For almost 40 years Cannondale has been perfecting the design and manufacture of high performance mountain bikes. The Habit is Cannondale’s highly regarded mid-travel trail bike. And the Habit Neo is the eBike version that’s been steadily making its mark. Now, it’s widely available in South Africa. Here’s why it’s a sensible choice if you’re looking for an eMTB with shred cred!
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Full-powered e-mountain bikes have been changing lives. With power and range to enable a cycling newcomer to be able to enjoy a ride with seasoned cycling mates on their regular bikes is something quite special. Couples have been able to enjoy mountain biking rides, races and trips together, building stronger bonds and making lifelong memories in the process.
But not all full-powered eBikes are the same. It’s generally the handling where many fall short. But with Cannnondale’s Habit Neo, the engineers set about designing a full-powered eBike that handles like regular trail bike. It wasn’t an easy task, but the Habit Neo craves a challenge and can handle anything. Here’s how…
Anyone that understands flow will know that the key to a trail bike’s stability and handling is the geometry. The Cannondale Habit is an absolute trail shredder and the Habit Neo is designed with the same intent. Only, the Habit Neo allows you to repeat your favourite trails over and over. And over. A slack headtube angle (66.5 degrees), steep seattube angle (75 degrees) and short chainstays (455mm) sets the Habit Neo up to crush corners, rail berms, float jumps, nail drops and roll like a boss through rock gardens. It’s playful and poppy and for a full-powered eBike, that’s quite something.
With 130mm of rear travel (RockShox Deluxe Select R) and 140mm up front (RockShox Recon Silver RL), the Habit Neo is about as South African-trail-ready as you can get. The majority of South African trails and races don’t need anything more than mid-travel suspension, making the Habit Neo a sweet-spot choice for anyone looking for a high level of control. Unlike most suspension, that on the Habit Neo comes with Proportional Response, the only suspension design that tailors the actual suspension layout by size so that every rider gets optimal traction, suppleness and control.
The heart of a bike is the frame and the engineers made no secret of their passion for designing a truly impressive frame on the Habit Neo. They had to in order to ensure it slays trails with confidence. There’s a lot that’s gone into this frame, which is carbon front and alloy rear, and here’s a summary:
- Lockr Pivots: Thru-axle pivot system creates a rock-solid connection between both sides of the swingarm for instantaneous response. No twist, no flex and no special tools required.
- The AI Advantage: The Ai Offset Drivetrain opens up the rear triangle for more tyre clearance while keeping the chainstays short for nimble agility. A stiffer, stronger, rear wheel is just icing on the cake.
- SI Motor Mount: Proprietary Cannondale motor mount positions the Bosch drive unit low and forward in the frame, keeping the Centre of Gravity low and the chainstays short for agile handling.
- Built light & tough: A BallisTec Carbon frame keeps the mass to a minimum. But since the Cannondale engineers prioritised durability over gram-counting, confidence is built in, as is a lifetime warranty.
- Shock Linkage: This is a key part of the Proportional Response suspension design. Each size frame gets its own custom shock links and pivot locations for that ‘made for you’ suspension feel.
- Water bottle: A place for a standard water bottle, right in the front triangle.
MOTOR & BATTERY
The Habit Neo is powered by a powerful 250W Bosch Performance CX drive unit and 500Wh PowerTube battery. The Performance Line CX drive unit, which offers torque of up to 85Nm and PowerTube battery, deliver power and range to tackle anything from single-day rides to stage races or multi-day tours. To protect the motor and battery from damage, the Habit Neo features a sealed battery cover and burly trials-style skid plate.
The durable wheelset comprises WTB rims, DT Swiss spokes and a Shimano (rear) Formula (front) hub, with Maxxis Dissector (front) and Rekon (rear). The brakeset is TRP’s Slate G4 4- Piston hydraulic disc, with 200mm rotors front and rear that offer significant stopping power. And the 1×12 drivetrain is Shimano’s super reliable Deore M6100.
For full specs click here.