The American answer

Cannondale reveals a new Habit & Habit LT

The American answer – Cannondale reveals a new Habit & Habit LT

Cube and Canyon have already introduced new All Mountain models in 2023. Now Cannondale is countering with the new Habit and Habit LT. The Americans from Cannondale stay true to their style and clearly set themselves apart from the competition.
Cannondale Habit 2023 Test
Keep it simple. With its new habit, Cannondale clearly stands out from the crowd.
With the current Neuron and the Stereo One44 presented two brand new mountain bikes with 140 millimeters on the fork. Now the Americans from Cannondale are countering. The new Cannondale Habit is the American answer to the innovation offensive from Germany. And how else could it be – the American answer is somehow a bit more casual in terms of look and feel. While the German manufacturers put the efficiency and weight of the bikes in the foreground, the Americans make it clear in the video for the new habit that the style was important in the developers’ specifications. With the Habit LT, thanks to 150 millimeters of travel on the fork, they are also leaning towards downhill performance.

Mitch Ropelato in New York with the Habit LT

Cannondale Habit and Habit LT don’t just differ in terms of travel

When the predecessor of the new Habit was presented for the first time in 2018, there was still a 130 fork in the head tube. But the market was crying out for more. Fuelled by videos from the Cannondale Waves Crew, the product managers have not only changed the paintwork and equipment over the past 5 years, but also made conceptual changes. They gave the existing chassis a 140 fork. This made the old Habit one of the most popular bikes in Cannondale’s product range. We also did a number of tours with the predecessor and always had a good time on the trails. It’s clear that you don’t want to make extreme changes to a bike that customers love.
Cannondale Habit 2018
The old Habit was introduced in 2018 and at that time still had 130 millimeters of travel on the fork. It was one of Cannondale’s most successful models.
Cannondale Habit 2018 Action Test
We also enjoyed every meter that we rode over the trails with the old Cannondale habit.
At 140 millimeters at the fork and 130 millimeters at the rear, the spring travel remains unchanged from its predecessor. The strategy for the wheels also remains untouched. The new habit also rolls on 27.5 wheels when in size XS. From size S it comes with 29ers. And the general rear triangle design also seems to have proven itself. The new habit stays true to its 4-joint rear triangle. Of course, a lot has changed in terms of geometry. The seat angle is significantly steeper, the head angle flatter, everything has just become a bit more modern. The real surprise only comes when you take a look at the models with the LT suffix. Because here Cannondale not only pumps up the spring travel at the front and rear by 10 millimeters. Now, the equipment is also much more downhill-heavy.
Cannondale Habit Carbon Test
The Cannondale Habit – without the model suffix LT – comes with 140 millimeters of travel at the fork and 130 millimeters at the rear. It’s in the same league as the last introduced Canyon Neuron or the new Cube Stereo One44.
Cannondale Habit carbon cable routing
Unlike the Cube and Canyon, the Habit does not use a cable routing through the headset. Cannondale routes through the down tube in a classic way. The carbon models even have a continuous cable routing.
Cannondale Habit carbon chainstays
Typical Cannondale: The Americans’ chainstays grow with each frame size. This is made possible by the different hanging options on the Horst Link bearing. This keeps the riding behavior balanced, even for tall bikers.

The Cannondale Habit LT fills the void left by the Jekyll

Enduro mountain bikes have developed into true downhill monsters in recent years. With the growing influence of the EDR (formerly Enduro World Series) on product development, the all-round idea in the enduro category is dwindling more and more. This can also be clearly seen on the current Cannondale Jekyll. The development of the current Jekyll started in 2019 on the tracks of the Downhill World Cup. The complex high-pivot rear end system and 170 mm forks with 38 mm thick stanchions make it absolutely clear: This bike was built to set best times on the downhill. The hunt for seconds in enduro stages leaves hardly any room for compromises to increase touring suitability. This is exactly where the current Jekyll with a high-pivot rear triangle opens up a gap compared to its predecessors. Until 2022, the dynasty of all Jekylls consisted of touring bikes. With its 150 millimeters of travel, the new Habit LT follows in big footsteps.
Cannondale Jekyll
The ancestor of the current Jekyll was also able to inspire touring riders with an adjustable rear triangle concept and lightweight construction. At the time, the top model weighed 12.6 kilos with 170 millimeters of travel.
Cannondale Jekyll Action
We’ve also ridden this bike at the world’s enduro hotspots. We used it for a long time in Finale Ligure and Alpe d´Huez. But the times when enduro bikes were still considered all-rounders are over. The current Jekyll is designed much more radically for the descent, leaving a gap that the habit LT can now fill.

