Flow was wandering the watering holes and local delicacy outlets of downtown Park City, Utah recently, when this rare mountain bike gem caught eye eye. Hanging on the wall of a dark and musky bar, with peanut shells littering the floor, and salty locals knocking back cheap beer and $5 burgers was a prototype Cannondale Gemini, with Anne Caroline Chausson’s name on the top tube. We thought we’d share the pics with Flow readers on this #throwbackthursday.
Anne Caroline Chausson may not need any introduction to some, but this French cycling legend has transcended the disciplines of BMX, downhill, four cross and now enduro racing with formidable skill, power and experience.
She won mountain bike races like these ones:
Junior downhill World Champion: 1993, 1994, 1995
Senior downhill World Champion: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005
Senior dual slalom World Champion: 2000, 2001
Senior four-cross World Champion: 2002, 2003
World Cup downhill series winner: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
World Cup dual slalom series winner: 2000
World Cup four-cross series winner: 2002
Racing on the Cannondale team alongside Cedric Gracia, Anne was privy to some amazing prototype bikes with crazy designs that really pushed the boundaries of experimentation. There were some incredible engineers working at Cannondale at that time, namely a guy called Doug Dalton, who actually donated this bike to the bar in Park City. His zany passion for mountain biking has kept his name amongst the greats of the race bike development world.
Some of these crazy inventions made during this era never saw production, or even the race track. This guy in particular; The Cannondale Gemini used two rear shocks. Two!
The aim of this design was to have a bike that handled braking ruts, and ideally allow the bike to track to the ground better when braking over rough terrain. The red coil shock would handle the regular impacts, but their is a smaller short stroke FOX Float air shock tucked away under the red shock that was attached to a floating brake mount.
We would have loved to take this bike off the wall, turn it around (even give it a clean!) to show the brake side of the frame. But, no luck.
How cool is it!!?
Head over to Vital MTB to check out a fantastic interview that Vital did with Doug. There are many more bikes that he keeps in his shed, featuring one of Cedric Gracia’s just like this one.