For model year 2016, Cannondale has a variety of products that consumers have been asking for, or didn’t know they needed yet. Chief among these are the new Foray and Catalyst models. Using 27.5″ wheels the 6061 alloy hardtails are designed to address a market need for reasonably priced entry level mountain bikes, starting at $379. The hope is that these models will help to lower the barrier to entry in youth mountain bike leagues such as NICA and help get more kids on bikes…


The Catalyst (shown above) is the standard model and is available in XS, S, M, L, and XL sizes. The Foray (shown below) is the women’s specific model showing a more compact geometry and greater stand-over from a curved seat tube and is available in P, S, M, and T sizes. Both models share four tiers with identical spec (expect that the Foray features a women’s specific saddle) and a myriad of color options.

The Catalyst 1 and Foray 1 feature a SR Suntour XCM HLO DS 100mm fork with hydraulic lockout, and a blended Shimano kit with an Altus front derailleur and an Acera rear derailleur and Shimano M3000 Acera shifters. The drivetrain consists of a Shimano M371 44/32/22 crank with a Sunrace 9 speed 11-34 cassette. The cockpit and frame material is 6061 aluminum and the model features Promax Solve hydraulic disc brakes and levers. The Catalyst 1 and Foray 1 will be available in this spec for $650 MSRP.


The entry level models, the Catalyst 4 and Foray 4 (not shown), will be available with a $379 MSRP with SR Suntour M3030-27 75mm coil spring fork, Shimano Tourney drive front and rear derailleur, Shimano Easyfire shifters, a Prowheel 42/34/24 crank, and a Sunrace 7-speed 14-34 cassette. The brakes on this level are Jak-7 cable actuated disc.



  1. @Eric Hansen, you are correct. They are aimed at younger riders. A sub $400 mountain bike with double walled wheels! My shop is going to sell a number of these and get more kids on the trail.

  2. It’s refreshing to see major players address the entry level arena. The best part of the mix is that they are supported by a solid dealer network.

  3. Like it or not, these kinds of bicycles are the bread and butter of all major bicycle companies. Trek, Giant, Cannondale, Specialized, Norco, you name it. They make the bulk of their sales through inexpensive bikes $600 or less aimed at the more casual rider or the beginner. They’re not sexy, they’re not drool-worthy, and they’re not usually too cool (last years giant escape 3 was a rare, and welcome exception that I gotta say!), but these bikes are nonetheless important. If companies are able to provide more quality equipment at lower prices that not only entice people to start cycling, but continue cycling, then they’re doing a damn good job.

    I like what they’re doing here: cool colors, friendly controls, wide range cassettes, and praise be to the product manager, double wall rims! This is what is needed to ensure cycling continues to attract new riders and hopefully turn them into serious riders when they’re more able to enjoy their bike instead of needing to pay to have their wheels trued every other week or constantly having to have their handlebars whacked back into shape because bottom-of-the-barrel steel bars were used. Good work Cannondale.

  4. I’m 47 and about to buy my first grown up bike. the bike shop was pushing the Catalyst calling it more bang for my buck. should I not get it being a children’s bike?

  5. These are not childrens bikes. Will highschoolers buy them for NICA? yes just like they have been buying adult bikes all along. Full size run, XS to XL in Adult bikes…. Nice job bike rumor…

  6. This is a great example of a “name brand” bike at a lower price point to help get people into things. 1 out of every 10 of these sold will result in a rider who really gets into it and upgrades quickly, as in 12 months, and becomes a serious rider. Another 2 out of 10 sold to someone who likes it and may upgrade next time as in 1-5 years. Another 1-2 out of 10 sold to someone who keeps it for a long long long time until the BB rusts out or some other massive failure 15 years down the road. And the rest get put in the garage and, if they’re lucky, sold on CL for $100 or $200 to maybe help the next cycle of cyclist (pun intended!)

  7. I am shocked at what today’s youth get for an amount far less than what I paid for an aluminum frame back in the day. My Klein Pinnacle was close to $800.00 then ! These new US made frames can upgraded with a quality fork and group.