The Cannondale Habit is not an innovator

All mountain bikes have always had a hard time competing for innovation. This was also expressed very well recently with the re-launched Canyon Neuron. Why is that? When it comes to lightweight construction, cross country bikes like the Scalpel HT set the tone. Enduro bikes like the Jekyll define the limits of what is possible in the area of rear triangle kinematics and downhill performance. With All Mountains like the new Habit, the product managers have to find compromises between these two worlds. Of course, under these circumstances, absolutely new accents are not being set either in terms of frame weight or other areas. Cannondale is aware of this and even consciously exploits the aura of all mountain bikes. The Americans keep the concept of the new Habits consciously simple and free from current technical trends. The cables do not run through the headset, as is currently the case, but rather through the down tube in the classic way. The carbon models even have a continuous routing of the internally routed cables for particularly easy maintenance. The bolted BSA bottom bracket also pleases mechanics. Instead of a complex storage box in the down tube, there are screw-on options for a storage package under the top tube, as is the case with the Canyon Neuron. Cube has opted for the integrated storage compartment solution in the down tube for its new Stereo One models. With the derailleur hanger, the UDH standard is future-proof. This means, that Sram’s latest transmission rides also fit the bill. A flip chip for geometry adjustment was also omitted in order to keep the complexity of the Habit models as low as possible. If you want to build a mullet bike with a small 27.5 rear wheel from the factory 29er setup over the course of your life, you can do that. Cannondale offers a special linkage lever for the rear suspension, which keeps all options open to the customer.

Current standards at Cannondale Habit

  • Bottom bracket: BSA (bolted)
  • Wheel size: 29 inches (only size XS with 27.5 inches)
  • Rear wheel installation dimensions: 12×148 (NOT asymmetrical)
  • Seatpost: 30.9mm
  • Cable routing: through the down tube
  • Bottle holder: Space for 1 bottle (and an additional storage pack)
  • Special feature: Growing chainstays
  • Derailleur hanger: UDH (Sram Egale Transmission compatible)
Cannondale Habit LT
The Habit LT is ready for any descent with a thicker damper, more travel, large brake discs and grippy tires.
Cannondale Habit LT
No storage box in the down tube, but the possibility to mount a storage package under the top tube.
Cannondale Habit LT
The large service hatch in the bottom bracket area makes changing cables a lot easier. We recently complained about that with theCannondale Scalpel HT.

The 2023 Cannondale Habit has invisible details

Even if the new Habits are not the innovators in Cannondale’s product range, the Americans still show attention to detail. As with the Cannondale Scalpel HT, the most important geometry data also grow with the new Habits with each frame size. During our test of the Rose Bonero, we also noticed the added value of growing chainstays have for particularly large or particularly small drivers. This is because the load distribution between the rear and front wheel remains balanced in all frame sizes. Cannondale even goes one step further and also adjusts the rear triangle kinematics and the layup of the carbon frames, or the wall thickness of the aluminum tubes to the individual sizes. A service from the engineering department that is used is not immediately noticeable when looking at the bike, but is clearly noticeable on the trail.

The Cannondale Habit’s strongest competitors

If you want to buy a new all-mountain bike in 2023, in addition to the Cannondale, you will primarily want to look at the bikes from Cube and Canyon that have just been introduced. We have a current Canyon Neuron, a Cannondale Habit and a Cube Stereo One44 for a direct comparison. So you can compare geometries and equipment one to one. The Habit LT is more likely to compete with the Propain Hugene. The Giant Trance X is always a hot candidate in the 150 mm travel class. Here, too, we have already prepared a comparison for you.

All 2023 Habit models at a glance including prices and availability:

As usual, we not only provide in-depth insights into the details. In contrast to all other media, our innovative and absolutely objective test system allows you to provide information on the entire model family. Here you can find out about the right habit depending on your budget.

Conclusion on the Cannondale Habit and Habit LT

The American response to the German innovation offensive by Canyon and Cube is, how could it be otherwise, casual. Cannondale deliberately decides not to follow current trends, such as routing cables through the headset, and above all wants to build a simple, well-functioning bike for people who just want to ride. The concept should please many bikers. When it comes to geometry, Cannondale leaves nothing to be desired. And the LT version of the habit should also fill the gap in the product portfolio that the current Jekyll has torn. In combination with the more touring model Habit (without LT) with 140 millimeters of travel on the fork, Cannondale has succeeded in creating a coherent new edition of their classic.
In this article, the author Ludwig Döhl has incorporated his experience from more than 100.000 kilometers in the mountain bike saddle.

About the author

Ludwig

... has spent more than 100,000 kilometers in the saddle of over 1000 different mountain bikes. The essence of many hours on the trail: Mountain bikes are awesome when they match your personal preferences! With this realization, he founded bike-test.com to assist cyclists in finding their very own dream bike.

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