In the age of specialization, one of the most exciting categories in mountain biking is what is referred to as the trail category. As the catchall for the majority of riders, trail is all about riding your local circuits with your friends but more importantly it’s about having fun out on your bike. That doesn’t mean there won’t be some racing here or there, but a perfect trail bike should be suited for versatility.
Because of the category’s renewed focus, the time has never been better to look for a new trail bike. The frames are getting lighter, the geometry is slackening out with emphasis on fun, and new components make the bikes as capable as ever.
One of the newest additions to this revitalized group is the Cannondale Habit. Sitting somewhere between their XC oriented Scalpel and aggressive trail focused Trigger, the Habit fills a new niche for a bike that is juust right for curing your single track addiction…
The perfect amount of travel is always debatable but for the Habit Cannondale is sticking with 120 mm to strike the perfect balance between efficiency and capability. For every Habit but one, the rear travel is matched with a 120 mm Lefty 2.0 fork with a custom 50 mm offset.
Suspension travel is achieved through the use of Cannondale’s ESC-TC pivot system and ZeroPivot seat stays in both aluminum and carbon. Frames are available in Full Ballistec Carbon with a carbon link, Ballistec Carbon Front triangles with a SmartFormed Alloy rear triangles with a carbon link, and full SmartFormed aluminum.
True to form, the frames continue the use of BB30 cranks with a PF30 shell that can also run Standard BSA threaded bottom brackets with an adapter that is included on models without SI cranks. The 1.5 SI Head tube allows for the Cannondale Lefty fork, which is standard on all but three models in different trim levels. The Lefty 2.0 forks include a new damper to make the fork more plush and quicker to react. Staying away from Boost spacing for now, the frame runs a standard 12x142mm thru axle. Cable routing is mostly external with the exception of an internal dropper post.
One interesting addition to the frame is a rear flat mount brake mount which is apparently the same as the one you will find on new road bikes. Cannonade says a specific adapter is needed, but the mount will work with regular brakes in 160 or 180mm rotor configurations. All eight of the men’s models and two women’s models roll on 27.5″ wheels and tires.
As usual, at the top of the heap you’ll find the Habit Black Inc. Edition which includes the best components for an outrageous $12,250. That includes the full carbon frame, Lefty Carbon 2.0 XLR fork, Enve carbon wheels and a full Shimano XTR Di2 drive train.
Another stand out in the line is theHabit SE – the only bike to receive a 130 mm Lefty fork. The SE also rolls on a bigger 2.35″ front tire hinting towards a more playful build. However, all of the bikes indicate the playful nature of the Habit when you consider the 760mm handle bar. Too wide? You can always cut them down, but you can’t make them wider.
The carbon Habits continue with the 2 and 3 which both utilize the aluminum rear end.
Full aluminum frames are offered in the Habit 4, 5, and 6. The 4 is the performance oriented model with a Shimano Deore/SLX drivetrain and Lefty fork, while the 5 and 6 are more budget conscious with standard forks and lower specs.
The Habit will also be available in two women’s models with a carbon Habit 1 and aluminum Habit 2. The Habit 1 runs a Lefty fork and 2x Shimano drivetrain and the Habit 2 sticks with a traditional fork and a Shimano triple.
Both men’s and women’s Habits share nearly identical geometry, but the women’s model gets an additional XS size, but tops out at Medium. A 68° head tube angle with 50mm trail number should keep the steering quick but fun when combined with the 17″ chain stays.
- HABIT CARBON BLACK INC. – $12,250.00
- HABIT CARBON 1 – $7,460.00
- HABIT CARBON/ALLOY 2 – $5,330.00
- HABIT CARBON/ALLOY SE- $4,480.00
- HABIT CARBON/ALLOY 3 – $3,730.00
- HABIT AL 4 – $2,880.00
- HABIT AL 5 – $2,340.00
- HABIT AL 6 – $1,950.00
- HABIT WOMEN’S 1 – $3,730.00
- HABIT WOMEN’S 2 – $1,950.00