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CANNONDALE HABIT (2019) REVIEW

Connecticut-based Cannondale has constantly accomplished things somewhat better, however their patched up and shockingly standard 2019 Habit tries to make them a top contender by and by. With its crisp plan and illustrations, cutting-edge highlights, and all-around great looks, this new trail bicycle established a long term connection on our analyzers. We spent the better piece of the fall and winter assessing the mid-extend Habit 4 in the Pacific Northwest and came to welcome the bicycle's capacity to convey speed down the trail and its better than expected specialized climbing abilities. Beneath we end down the Cannondale Habit's plummeting and climbing execution, key highlights, segments and specs, and different forms in the line. To perceive how it piles up, see our article on the best trail blazing bicycles.

Cannondale Habit 4
Price: $3,150
Suspension: 130mm (front), 130mm (rear)
Tires: 29 x 2.5 in. (front), 2.3 in. (rear)
Gears: 1 x 12
What we like: Stout aluminum frame and slack head tube angle encourage trailside shenanigans.
What we don't: Heavy at 33.5 pounds; gets knocked around on truly rough trails.
Rating:  (4.2/5)

Sliding

Highlighting forceful Maxxis tires, a generally slack head cylinder plot (for a 130mm travel 29er), and brawny edge, Cannondale's new Habit is outfitted more towards dropping than any time in recent memory. Yet, do the whole of these parts equivalent a bicycle that is really proficient at shelling downhill? Truly and no. There's no getting away from the way that 130mm of front and back movement will never feel like an all out enduro bicycle, regardless of the wheel size. In any case, as a rule, I saw the bicycle as a strong all-around descender. It doesn't avoid being hurled sideways on free common trails and it's similarly fun cutting embankments and flying off lips. For whatever length of time that the going doesn't get excessively steep, at that point the new Habit is very upbeat.

Cannondale Habit (clearing turn)

Like a great deal of individual riders tuned into the universe of trail blazing bicycles, I was pretty darn amped up for Cannondale's apparently "ordinary" new off-road bicycle. No Lefty fork, no bizarre force stun, and no press fit base section Cannondale had made a bicycle for the individuals! So with that fervor, I went out on my first ride. Lamentably, I committed the error of thoughtlessly setting up the suspension as I would on most different bicycles: 20% droop in the front and about 30% in the back. Turns out, Cannondale suggests a hair over 20% hang for the back of the Habit, which was a lot not the same as my underlying setting. I likewise had issues with the Fox Float Rhythm 34 and its one production line introduced volume spacer. Indeed, even with the right hang and pneumatic stress for my body weight, I wound up cruelly bottoming out the fork on exceptionally little trail highlights. Obviously, my first ride on board the new bicycle was a wallowy mess.

Cannondale Habit (bicycle profile)

Effectively changed in accordance with 25% hang in the back and 18% (just as three volume spacers) in the Fox fork, I in the end found the Cannondale's sweet spot: moving quick over modestly steep and not excessively specialized landscape. It especially exceeded expectations at one of my preferred winter riding regions close to Seattle: Tokul. The trails here channel outstandingly well, are moderately short, and never get unnecessarily intense. Regardless of its powerful weight (more on this in "moving" beneath), the Habit was an impact in this condition. I wouldn't call it flickable, as the stout aluminum development requires a great deal of exertion to make it move, yet it conveyed speed very well on the stream trails and wanted to get airborne. It's the point at which I wandered into steep and harsh regions—like "Predator" at Washington State's Tiger Mountain—that I felt thumped around on the bicycle. It was as yet sensible, however I could tell the Habit was out of its customary range of familiarity and I must be considerably more purposeful in picking my lines than when I was riding Santa Cruz's new 150mm Bronson.

