Cannondale Bikes

From the award-winning SystemSix to the new Habit, Cannondale has a bike for all riders

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Since introducing the first bicycle trailer in 1971, Cannondale has steadily expanded and evolved into one of the cycling industry’s largest manufacturers of performance-oriented bicycles. Innovation has always been the key ingredient behind the success of their bikes. From the first lightweight aluminum frames to non-traditional suspension designs, specifically the first full-suspension mountain bike, as well as the modern Lefty fork, Cannondale has always thought outside the box in relation to bicycle technology.

Although they push the limits in terms of frame weight at every price point, ride quality is not merely a design after thought. Their mission is “to create innovative, quality products that inspire cyclists around the world”, with the new Cannondale Habit and Cannondale Synapse as prime examples. With this level of focus, it is no wonder that the flamboyant Saeco team leader Mario Cipollini famously declared that “Cannondale is the best bike.”

The All New Cannondale Habit and Bad Habit

Riding on the Edge

One of the most welcome changes in mountain biking is the development of the trail bike. Most riders don’t need enduro-worthy amounts of suspension travel, and most riders don’t want a bike that’s only designed to go fast around an XC course. They want a bike that can be just as fun during a quick lunchtime ride as it would be during an all-day adventure. For those riders, the new for 2019 Cannondale Habit is one of the best options on the market.

Cannondale’s new trail bike is based around their new Proportional Response suspension design. Cannondale found that riders of varying sizes experienced different suspension performance. To remedy this, Cannondale focused on rider center of gravity, or COG. By focusing on rider weight, positioning, and placement in each size, engineers were able to make a bike that performs just as well for the flyweight as it works for the heavyweight. Each size features different shock mounting points on the downtube and seattube, based on rider sag point. This bodes well for the updated Habit, as it now features 29” wheels and an increased 130mm suspension travel.

All Habit and Bad Habit models feature a modern, progressive geometry across all sizes. A 66 degree headtube, a 75 degree seattube, appropriate reach, stack, and wheelbase measurements make for a bike that is perfectly modern. Other features include clearance for 27.5” plus tires as well as 29 x 2.5” tires. It also features a flip chip should someone want to overfork with a 140mm or 150mm fork. All Habit and Bad Habit rear swingarms pair Boost 148mm spacing with Cannondale’s AI-offset to offer shorter chainstays and greater tire and mud clearance. Cannondale also includes an integrated chainstay protector, as well as an integrated downtube and bottom bracket protector.

There’s a whole range of Habit and Bad Habit models. The Habit Carbon 1 features the very best Cannondale has to offer, while the Bad Habit 2 is all everyone needs and nothing more.

Cannondale Mountain

Scalpel Si, Habit, Trigger, Jekyll

Let’s be honest: mountain bikes are not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Cannondale. With visions of high-performance American road bikes raced by Italian heavyweights, it’s no wonder that Cannondale mountain bikes are more overlooked than they ought to be. With an impressive combination of efficiency, low weight, and outright fun imbued into every model, there is absolutely a Cannondale mountain bike for everyone, regardless of style of riding.

The most strikingly obvious thing that sets Cannondale apart is the Lefty Ocho fork, which looks more like a strut than anything else. This is due to its distinctive single-sided design that sometimes leaves riders skeptical of its performance. Specifically, Cannondale claims that the Lefty Ocho design reduces dynamic friction (during movement) by 75%, and static friction is cut by a whopping 141% compared to a Rockshox SID or a Fox 32 Stepcast fork. Big deal, especially for Lefty aficionados. They do this by using a single, keyed, triangle stanchion (as opposed to the four-sided shape of before). The triangle rolls on four sets of needle bearings (as opposed to the three of before). This design is inherently heavier, but the result is a fork that is smoother and more compliant throughout the suspension travel.

Firmly entrenched in Cannondale’s “fun” bracket is the new for 2019 Cannondale Habit and Bad Habit full-suspension trail bikes. Designed as an “if you could only have one bike” mountain bike, models like the Cannondale Habit 4 trail bike are equipped to tackle techy trails, while being light and responsive enough to keep up with traditional cross country bike. The latest iteration of the Habit switches to 29 inch wheels for greater roll over ability, with models like the Cannondale Bad Habit 2 receiving plus-sized 2.8” tires for greater grip and rider confidence. With 130mm of travel available, these bikes prove that big amounts of travel aren’t necessary for big fun.

Perhaps the face of the Cannondale mountain bike line is the zippy Cannondale Scalpel Si cross country mountain bike, which is given the XXC nomenclature. It is the model of efficiency on the cross country course, with it’s Ai offset design moving the drivetrain 6mm to the left, which allows not only for a stronger wheel, but far shorter chainstays as well. What earns the full-suspension Scalpel Si’s XXC moniker, however, is it’s slack head tube angle and generously raked fork. This gives it responsive handling at low speeds, but doesn’t compromise the high-speed stability the Scalpel Si is known for. The Cannondale F-Si cross country mountain bike follows suit as Cannondale’s hardtail model, built for rapid speed over high-speed sweepers rather than techy rock-strewn trails. It too receives Ai offset as part of Cannondale’s dedication to thinking outside of the box.

Up the travel bracket is the new for 2019 Cannondale Jekyll 29 long travel bike. The Jekyll’s unique combination of a 66 degree headtube angle, stout 420mm chainstays, with a steep seat tube and long reach across the range ensures efficient climbing capability, downhill stability, and baked-in fun all over the trail. It’s 29 inch wheels ensure that bike’s like the Jekyll 29 2 is super stable as a point-and-shoot rocket, while the 150mm travel does an impressive job of smoothing out techy terrain. The 2018 Cannondale Jekyll long travel bike strikes an unlikely balance between huge 170mm/165mm travel, best-in-class pedaling efficiency, and sub-30 lb weight without flexiness. The new Gemini shock is novel in it’s Hustle and Flow settings – 165mm travel in one setting and 130mm rear travel for superior climbing ability than nearly any other enduro bike in it’s class.

