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
Like the rest of the Black Inc editions, the Habit Black Inc is the top-of-the-line version. Expect a price in the five figure range.

Like the rest of the Black Inc editions, the Habit Black Inc is the top-of-the-line version – as such, the price is in the five figure range (click to enlarge).

Habit Versions

The Habit comes in a whopping 10 different models including 2 women’s specific version (one carbon and one alloy), 3 full alloy versions, 2 full carbon versions and 3 carbon frames with alloy swingarms (including the SE edition with kick-backed geometry and a 130mm Lefty).

The breakdown looks like this:

  • Habit Hi-Mod Black Inc (full carbon – Shimano Di2 11 speed drivetrain, Enve M60 carbon rims – Lefty 2.0 carbon)
  • Habit Carbon 1 (full carbon – SRAM XX1/X01 1×11 drivetrain, CZero carbon wheels – Lefty 2.0 carbon)
  • Habit Carbon 2 (carbon frame/alloy swingarm – Shimano XT/XTR 2×11 drivetrain – Lefty 2.0 alloy)
  • Habit Carbon 3 (carbon frame/alloy swingarm – Shimano SLX/Deore/XT 2×10 drivetrain – Lefty 2.0 alloy)
  • Habit Carbon SE (carbon frame/alloy swingarm – SRAM X1 1×11 drivetrain – Lefty 2.0 alloy 130mm fork)
  • Habit 4 (alloy/alloy – Shimano SLX/Deore 2×10 drivetrain – Lefty 2.0 alloy)
  • Habit 5 (alloy/alloy – Shimano SLX/Deore 2×10 drivetrain – RockShox Recon Gold fork)
  • Habit 6 (alloy/alloy) – Shimano Deore 3×10 drivetrain – RockShox Recon Silver fork)
  • Habit Women’s 1 (carbon/alloy – Shimano SLX/Deore 2×10 drivetrain – Lefty 2.0 alloy)
  • Habit Women’s 2 (alloy/alloy – Shimano Deore/Acera 3×9 drivetrain – RockShox Recon Silver fork)
The Habit SE has a carbon frame and an alloy swingarm and uses a 130mm Lefty up front. MSRP is  $4,480.00.

The Habit SE has a carbon frame and an alloy swingarm and uses a 130mm Lefty up front. MSRP is $4,480.00.

Pricing is as follows:
Habit Black Inc – $12,250.00
Habit Carbon 1 – $7460.00
Habit 2 – $5330.00
Habit SE – $4,480.00
Habit 3 – $3,730.00
Habit 4 – $2,880.00
Habit 5 – $2,340.00
Habit 6 – $1,950.00
Habit Women’s 1 – $3,730.00
Habit Women’s 2 – $1,950.00
All versions of the Habit will start shipping in September. We don’t have details yet, but there will be a Habit Plus rolling on plus sized tires coming at a later date.

Habit - riders in action

Habit First Ride Impression

We had the chance to ride the Cannondale Habit recently on some killer trails in Thousand Oaks, CA. The trails we rode included some sandy singletrack, rocky fireroads and some pretty decent climbs. Overall the ride was about 14 miles (including short stints on the pavement to connect trails) with 2,400 feet of climbing on a cool, overcast LA day. These types of trails are perfect for the Habit and help show the bike’s climbing prowess as well as its downhill chops. Downhill chops on a 120mm bike? Yes.

The Habit will surprise many with the supple suspension as it is one of those bikes that rides like it has more travel than the specs say. With the twin lockout feature at our fingertips, we set the suspension up on the soft side (but not too soft) to take full advantage. The carbon rims also add a bit of bravery on the descents as they tracked true without deflecting me even when my lines were less than optimal.

The flat mount brake is something you will see on more bikes soon. This mounting position reduces stress on the carbon fiber stays.

The flat mount brake is something you will see on more bikes soon. This mounting position reduces stress on the carbon fiber stays (click to enlarge).

The trail-tuned Lefty 2.0 fork remains one of my favorite forks as it is possibly the best tracking fork available. It always makes me wish it was an option on other bikes (Project 321 notwithstanding). We started with about 30% sag on the fork and 25% sag on the shock. After reaching the summit, I tried lowering the beginning pressure (105psi) down to about 85 psi, but found the lower pressure created a sag point that didn’t provide the same kind of “pop” that I like. We increased the pressure back up to about 95 psi and that was the sweet spot for my 155 lbs. The Fullsprint XLoc handlebar remote works great and is an easy way to simultaneously lock-out both the front fork and rear shock. Like anything else, put it at your fingertips and you will use it more. Even when not locked out the Habit still climbed well, but the XLoc just adds to the versatility of this bike’s uses.

There were no big jumps or drops on our ride, but the occasional rock jutting out gave us a chance to test the suppleness of the rear. The original setting of 25% sag suited me well for both the climbs and downhill and there was no need to change this once the trail turned down. We also experienced no pedal strikes even on our size small frame with ample sag. On the climbs, the Habit is the first 27.5 bike that made me feel like it was close to 29er climbing prowess. Combined with the light weight, fast rolling wheels and lock-out, the Habit will suit different styles of climbing (stand up and mash, sit and spin, take your pick).

I didn’t get a chance to weigh the size small I was riding but claimed weight for the size large Habit without pedals is 25.4 lbs.

Habit - geometry

The new Cannondale Habit is the type of bike that will suit a vast majority of riders, if they can only convince themselves that they really don’t need 140mm of travel or more. In short, it’s not how much travel you have, but how you use that travel. Job well done, Cannondale.

For more information visit www.cannondale.com.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

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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