Generally speaking, the 2019 Habit is bounty proficient on the declining for most of riders peering toward a 130mm trail bicycle. In any case, with its too forceful backside and genuine elastic, it's unmistakable Cannondale had greater objectives, and I really wanted to feel it was being kept down by the Fox 34 on the front. The fork performed well in its own right, however it felt prepared for a move up to a 140mm RockShox Yari or Fox 36. The extra weight would be insignificant and I figure the expanded travel would help parity out the suspension on soak bits of trail, where I consistently felt just as I was being pitched forward. In the event that this were my own bicycle as long as possible, I would try different things with this change.

Climbing
Cannondale is well known in the cycling industry for producing very light aluminum frames, so I was a bit shocked when I picked up the new Habit. Without pedals and set up tubeless, the new bike weighed in at 33.5 pounds on my digital scale. I haven’t ridden a full-suspension bike this heavy in a number of years and the heft was noticeable when lifting it on and off my bike rack. What did surprise me, however, was that out on the trail it didn’t feel all that portly. To say it turned into a featherweight carbon climbing machine would be false, but it happily chugged up climbing trails and fire roads. Out-of-the-saddle efforts were not rewarded with neck-snapping acceleration, but once up to speed, it carried momentum quite well. In general, it’s the type of bike that rewards riders who are content to sit and spin rather than attack the uphill.
Cannondale Habit (accelerating)

Considering its heavy weight and fairly slow acceleration, I pretty much wrote the Habit off as an average ascender. However, as I started up my first rough climb aboard the new bike, my initial assumptions began to change. We don’t have a lot of technical climbing trails in the Seattle area, and fire roads are the norm, but I did my best to seek out the worst available. This came in the form of riding up the rocky and root-filled Preston trail at Tiger Mountain. Here, the Habit kept the rear tire glued to the ground, there was a minimal amount of pedal bob, small roots and rocks almost disappeared under the rear tire, and pedal kickback was non-existent. I put over 1,500 miles on the original Santa Cruz Hightower a couple of years ago, and compared to that bike, the new Habit takes the cake for technical climbing. Nice work, Cannondale!
Cannondale Habit (steep turn)


General Riding
To be frank, Cannondale’s new Habit 4 was a tricky bike to nail down, and one that continued to confuse me deep into the testing process. On one hand, you have its aggressive geometry, burly tires, heavy weight, and lackluster acceleration, which would suggest that it descends like a boss on the rowdiest of trails. And on the other hand, you have a bike with a relatively small amount of travel (130mm front and rear), a trail-oriented Fox 34 fork, and above-average technical climbing skills.
Cannondale Habit (ridgeline)

It wasn’t until my most recent ride aboard the Habit that I really figured out what it is best for: good old-fashioned mountain biking. In a world where marketing teams and product line managers are designing bikes for specific uses, it seems that Cannondale has made a bit of a generalist. For better or worse (I lean towards the former), the Habit is what I would call a “jack of all trades, master of none.” It doesn’t blow you away on either the up or downhill, but the bike lands in the middle as a solid option for someone whose home trails have a little bit of everything and involve technical ascents.
Cannondale Habit (fast corner)


Key Features
Frame
To my eyes, Cannondale’s new Habit is one of the better-looking (if not best) full-suspension bikes they’ve made. In breaking from tradition, the color and graphics package is pared down, and you’ll no longer be able to count up to 30 Cannondale logos on the frame, which I don’t think anyone will miss. Instead, they have decided to go with small brand logos and subdued colors. Further, the internal routing of the brake, shifter, and dropper post lines make for a sleek-looking frame, and the plastic grommets do a nice job of holding everything in place for a rattle-free ride. If you’re familiar with Cannondale's popular Jeykll, then you're aware of the rat's nest of cables stemming from the cockpit. Thankfully, this is not the case with the Habit.
Cannondale Habit (cable)

A nice addition to the bike’s frame is the clear protective stickers that have been placed on the chain and seat stays. This simple yet functional addition helps minimize the effects of heel rub and wards off small scratches–a nice touch and something you don’t often find from competitors. Having said that, I’ve managed to rub the paint completely off on the drive side weld of the chain stay during the testing period. Much of my time aboard the Habit has been in muddy conditions where abrasion is likely to happen, but I am a bit surprised to see this appear so soon. Unfortunately, this spot is just beyond the clear protective sticker referenced above.
Cannondale Habit (scratch)


