Cannondale Trigger 29er 2 – first ride review

OverMountain bike with 130mm travel

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0
GBP £2,999.99 RRP | USD $4,100.00

Our review

A stiff and capable bike for hard trail riding, but a bit too heavy to maximise shock potential
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Sitting in Cannondale’s OverMountain series, the Trigger 2 is a 130mm (5.1in) travel 29in wheeled bike. 


Ride & handling: Acceleration effort rewarded with capability 

With fairly heavy wheels, the Trigger 2 is slow getting up to speed but, like other 29ers, it keeps momentum once rolling. The frame is very stiff, and combined with the sturdy wheelset makes for a positive feeling ride, and no 29er waggle.

The lever for the shock is pleasing to use – pushing forward activates short travel, and tapping the silver end button releases it to full travel. It’s a little fiddly on top of the bar, and some testers have reported consistency issues in wet and muddy conditions.

The action of the shock is very good, though. When you shorten the travel to 80mm, the effective sag is reduced, and the bike sits up and helps climbing, although the weight ultimately holds it back.

Flick the lever into plush 130mm territory, and you get a linear but controlled action. The stiff frame is very positive to ride and likes being chucked about – the short front centre adds to this, although the front end could do with being a touch longer. The 1.5in Fox 34 does feel marginally stiffer, but we’d rather see a tapered fork, which would save weight. 

Ultimately, the Trigger is a stiff, fun bike with a great suspension concept. It just needs to shed a few pounds to reach its full potential. 

Cannondale trigger 29er 2:
Andrew Lloyd/Future Publishing

Cannondale Trigger 29er 2

Frame & equipment: Super stiff with good shock potential

Constructed from Smart Formed alloy, the Trigger has a huge 1.5in head tube, which is mated to an equally large down tube. The top tube on our XL sample measures 24in, centre to centre, and standover height is 32in. A tight 17.5in back end helps keep things snappy, while a fairly short front centre (30in) keeps the wheelbase down to a manageable 47.5in. 

The curved seat tube allows for rear wheel clearance, and the seatstay-mounted rocker pulls up on the Fox Dyad RT2 shock. The shock allows remote travel adjustment from 80mm (3.1in) to 130mm (5.1in). The shock has two separate chambers – the long travel Flow chamber, and the short travel Elevate. Both have independent damping controls.

Huge 15mm thru-axles at the swingarm and main link pivots help keep things stiff, and double bearings on the seatstay pivot further increase rigidity, as does the 12x142mm Syntace bolt-through rear axle. 

The WTB Frequency rims on Formula hubs aren’t light, but they are stiff and can handle abuse. They roll on heavy but grippy Schwalbe Hans Dampf tyres. And with a SRAM X7 and X9 transmission and powerful Magura MT2 brakes, the running kit is dependable.

The Fox Dyad RT2 shock is custom built in conjunction with Cannondale, and the 34 Float FIT CTD 29er fork has a 1.5in steerer tube to stiffen things up. It does limit stem choice for aftermarket units, though – the 80mm Cannondale stem fitted won’t appeal to all. 


This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Product Specifications


Name Trigger 29er 2 (13)
Brand Cannondale

Brakes Magura MT2
Stem Cannondale C3 80mm
Front Wheel WTB Frequency rims, Formula hubs
Tyres Schwalbe Hans Dampf tyres
Wheelbase (in) 47.5
Top Tube (in) 24
Standover Height (in) 32
Chainstays (in) 17.5
Weight (lb) 33
Weight (kg) 14.97
Shifters SRAM X7
Cranks SRAM S1000
Seatpost Cannondale C2
Saddle WTB Volt
Rear Shock Fox Dyad RT2 shock
Rear Derailleur SRAM X9
Handlebar Cannondale C2 740mm
Front Derailleur SRAM X7
Frame Material Cannondale Trigger Smart Formed alloy, 130/80mm travel
Fork Fox 34 FIT CTD 29er, 130mm (5.1in) travel
Rear Wheel WTB Frequency rims, Formula hubs