Staff Rides: Henry Quinney's Cannondale Habit

Oct 23, 2023 at 10:29
by Henry Quinney  
Manitou Mattoc Pro review


STAFF RIDES

Henry Quinney's Cannondale Habit



I tested the Cannondale Habit LT earlier this year and was very much impressed. I liked how extra-regular it was and it had a lot of the things I wanted in a modern trail bike. That said, it wasn't absolutely perfect. The LT (long-travel) version had, for instance, 140 mm of travel at the back and a 150 mm fork. Whereas the standard version had a reduced stroke and 130mm of rear travel, paired to a similarly shortened 140 mm fork. With all the trail-bike-parts I had in to test over the summer, Cannondale kindly let me extend the loan of the bike and I also got to bring it more in line with how I'd want it.
Habit Details

• Intended use: mountain biking
• Travel: 140mm rear / 140mm fork
• Wheel size: 29"
• Frame construction: carbon fiber
• 65.5° head angle
• 480 mm reach and 440mm stays
cannondale.com


photo
I love the clean colorway. Just simple lines and branding go a long way to make this feel like a bike for grown-ups.

Frame & Suspension

There are lots of different flavors of trail bikes. It seems one of the harder-to-pin-down categories of bikes. For me, I don't want my trail bike to feel like an enduro bike. I want it to be a bit lighter, faster, and less about handling steep rough terrain. That's not to say of course that the modern trail bike can't, but rather I just don't want my whole bike focused on doing something that it's never going to excel at anyway. What I wanted was the steeper and faster-feeling geometry of something steeper, all with the 10mm extra travel of the LT version.

Manitou Mattoc Pro review
The Mattoc Pro is a good fork, and comes with a very flexible fender. That said, it does require a degree of persistence in setup.

I've been reviewing the Manitou Mattoc Pro. This fork makes swapping between travels very easy, with simple spacers, and it means that I could bump travel down to 140 in a matter of minutes. That Mattoc Pro is a solid fork but definitely is not without its foibles. It took some experimenting, but I eventually got it into a pretty good place. It also set me on something of a collision course with silver. I look forward to sharing the longer-term impressions in my review.

photo
I carry a 26" welterweight tube, and then just make it work should I ever get a puncture (which thankfully is a rare occurrence).

With the 140 mm fork, things just felt a bit more alive on flatter trails. It's not much of a difference, admittedly, but I think head angle correlates to what you want to ride the bike on. I'm in a very fortunate position to also have an enduro bike to ride. The Habit was all about making something fun, fast, and a bit more reactive than my 170mm 29er. That said, even trail bikes need good damping, and, as I remarked in the review, the Super Deluxe still absolutely delivered in this regard.

photo
The Super Deluxe is a great shock and the damping on the Habit is excellent. I run 175 psi and the rebound is almost fully open.

During all this chopping and changing of parts, I've been impressed with the simplicity and function of all the shock hardware. Everything has remained tight, quiet and hassle-free. I also really like the no-guide cable routing. It let me run my UK brakes without it looking like a haystack.

During the summer, and after we did an editor's choice article explaining what we carried on rides, I bit the bullet, went to the shop, and bought several OneUp pumps as a bit of an indulgence to myself. The problem is that I ride different bikes at different times, and often leave them between my home that has limited storage and our office. If I have only one bike with the on-frame tools I can guarantee it's always on the wrong bike. Now that I have multiple pumps and tools, which aren't exactly cheap, I can just leave them on there and forget about it. It genuinely feels like a luxury always having them there.

Manitou Mattoc Pro review
The IRT system will prove popular with Manitou diehards.



photo
The Berd Hawk 30 wheels have been an absolute pleasure to test.

Tires / Wheels

The next step of the silver-fying of this bike was undoubtedly the spoke-string wheels from Berd. These things are light, fast, and unbelievably comfortable. That said, while they might be rated to enduro bikes I think a better home for them is something like this Habit. I've been putting them through their paces though and the review will be out shortly. All in all, I've come to be really impressed by the concept, even if it is a little peculiar to look at. The white-spokes seem to have been stained by mud and dirt though, which is something of a shame.

photo
The spokes have a small metal barb in the end and thread into the rim just like a normal spoke, save for a tool you need to stop them from turning.

Everyone knows (everyone, absolutely everyone) that unless you ride at least Double Down tires you're not riding properly and should be ashamed to call yourself a mountain biker.

Well, I hate to go against the grain, but on bikes I want to be lighter and I'm happy to run thinner tires. In the past, I've made a big deal on bikes needing to be heavier - and I stand by it - but it's also about application. I've never said that ALL bikes should be heavy, but rather they should be heavy to maximize downhill performance. This bike was about far more than that though. I like Exo and Exo+ tires. When you're not riding tire-slicing rocks I don't really have a problem with them.

photo
The monochromatic theme really started taking off with the wheels.

The Assegai is obviously a popular choice, but for trail biking the Dissector is a good option on the rear. It does get slightly overwhelmed on looser terrain, and I wouldn't be itching to put it on a downhill bike, but for trail riding and flatter trails, it does everything I want it to. It rolls reasonably well and offers good braking for something so shallow. Over the fast-running and dry summer months, I would typically run 28 psi front and rear, and in the wet I would run lower pressures.


photo
The Code RSC offers a lot of things that I want in a brake.
photo
I run a 200 and 180 mm rotor pairing with metal pads.

Brakes

Speaking of weight, when are rotors going to get heavier across the board? The HS2 rotors from SRAM are significantly better, both in terms of feel and consistency than the standard 1.8 mm versions. It's weird for me to think that brands will sooner spec higher-level brakes with small, thin rotors. It's utterly backwards.