Geometry
Cannondale has never really been known to push extreme angles or measurements with their bikes and the 2019 Habit falls in line with that trend for the most part. Safe, proven, and fun are all words that come to mind when describing the new bike’s geometry. The combination of a 66-degree head tube angle and 130mm of travel would have been seen as quite progressive a couple of years ago, but bikes like Transition’s Smuggler and Evil’s Following have been sporting similar geometry since 2015. Accordingly, there’s a reason the two aforementioned bikes are so popular among the short-travel 29er crowd: they are a hoot to ride and are perfectly suited for most trails.
Cannondale Habit (right-hand turn)

With that said, if Cannondale continued the above trend throughout the rest of the bike, then I would have probably described the geometry as fairly progressive. But because its 74.5-degree seat tube angle and 430mm reach (for a size medium) are numbers more commonly found on bikes from 2016, many will see the Habit as slightly behind the times. Evil’s new 29er Offering, which features 140mm of travel and a 66-degree head tube angle, has a reach of 462mm (in a size medium) and a 76-degree seat tube angle. Whether deserved or not, I think Cannondale may receive some flack from riders who are looking for the most up-to-date numbers in their new ride.


Components and Specs
SRAM Eagle NX Drivetrain
With its low cost and impressive gear range, SRAM’s newest drivetrain attempts to bring 12 speeds to the masses. And considering that you can buy an entire NX Eagle set-up for about the same price as an X01 Eagle cassette, they may have succeeded. I originally had my doubts with the budget offering, but I’m happy to report that it has performed admirably and I’ve had no issues to date. That said, there’s no denying the fact that the new 12-speed drivetrain is hefty—as a whole, it’s about 1 pound heavier than the more expensive options from SRAM. While it certainly doesn’t move through the gears as seamlessly as its upper echelon brothers and sisters, I think the NX drivetrain is a great match for the Habit 4, and one that most owners will be very pleased with.
Cannondale Habit (drivetrain)


Fox Float Rhythm 34 Fork
Considered by Fox as their entry-level fork, the Float Rhythm 34 has received solid reviews within the industry since its release, and I was excited to see how it would perform on the Habit. Once the initial quirks were worked out (described above) I found it to be a pretty good offering. I can’t say that I was overly impressed with its performance, but given where it stands in Fox’s line-up I think it is a good match for the bike. The small bump compliance was pretty good out of the box, and once I added a handful of volume spacers it ramped up nicely towards the end of the stroke. I also liked the ability to adjust low-speed compression on the fly via the GRIP damper knob, which I ran about one-quarter to one-eighth of a turn from fully open most of the time.
Cannondale Habit (front fork)

I did, however, find the fork to be slightly lacking in midstroke support. To be fair, there isn’t a whole lot of room to work with when you have 130mm of travel, so this might have been part of my problem. But I personally like the feel and all-around performance of RockShox’s Pike RC fork (but this may simply come down to what I’m used to spending time on). All in all, I found the Rhythm 34 to be reliable throughout the testing period and offered enough adjustments to keep me happy.
Cannondale Habit (rocky trail)


SRAM Guide T Brakes
I’ve spent a good amount of time on different versions of SRAM’s Guide brakes, but this was my first experience on the budget-oriented Guide T stoppers. Generally, I’ve gotten along well with the ergonomics of the other Guide models, so I wasn’t surprised to feel the same way about the “T.” For general riding. I would say that the performance of the brakes was adequate, but I was often left wishing for more power on long or steep descents. This could be partially remedied by larger rotors (upgrading the front from 180mm to 200mm) and metallic pads—something I would definitely do if this were my personal bike.
Cannondale Habit (cockpit)

In addition to their lack of power, the thing that bothered me the most about the brakes was the position of the reach adjustment. It is tucked away behind the lever and is only accessible (with a multitool) when the brake is removed from your handlebar, which is far from ideal. With that said, if you’re a set it and forget it type of person (I have tinkering issues) and your typical trails are more rolling in nature than straight down, then I imagine you’ll be completely satisfied with the Guide T brakes in their stock form.

