Described by Cannondale as the sweet spot of travel, geometry and spec, the Habit – and its plus-sized brother the Bad Habit – is the American brand's new do-it-all full suspension bike.
The Habit is a trail bike designed to be utterly versatile – light and fast enough for cross country but with added suspension capability that, on paper at least, also sets it up as a snappy ride for more aggressive terrain. Cannondale reckons it has nailed this true all-mountain balance with the Habit's 68-degree head angle and 50mm fork offset along with short chainstays, a low-slung chassis and specs that include 760mm bars, 60mm stems and 180mm rotors.
Other headline features include Cannondale's lightweight Zero Pivot seatstays and ECS-TC Lockr Pivots, which lock into place using an expanding collet system to boost stiffness.
This carbon link saves 100g compared to the alloy version
There are three frameset options across an eight bike line-up. The range-topping Habit Black Inc. and Habit Carbon 1 get a full BallisTec Carbon frame and swingarm along with a full carbon link. The Carbon 2, Carbon SE and Carbon 3 use a BallisTec front-end with SmartFormed alloy swingarm and carbon link. The Habit 4, 5 and 6 offer riders the same geometry as the carbon Habits but with a full SmartFormed alloy frame.
All but the models feature 120mm front and rear travel except the SE, which gets an extra 10mm up front. Lefty forks are specced on the carbon range and Habit 4, while the 5 and 6 get Rockshox Recon Gold and Silver respectively. The top two models come with Lefty 2.0 Carbon forks as opposed to the 2.0 alloys in the rest of the range.
Prices start at £1,300 / US$1,950 for the nine-speed Shimano Deore / Acera-equipped Habit 6 and top out at a cool £7,000 / US$12,250 for the Black Inc. which comes with Shimano XTR, Enve M60 rims on Chris King hubs and a Monarch DebonAir XX shock.
Only the Habit Carbon 1 (£4,500 / US$7,460) and Habit Carbon SE (£3,000 / US$4,480) come with 1x drivetrains as standard.
The Bad Habit is almost the same, but the alloy frame of both 1 and 2 models is designed specifically for 27.5+ with room for three-inch tyres for lower pressures and maximum grip. To offset sluggish handling from the increased tyre size, the Bad Habit also has a 55mm (rather than 50mm) fork rake. Both bikes have 120/120 suspension and use WTB Bridger three-inch tyres.
The Bad Habit 1 costs £2,500 with a Lefty 2.0 alloy fork, Monarch RL shock, WTB Scraper i45 rims and 11-speed SRAM GX.
The Bad Habit 2 costs £2,000 with a Rockshox Reba RL, the same shock, Cannondale's own Beast rims and a 10-speed Deore / SLX mix 2x groupset.
We'll have a more in depth look at the Habit from the European launch in Austria very soon.
Beast of the East
Joining the Habit in Cannondale's trail line-up is a revival of the classic Beast of the East in a new 27.5+ guise. The three hardtails are designed to offer newbies confidence-inspiring traction on the trails while giving seasoned riders the chance to take on more challenging terrain than a regular hardtail.
Like the Bad Habit, the frame isn't a re-purposed 29er running 27.5+ tyres, but designed from scratch to take three-inch rubber. The Beast uses Cannondale's Asymmetric Integration back end, meaning the designers have offset the rear triangle to move the drivetrain 6mm to the right, giving clearance for the bigger volume tyres without ruining the q-factor (pedal spacing). The bike's versatility is boosted with 120mm of travel at the front.
The spec of the Beast 1 (£2,100 / US$2,770) and 2 (£1,600 / US$ 2,130) models is broadly similar except for the Reba RL Boost fork on the Beast 2, which is substituted for the Lefty 2.0 alloy, and the more expensive bike getting WTB Scraper i45 rims rather than the Beast ones from Cannondale. Both have 11-speed SRAM GX levers (though the Beast 1 gets an X1 rear derailleur) and Deore brakes with 180 / 180mm rotors. Like the Bad Habit, the top two Beasts also roll on WTB Bridger three-inch tyres.
The Beast 3 (£1,100 / US$1,620) gets an entry-level SR Suntour Raidon Air Boost fork and a 10-speed SLX / Deore mix group and maintains the Deore braking, but drops to a 180 / 160mm rotor set-up. It also features WTB Trail Blazer 2.8-inch tyres.
Just as importantly as all that, the Beast of the East also gets an awesome gnashing wolf detail on the top tube that's repeated as an imprint on the saddle.