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Cannondale picks up two new Habits for 2023

2023 Cannondale Habit, title shot
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The Habit is Cannondale’s best-selling MTB, and it has been significantly updated for 2023. Even more significantly, it’s now been split into two models; The Habit serves as your light, fast, fun trail bike option with 130mm rear travel. The new Habit LT offers 140mm rear travel and a burlier build spec to suit rowdier trail riders.

The redesigned Habit frames are available in carbon or aluminum, and feature Cannondale’s Proportional Response size-specific geometry and suspension kinematics. It seems these bikes were built for the people, as the new lineup starts at entry level and tops out with mid-range build specs at mid-range prices.

Cannondale Habit – Frame Features and Key Specs:

The new Habits offer 130mm rear travel and come with 140mm forks, while the LT model bumps that up to 140mm rear travel with 150mm forks. The Habit and Habit LT use the exact same frame, but the LT model gets a longer stroke shock (eye-to-eye measurement is the same on both frames). Cannondale does not advise putting longer forks on the Habit LTs, they’re only certified for 150mm max.

All Habit and LT models ride on 29” wheels except the XS frames, which run 27.5” front and rear. If you’re interested in a mixed-wheel setup on the niners, it is an aftermarket option. Cannondale worked with Cascade Designs to develop a yoke to allow this conversion; the yokes should already be available through Cascade’s website.

Cannondale made an effort to keep the new Habits simple and easy to maintain; They employ trusty threaded 73mm BB shells, SRAM UDH derailleur hangers, sealed integrated headsets, and standard shock mounts.

Frame fitments are the same between the carbon and aluminum models. The Habits utilize Boost 148mm rear spacing, and have ample clearance for up to 29×2.6” tires. The frames get ISCG05 chain guide/bash guard mounts, and feature internal cable routing (carbon frames get tube-in-tube guides, aluminum frames do not).

XS and S frame sizes come with 31.6mm diameter, and 125mm travel dropper posts, and all larger sizes are equipped with 150mm travel posts. As for frame protection, you get a bash guard on the lower down tube and a chain guard on the chainstay.

One bonus with the carbon models is an included StrapRack tool and stuff carrier. The carbon frames include a standard bottle mount on the bottom of the top tube (an ideal place for the carrier) and both carbon and aluminum frames have a bottle mount on the down tube.

Proportional Response Suspension:

Cannondale is on board with size-specific tuning, but they’ve given unique suspension tunes to every size of the carbon frames, while the aluminum Habit frames share three tunes across their five sizes; One for the XS, one for small and medium, and one for large and XL frames. Each different tune provides optimized suspension kinematics based on the rider’s center of gravity, ensuring consistent braking, pedaling and bump absorption across the board.

Proportional Response Geometry:

Habit Carbon

In terms of geometry, Cannondale has applied today’s typical ‘lower, slacker, longer’ recipe to update the new Habits. For both carbon and aluminum frames, the Habit’s head tube angle is now 65.5°, and its seat mast sits at 77.5°. Cannondale increased the reach for 2023 by 2cm, leaving a medium frame at 455mm and a large at 480mm. They have also lowered the standover height on all frame sizes.

Based on the size, chainstay lengths measure between 434mm to 445mm. Aside from the chainstays, several other things vary between sizes including reach, stack height, and front center measurements, all in an effort to keep any rider centered between their wheels.

Habit LT Carbon

Due to its longer travel, the Habit LT’s head tube angle is slightly slacker at 64.7°, and the seat angle is 77°. There are also slight differences in reach, stack height, BB height, and standover height versus the shorter travel models, so check out the charts above for comparison.

Habit Aluminum

Like the suspension tunes the carbon frames get unique geometry for every different size, while the aluminum Habit frames get threedifferent rear ends across all sizes; One for XS frames, one for smalls and mediums, and one for large and XL sizes. The chainstays are actually all the same, but the location of the pivot adjusts the length for each size.

Habit LT Aluminum

The aluminum LT models’ angles of course differ from the shorter travel version, so see the above chart for all the numbers.  

Habit vs. Habit LT Build Notes:

As mentioned earlier Cannondale set up the Habits and the Habit LTs with different components suited to each model’s intended use: The Habit runs 2.4” tires front and rear, while the LT beefs up to 2.5” treads on both ends. Habits come with 180mm rotors, but LT models get 200mms front and rear. Furthermore, Habits get lighter weight wheels and tires, leaner forks, and inline rear shocks while the LT’s run burlier wheelsets, stiffer forks and piggyback shocks.

Model Lineup:

The most interesting thing I noticed about the new Habits is how they top out at mid-range prices…. no five figure bikes or wireless drivetrains here, folks! The best available carbon build offers a SRAM GX drivetrain, and the entry-level aluminum models start at a very attainable price point. Please note frame color options are included in the build spec charts.

Habit Carbon 1 – $5500

Habit Carbon LT 1 – $5500

Habit Carbon 2 – $4350

Habit LT 2 – $3625

Habit 3 – $3325

Habit 4 – $2300

Images c. Cannondale


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1 year ago

What are the hidden proprietary features? Reverse threads, 149.5 spacing, A hidden 3rd fork stanchion? .

1 year ago

Not bad looking….. do you think the bottle mounts on the underside of the Top Tube can actually fit a bottle with a side-load cage, or is it solely suitable for the tool wrap? Where I live bearspray is a must-have, so bikes with 2 cages are extra handy.

Deputy Dawg
Deputy Dawg
1 year ago

Refreshing to see a trail bike with a BB height that allows for pedaling through chunk.

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