Fox Float Performance DPS EVOL Shock
Correctly setting up the rear shock on any bike can be a tricky undertaking, and this was particularly true for the Habit 4. As I touched on above, Cannondale recommends just over 20% sag for the Fox Float rear shock, which seemed fairly minimal as I generally run around 30%. For the undulating and XC-style trails at Black Diamond and Grand Ridge in the Seattle area, I found the recommended sag to perform well, albeit a bit stiff. On the steeper and more technical areas of Tiger Mountain and Exit 27, I was continually being pitched forward running the recommended psi. By dropping the pressure to achieve about 30% sag, I found the Habit to work better in these steeper locations. One problem with that, however, is that bottoming out then became an issue. In the end, I found running between 25-28% to be a good balance.

Another problem I had with the Fox shock was that I was completely at one end of the adjustment range for rebound, literally 2 clicks from the slowest setting. Anything faster and I my rear end would have been pogoing down the trail. At 170 pounds geared up to ride, I assumed I would fall within the average weight for a size medium bike and its shock, so I was a bit perplexed at the rebound tune. I can’t help but think anyone much lighter than myself might run into adjustment issues with this shock. I’ve had great experiences with Fox Float Performance DPS shocks on other bikes, so from a historical perspective, I expected it to perform much better.

Tires and Wheels

For riding and hustling in the Pacific Northwest, I favor Maxxis tires on my own bicycles, so I was pretty darn energized when I saw that Cannondale spec'd legitimate elastic on the Habit line-up. The 2.5-inch Minion DHF in advance is one of my top picks, as it exceeds expectations in many kinds of landscape. What's more, the 2.3-inch High Roller II, which is known for its sharp cornering attributes and braking abilities, is another Maxxis exemplary. I would've gotten a kick out of the chance to see Cannondale utilize a 3C elastic compound on the front tire to expand hold—an element that is found on the better quality Habit models—yet this would have likely raised the general expense of the bicycle.

Cannondale Habit (tire)

For edges, the WTB ST i25 are demonstrated entertainers and I encountered zero issues with them all through the span of the test. All things considered, the 25mm inside estimation is somewhat tight by the present gauges and restricts the adequacy of the wide 2.5-inch Minion in advance. It's still very great, yet something in the 30mm territory would enable you to build grasp by running the tires at a lower weight. By and large, in spite of the fact that it's a piece on the substantial side, Cannondale worked admirably spec'ing a competent, demonstrated, and issue free tire and wheel set-up on the Habit 4.

Cannondale Habit (outside turn)

Different Versions of the Cannondale Habit

For this survey, I rode the 2019 Cannondale Habit 4, which accompanies an aluminum outline, SRAM NX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, Fox Float Rhythm 34 fork, and SRAM Guide T brakes. It's a decidedly spec'd bicycle that leaves little to be wanted at its $3,150 sticker price. In any case, Cannondale likewise offers a more spending plan well disposed choice as the Habit 6 ($2,100), which incorporates a downsized 10-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain. On the opposite stopping point up is the Habit 1. With its carbon outline, Kashima-covered Fox suspension, and Shimano XTR unit, this adaptation will slow down you $7,900. At long last, Cannondale additionally sells hefty size form packs (known as the Bad Habit) should you search for more tire width. With everything taken into account, there are 11 Habit models to look over, despite the fact that we think the mid-run contributions like the "4" that we tried convey the best value for your money.

Cannondale Habit (airborne)

What We Like

The Habit is a strong all-around off-road bicycle that exceeds expectations on a wide assortment of trails and landscape.

The beefy casing structure and demonstrated Horst Link suspension format should confront long stretches of maltreatment.