I swapped out the Centreline rotors that came on the bike for the HS2s and the feel at the levers was just so much better. I also chose to run the Code RSC levers. I've got a couple of sets that stew in an oil-smattered bag at the bottom of my workshop drawer. I don't think the caliper makes that much difference when comparing the RSCs to the standard Code Rs, but the adjustment and power of the higher-end levers is drastic. I can't remember how much I bought the RSC levers for but it wasn't much, and I just take them from bike to bike now.



photo
Game changing? Probably.

Drivetrain

Coming up to a year on since SRAM changed everything with the launch of Transmission... has the game truly been changed? Well, I've had an interesting period of riding this top-end XX T-type on the Habit, and 11-speed, steel Shimano Linkglide on my Spire enduro bike. Both are doing important things albeit in very different ways.

And both are very good. If Shimano can bring that Di2 shift into a wireless platform, and then combine it with the Linkglide Technology, I think it could genuinely offer a strong counterpunch to SRAMs efforts. It feels like SRAM has had free reign in terms of big releases of non-e-bike technology over the last year, and we're seeing that in the OE spec of bikes too. However, I have been genuinely impressed with Linkglide and I look forward to seeing how it pans out.

Make no mistake though, the XX drivetrain is something genuinely fantastic, even if I always forget to charge the battery.

photo
I don't need numbers to tell me I'm crap at cycling uphill - but sometimes it's nice just to have it confirmed in cold hard data.
photo
Silver-black Mallet-Es with the pins wound all the way in are the absolute dream. I don't think I'll go back to flats for a long time.

I run a 32T chainring on the integrated power meter cranks. Honestly, power output is something that doesn't really mean anything to me - but that's not to say I don't glance down at it every now and then. Do I need it though? Absolutely not.



photo
I really like the shape of the Deity Blacklabel bars, plus having them on the two bikes I spent the most time on over the summer was a nice perk.
photo
So much silver.


Contact Points

The bike initially came with a 170 mm dropper, and it was always either too low on climbs or too high on descents. The extra 40 mm of the OneUp just improves my overall enjoyment of riding. It also has its new V2 lever which is markedly more refined in terms of ergonomics than the previous version, including neater cable routing. If you're reading this and you're a bike manufacturer - please stop with 170mm posts on bikes with steeper seat tubes, at least on the larger sizes. It's done. Just move on already. I genuinely would rather a bike come with a static seatpost and be cheaper than one that I'm going to have to take off straight away.

photo
Stop it with the short droppers. The OneUp 210 mm post is a great option and just makes riding more fun.

The last piece of the puzzle to make this bike a true silver fox was the Deity bar, stem, and seat clamp. We had them in the office and I thought trying to make my bike look like Richard Gere was just too irresistible of an idea. The Blacklabel bars are in 25 mm rise, and I use a 50 mm Copperhead stem. I like alloy, and am not convinced by bigger bore carbon bars in general, although there are exceptions. I run the same bar and stem on my downhill bike, and I enjoy the sheer consistency. I've cut both the 770 mm.




Author Info:
henryquinney avatar

Member since Jun 3, 2014
336 articles

244 Comments
  • 119 2
 Of course that guy has a Cannondale.
  • 30 2
 It's not a real Cannondale, but he tries to fix it with Manitou fork
  • 10 1
 Must be the Martyn Ashton indoctrination.
  • 39 1
 Naturally
  • 75 1
 @henryquinney: put a lefty on it you bastard
  • 28 1
 Ironically, this Cannondale (the current Habit) is probably the most normal mountainbike money can buy right now.
  • 5 0
 @wburnes: it has a reverse-bridgy
  • 4 2
 @henryquinney: Can't comprehend how you manage to make a 26" tube work on a 29" wheel without giving yourself a pinch flat when you remount the tire!?
  • 2 4
 @Muscovir: not in the US. YT or Fezarri. The latter has ridiculous sales going on right now.
  • 2 0
 Phones ringing dude.... Forks on backwards dude....
  • 6 0
 @powderhoundbrr: I am the walrus
  • 3 3
 @Muscovir: POLYGON SISKIU T8 like an alternative.
Very similar GEo
  • 3 0
 @henryquinney: What is complete weight of this bike with your weird & wonderful spec? Asking for recovered bikeorexic friend who still prefers trail bikes under 30lbs. (Very real friend says congrats on coming out of closet w/ your preference for pedaling lighter tires, btw!)
  • 2 0
 @bunjiman82: I've done it for literally 20 years. You do have to run high pressure as the tube will be pretty thin.
Luckily I haven't had to resort to using a tube in several years now...
  • 5 0
 @bunjiman82: Butyl tubes don't mind a little stretching, or even a lot. When industry jumped on 27.5 bandwagon, tube manuf. simply started shipping 26" tubes in boxes labeled 27.5/650b and no one batted an eyelash. If you pinch a tube remounting a tire, technique is to blame, not tube size or material. Done properly, you don't need levers to roll bead back on most rims: start and keep remounting bead down in lowest point of rim-well, squirt a bit of water on it if things get sticky, and roll last few inches of bead back on at valve stem. Tube needs just enough air to hold its shape: plenty of opportunity w/ this technique to keep it tucked in out of the way.
  • 3 0
 @LokiTheCat: I've been running 26" tubes in my 29er for a bit now. Just need to inflate them a little to increase diameter before installation, I find.
  • 2 0
 @powderhoundbrr: thank you Donny….
  • 3 0
 @LokiTheCat: The tube needs to hold air - exactly why a tube should be in a bag rather than exposed to the elements and trail debris. I have lost count of the number of times guests go to use their tube and find that it has more holes in it than the tyre they are trying to get rolling again. Even some cling film and a wrap of electrical tape is better than nothing.
  • 2 0
 @andrewbikeguide: 100%. For few hours of Enduro racing, it makes sense to strap/tape gear & bananas to your frame, but long term, it is absurd to hang pumps/inflators out to clog, tools to rust, & tubes to collect grit and grind on all of the above. Internal frame storage is da bomb: room & protection for full trail repair setup + backcountry first aid kit. For older bikes, Blackburn makes awesome kidney-shaped bag that fits in front of triangle & holds almost as much. Pro tip for long-term protection of tubes even inside frames & bags, w/ added bonus of riding home even after major sidewall gashes: cut a 3" x 2" boot from old road tire & use quart freezer Ziploc to position it between tube and tools etc. that could abrade tube. Haven't walked home in 20yrs since I started packing proper repair kit this way.
  • 1 0
 @LokiTheCat: I wrap my Tubolito tube in shop cloth and then get a chef friend to vacuum pack it in a sous-vide bag (because his machine custom sizes to the contents). It even has the little "tear here" tab to open it!
I disagree ref pumps as I only trust OneUp EDC 100 ml pumps and they seal up properly (and completely if you don't use a bit of silicon lube every now and then) but I am also lazy so I have one on every bike.
Reference emergency tyre repair the same plastic $50 note that will save you from the 'card reader not working' emergency at a cafe/ lunch stop will also double as a tyre boot (held in place by the duct tape that is also carried in the emergency bag) to protect the tube in the case of a slash in the tyre case. An energy bar wrapper also does a good job.
I like the Wolftooth B-Rad 0.6L bag or the 76Projects Piggy. There are lots of good options out there and just using a strap around a tube smacks of laziness and a lack of attention to detail
  • 51 2
 My gravel bike called. It wants it's tire pressure back.
  • 25 13
 That's higher than my gravel bike pressure, 25psi.