The Cannondale mountain bike line is oft-underestimated. It runs the gamut of needs, with price ranges that fit everyone. Whether the mountain bike needs to be as fast as a road bike, or it needs to speed down a steep flow trail, Cannondale has a bike for everyone.

Cannondale Road

Poise, Power, Precision

Cannondale is well-known in the cycling world for aluminum know-how and innovation. They produce one of the first aluminum frame in 1983, and continued to refine their processes in both road and mountain biking. They backed this innovation by being the first American frame manufacturer to equip a pro European road cycling team (Saeco), featuring Mario Cipollini. This development continued into carbon fiber, making Cannondale road bikes some of the best road bikes available on the market at any price point.

While speed and performance became synonymous with the Cannondale name through their aluminum frames, the torch today is carried by the Cannondale SuperSix Evo road bike. For years, the models like the Cannondale SuperSix Evo Dura Ace has been the choice for anyone looking for an aggressive, race-ready road bike. They’ve stuck with external cable routing for ease of use and low weight, as well as traditional frame geometry, but everything else makes it one of the best road bikes on the market today. With medium-modulus and hi-mod frames available, as well as disc and rim brake models available, there is assuredly a SuperSix Evo for anyone looking to go as fast as they can down the road.

The other torch-bearer, and the top of the aluminum road bike hierarchy goes to the Cannondale CAAD12 road bike. The aluminum-framed CAAD12 (and the rest of the CAAD line) has a rich heritage of perennially winning every comparison test it participates in. That’s thanks to its unique combination of affordability, excellent stiffness, and surprising comfort, all while punching way above its weight class, with the Cannondale CAAD12 Ultegra as a model example. Few bikes can claim to have the adoration as well founded as this bike.

For those not looking to go as fast as possible down the road, there is the Cannondale Synapse endurance road bike. What makes models like the Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc RED eTap so remarkable is how easily Cannondale have combined the elite performance of the SuperSix Evo, with a slightly more “just right” feel that encourages riders to rider even further. Further, every frame size get its own rider-appropriate carbon layup and tube dimensions. It also receives three different fork steerer and head tube diameters with three different fork offsets to ensure that every rider enjoys the same ride-feel and handling, regardless of size.

Cannondale offers a wide range of bikes for riders looking for performance at every price point. It comes down to a matter of what kind of personality wanted. Make no doubt about it, Cannondale has a wide range of road bikes derived from racing technology and know-how.

Cannondale SE Collection, Topstone, Slate

The Ticket Away from the Predictable

One prevalent theme in current bike riding is the idea of pushing the limits of a bicycle’s capabilities. Whether wanting to take road bikes on dirt and gravel, or taking traditional short travel mountain bikes down steeper and steeper trails, riders demand their traditional bikes be pushed to greater limits than before. Cannondale have the answer to this change in focus: their SE (Special Edition) line of bikes. From drop bars to flat bars, Cannondale has an SE model for anyone looking to go push the limit with wider tires, more travel, and a greater sense of adventure.

The SE model range covers both mountain and road bike lines. The lone mountain bike is the Cannondale Scalpel SE, which receives some fairly notable changes from the hard-charging Scalpel Si cross country mountain bike. The Cannondale Scalpel SE gets a bump in travel with 120mm front travel, and 115mm in the rear. The bottom bracket is raised by a few millimeters as result of the suspension change, and the SE receives a slacker 68.5-degree head tube angle to better accommodate the new travel length and trail-oriented use. Other niceties such as wider tires and rims, bigger brake rotors, and a Raceface dropper post indicate that this bike is designed to be a true fast trail slayer. We are extremely excited about these bikes, and make the Scalpel SE better for the kind of riding we like to do.

The Cannondale SE Collection is a bit more expansive, but the overall goal is the same: make the bikes more versatile, more fun, and burlier than their standard counterparts. There are roads of all kids, from porcelain-smooth tarmac to ragged gravel trails, and these bikes are built to ride them all. The Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc Ultegra SE and Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc Women’s Apex 1 SE feature tubeless-ready WTB rims and tires, and wide-range gearing in an effort to make the bike more versatile and capable on gravel roads. Meanwhile, the Cannondale SuperX Force 1 SE and Cannondale CAADX 105 SE are equipped with even wider WTB rims and tires, with a one-by drivetrain that features an 11-42 cassette to change the ultimate cyclocross machine into a bike equipped for adventure riding, both on and off-road adventure riding.

Cannondale’s first dedicated gravel bike is also one of the best on the market. The Cannondale Topstone is named after Cannondale’s favorite dirt road loop in Connecticut. They designed it to work well as an light tourer, an all-weather commuter, or as a wide-tire road bike. This starts with their alloy frame and full carbon fork with thru axles front and rear. The frame features a threaded bottom bracket, integrated rack and fender mounts, and three water bottle mounts and a top tube mount for a feeder bag. The frame is dropper-post compatible, but perhaps the biggest news is its geometry; reach and stack measurements are similar to that of the Cannondale Synapse, meaning fit is easily replicated.

More than ever, cyclists want to go just a little bit further than they did the day before, to explore the unbeaten path, and to expand horizons. The SE line is built for those moments. Equipped for more than just the bare minimum, these bikes are perfect for getting the most out of a bike ride.

All it takes is one ride

Come talk to one of our Cannodnale experts today

At Contender Bicycles, our best tools for selling bikes are the people who ride them. Each staff member has extensive experience riding bikes across many brands. To contact us regarding Cannondale, shoot an email anytime to or by phone at Contact Us.

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