Fast and flowing, steep and stony, dust-covered or ravaged with roots, constant switchbacks, tearing along a ridge, or in the deepest, darkest jungle of trees – waterlogged or bone dry – the trails of this world are almost as limitless as the universe, and that’s exactly why we mountain bikers love them. This group test set out to determine the perfect bike for all of these challenges that any ride might encounter – and the results are in! Check out ENDURO issue #016 for the full grouptest and all results!

Bloody hell, is that a Ferrari?! While the Cannondale’s striking and super-stylish design might lead you to wonder, it’s the flash red finish that seals the deal. As the latest model from Cannondale’s OverMountain line, the Trigger 27.5 Carbon 2 demands a closer look due to its fiery-red paint and distinctive look.

Ein Blickfang: Das Cannondale Trigger Carbon 2.
The Cannondale Trigger Carbon 2.
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The FOX Dyad RT2 pull-shock is at the core of this bike, and is responsible for the controversial label of OverMountain. The multi-chambered shock can be altered from a remote on your bars to adjust not only the travel, but also the geometry of the whole bike – prompting Cannondale to announce that they’ve essentially created two bikes in one.

Mithilfe des FOX Dyad RT2-Dämpfers lassen sich sowohl der Federweg als auch die Geometrie und Kinematik des Triggers verstellen. Gerade bei langen Uphills wussten die Tester das effektive Fahrwerk zu schätzen.
Thanks to the FOX Dyad RT2 pull-shock, the Trigger can be optimally adjusted between two modes, Elevate and Flow, which alter the travel and geometry. On long, thankless climbs, our test rider was definitely thankful for this feature.

For our tests, we received the Trigger in size medium. With a reach of 427mm, our 180cm rider appreciated the compact and upright position. On climbs, the bike remained glued to the ground, and with the rear reduced to the 85mm ‘Elevate’ mode for climbing, your job becomes even easier.

Der Hub der KS LEV Integra-Sattelstütze ist mit 100 mm recht kurz, was man besonders in steilen Passagen als störend wahrnimmt. Mehr Hub sorgt hier für mehr Sicherheit. Mindestens 125 mm sind Pflicht!
With only 100mm adjustment for the KS LEV Integra dropper, you’ll find yourself frustrated on steep ground. More drop means more stability – at least 125mm should be mandatory!

The spec is definitely convincing. The SRAM derailleurs and crankset and the Shimano shifters are just as reliable as the stock Mavic Crossroc wheels and the proven Shimano XT brakes. One minor criticism would be directed towards the 100mm KS LEV Integra dropper post; its adjustment is somewhat lacking, and it didn’t always deliver optimal performance.

Auch wenn die Cannondale Lefty mittlerweile ein echter Klassiker im Bike-Bereich ist, sorgt ihre eigenständige Optik nach wie vor für Aufmerksamkeit und gespaltene Meinungen. Bedenken sind aber unbegründet. Unser Testmodell überzeugt mit einer sehr guten Steifigkeit und hoher Lenkpräzision.
Even though the Cannondale Lefty is becoming a classic, its distinctive look still raises eyebrows and splits opinion. But trust us, the doubts are unfounded. Our test model was brilliant, with great rigidity and high steering precision.

Just like the rear shock, the Lefty SuperMax 140mm-travel fork is one of Cannondale’s trump products, as its one-armed inverted construction adds to the bike’s already pretty standout nature. When it comes to steering precision and handling, the rigid yet sensitive Lefty gives no cause for complaint, although more aggressive riders might yearn for more a progressive spring rate and more defined compression damping. Particularly when braking – and on steep terrain – the fork’s travel is significant. Generally agile and playful on the trails, there’s a touch of stability amiss when you’re riding at high speeds.

Our tip: if you’re a fan of hard and fast, opt for a larger frame size or the Trigger’s elder brother, the Jekyll.

Die Züge verlaufen gebündelt am Unterrohr des Triggers, was die Wartung deutlich vereinfacht. Selberschrauber werden sich freuen!
The cables run together along the Trigger’s downtube, making it super-easy to service. Maintenance fanatics will be pleased!


If understatement is one of your principles, then avoid both Ferraris and this Cannondale Trigger Carbon 2 – they’re both attention-seekers at their best. Unlike the racing car, the 4,600€ bike offers extremely agile and playful handling on tight switchbacks and high-speed cornering sections, but it’s noticeably less at home when the speedometer soars.

Mit dem Cannondale Trigger hatten wir viel Spaß auf den Trails in Südfrankreich.
We had a lot of fun on the awesome tracks in the South of France.


  • Agile and nimble handling
  • Efficient suspension
  • Super-cool aesthetics


  • Nervous at high speeds
  • Too little adjustment for the dropper post
  • Relatively expensive


Forks: Lefty Supermax
Rear Shock: Fox DYAD RT2
Drivetrain: Shimano XT
Brakes: Shimano XT 180/160
Seatpost: KS Lev Integra
Stem: Cannondale C1 65 mm
Handlebar: Cannondale C1 Carbon 740 mm
Tire: Mavic Crossroc 2.2/Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.5
Wheels: Mavic Crossroc 27.5 WTS
Weight: 12,85 kg
Price: 4.599 €


All bikes from the test: CUBE Stereo 140 Super HPC RACE 27.5 | Giant Trance Advanced 1 | ROSE ROOT MILLER 3 | ROTWILD R.Q1 FS 27.5 | SCOTT Genius 710 | Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Carbon 29 | Cannondale Trigger Carbon 2

Words & Pictures: Christoph Bayer

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About the author

Aaron Steinke

Aaron was our first employee and actively helped make our company what it is today, significantly shaping the look and direction of our various magazines. Aaron has been pursuing his own projects since mid-2020 but he continues to advise and support us on issues of marketing and technology. For many years, you would usually have found Aaron at casual enduro races, but increasingly you'll find him riding his road bike – long live freedom on two wheels!