I don't understand how people burn through so many tires and wheels. I use 19-23psi typically on my mountain bikes, sometimes lower, never higher than 23.

I'm on my third year with exo casing DHF/Aggressor, on my enduro bike, no inserts, and I ride 90% of the time at a rocky bike park.
  • 30 0
 @wburnes: you must weigh like 150lb then cause exo casings at the park for me with less than 35psi would cause my rims to implode. Maybe I just have bad line choices
  • 5 0
 @Mgabriel757: I'm 160 pounds naked
  • 17 0
 @wburnes: I hope you're riding with 162 pounds of weight
  • 25 2
 @wburnes: I am 165 lbs, late forties so not pro racer speed, but 'grew up BMX', race expert/semi-pro DH and Slalom most of the 90's and early 2000's and when I do race Enduro or DH nowadayts, it's at expert level/Masters level. All that said, on a typical daily ride in my area, I would rip the tires off the rim at 19psi. Even 23 in the rear is sketchy unless it's a DH casing. I run the exact combo as you, DHF/Aggressor (occasionally an Assegai). How to you not roll the tires or squirm in turns or jumps that low psi?
  • 2 0
 @DizzyNinja: me too, otherwise those pedals will hurt his feet!
  • 2 0
 @Mgabriel757: also I use DT FR560 rims and Spank 350 vibrocore
  • 4 4
 @bman33: 19psi in the front, 20-22 in the rear.

I run my DH bike with cushcore. I've run as little as 12psi on the front of my dh bike with cush core and vee snap wce DH casing, very draggy and squrimy but lots of grip too. 29" 2.5" width tires front, 27.5 rear

I'm measure with a topeak digital gauge and the bike pump analogue gauge. Typically 2 psi more in the rear
  • 1 1
 @DizzyNinja: probably closer to 170 with all my gear on. I have full face, kneepad, spine protector, neckbrace, every ride, even trail rides
  • 27 9
 @wburnes: whatever, bro. I run 12-17 psi on 26x1.9 Smoke/Dart on my SS. I weigh 275 plus another 50 for my rucksack. Never pinch flat and just finished my 5th season on these tires. Still have the little stipples on them. Y’all need to learn to ride.
  • 2 1
 @wburnes: I have the same pressure gauge. 19 psi , even in front is just way too low. I haven't ran Cushcore in front so maybe that is the key. I have Cushcore on my Enduro bike with DD casing which can handle 25 without feeling squirmy in turns
  • 9 0
 In summer the is so much grip, and I have my suspension so soft (lol) that I’d rather have something that offers consistency when leant and more rim protection. Now the rain has come I’m down at about 24 on Exo+.
  • 2 3
 @TwoNGlenn: unironically I have literally never had a pinch flat in my life
  • 2 0
 @henryquinney: leant, eh.
  • 3 0
 @wburnes: were you born yesterday?
  • 3 0
 @wburnes: The reason you hear about EXO casing not being enough, and high tire pressures is because those with issue will talk about it. I have plenty of friends who ride EXO on aggressive terrain in the low 20's. The biggest difference is speed and weight. I run DH casing with cushcore at 30psi . Is it overkill? Probably, but DD casing cushcore and 30psi didnt work (pinch flats) so I had to step it up.
  • 4 0
 @wburnes: this blows my mind as well….210lbs kitted up running DH casing Maxxis tires on 27.5 rims with Mynesweeper in rear and with 25F 30R I still hear the occasional rim clack on my e13 Carbons at Big Sky, Silver Mountain, Whitefish, Disco. Last time I ran sub 30psi without a liner I broke my rear carbon wheel on a single black trail I knew very well. I know that the 29 wheels/tires hold more air molecules but shocked that yours stay on the rim, and that the rim isn’t cratered in multiple places. I can scarcely run 24F 28R on my local trails bike with exo tires without constant dents in my wheels. Are there literally no rocks or exposed roots where you ride? Or max trail speed like 10mph?
  • 2 0
 Man, all these comments about tire pressure are a far cry from the former standard of "30 pounds in my Minions"
  • 1 0
 @KNBikes: I love the double black trails at Whitefish, some of my favorite runs, when I was there it was very loose and dry. Schweitzer is also amazing (love "PinchFlat").

