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Cannondale Trail Review & Specs

The Cannondale Trail range of hardtail mountain bikes are the perfect way to get into recreational mountain biking. The Trail range of bikes are not only suitable for cross country adventures, but also single track.

There are 14 different Trail models in the range, there is the perfect Trail bike for every rider, with different bikes providing different performance for different riding requirements. The entry level bikes within the collection are good for fire roads and gentle roads, and actually make very good commuter bikes - as the range increases in price, the bikes get lighter and the off-road prowess and abilities increase.

The top models within the range are the Trail 1-4 and these bikes have Cannondale's high specification C2 alloy frame. The Trail women's bikes 1-2 also have C2 alloy frames. As well as having weight advantages over the cheaper models, this frame also boasts a tapered steerer tube as well as boost hub spacing to improve steering and handling. The C2 models also have internal cabling, to ensure the bike's design looks as clean as  possible. The entry level Trail models have a C3 alloy frame.

Regardless of the model you choose within the range, you can expect geometry and handling which is designed for the rough stuff. These bikes have short chainstays, as well as slack head tube angles which provide stability. This bike has been designed to have plenty of stability for long descents, whilst also remaining flickable for trail use. Cannondale has built up an excellent reputation for it’s alloy range of mountain bikes, and the Trail is a big part of that.

The industry standard suspension travel for hardtail mountain bikes is 100mm of travel from a front suspension fork. Further up the range the Trail range is fitted with a 120mm suspension fork, which provides more capability for trails and single tracks. Most of the forks within the range have lockout, for those riding on hard surfaces, and the Rockshox forks at the top of the range have plenty of adjustability.

Gearing is as you would expect for hardtail mountain bikes, and across the range there is a very capable range of gears which have been designed to get you uphill, as well as back down. The drivetrain system is also nice and simple - and bikes higher up in the range only use a single front chainring, which also provides reliable performance across rough terrain. All bikes are specc’d with hydraulic disc brakes, which provide excellent braking performance across all weather and off road conditions. The Trail 1 & 2 models can also be fitted with a dropper seat, allowing for maximum flexibility across different riding conditions.

A range of different wheel sizes are also available, meaning that riders can choose the wheel size they are most comfortable with. Small and extra small bikes have 27.5" wheels, and the medium, large and XL models have 29’’ wheels. Depending upon which model you choose, will depend on what tyres your bike is fitted with, bikes with 100mm of suspension travel will have a lower profile mountain bike tyre, whilst models with 120mm suspension forks will have bigger and chunkier MTB tyres designed to handle harsher off road terrain.

Overall, we are big fans of this range of bikes. They provide the perfect mountain bike to grow into, when it comes to ability. Higher end models are good for all kinds of off road terrain, and the entry level bikes do a great job of urban use, as well as light off road use.