Construction BallisTec Carbon front triangle:
It's been over three years since Cannondale released the last version of their Habit trail bike. With modernized geometry, 29" wheels, 130mm travel, a new Proportional Response suspension design, droppers across the board, and traditional forks, this is a very different bike from the one introduced in 2015. Cannondale says that their goal with this new bike is to deliver more control, more fun, and more efficiency.
The new Cannondale Habit is available with a carbon, a carbon/aluminum blended, and a full aluminum frame, with six different men's and three women's models, in sizes ranging from XS through XL. All models come with a flip chip and can be ridden with 29" or 27.5+ wheels. Cannondale has also launched a new version of the "Bad Habit" alongside the Habit for those who want their bike to come with the 27.5+ wheels.
Cannondale Habit 2 Details
• Intended use: Trail/all-mountain
• Wheel size: 29" (27.5"+ compatible)
• Head tube angle: 66 deg.
• Rear-wheel travel: 130mm
• Boost 15x110mm & Boost 12x148 spacing
• Carbon & Aluminum available
• Size: XS - XL
• 30 lbs. (no pedals, Medium)
• Price: $2,100 - $7,900 USD
The Habit 2 we feature here shares the same structure, lay-up, and shape as Cannondale's Hi-MOD carbon, but the stiffness and ride feel are dialed in with multiple layers of intermediate-modulus fibers, rather than the more expensive high modulus fibers. Cannondale says that the additional material adds a slight amount of weight, but delivers similar stiffness and deflection as the Hi-MOD versions.SmartForm C1 Alloy swingarm
: C1 uses every technique in Cannondale's arsenal to eliminate excess material and create optimized tube shapes. This includes hydroforming, swaging, mechanical shaping, forging, ultra refined taper butting and smooth, double-pass welds.Asymmetic Integration Offset Drivetrain:
This offsets the drivetrain by 6mm so that the rear-wheel's spoke angles and tension are symmetric. The Habit has clearance for 27.5+ wheels and the offset also assisted designers to achieve their desired chainstay length. In this case, 435mm chainstays across the board for all sizes.29 or 27.5 Compatible:
A “flip-chip” allows riders to convert the Habit from 29" wheels to 27.5+” wheels.Directline Cable Routing:
Internal cable routing that uses a carbon tube to direct the cable exactly where it should go. Water bottle mounts:
Find your bottle exactly where you would expect it - easy to reach, on the down tube.Frame Options & Build Kits
The Cannondale Habit is available in nine different build kit options, in both carbon and aluminum. They all have Maxxis tires, wide bars, powerful brakes with 180mm rotors, and dropper posts.
The top of the line Cannondale Habit 1 comes with a Kashima-coated Fox Float Factory 34 fork, a Fox Float Factory DPX2 EVOL rear shock, a Shimano XTR drivetrain, XTR brakes, a 780mm carbon handlebar, and a Fox Factory Transfer dropper. It sells for $7,900 USD.
The Cannondale Habit 2 that I rode had a Fox Float Performance Elite 34 fork and a Float Performance Elite DPX2 EVOL rear shock, a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, Guide RS brakes, 780mm carbon handlebars, and a Cannondale DownLow dropper post. It retails for $5,300.
The women’s models come in XS, Small and Medium, while the rest of the models come in Small through XL. The women's models have women’s saddles, shorter crank lengths, and smaller diameter grips.Geometry
The seat tube angle on the Habit is 74.5 degrees. It's partnered with a 66-degree head tube angle, which is 1.5 degrees slacker than the previous Habit. The reach on the size-medium we tested is 430mm, which is just 10mm longer than the previous generation that came out in 2015. The sizing ranges from a tiny, 366mm reach on the XS, to 490mm on the XL. The seat tubes are long at 440mm on the size medium. Suspension
The biggest change from the previous generation of the Habit is Cannondale’s new “Proportional Response” suspension system. When starting development of the new bike, the design team found that feedback on each bike varied based on the size of rider that was testing it. That discovery made them look more deeply into how a rider’s center of gravity influenced suspension performance.
The “Proportional Response” suspension system uses a four-bar, Horst Link suspension platform, configured around the average rider’s center of gravity for each frame size. The designers have adjusted the kinematics to react the same for each size so that every rider enjoys similar suspension performance. Most companies have one suspension design for all different frame sizes, so having a specific suspension kinematic for each size is unique.
My first ride on the new Cannondale Habit was in Whistler on a variety of singletrack. When setting off, the big thing I noticed was the tall seat tube. I’m 5’7” with a 27" inseam, and I couldn’t use the 150mm dropper at full extension. There are plenty of medium-sized bikes out there with shorter seat tubes, so there’s no excuse for this.
Once I started climbing, I found myself leaning far over the bars to make sure my front wheel didn’t lift. I moved the saddle forward and didn’t have any issues after that. In fact, I really liked the way the Habit's suspension sucked up the small bumps while I was climbing. I had tons of traction and not much pedal bob. I felt like it was a really reliable climber and I could trust it not to go off line or spin out. I also liked that it came with a 30T chainring for the steep climbing around Whistler.
Squamish, BC Age:
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When the trail turned downward, I was confident on the 130mm Habit. There was amazing small bump compliance. The bike felt super plush going over small and medium roots and rocks. The one thing I noticed was that, under braking, I found that the front end would dive initially and so I found myself riding farther back on the bike to compensate.
Overall, the Cannondale Habit 2 had a great component selection, especially when it came to the tire selection. I think the seat tube height could be lower, and the seat tube angle could be a touch steeper to put more weight on the front tire, but I'd feel comfortable taking this bike out on a long pedally day and even doing a marathon event like BC Bike Race on it. The Habit 2 might not be the lightest, fastest bike out there, but it's a reliable climber, has a good aggressive spec, and is able to take anything most trail centers would throw at it.