I'm not a pro, and I dont race, but I think I'm pretty fast. Usually one of the faster guys on the hill, if I'm feeling right.

There are a lot of rocks/tech where I normally ride, but I also take trips to other places every summer.

This summer I went to almost every bike park in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. I also went to Trestle in Colorado last year. I havent been out East or to Europe, or Whistler yet.
  • 1 0
 @wburnes: that’s crazy a 40lb rider weight would allow such disparate pressures. I’m fairly fast at my nearest park, Big sky, which I’ve held a season pass to for last few years, with a few jump/flow trails KOMs on Strava this year and top tens as well on the steeep tech which is where most wheels die there. (269$ adult season pass earlybird price is Best deal in Mtn biking for sure!) so that’s where most my riding occurs. And if you’ve ridden there and bombed any of the larger jump/bermed trails, again there’s no way my tires wouldn’t burp (or just blow up)on any of the hits on Ninja marmot or Swifty Jump line at your pressures. Not knocking you, but you’re either the smoothest/cleanest rider I’ve ever heard of, or living very very right!
  • 1 0
 @wburnes: you could run like 12 psi or less on dh casing tires, they’re so much tougher and more supportive than exo….I don’t know if cushcore is doing most the work for you or what? Ive read pressures are. It to be dropped substantially despite insert use, and have found that to be true anecdotally. I can’t drop my rear pressure much with an insert or the rear rim starts pinging off everything.
  • 1 0
 @KNBikes: $269? Wow. I might have to move there! I imagine the cost of living is pretty high there though.

I only got some warmup runs in at Big Sky before bad weather closed it down (also killed one of my Hustle pedals on my last run).

I did spend about ten years ski racing so maybe I'm better at line choice/loading the bike than average.

I'm probably just lucky. I did kill multiple pedals last season, and usually one helmet per season.
  • 1 0
 29psi front on a Dissector coz who needs grip when riding gravel anyway?
  • 54 5
 Manitou forks rule
  • 5 1
 That seems to be the general consensus amongst owners, although they've not always been popular with reviewers here on PB.
  • 8 7
 Nah, this bike needs the new Pike.
  • 2 0
 Except for dorados, the rest is only circuss
  • 4 0
 I've had a mezzer for the last two years or so. It's great and a definite step up from the lyrik ultimate I had on before, but I dunno if it's a step up from the lyrik rc2 I had before that. And I haven't tried any modern 38mm stanchion fork, but I'd be very surprised if the mezzer is better than them. Also, mine is 2.2kg, the liars! Overall very happy though.
  • 4 0
 @commental: Manitou Mezzer owner here. I do not share this consensus.
  • 1 0
 @maestroman21: what's been the issues?
  • 5 2
 @leelau: A lot of initial stiction. I can remedy this by rebalancing the +/- air springs since they are separate chambers... but they seem to imbalance frequently. When working, the fork feels genuinely phenomenal. When not.....its downright scray. Midway though a race I couldnt initiate the stroke with all 200lb of my weight on the bars. That was awful. This issue has been persistent through several rebuilds. It has also developed an aggressive CSU creak thats practically deafening while riding through chunky terrain.
  • 1 0
 @maestroman21: thanks. I have a Mezzer bought and waiting for a frame and have been collecting information for setup
  • 1 1
 @leelau: Mine is the Expert, not pro, set up at 150mm of travel. Not sure what the differences are between expert and pro besides the damper.
  • 1 0
 @maestroman21: I've got the Pro with IRT and IFP settings to play around with so am just happy to get all data
  • 3 0
 @maestroman21: Pro has the IRT (separate air chamber for bottom out resistance) and the closed damper.
  • 3 0
 I just got Mastodon LE ( white cammo baby Big Grin ). It is soo smooth... like warm butter. Travel options from 100 to 140 with a simple spacers flip ( and lowers oil replacement as I am not catching all of when dropping lowers). Feels much better than Fox Factory and RS Ultimate. Oh and I love how it needs to work to equalize pos and neg chambers... I seems to always have issues with it on other brands.
  • 1 0
 @maestroman21: exact same issue with SID Ultimate, I am on a 2nd fork ( first was replaced by bike manufacturer, 2nd one worked for about a month). It sucks itself to 10% sag with no weight on a bike, feels super stiff and harsh. Will see what RS has to say once they take a look
  • 2 1
 @commental: maybe they dont pay as much as the others for their reviews
  • 1 0
 @commental: Because the set up is slightly different so they have to read the instructions and move out of familiar skill pattern.
  • 27 2
 HQ: "I'm in a very fortunate position to also have an enduro bike to ride. The Habit was all about making something fun, fast, and a bit more reactive than my 170mm 29er."

PB: "Say the line, Bart!"

HQ: "Well, I've had an interesting period of riding this top-end XX T-type on the Habit, and 11-speed, steel Shimano Linkglide on my Spire enduro bike."

PB: [Wild celebration]
  • 5 0
 Haha!
  • 7 0
 @henryquinney: can you go for 5 minutes without talking about your Spire?
  • 26 2
 "I don't want my trail bike to feel like an enduro bike"
This is an important statement coming from a Pinkbike staff member. I really don't get the need that many people have (journos included) to transform every single bike into essentially crappy enduro bikes, as if the lower travel number magically made them climb better.

