These days, it’s impossible to know when the words “mountain bike” appear next to one another whether it means a svelte carbon XC racer or something more akin to a motorcycle sans-powerplant. Both are equally deserving of the title, but there was a time when a hardtail mountain bike was the only option. Back then, somehow riders still made it to the bottom of the hill.
Cannondale hardtail mountain bikes honour the proud tradition of front-squish only with the clean lines razor sharp feedback only a hardtail can deliver. Even downhill racers will tell you that if you want to improve your technique and line choice, there’s no better bike to do it on than a hardtail.
Being a beginning mountain biker can be frustrating, particularly if your equipment continuously lets you down. The Cannondale Trail SL 1, however, is a complete package designed to unlock the sport of mountain biking to new riders by giving them the quality equipment needed to inspire confidence.
What equipment might that be? For starters, there are Shimano Deore hydraulic disc brakes — it cannot be overstated how nice it is to have a reliable, powerful set of brakes when you’re learning to ride. Shimano builds some of the industries best. Because they come from a world leader, you’ll have no trouble getting them serviced at any local bike mechanic.
Of course, hitting the binders isn’t the answer to everything. Experienced riders will tell you that braking less will better allow your bike to roll over obstacles. Once you figure this out, you’ll need a quality front fork such as the Rockshox Reba RL Solo Air that comes standard on the Cannondale Trail SL 1. Easy to adjust by adding or removing air pressure, the Reba RL can be locked out to stiffen your bikes front end, allowing full power transfer on tough climbs.
Not everyone who takes to the trails on a hardtail is a beginner. Cannondale’s hardtail mountain bike for the competitive crowd is the F29. It features the purposeful, austere lines of a true racing hardtail and delivers the performance to back it up.
Like any XC racer worth its salt, the Cannondale F29 features full carbon construction both in its frame and front suspension. Entry-level versions can be purchased with an optimised alloy frame.
The F29s frame is moulded from the same BallisTec composite you’ll find on more aggressive Cannondale mountain bikes, such as the Scalpel and Jekyll. For even more trail compliance than your standard carbon hardtail, it uses Cannondale’s proprietary SPEED SAVE chain stays, which allow the rear tyre to track the trail more precisely.
The parts spec on the F29 is truly race-ready. Even lower-tier models receive Shimano HollowTech cranks and lightweight Cannondale Lefty front suspension. Upgraded models receive the composite Lefty and feature 29x2.1-inch tubeless racing tyres mounted to Stan’s rims, so even if you happen not to make the brightest line choice, you can roll away and stay in front.
Find the perfect Cannondale hardtail mountain bikes for you on BikeExchange today.