We took delivery of our long term test Cannondale Trigger 2 29er last week, and the scramble to ride it first caused no end of 'discussion' in the Spoke office. Caleb snuck off before anyone else could get near it, and despite looking like a dog humping a tennis ball on it, he was impressed by the ride. I was presented with a muddy, poorly tuned machine and spent a few hours setting it up to ride the Makara Peak Rally on the weekend. We'll be giving all our testers a run and will have a full review in Issue 52, with updates on site along the way. Here's a quick look over it...
This is where the magic happens. The Fox DYAD pull-shock switches between 80mm and 130mm of travel by utilising twin air chambers and separate rebound settings to fine tune climbing (Elevate) and descending (Flow) characteristics. It works.
The big chunky linkage/pivot arrangement is dubbed ECS-TC and has oversized, clamped thru-axles at the swingarm and main link pivots and double bearings at each end of the seatstays. Stiff is the word here. Direct mount front derailleur and ISCG 03 tabs if you want to run a single or double chainguide.
A 1.5" headtube and integrated headset keep things stout and low up front. The fork is a Fox 34 with CTD damper and 130mm travel. Head angle on the Large frame is 69.5˚, 69 on smaller frames.
BB30 and SRAM 36/22 double ring crankset with bashguard.
X9 10 speed out back, Type 2 derailleur and 11-36 cassette. The WTB ST i23 rims and Schwalbe Hans Dampf 2.35 tyres come ready to set up tubeless, and that's exactly how we're running them now.
Syntace x12 142x12 rear axle provides plenty of stiffness, as do the double bearings at the seatstay. Brakes are Magura M2, post mounted, with 180mm rotors.
The cockpit is all Cannondale SI, 80mm stem, nice and wide 740mm alloy low-rise bars.
The lever to switch between travel modes can be run on either side. We swapped it to the left to accommodate a dropper post lever on the right.
How does it ride? We're pretty impressed with our limited time on it so far. The travel adjust lets the bike climb with a feel that is a lot firmer and lighter than a trail bike of this ilk should. It rips the descents in open mode, and the angles seem spot on for responsive yet stable handling. We need to play around with the shock settings to get it just right though, but even with our hasty setup it works pretty well. We'll get back to you shortly...