Spectral 125, I'm looking at you
  • 19 0
 Doesn't look like a Spire?
  • 9 0
 @henryquinney how’s that link glide compare to HG+? I’m considering going down to 11spd when my current drivetrain needs replacing. I am rather ham fisted when it comes to shifting so I appreciate HG+’s willingness to accept my lack of finesse. How’s linkglide in that regard?

Also, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a touch disappointed you aren’t running a lefty.
  • 9 0
 Quite a bit from Andrew Major at NSMB.com on CUES/LinkGlide, and I'm sure there will be more in the future.
nsmb.com/articles/shimano-inadvertently-upgrades-friction-shifting
  • 1 0
 @mammal: thanks! I’m not exactly known for my attention to service intervals, so just the idea of a drivetrain meant to be tough is enough to sell me
  • 2 0
 @grnmachine02: I have linkglide 11 speed XT on my commencal meta4x and XTR 12speed on my nukeproof mega and with exception of weight id say the linkglide is the better of the two systems. Its easier to setup/maintain and is much happier to shift under load where the XTR is good but a bit fickle in comparison.
  • 4 0
 Recorded the video today. Very positive though.
  • 2 0
 11speed of nearly any modern drivetrain is so much more forgiving than 12, there’s no comparison. Ironically I’m running 11speed on my spire as well, XT shifter, GX Derrailleur, and e13 9-46 cassette. Can take a lot of abuse, from rattling limit screws, bent/fixed hangers while at bike park. And stilll easy to get back back to tune fans crisp. My kids have NX and XT/SLX 12 and they shift poorly with almost no provocation. Upgraded the NX to TRP 12 and it’s better for sure but still harder to keep running well than any 11 I’ve owned
  • 2 0
 @KNBikes: I never knew XT shifters were compatible with GX derailleurs. Sounds dialed!
  • 1 0
 @Zozordan: I think it might actually shift Better than the Slx and Xt I had on there before…I go through lots of derailleurs, another reason to stay with 11 speed.
  • 1 0
 On my ebike I switched from the xt 12 speed HG+ drivetrain to the xt Linkglide 11 speed drive train and while I never had complaints on my 12 speed, I was surprised at how much smoother this does shift. I honestly thing for Ebikes Linkglide is a no brainer. It is a fair bit heavier, but if that's not a concern to you, then I say go for it. Parts last longer, work better, and are cheaper to replace when they eventually do wear out.
  • 1 0
 @Zozordan: Well, my SLX rear mech is compatible with my GX eagle everything else. Shifts fine, but seems noisier than GX
  • 10 0
 I believe my bike should be light and my friends bikes should be heavy.
  • 1 0
 I'm heavier than many of my friends, and my bike is usually the relatively lightest. Does that work?
  • 6 0
 I’d be interested to see the staff riders bike quivers, both what they have currently versus what would be their ideal bike quiver set up. Starting with a 3 bike quiver and going to having a single bike. Blister Review does this with skis and it’s always an entertaining read to see how people think differently based on the terrain and riding styles.
  • 5 0
 I'll be interesting in your take on the Mattoc Pro. I picked one up to try to make a light weight 140mm/130mm bike that would be ok with long, hilly rides that included more challenging downhills. I don't have many miles on mine yet but I am encouraged with the performance so far.
  • 7 2
 "The Assegai is obviously a popular choice, but for trail biking the Dissector is a good option on the rear."

This is an odd sentence structure. It sounds like "you might think I'm running a Assegai out back, but instead I'm running a Dissector." I expected the front tire to be addressed, but it's actually an Assegai. So...does that mean people might run Assegai front and rear?

But after reading it a few times, I think it's trying to say "the popular Assegai was choice up front, and on the rear I chose the Dissector over something more aggressive."
  • 22 0
 Henry likes to include sentences in all his articles that are not technically grammatically wrong, but are the type of sentences that an English teacher would circle in red and tell you to reword.
  • 5 0
 @xciscool: teacher would also put a red line through free reign in favour of free rein
  • 11 0
 @o-dubhshlaine: Some day these Brits will learn to speak English! Wink
  • 37 0
 I like to make a meal of it. You really gotta want it.
  • 1 0
 I run Assegai front and rear quite a lot for summer dry trails at bike park….best grip and the massive size and amount of knobs I feel nets an extra day or two by spreading out the wear a bit. (Rent Metallier agrees with this i theory I think also) Also tried it on my trail bike for some big backcountry rides….the uphill was such a slog it didn’t quite make up for the phenomenal fun and grip I had on the way back down.
  • 1 1
 @henryquinney: were you apprenticed to Steve Jones of Dirt? His articles were often totally impenetrable but after the twentieth read-through they tended to make more sense than anyone else’s!
  • 2 0
 @xciscool: I was an English teacher and can confirm that you are correct. Yikes!
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I was confused and had to look at the bike pics to figure out what tires were actually on it. And also, after the comment on lighter casings, I’m shocked at the tire choice. Still seems obnoxiously heavy and slow rolling for a trail bike.
  • 7 0
 26 isn´t only not dead, but it will also bring your 29er back to life!!!!
  • 3 0
 @henryquinney have you tried replacing the code rsc lever stock plastic piston with an after market alloy piston? At 22:35 in this YouTube code rsc dissambly vid, this guys shows the alloy piston that he got off Amazon or eBay, no brand name mentioned. He claims alloy lever piston improves performance. I'd love to see you test this.
youtu.be/kbWWGTukq2s?si=PaMFKGcXXUATAmLV
  • 3 0
 I try to be a one bike guy (I don't count my e-bike or my fatbike as they really aren't bikes, and yes, I have convinced my wife of this as well!) But I see this trend of going back to a shorter travel bike appealing. The geometry seems so much better and most rides I do not need 160-170mm of travel.
I may start looking into something like this, Smuggler, Spur or YT Izzo for everyday rides. These shorter travel bikes are coming back around.
  • 1 0
 look at Revel Ranger, much better than anything else.
  • 6 0
 Aren’t the calipers identical on all models of Code brake?
  • 5 0
 The new ultimates are silver Cool
  • 4 0
 The piston material is different I believe - but essentially yes.
  • 3 0
 Pretty sure R and RSC used to have different piston materials? But the levers make all the difference for sure
  • 3 0
 @henryquinney: ah, so it turns out that I’ve not upgraded my brakes from Code RS to Code RSC by swapping the levers, but instead have created some bastardised hybrid.
  • 6 0
 somehow i always pictured mr. quinney on a pennyfarthing with knobbies
  • 5 0
 knobblies
  • 2 0
 Just a suggestion: rather than run an improperly sized 26” tube for a spare to save weight, you can just buy ridenow tpu tubes on aliexpress for ~$4-8usd. They’re light and compact, probably smaller and lighter than your 26” and the real kicker: they’re actually sized for 29” wheels & tires!
  • 4 0
 Good lord, those Berd wheels better be comfortable if you're running 28psi!
  • 3 0
 Henry's bike has no colour, 140,140 beige machine with a different fork to the norm, some silly string wheels and super long dropper. Why am I not surprised!
  • 1 0
 Looks like-a sensible (alebeit pricey) trail bike, just the fork and wheels aren’t in line with the rest of the built. Not surprising, but nice to see a solid meat and potatoes build like this.

