Mountain Bike Rider



£3,300 / 29in /

MONTH 1: JD’s got a size XL Habit but can he keep it under control?

The Habit is here because Cannondale had a radical idea that could change bikes forever, especially for taller riders like me. Most suspension layouts are designed around a single size, before the frame is stretched or shrunk to fit a range of people. Cannondale says this idea is flawed because the kinematics of the bike will only work at their best around that original size – taller or shorter riders will essentially get an inferior product.

And so it came up with a way round this, called Proportional Response. Basically it’s a method of tweaking the actual suspension design for each size of bike so it works optimally across the range. And that is a genuinely interesting concept for a tall, skinny guy like me.

We’re in serious danger of getting sucked down a massive rabbit hole of bike design now though, where phrases like anti-squat and pedal kick-back start raining down like cluster bombs of confusion. Before that happens, I need to introduce the bike properly: it has 29in wheels, there’s 140mm of travel up front and 130mm at the back, and a lovely carbon frame. Right, that’ll do, back to the tech.

OK, there’s just space for a little more about the basics of the bike. You can get the Habit in aluminium, but I’ve gone for the basic carbon version, which actually has an alloy back end, internal cable routing and space for a bottle

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