First Look: Cannondale Habit XC with an attitude

The all new Habit comes in carbon, alloy and womens versions with a plus coming soon?

27.5 All Mountain Trail Cross Country
The all new Cannondale Habit has 120mm of aggressive XC travel and rolls on 27.5" wheels.

The all new Cannondale Habit has 120mm of aggressive XC travel and rolls on 27.5″ wheels (click to enlarge).

Mtbr was recently invited to Southern California for a personal, one-on-one chance to ride the all new Cannondale Habit. The Habit is a carbon, full suspension mountain bike with 120mm of travel front and rear and rolls on 27.5″ wheels. It blurs the lines between Cannondale’s XC full suspension bikes (Scalpel and Rush) and their Overmountain series (Trigger and Jekyll). It is also available with an alloy frame and two women’s versions. There is even a Habit Plus in the rumor mill.

Habit Features and Highlights

The Habit follows along the same family lines as the Cannondale F-SI hardtail 29er race bike with a more aggressive XC/trail geometry. At the same time, the Habit is plenty raceable in its own right. The geometry on this bike includes a 68 degree head angle, custom 50mm fork offset on the Lefty 2.0 fork, short chainstays and a low-slung chassis.

While the enduro/all mountain market was the initial strong point in the popularity of 27.5″ wheels, the same advantages can now be seen even on bikes with less travel. The Habit will suit a vast majority of riders out there, if they can accept the fact that they don’t need to buy more travel than they can use. The Habit is the first 27.5″ bike that I have ridden that comes close to a 29er in climbing ability. The Habit Carbon 1 that I rode was equipped with Cannondale’s own CZero carbon wheels shod with Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires in front and Rocket Ron in back (run tubeless, of course).

The frame of the Habit carbon is Cannondale’s BallisTec high modulus carbon like that used on the F-SI, the Jekyll, the Trigger and all their top end carbon mountain bikes. The Habit carbon also features a new, ultralight one-piece carbon link that saves weight and improves stiffness.

All new one piece carbon linkage saves 100 grams over the forged and CNC'ed alloy version.

All new one piece carbon linkage saves 100 grams over the forged and CNC’ed alloy version (click to enlarge).

Along with the trail-oriented geometry, 27.5″ carbon wheels and carbon frame, the rest of the Habit spec includes wide 760mm bars, shorty 60mm stem, 180mm brake rotors and Cannondale’s HollowGram Si cranks. The drivetrain on the Habit Carbon 1 is SRAM’s XX1/X01 1×11 and it is paired with SRAM’s Guide RSC brakes.

Habit Intro Video

Check out this video of Marco Fontana, Jerome Clementz and Manuel Fumic ripping it up on their Habits.

Jason Moeschler rocks his Habit on the  Downieville Classic course.

Jason Moeschler rocks his Habit on the Downieville Classic course (click to enlarge).

Habit – Downieville Proven

To emphasize how capable this bike is, this past weekend Cannondale racer Jason Moeschler showed just how much the Habit can handle by winning the Downieville Classic All Mountain World Champion title. This was Moeschler’s seventh time racing the even and his first race ever on the all new Habit. His 3rd place finish in the XC combined with his 1st in the DH claimed the AM title.

Moeschler states, “My Habit was one and a half pounds lighter than the Jekyll I raced last year so I knew I would be fast on the climbs. What I didn’t expect was to win the downhill, but the bike was phenomenal and I never felt under-suspended. I’m pumped I beat my downhill time from last year on the Jekyll!”

Continue to page 2 to read our First Ride Impression and see the full Cannondale Habit photo gallery »

About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.


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  • venu says:

    i want this bicycle i laik it

  • Peter says:

    Is it just me who wonders why all the light, top of the line bikes (like the CD Habit) now come with the 1×11 drive train option. Why can’t they offer two options. I live and bike in switzerland. We have mountains. Some are steep and have long climbs. Then long descents.
    So what ever chain ring I have put on will kill me on the way up or I’ll have my legs spinning like a helicopter. So why not offer 2×11?

  • Lance legStrong says:

    Habit Black Inc – $12,250.00 vs Honda Fit $14,000

    hmmmmm, I’ll go with the car and drive there.

  • Tammin says:

    I wonder if you can get the Habit Carbon 2 in a 1×11 set up? I’ve been looking for a short-travel carbon 27.5″ FS bike for a couple years now and up until recently they don’t seem to exist.

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