In our 2024 trail bike comparison test, the Cannondale Habit LT 1 takes on the competition with a humble, unpretentious spec, proving that even the most budget-friendly bike in this test can still put a massive grin on your face out on the trail.

Cannondale Habit LT 1 | 150/140 mm (f/r)
14.3 kg in size L | € 5,999 | Manufacturer’s website

The LT variant of Cannondale’s Habit trail bike is aimed at riders who also want to push themselves on more technical trails from time to time. Generating 150/140 mm of travel, it has 10 mm more travel than the conventional Habit, both at the front and rear. However, both variants share the exact same frame platform, meaning that you could theoretically convert a Habit LT to a shorter-travel trail bike by just swapping the suspension components. With their proprietary Proportional Response System, Cannondale adapt both the geometry and suspension kinematics of the bike to the respective frame size to ensure consistent handling across all sizes – awesome! Retailing at € 5,999, the 14.3 kg Habit LT doesn’t care about bling, but this isn’t a problem, because the components promise an excellent trail performance.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best trail bike 2024 – 15 of the most exciting trail bikes in our 2024 comparison test

The Cannondale 2023 Habit LT 1 in detail

The Cannondale takes on the competition with an elegant, understated look, which is rounded off by a matt white paint finish, with grey accents on the head tube. A tool mount on the top tube allows you to attach a spare inner tube, pump or other trail essentials directly to the frame using Cannondale’s proprietary StrapRack. A small mudguard above the main pivot point stops rocks and debris from getting stuck between the frame and swingarm, while a chainstay protector prevents paint chips and chain slap. The cables are routed internally and disappear into the frame on the side of the head tube. Although Cannondale forgo cable clamps in the ports, the Habit is pleasantly quiet on the trail. The down tube protector can be removed to access the cables.

The spec of the 2023 Cannondale Habit LT 1

For the spec of the Habit LT 1, Cannondale rely on functional components rather than bling. These include a RockShox Lyrik Select+ fork, which relies on the same top-tier Charger 3.0 damper as the Ultimate flagship model, but only lacks the ButterCups elastomers. A matching RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ air shock controls 140 mm of travel at the rear. Shifting is taken care of by a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, which is the one of only a few mechanical drivetrains in the whole test – we’re very fond of SRAM’s classic GX drivetrain and wouldn’t change anything about it. At 170 mm, Cannondale’s in-house DownLow dropper post offers a decent amount of travel for a trail bike, and the big 200 mm brake rotors are pretty impressive too. However, these are paired with SRAM’s entry-level Code R brakes, which forgo both the tool-free lever reach adjustment and SRAM’s proprietary SwingLink technology, and thus require more strength to squeeze the lever, leading to arm pump a lot faster. While Cannondale rely on 800 mm HollowGram SAVE carbon handlebars, a pair of alloy handlebars would have done just fine and allowed them to spend a little bit more money on more crucial components, like better brakes or wheels. Instead, Cannondale employ a cheap WTB KOM Trail i30 alloy wheelset, which worked fine in this test but has given us some trouble in the past, denting far too easily with impacts and forcing us to stop mid ride to tighten the spokes. For the tires, Cannondale rely on MAXXIS, combining a Minion DHF at the front with a DISSECTOR at the rear, both in the EXO+ casing and harder MaxxTerra rubber compound. We recommend upgrading the front tire to a model with the softer MaxxGrip rubber compound.

With the spec of the Habit LT 1, Cannondale focused on trail performance rather than bling.

Finger workout
The entry-level CODE R brakes forgo SRAM’s proprietary Swinglink technology, requiring more finger strength when braking.
All inclusive
The Habit LT comes standard with a tool strap, which allows you to attach all your trail essentials directly to the frame.
A small mudguard above the main pivot point prevent rocks and flying debris from getting stuck between the frame and swingarm.
Money badly spent
Using carbon handlebars on a budget friendly bike like the Habit LT 1 doesn’t make sense. Alloy handlebars work just fine and leave some spare money to invest in more important things.
Nearly-ultimate performance
While the Habit LT’s Lyrik Select+ fork might not be Rockshox’s flagship model, it features the same top-tier Charger 3 damper.

Cannondale Habit LT 1

€ 5,999


Fork RockShox Lyrik Select+ 150 mm
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ 140 mm
Seatpost Cannondale DownLow 170 mm
Brakes SRAM CODE R 200/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM GX Eagle 1x12
Stem Cannondale 40 mm
Handlebar HollowGram SAVE Carbon 800 mm
Wheelset WTB KOM Trail i30 Alu 29"
Tires MAXXIS DHF, EXO+, MaxxTerra/MAXXIS DISSECTOR, EXO+, MaxxTerra 2.4"/2.4"

Technical Data

Size XS S M L XL
Weight 14.3 kg

Specific Features


Tuning tip: Tires with softer MaxxGrip rubber compound at the front

Helmet Cannondale Terrus | Glasses Delayon Line Tracer | Jacket POC Motion Rain Jacket
Shorts POC Velocity Shorts | Kneepad POC Joint VPD
Shoes Crankbrothers Mallet Speedlace | Socks Stance

The geometry of the 2023 Cannondale Habit LT

The Habit LT is available in five sizes, XS to XL, whereby the smallest frame rolls on 27.5″ wheels. Our test bike in size L combines 475 mm reach and a pleasantly short 445 mm seat tube, which ensures plenty of freedom of movement on the trail. Chainstay length is 434 mm in frame size XS, 435 mm in S and M, and grows by another 5 mm for sizes L and XL. Furthermore, the size-specific geometry is complemented by size-specific shock tunes, which is a rare yet incredibly clever detail, as taller riders are usually also heavier, thus requiring different damping settings.

