5 Best Cannondale Mountain Bike (January, 2023)

Updated on August 18, 2022

If you’re looking for a new mountain bike, it’s nearly impossible to know where to begin, which one or two goods from a certain brand could work best for you, and which other products from other brands might be the most similar and also worth considering.

Hence, in the new “Blister Brand Guide” series, we provide you an overview of the whole product portfolio of a company and highlight how each product distinguishes out from the rest of that brand’s lineup.

When we review a certain product, we go into great depth about it. Breadth is what these Brand Guides are all about.

Our Brand Guides and in-depth product reviews are meant to work together to provide you a comprehensive look at a company’s whole product line as well as in-depth analyses of specific products.

CBGTrails is the company behind our mountain bike Brand Guides. To find out more about the 750+ miles of singletrack and 150+ trails in Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley, Colorado, visit cbgtrails.com and download the CBG Trails app.

About Cannondale

When Cannondale was first established in 1971, they made a significant contribution to the development of the bicycle industry. In the past, Cannondale was well-known for its innovative and frequently proprietary designs, but that has waned in recent years.

In addition to the “Lefty” fork, which has one stanchion and slider on the left side to accommodate the disc brake, they have a number of other unique designs.

The Cannondale Delta V.E.S.T. was one of the first full-suspension bikes, and they’re also known for their pioneering designs. Currently, they provide a wide range of bikes, including both road and off-road models, to suit a wide range of riders and budgets

All but a few of Cannondale’s XC bikes have an embedded wheel sensor that communicates to the Cannondale phone app. This sensor keeps track of each ride’s speed, distance, and duration.

As the number of miles ridden increases, the sensor and app will send notifications to the user when it’s time to have the bike serviced. In addition to registering the bike for Cannondale’s guarantee, activating the wheel sensor through the app does the same thing.

The “SAVE micro-suspension” found in the rear triangle and seat tube of each of their hardtails is intended to provide a more comfortable ride than would be possible with a traditional hardtail.

Once we know for sure what’s going to be in the Cannondale Scalpel and Scalpel SE’s 2021 line-up, our brand guide will be updated and we’ll let you know!

Best Cannondale Mountain Bike

1. Cannondale

Tango Geometry / Cannondale Trail
Consumer Guide to Blister Brands: Cannondale’s mountain bike portfolio for 2021 is broken down by Blister.
Forehead: 75-120 mm
Hardtail design at the rear.
Sizes XS through XL come in at 27.5″, while the XXL comes in at 29.”
If you’re on a budget, this is a nice hardtail to get you started. Unlike the “Tango” models, the “Trail” models are gender neutral.

you’re on a limited budget and want to get the most out of your money
You’re a novice rider seeking for easy trails and gravel roads to explore.

It’s not worth your time. If: You intend to ride rocky, rooty, or steep trails.
In order to get the best overall performance, you’re willing to invest a little extra money.

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2. Scarlet Geometry / Cannondale Cujo

Consumer Guide to Blister Brands: Cannondale’s mountain bike portfolio for 2021 is broken down by Blister.
100-120 mm in the front
Rear: 27.5″+ Hardtail Alloy
Budget-friendly hardtail with plus-sized tyres for a smoother ride and confidence-inspiring traction. There are “Cujo” and “Scarlet” models, both of which are gender specific.

The Trail / Tango is more like the F-SI.

you’re on a limited budget and want to get the most out of your money
You’re new to the sport and would like to learn more about it.
Enhanced traction sounds like something you’d be interested in.

It’s not worth your time. If you’re willing to fork over more money in order to get better results, then:
You’re looking forward to tackling challenging terrain, such as rocky, rooty, or steep paths.

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3. Cannondale F-Si

Consumer Guide to Blister Brands: The 2021 Cannondale mountain is dissected by Blister.
The front is 100 mm in diameter.
Hardtail 29″ for the rear (27.5″ for size XS)
The lightest and most XC race-oriented hardtail from Cannondale. Except for the Carbon 5 model, all versions have a Lefty fork.
Scalpel-like in nature as opposed to Cujo/Scarlet-like.

Is XC a sport that you participate in?
An efficient and light bicycle is what you’re looking for when it comes to climbing.