@henryquinney what would you be running for fork and wheels if you were buying???
  • 1 1
 How are they "not in line"? And pretty sure he did "buy" the fork and wheels by choice... It's so much not a stock build.
  • 2 0
 @wyorider. honestly, it's all been great so far. The wheels have actually just gone back and I just need to write up the review on the fork but I send that off, too. For me, I probably couldn't look past the Pike or the 34 for a bike like this at 140mm. Both are really great forks. It would just come down to what price and when I could get it that would split the difference.
  • 1 0
 @justinfoil: testing is never the same as actually pulling the trigger with your own money.

Sure, he wanted to try some products-and we want to know about the testing. But the purpose of testing a product is often to try something new/different/innovative vs reliable gear bought to last several years.
  • 1 0
 @wyorider: Indeed. I knew the frame had become a long-term review, but for some reason I missed that the fork and wheels were review items as well, I though he actually chose them.

So yeah, this isn't "staff rides" (In the past this has always been bikes and parts actually owned by staff) so much as "multi-tasking long-term reviews bike".
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: Will you be posting a review of the Mattoc?
  • 1 0
 @dmackyaheard:

Haha Northshore is by no means "cool". I was only referencing it because buddy was tooting how great his codes are on the shore, when in my opinion I don't think the shore is the most demanding place for DH brakes.

Yes brakes are subjective. That's why we're lucky that literally every manufacturer makes a good one except for Sram
  • 1 0
 "I like Exo and Exo+ tires. When you're not riding tire-slicing rocks I don't really have a problem with them."
Wow, still at "Bigger tire are for better puncture resistance" ? I'm really surprised considering everything you already wrote.
  • 1 0
 I don't quite understand what you mean, but am happy to do my best to answer your question if you phrase it differently. Thanks
  • 1 0
 Anxious to see the upcoming review of the new Magnum Pro. Last review I saw was in Dirt Rag #191. Pretty glowing, even when compared to the prominent brands. Put a 2016 version of this fork on a 2017 hardtail. Have totally abused the bike - over-riding it like a stoopid person. And have been astounded withhow the fork's performed. Had some issues with setup. Finally went with the factory suggested settings. Good move. One full overhaul (this last summer). Internals all still good! Extended travel to 140. All served to returned the fork to it's buttery & wonderful self. Have tried a couple different forks - including a Pike - and went back to the Magnum both times. More compliant off the top. Holds up better in the mid-stroke. Playing with the idea of replacing a ca. 2018 base-model 36 with a Magnum (or similar Manitou more appropriate to non-plus size tires). Chompin' at the bits to see what Mr. Quinney thinks about the newest iteration!!
  • 3 2
 Amen brother! (RE: short dropper posts). I spent $8k and still got a 185mm. OneUp. are so cheap, just make a deal with them and be done. It's like the wheels still coming with tubes in it.........GET WITH THE TIMES!!
  • 3 0
 I disagree. I have a pnw 170mm post on a large frame and it is slammed or it’s too long for my legs.
  • 3 0
 Wheels often come with tubes in them because they're not sure how long it might sit in the warehouse and store, and they don't want to end up selling a bike with dried up sealant. And tubes tend to hold air better over the long term so the bikes in the showroom won't need someone to pump up the tires every other month just to keep them from looking flat.
  • 2 0
 @justinfoil: also some people still run tubes. I for one gave up with the hassle of tubeless
  • 1 0
 For what it's worth I have 150mm drop on one bike, 210 on the other. Both bikes are equally rideable, but I do have very long legs.
  • 4 0
 This is a gucci build. How'd you get so tasteful
  • 6 0
 Have you seen Paul Allen's Fuel EX?
  • 4 0
 come now henry, how does does it weigh?
  • 3 0
 What does it weigh. Has some pretty light components, so my guess it 28lbs.
  • 1 0
 An enigma of a bike. No cable tourism. Subdued branding on the frame with a bar that screams deity twice in big white letters. Brake levers that run DOT from an oily bag. Raises more questions than it answers.
  • 1 0
 "I also really like the no-guide cable routing. It let me run my UK brakes without it looking like a haystack."

