resembling the Dahon Curve in appearance, the Superlite’s die cast, magnesium aluminum alloy frame is light, strong and absorbs road shock too. The Superlite folding bike is equipped with rear carry rack, fenders, kickstand and folding pedals.

    By the way, the Superlite Mango is available with the Shimano Nexus 3 speed internal hub.

    22 lb, 1 spd Superlite folding bike…

    24 lb, 3 spd Superlite Nexus folding bike…

  2. Guy says:

    Take a look at Bike Friday for a good example of how to make a folder ( They really put a lot of thought into the engineering. I’ve test-ridden them and, even with small wheels, the ride is almost indistinguishable from a conventional bike.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Let’s not forget the Montague Paratrooper. Designed with a grant from the Dept of Defense, the Paratrooper has been used by US special forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere. This folding mountain bike has been para-dropped as well as ridden in combat situations; yet, anyone with $700 can buy one.

    For more about the Paratrooper or similar mountain bikes that fold, visit and follow the “folding bikes” link.

    Larry Lagarde

  4. Anonymous says:

    Very cool, but can you imagine trying to repair that thing at the LBS? I’ve got an Airnimal Chameleon, a sweet british folder that rides as good as a full size racer but can be folded into carry-on luggage. Very light-weight sweet ride. Or check out their mountain bike version the Airnimal Rhino.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I agree that there are many bikes to choose from in this format, If Cannondale can pull this off it will bring the idea to mass market, plus the bike looks more impressive then any garage team can put together.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Full-size folders are already available – Dahon have several models – but you limit the compactness of the fold by using full size wheels. With most decent small-wheel folders your points of contact with the bike – saddle, bars and pedals – are in the same relative positions as on a normal bike, so the difference is minimal (especially if you use suspension to counteract the harsher ride of smaller wheels, eg). But the chainstay/chaincase on this is very cool…

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