If you ride a lot of fast, tricky, steep, lumpy trails, don’t bother.
When it comes to downhills, you need a bike that is forgiving

4. Cannondale Scalpe

Consumer Guide to Blister Brands: Cannondale’s mountain bike portfolio for 2021 is broken down by Blister.
The front is 100 mm in diameter.
Rear: Carbon 100 mm, 29″
Cannondale’s full-suspension XC bike, the Scalpel, will be updated in May 2020 to replace the previous Scalpel Si.

Cannondale’s innovative proprietary FlexPivot technology, which eliminates the need for traditional bearings and bushings, is integrated into the Scalpel’s lightweight frame.

A hypothetical Horst-link design is created by allowing the chainstay to flex in two places, resulting in 100 mm of rear motion. Each bike has a Lefty fork, a Cannondale STASH tool kit, and a front triangle that can store two water bottles.

The F-Si reminds me more of the Scalpel SE.

Consider If: You prefer tracks that are more rough, rapid, steep, and technically challenging for cross-country skiing
Full-suspension bikes with little weight and good climbing ability are what you need.

It’s not worth your time. Is a bike more forgiving on the downhills than it is on the up?
You ride a lot of trails that are steep, fast, difficult, and a little lumpy.

5. Scalpel SE Geometry by Cannondale

Consumer Guide to Blister Brands: Cannondale’s mountain bike portfolio for 2021 is broken down by Blister.
120 millimetres at the front.
Rear: Carbon 120 mm 29″

With a redesigned lightweight frame and Cannondale’s new proprietary FlexPivot technology, the new Scalpel SE, which will be released in May 2020, is a downhill-oriented variant of the conventional Scalpel.

Because of this mechanism, the chainstay of the frame may flex in two places, resulting in 120 millimetres of rear travel. All variants are compatible with Cannondale’s STASH integrated toolset, and each model has two water bottle cages (only Carbon 1 and Carbon LTD come with the tool).

This is closer to the Habit than the Scalpel.

Consider If: You participate in cross-country skiing or cross-country running competitions and wish to improve your downhill performance
You compete in long-distance cycling or racing.
You’re looking for a light, full-suspension bike that climbs well, but you’d prefer a little more downhill prowess than the Scalpel has to offer.

It’s not worth your time. As an alternative to an excellent climber, you need a bike that’s more forgiving on the way down.
Climbing efficiency is worth sacrificing for more forgiving and descent capabilities.
You’re looking for a full-suspension XC racer.

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There are fifteen good reasons to purchase

Ride quality was considered to be excellent thanks to the aluminium frame’s reduced weight.

Durability, quality, and cost were all important considerations while developing reliable components.

On cross-country-style trails, the ride quality was said to be excellent.

The rolling resistance and strength of the WTB Ranger tyres were well-balanced.

An upright geometry, a light frame, and a remote lockout made climbing easier.

The remote shock lockout makes paved roads and steep climbs simpler to traverse.

There was no problem with the Trail 6’s 2×9 drivetrain on any of the hills.

With a basic 1×11 gearing configuration, the Trail 4 was able to cover a wide range of terrain.

It was a wonderful value for the money, and the Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes worked really well.

Trail 6’s raw metal aesthetic was characterised as ‘pleasant and muted’ by the reviewer.

In terms of climbing and descending, Shimano Altus and Acera performed well.

The Trail has rack mounts for short-distance commuting purposes.

The Trail line was highly regarded by its owners, who thought it offered excellent value.

It was claimed that ‘once broken in,’ the Cannondale saddle was incredibly comfortable.

Protecting against dust was made easier with the threaded bottom bracket.

Not to buy: 9 reasons

  • On crowded trails, certain entry-level components looked out of place.
  • On easy trails, the SR Suntour shock failed.
  • The Trail 6 lacked a dropper-post for adjusting to shifting terrain.
  • The Trail 6 was criticised by one rider for riding excessively upright on steep descents.
  • The Trail 6’s wheels appeared to be too heavy and needed to be replaced.
  • The lack of a clutch back derailleur resulted in a chain-slap noise.
  • Quick-release thru-axles were out of date on the Trail 6.
  • On correctly-sized frames, the Trail 7’s standover height was said to be too high.
  • A shortening of the Trail 7’s seatpost was necessary.
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