Interesting observation considering you didn't move the rear brake hose from it's "normal" routing.
  • 1 0
 Ha - that's true. The issue is I normally prefer no cables to cross at the headtube, and the shifter is normally mounted on the right side. This way keeps them together and tidy.
  • 1 0
 Latex full-size tube is lighter and folds smaller, but is 3x the cost. But if you never use it (last flat I had was 2+ yrs ago), it's a small premium to pay for an almost invisible spare.

That's a nice build!
  • 1 0
 To fix your dirty BERD Spokes, just wash with a dish soap and water mix. The dirt will disappear and leave your bike looking new.
  • 2 0
 @henryquinney nice build! You can't even see where you're hiding the telemetry Big Grin .
  • 2 0
 Silver bits look good, I'm thinking of polishing a few bits on my Sentinel, get it looking more '90's.
  • 3 0
 IRT will prove popular? It’s been on their forks for almost 10 yrs.
  • 6 0
 Give it time.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: I mean it already is popular and well known. AKA it has already been proven.
  • 3 0
 Is nobody curious about the weight?
  • 4 1
 39lbs, thats where trail bikes bring out their best qualities
  • 2 0
 There is a big difference between “Staff rides that staff paid for” and staff rides that aren’t , mkay?
  • 1 0
 It's a shame this 29 inch Mattoc weighs a whole half pound more than its 27 inch counterpart. My Mezzer weighs nearly the same.
  • 2 0
 No Mike Bears on that thing, @henryquinney?
  • 3 0
 Not yet - saving them for special occasions.
  • 2 0
 Henry! Any thoughts on the new SRAM Code stealth levers?
  • 39 1
 Look horrid, and make cable rub worse.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: Might have found the only positive to headset cable routing...works more ok w/ stealth levers
  • 2 2
 @henryquinney: rub? On the frame? I shortened the run on mine and they route into the frame clean. It’s actually shockingly good.
  • 1 1
 @shredddr: Love mine too and think they look much better.
  • 1 0
 @Zozordan: the exit from the lever assembly should be parallel with the bars rather than angled inwards but I agree - it looks better than a prior gen assembly.
  • 1 0
 @shredddr: Normally on the bars.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: I've found I could keep the cables quite a bit shorter than a prior gen code and avoid bar and frame rub - I quite like them, but I guess if I crashed and spun the bars, there could be some issues...
  • 2 0
 I'm also on a collision course with silver.
  • 2 0
 I thought I was the only one riding a Habit other than the Wave team.
  • 2 0
 Well, now it's you, me AND the wave team. See you at the next AGM.
  • 1 0
 Sick bike. To me anything that is between 100mm or 200mm is an enduro bike.
  • 2 0
 Looks like a Mojo
  • 1 0
 Power meter - love to see it
  • 1 0
 what about those OEM tires ?
  • 2 1
 As a bike mechanic we use to called cann owners: pain in a...
  • 1 0
 Interesting, looks similar to the Salsa BLACKTHORN
  • 1 0
 any reason bike weight is not mentioned?
  • 1 0
 Rebound fully open - I thought he knew what he was doing ... Frown
  • 1 0
 Who makes the bolt on tube holder?
  • 2 2
 @henryquinney why not run a TPU backup tube like a tubolito or aerothan?
  • 4 1
 Cos money?
  • 12 0
 Cos lol - who cares?
  • 1 0
 Because they disintegrate before you use them or fail on installation, and then you still will need to hike out anyway….
  • 1 0
 Dynaplug is the way
  • 3 1
 @henryquinney: You cares: you carry the wrong size tube to save weight, by your own admission. And you spent a bunch on making sure there is a pump on every bike, so why not a proper sized tube, that is even lighter, and won't be a huge pain to install in the times when you do need those pumps?
  • 4 0
 @justinfoil: You’re right. You’ve got me there and I will swap then immediately! Thank you!!!!
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: just curious. i guess the size penalty is a lot less when its a super thin butyl tube.
  • 1 0
 @mior: I'd argue the size penalty is more when it's a super thing butyl tube. That skinny 26er tube is going to be literally stretched so thin in a big 29er tire, it's nothing more than a crutch: either you end up with a very decent risk of an[other] puncture or you run a ton pressure that sucks to ride. A good TPU tube can basically be treated as normal.
  • 2 1
 @justinfoil: didnt even realize that is a 26er tube. sounds horrid. i run aerothans that i got for 20ish each on my dj, no problems when rimming out and with goatheads.
  • 6 0
 @mior: Honestly, it's ain't bad. they had some leftover welterweight 26" tubes in the bargain bin at my LBS. I just stocked up. They go on fine, and I've never had any issues personally.
  • 1 3
 "They go on fine" Hahaha! That's terribly optimistic.