    Those Cannondale frames are very high quality. I am an avid racer and have to point out what I feel most people miss. With the right rider and some upgrades,these bikes are just as capable as most costing thousands more..

    Just my 2 cent’s

  8. I bought the Catalyst 1 (the top model priced at $700) as my first bike and I’m happy so far. I’m 37 and just got into mtb riding. I take it to trails every week and enjoying it very much so far. I guess it’s just a great bike for beginners like me! Also cool looks specially the charcoal and yellow combination for my taste. I don’t necessarily agree that is a bike aimed for children but more for beginners because of the relative overall low price and quality of components compared to other models such as the Trail 5 etc, although they share some as well. I definitely look to upgrade within 1 or 2 years at the most.

    • Did I miss something … I am 56 years old and live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains .Have thrown everything at this bike and it has been flawless . Have been at Canmore Nordic Center near Banff Alberta ( World Cup Venue) Fernie Alpine Resort and Kananaskis Country this past weekend ,( Google these places if you want to see real terrain ) lol .

  9. My 11yo needed a new bike and is now too tall for kid bikes. I was rather surprised that a sub $400 Cannondate was available and even included disc brakes and suspension. I’m almost jealous of the kid! I think this is a lot of bike for the $$, especially when you’re talking about something that should last several years before he outgrows it rather than needing a new $200 bike every year.

  10. I was looking to purchase a mountain bike for just casual riding and this bike was exactly what I was looking for. It is “sexy”, it is “drool worthy” and it is “cool” and I didn’t have to rob a bank to afford it. On my maiden voyage with it someone actually commented that is was a cool looking bike and that made me smile Obviously if you’re an elitist mountain biker it isn’t for you but it is for me and that’s all that matters. It looks expensive and I think Cannondale has done an amazing job with this bike. I love it!!!!

  11. I just bought a catalyst 1 bike and i like it a lot. it is 100 times better than my bike that i bought a walmart. so worth the money.

  12. I bought the Catalyst 4 about a month ago to get back into riding after a 10 year break. I have been taking it on rides at Bushy Creek Park and Walnut Creek Park all over the trails out there. I’ve never been one to have a quadruple-digit bike, so I don’t know what the high-end bikes are like, but this thing is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Solid frame, disc brakes, good gear shift levers, the front suspension feels good, and it was put together by a bike shop rather than some kid at a box store. It also comes with 1 year of free maintenance and service by the bike shop. The only change I want to make to it is putting on some different rubber and something to help protect from flats. Don’t worry about what the bike snobs think, if you’re a beginner like I am and just want a cheap, quality bike – this one is a good way to go.

  13. I’m STRONGLY considering purchasing a Catalyst for me, and the Foray for my girlfriend. I’ve been to a few bike shops, looked at different bikes in our price range, and these models REALLY stand out. They feel like entry-level, big name bikes, with HUGE bang for the buck. We haven’t biked since we were kids, but want to step it up from the usual hiking game. Everything I’ve read makes these sound like the one of the best options on the market. Thanks, everyone.

    • rob s. – did you end up getting the Catalyst for yourself and the Foray for your GF? I’m thinking of doing exactly the same for me and my wife. If you got them how do you like them?

  14. About 2 years ago I bought a 2017 Catalyst 2 and have really enjoyed it; I am 69 and started back riding after heart surgery. I had been off the bike for a number of years.

    I have a Trek hybrid also and I find the Cannondale shifts much smother. I live in the foot hills of the Application mouton range so we have some pretty good hills and I ride the single path dirt/gravel fire lanes.
    Around our city of Meridian we have Bonita Lakes park with 1,ooo acres and it is at my back door so to speak. Fishing is good and the population of Bald Eagles is increasing; a great place to ride a Cannondale!

    I love the frame on this bike; upgrades that I have made are a longer handle bar, high quality Shimano peddles, Cloud 9 seat, Higher quality tires, and a quality Manitou Markhor suspension Fork. Also a back rack which really comes in handy; I intend to keep having upgrades made as i see fit.

    Rob G

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