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Cannondale Trail Neo Review

The Cannondale Trail Neo is one of our best selling electric mountain bikes here at Westbrook Cycles. This range of electric hardtail mountain bikes is based on the Cannondale Trail Hardtail bikes. The addition of an electric pedal assist motor, means that the already capable Hardtail platform from Cannondale, has been upgraded to allow you to ride harder and faster - for longer.

As a hardtail e-mtb - the Trail Neo Range is ideally suited for cross country riding, but the bike does support singletrack riding - with front suspension forks providing 100mm of travel. The motor in the Neo range is from Bosch, so quality is assured. There are two Neo models to choose from, which we will discuss in this post - a review of the range, as well as a look at the models specifications.

All of the bikes in the Neo range are made from Cannondale’s impressive alloy. The Trail Neo 2 has been constructed from SmartForm C1 alloy, Cannondale’s hugest performance alloy. The Trail 3 is made from C2 Alloy, the more commonly found alloy within the Cannondale range. The two model frames look different, because they house different motors - but the geometry of the mountain bike remains the same. On both models, Cannondale have mounted the battery and the drive unit as low as possible, and as centralised as possible on the bike - this gives the bike a good, stable feel and performance out on the trails. The chainstays have also been intentionally designed to be short - meaning that the bike remains easy to handle and turn.

Although the Trail Neo is only available as a hardtail, Cannondale have increased comfort on the rear end of the bike, by featuring their SAVE technology into the rear stays. This adds extra flexibility to the bike - which makes rough surfaces feel smoother. There’s also premium features such as internal cabling, to keep the bike looking smooth and modern.

As mentioned above, both bikes in the Neo range have 100mm of suspension travel at the front - pretty standard amounts of travel for trail bikes. This amount of travel is the right amount for general off roading, and the forks can also be locked out when riding on smooth surfaces. Two different forks are available, with the Trail Neo 2 having a RockShox Judy silver fork - which performs better than the Suntour XCM on the Trail Neo 3, with better off road handling and more adjustment.

The Bosch motor provides assistance when pedalling, up to the legal limit of 15.5 mph - the power delivery is smooth, and incredibly noticeable on ascents. The Trail Neo 3 has the Bosch Active Line Plus Motor, which is twinned with a 400Wh battery pack - and is more than enough for recreational riders. Those looking to push the boundaries of performance further, should choose the NEO 2 with a larger 500Wh battery pack and the latest Bosch Drive unit which produces 75NM or torque.

Drivetrain wise, the Cannondale Trail Neo 3 has a Shimano Alivio 9 speed drive training, mates to a 11-36t cassette. The Neo 2 provides extra low down gearing, with a 11-42t cassette. All models also have Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brakes, as you would expect - which provide excellent stopping power and braking performance across all weather and terrain conditions.

Brakes on the two models differ slightly, with the Trail Neo 2 having higher performance MT400 brake systems, and the Neo 3 having the MT200 brakes.

Models across the range run on 29’’ wheels - with the Neo 2 being available with 27.5’’ wheels for smaller riders. All of the rims on the Neo range are tubeless compatible, and can be easily upgraded for those looking to take measures to protect themselves from punctures. All of the Neo range are fitted with Schwalbe Smart Sam Tyres - which have low profile tread, ideal for cross country performance. We would not recommend this bike to riders who want to race, but instead for riders who want to cover long distances, whilst achieving good speed levels.