Notwithstanding its powerful weight, the Habit 4 is a generally excellent specialized climber.

The inside steering and general shape give it a perfect look. Apparently, it's one of Cannondale's best-ever full-suspension plans.

You won't locate any restrictive parts or out of control spec decisions, which is something that Cannondale has done previously (for better and more awful).

What We Don't

At 33.5 pounds, the bicycle is very overwhelming given the generally negligible measure of movement.

The bounce back modification on the back stun was nearly pushed to the limit. I can't resist the urge to think Cannondale and Fox need to re-work this part of the bicycle.

I found the switch arrive at change on the Guide T's to be shoddy and the brakes likewise needed power.

The edges are on the tight side and don't enable you to exploit the high-volume front tire.

The Competition

Contrasted with past renditions of the Habit, the new 2019 bicycle shares nothing in like manner. The old Habit was considered by most to be a forceful XC bicycle with its 27.5 wheels, 68-degree head cylinder edge, and 120mm of movement. While the general travel hasn't changed significantly, plainly Cannondale put a greater accentuation on the plummet with its bum geometry and burlier feel. We likewise extol the truly necessary revive as far as hues and illustrations. Given the extreme takeoff from the past emphasess, I'm really shocked another name was not given to this bicycle. That point aside, except if you're centered around the ups more than the downs, the 2019 Habit is better in pretty much every manner.

On the off chance that Cannondale's Habit 4 has grabbed your attention, at that point there's a decent possibility the new Specialized Stumpjumper ST Comp Alloy 29 has also. Moving on 29-inch wheels, donning comparative measures of movement (120mm back and 130mm front), and coming in at $3,020, the new aluminum Stumpjumper is a commendable foe. The two bicycles are decisively gone for the trail bicycle fragment and highlight precisely the same Fox suspension parts. So where do they contrast? First of all, the Habit 4 highlights SRAM's NX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, while the Stumpjumper is outfitted with Shimano's 11-speed Deore framework, which highlights a smaller range. The 66-degree head cylinder point of the Habit is more forceful than the Stumpjumper's somewhat moderate 67.5 degrees, which shows the Habit's inclination for plummeting. Yet, the Stumpjumper ST is the prevalent climber (an extremely positive characteristic among short-travel bicycles) and has an all the more vivacious feel by and large.

I spent barely a year on Santa Cruz's 135mm travel Hightower, logging around 1,500 miles all the while. While I'll concede that my 28-pound carbon Hightower is anything but an incredible 1:1 correlation with the overwhelming aluminum Habit 4, they share a ton in like manner. The two bicycles have comparable measures of movement (130mm for the Habit and 135mm for the Hightower), their geometry is very practically identical, and both move on 29-inch wheels. Given the Hightower's fundamentally lower weight, it ought to be nothing unexpected the Santa Cruz is the quicker climber. Having said that, the Habit is progressively competent when accelerating up a root-pervaded trail. For the plummets, the Hightower gets the edge, particularly in steep and troublesome territory. At last, we lean toward the Santa Cruz, despite the fact that the section level "R" version costs a generous $850 more than the Habit 4 and incorporates comparative parts (however it has a carbon outline).

Shrewdness Bikes may not be an easily recognized name like Specialized or Santa Cruz, however they've built up a notoriety for delivering fun bicycles with an emphasis on slipping. Their new 29-inch The Offering looks like the Habit with 140mm of movement front and back and a 66-degree head cylinder edge. Be that as it may, The Offering has an increasingly dynamic 76-degree seat cylinder point (the Habit is 74.5 degrees), which places you in a superior situation for steep and supported trips. Further, the span on a size medium Offering (462mm) is essentially longer than the Habit's (430mm), and this enables you to run a shorter stem for expanded downhill soundness. Shockingly, there are as of now no aluminum-confined adaptations of The Offering. Also, even the "passage level" model is about $450 more than the correspondingly prepared Habit 2. Similarly as with the correlation with the Hightower above, from a worth point of view, the Habit has a great deal taking the plunge.

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