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#TeamRutland | Archie's Cannondale Habit 3 Review

Words by Tom Worsfold

on 01/04/2020 16:59:31

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This article was written by #TeamRutland ambassador and avid mountain biker Archie Davies. Archie has his own blog A Gravity Man.

When it came to choosing a new steed for 2020 from Rutland’s MTB stock, I’ll be honest Cannondale wasn’t on my list, let alone at the top. Cannondale is just good at building lefty bikes right? My, wasn’t I naive…

When it came to choosing a new steed for 2020 from Rutland’s MTB stock, I’ll be honest Cannondale wasn’t on my list, let alone at the top. Cannondale is just good at building lefty bikes right? My, wasn’t I naive…The brief from Rutland was to try this Habit 3, “they’re all the rage, with people like Josh Bryceland riding one. I know Cannondale is a little off the beaten track, but we’re confident you’ll like it, Archie”.

View the Habit range View all Cannondale bikes

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What caught my eye?

THAT PAINT JOB. From looking at pictures online, you don’t get a full grasp of how plush the paint job really is. A deep emerald green colour finished with a high gloss gives it a very expensive look and one that you keep finding yourself looking back at as you walk away.

Another key one for me is it’s a 29er, something I’ve missed after the Stumpy a year or so ago. The fast-rolling efficiency you get across all-terrain, especially the rough stuff, means you can carry more speed, and with more speed, have more fun. Together with Maxxis rubber all round, you’re in for a treat.

Finally, with 140mm travel upfront through a Fox 34 fork and 130mm at the rear, all brought together with a carbon frame, meant things were looking good; not just for my local trails which lacked any serious kind of gradient, but also for those long jaunts over to Wales, with steeper, rougher terrain. Could this be the all-rounder I’ve been looking for?

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First Impressions

As soon as you jump on this bike you immediately notice the modern geometry, with its relaxed, big bike angles, which fills you with confidence. So it was no surprise that when I came to point it downhill, it was set up to allow you to push, feeling more capable than its 140/130mm numbers would suggest.

What surprised me and what I’ve been hearing, is the light playful character of the bike. So much so, I rechecked my suspension settings for over-pumped shocks, but there were no incorrect pressures. This bike generally is very playful, a rarity for such a relaxed geometry bike, where normally you’d find a sluggish and delayed character. This bike is poppy, agile and a good bloody laugh, be it on the flat or on the hills.

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It wasn’t until I visited the Twirch Trail at Cwmcarn and its 5 miles super techy climb did I realise I had another surprise in store. It climbs. Like it climbs, really well… For a bike that up until this point felt super sure-footed on the descents, I was expecting a sluggish uphill pedaller but to be honest it pedals up hills better than some hardtails. How has Cannondale managed it, I don’t know. They’ve scored the hattrick. Playful, yet stable on the descents, while at the same time being as much fun and capable as a proper XC bike climbing back up the hills. This is a serious swiss army knife of a bike, and I mean it.

Overview

So I’ve only had the bike 3 months and with a newborn son and crap weather, I haven’t exactly had loads of opportunities to thoroughly test it. However, in the small number of rides I have done, I can tell you now, I think this might well be the best bike I’ve ever ridden. Big claim I know, but most bikes are capable and fast. The Habit is those too, but it’s fun, and it puts fun at the top of its priorities. Which means all my typical rides and new ones, have taken on a whole new lease of life. And surely that’s what mountain biking is all about? Fun?

I’ll come back to you later in the year with a full conclusion. But I can tell you now, Rutland might have to tear this Habit off me if they want it back!

Read more from Archie:

The Steed

This year, Archie has been ride the Cannondale Habit 3

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Cannondale Habit 3 2020 Carbon

Lighter and faster, the Cannondale Habit 3 has proven durability and allows you to conquer the trails in comfort.

  • Frame - BallisTec Carbon front triangle, SmartForm C1 Alloy swingarm
  • Fork - Fox Float Performance 34
  • Shock - Fox Float Performance DPS EVOL
  • Drivetrain - SRAM NX Eagle, 12-speed
  • Brakes - SRAM Guide R hydraulic disc
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Archie-bio-imagearchie-bio

Archie Davies

Instagram: agravityman

Blog: A Gravity Man

Riding a bike started out for me with racing my brother round the patio, to now evolving to regular trips to Wales for all day epics. Mountain biking has been with me for pretty much all my life and so has Rutland Cycling from an early age, fuelling my growing addiction for more bikes and gear.

As the saying goes, all things that go up, must come down, with the down being important. From Downhill to Trail, it’s all about those descents. Keep your fingers off the brakes, pop those jumps and rail those berms. Let’s not kid about, climbing is a means to an end. So be it the sandy berms of Chicksands to the rocky outcrops of Anton Stiniog, it’s time to point the bike downhill and let that adrenaline flow! So, with fatherhood on the horizon I’ve got just enough time to see the sights, ride the bikes and get as much done as possible. Luckily Rutland Cycling are here to assist again in my final push. It’s time to clip in.

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