I've seen people frustratedly hurl a borrowed (and likely now destroyed) 26er tube into the woods (and then go pick it up after a cooling off period) and decide to walk out rather than continue to deal with the hassle of getting it into a 29er tire without pinching the tube with the bead since the entire tube is tight against the bottom of the rim. Almost insert-installation level frustration, maybe worse since you can't just apply more force, have to finesse. Would love to see a flat-fixing battle with someone using that tube!
  • 7 0
 @justinfoil: Ha - no way. I think those people would have struggled with a correctly sized tube by the sounds of it. I normally just inflate it a little and don't use levers, and honestly have never found it to be in any way difficult, but we all have different levels of experience so maybe this solution wouldn't work well for everyone.
  • 1 0
 Is that chainstay dirty?
  • 1 0
 Power meter; nice flex.
  • 1 0
 Quite sensible, Henry.
  • 3 3
 Really needs an idler Big Grin
  • 3 5
 Cannondale will always remain on the list of bike brands to avoid, because of their proprietary bs.
  • 8 0
 I generally agree with you but this bike is entirely non proprietary stuff, standard shock sizing, regular fork. Much different company now than 5 years ago
  • 6 1
 The lefty is cool and you will never convince me otherwise.
  • 9 2
 There isn't much Cannondale about this bike anymore...no AI offset, no BB30, no lefty, no hollowgram cranks, no rebranded hubs, no special shock sizing/tune. Stem, dropper and handlebars are all that remain CD branded... Rides ok but doesn't help me meet hot chicks on the trail like my scalpel ...wait that didn't work either.
  • 4 1
 @KolaPanda: They're different in one way, they're a road brand trying to be a mountain brand instead of a road brand that makes mountain bikes. I rode a new Habit and it just felt bland. They're not FUN bikes and most of the ones I see highlighted have been gutted in some way or another from their stock version. I see longer travel up front, shorter, major changes to geo. It's like Cannondale is always almost there and then they trip over themselves. I'm interested to see what PON does with GT. I think they're is more hope of GT making a come back than Cannondale ever making a mountain bike people pine to ride.
  • 2 0
 @scrawnydog: it's just like a fuel ex man. its a neutral platform to build on, and something beginner riders can get into pretty easily too. I know plenty of roadies who absolutely throw down on dh bikes too.
  • 2 1
 @KolaPanda: Definitely not an indictment on roadies and my sincerest apologies if that's how it came off. It's just Cannondale is better at making road bikes than they are mountain bikes. And while I can appreciate it being a neutral platform for beginners, as a "top tier brand" offering a $10k version of this bike, they should put a little more work into it. A rider shouldn't have to reinvest in their investment to make the bike handle they way it "should: (as opposed to the way they want). Remember when the new Habit was first released, Pinkbike did a feature on Brycelands and it wasn't even a Habit in its stock form - it had 27.5 wheels, 160mm fork and increased travel out back. It was the only article about the bike that gained any traction and the official response from Cannondale was - "if you do to your bike what Ratboy did to his, warranty cancelled". I guess my point in the end is that when every article about your bike is a hacked up version of what you're selling consumers perhaps it's time to take a hard look at what you're selling people.
  • 2 0
 @scrawnydog: Quirky over top tier in my book. I don't think I ever saw anything except scalpels in the wild and a bunch of their lower tier entry level hardtail on gravel path. Habits are a rare sight and not sure I have ever seen a jeckel in the wild. The scalpel's popularity likely has lots to do with the roadies buying them to do xc. The new boring trend makes me wonder if they will lose the folks who wanted a ' different' bike. I've had a cdale in the quiver the last 10 years not sure the new direction makes it such that I want another.
  • 1 1
 @scrawnydog: I guess the Cannondale MTB team are a bunch of hacks according to you.
  • 1 0
 To be honest it is a pretty normal bike, which is weird for a Cannondale
  • 2 0
 @hmstuna: I've always wondered how a full 200mm dual crown fork with roller bearings instead of bushings (but with two stanchions) would feel. Seems like in reviews people can regularly feel the difference on xc forks, maybe it would feel awesome in a DH setting?
  • 1 3
 One less crackenfail here, always and forever, despite them finally utilizing a Horst link.
  • 1 0
 Magic motor cycle cranks and their motorcycle were The true dope attention getters of this once innovative company.
  • 2 4
 I love the brake set up! A rear rotor that isn’t smaller than the front makes no sense.
  • 3 1
 Why?

I think you might be able to say the opposite, probably be silly to have a bigger one in back. But a bike is not a car nor a motorcycle, the weight shift isn't purely controlled by brake force as in a much heavier vehicle, thus the front brake doesn't always do the vast majority of braking. A bicycle rider can keep the rear loaded and braking strongly while letting the front spin freely for good traction in hard turns.
  • 4 0
 I like a big rotor up front for power and a big rotor out back for heat management.
  • 2 0
 @AndrewHornor:
Exactly!
  • 1 1
 @justinfoil:
You better give planet earth’s motorcycle industry a call. I guess they’ve been getting it backwards too. Henry and I have already been put on notice.
Oh wait, it’s apples and oranges, right? All they share is two wheels, otherwise all physics are a polar opposite.
..commence lengthy explanation…..NOW
  • 1 0
 @Untgrad: Pretty sure I mentioned motorcycles up there. But yeah, apple to oranges: motorcycles are a magnitude heavier than bicycles, often around 2/3rds of the gross weigh, _and_ they have a motor! Between engine braking and the weight shift from the mass of the bike that cannot be completely countered by the rider, the rear brake on a motorcycle gets relatively _much_ less work than on a mountain bicycle.

Rear mtb brakes also get dragged more often than either the fronts on mtb or the rear on a motorcycle, and get dirtier air, so heat management is a big issue in that context, and the simplest solution for that is more mass: a bigger rotor.

By your logic, DH bikes (many of which are being raced professionally with matching rotors nowadays) should have massive dual-rotor front brakes!
  • 2 0
 @Untgrad: moto go up steep shit, or a flat Moto-Cross track. MTB goes DOWN steep trails. Yes the physics are different.
  • 2 0
 I quite like the luxury of rear-biased braking on steep trails, makes braking hard without washing the front basically fool-proof. To each their own, though
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