A well balanced, fast and capable bike that you can chuck around

Product Overview

Cannondale Habit Carbon 1

Pros:

  • Stiff and agile speed machine that blends trail angles with XC capability. Climbs like a demon. Front suspension is well damped and supportive.

Cons:

  • With carbon hoops, sketchy tyres and a solid chassis, it can be a white-knuckle ride. Not sold on the Lefty’s increased fork offset (and subsequently twitchier steering).

Product:

Cannondale Habit Carbon 1 (2016) review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£4,500.00

Need to know

  • Cannondale’s latest 120mm bike blends XC race with aggressive trail riding
  • Single-pivot suspension uses a carbon rocker link and flex in the carbon seatstays to save weight
  • Flat brake-mount borrowed from Cannondale road bike tech neatly hides the rear caliper on the chainstay

Cannondale’s brand new Habit brings conventional trail bike wisdom to a short-travel, lightweight package. With 27.5in wheels, and 120mm of travel, combined with a wide 760mm bar and short stem as standard, it’s a fast, capable machine that ticks all the right boxes.

There's no denying the Habit has an XC bias but trail thrills aren't ignored

There’s no denying the Habit has an XC bias but trail thrills aren’t ignored

Typically, the Habit 1 comes come packed with Cannondale’s proprietary features, including the signature one-legged Lefty fork. You also get a snazzy remote lock-out system for both the RockShox shock and Lefty fork. The Habit frame looks simple and clean cut, but carefully manipulated carbon seatstays do away with the need for pivots — saving weight and reducing maintenance.


Watch our review of the Cannondale Jekyll


Cannondale has also done a lot of work on the fork. As usual, the Carbon Lefty is super stiff, and the revised 2.0 model has great control and damping, making it very impressive for a 120mm unit. The rear suspension on the Habit rides poppy and tight — even with the shock in the full open setting it’s easy to stomp out your power without energy loss.

In fact, the Habit is so fast on the gas, that the remote lockout only really reduces grip and adds harshness. We reckon it would be better off without.

The bike is well-balanced and, with its stiff carbon chassis, you can chuck it around the trail and be rewarded with instant responses to shifts in body weight. However, the CZero carbon wheels are clad in a skinny Rocket Ron rear tyre, with a thin casing, that makes the bike feel overly edgy and you can get out of shape in the blink of a eye if you’re not 100 per cent focused.

It is easy to generate power, even with the shock fully open

It is easy to generate power, even with the shock fully open

There’s no denying that the Cannondale Habit Carbon 1 delivers a fast, capable bike with a distinct XC bias, but Cannondale hasn’t ignored the out-and-out trail rider either — the SE version sports 10mm more travel up front, slacker steering geometry and much meatier tyres.

All of which should mean that you’ll be able to milk the chassis’ playful suspension pop and manoeuvrability, and relax your grip a little bit more on the descents. We’re keen to get one on test soon.

Cannondale Habit Carbon 1 2016 packshot

Details

Frame:Habit 27.5 BallisTec Carbon, 120mm travel
Shock:RockShox XX Debonair Full Sprint lockout
Fork:Lefty 2.0 Carbon X-Loc Full Sprint remote 120mm travel
Wheels:Cannondale CZero Carbon, Schwalbe Nobby Nic /Rocket Ron 2.25in tyres
Drivetrain:Cannondale HollowGram Si chainset, 30T ring, SRAM XX1 mech, X01 shifter
Brakes:180mm SRAM Guide RSC
Components:Cannondale 760mm carbon bar, C1 stem 60mm, RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper, Fabric Scoop Ti saddle
Sizes:S, M, L, XL
Weight:11.6kg (25.5lb)
Rider height:5ft 9in
Size ridden:L
Head angle:68°
Seat angle:72°
BB Height:334mm
Chainstay:429mm
Front centre:730mm
Wheelbase:1,159mm
Down tube:712mm
Top tube:620mm
Reach:450mm