Size XS S M L XL
Top tube 527 mm 563 mm 590 mm 617 mm 654 mm
Seat tube 360 mm 380 mm 400 mm 445 mm 500 mm
Head tube 100 mm 110 mm 120 mm 130 mm 140 mm
Head angle 64.7° 64.7° 64.7° 64.7° 64.7°
Seat angle 77.0° 77.1° 77.1° 77.1° 77.1°
Chainstays 434 mm 435 mm 435 mm 440 mm 445 mm
BB Drop 13 mm 34 mm 34 mm 34 mm 34 mm
Wheelbase 1,132 mm 1,174 mm 1,203 mm 1,237 mm 1,281 mm
Reach 400 mm 425 mm 450 mm 475 mm 510 mm
Stack 578 mm 626 mm 635 mm 644 mm 653 mm

The 2023 Cannondale Habit LT 1 on the trail

As soon as you swing your leg over the saddle, the Cannondale Habit LT 1 feels just as subtle as it looks, placing you in a comfortable, central pedalling position. When riding on level ground, it doesn’t put pressure on your hands and yet the front wheel always remains planted on the ground, keeping the front wheel tracking efficiently even when you hit a steep climb. It’s not all perfect uphill though, as the rear end bobs noticeably, requiring you to reach for the climb switch for long, monotonous drags.

On the trail, the Habit LT 1 feels reassuringly balanced and strikes an excellent balance between composure and agility.

When gravity takes over, the Habit makes you feel at ease from the get-go, but requires you to actively weight the front wheel to keep it tracking, especially in flat corners – a softer rubber compound for the front tire would really help with this! The suspension comfortably handles whatever you might throw at it, and provides an excellent balance between support and traction, negotiating even nasty huck-to-flats without blowing through the travel. Whether you’re cruising down flow trails with berms and jumps, or tackling techy singletrack with rocks and roots, the Habit’s suspension works efficiently in all situations. The handling strikes an excellent balance between agility and composure, making the Habit LT suitable for a wide range of applications, whether you’re ploughing your way back down into the valley through nasty rock gardens or flicking the rear end around tight corners. Overall, the Habit is a trusted, fun companion for all sorts of trails, and actively encourages you to play with the terrain.

Who should take a closer look at the 2023 Cannondale Habit LT 1?

Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned trail hog, everyone has fun with the Cannondale Habit LT 1! The intuitive handling makes it easy to ride and lets you do exactly what you want to do. Flicking the rear end around corners, carving through berms or gapping obstacles? The Habit will do it! And the best thing? It won’t empty your bank account like some other bikes in this test do!



  1. sluggish
  2. efficient


  1. cumbersome
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. confident


  1. demanding
  2. balanced


  1. harsh
  2. plush


  1. planted
  2. poppy


  1. terrible
  2. very good


Cross Country




Our conclusions about the 2023 Cannondale Habit LT 1

The Cannondale Habitat LT 1 takes on whatever you throw at it. The price-friendly spec is cleverly chosen and perfectly matches the bike’s potential and range of applications – save for a few minor upgrades. The Habit LT 1 delivers an excellent performance on the trail, impressing above all with its well-tuned rear suspension. The intuitive handling strikes a good balance between composure and agility, ensuring lots of fun on the trail without reaching its limits on demanding trails.


  • Excellent price/performance ratio
  • Balanced handling on the trail
  • Good all-rounder


  • Requires you to actively weight the front end to generate traction in open corners

You can find out more about at

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best trail bike 2024 – 15 of the most exciting trail bikes in our 2024 comparison test

All bikes in test: Cannondale Habit LT 1 | Cube ONE55 C:62 SLT 29 (Click for review) | Ghost RIOT Trail Full Party (Click for review) | Merida ONE-FORTY 10K (Click for review) | Mondraker Neat RR SL (Click for review) | Nicolai Saturn 14 Swift HRZ (Click for review) | Orbea Occam LT M10 (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Heckler SL XX AXS RSV (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Hightower X0 AXS RSV (Click for review) | Scor 2030 X01 (Click for review) | SCOTT Genius ST 900 Tuned (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL (Click for review) | Trek Fuel EX 9.9 X0 AXS T-Type (Click for review) | Yeti SB140 LR T3 X0 (Click for review) | YT JEFFSY CORE 5 CF (Click for review)

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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Peter Walker

About the author

Simon Kohler

​​Simon loves speed. He has many years of racing experience as a longboard downhill skater, blasting down alpine passes on his board. In the meantime, he’s swapped four wheels for two, charging down trails and bike park lines aboard his mountain bike instead. He’s savoured some of Europe’s finest trails on various road trips through the Alps. Having lived in Austria for some time, he knows the local Austrian bike parks like the back of his hand. He’s a tech nerd through and through, using the skills and know-how from his engineering degree and his attention to detail to put the latest bikes and components through their paces for our reviews. As an early riser and self-declared muesli connoisseur, he lives his life powered by oats and the strength of his legs.