First ride review of the 2024 Cannondale Moterra SL1 – When is a light eMTB a light eMTB?

Wearing brass knuckles to a boxing match? The new Cannondale Moterra SL enters the ring of “light” eMTBs, but heavily armed! The lightweight eMTB weighs in at under 20 kg, though with a full-power Shimano EP801 motor and 601 Wh battery. We revisit the “light” eMTB discussion, and put the € 9,999 Moterra SL1 to the test.

Cannondale Moterra SL 1 | Shimano EP801/601 Wh | 160/150 mm (f/r)
20.08 kg in size L | € 9,999 | Manufacturer’s website

Cannondale are out to set a new eMTB record with their 2024 Moterra SL, tipping the scales at just 19.3 kg in the lightest version. And that’s with at least 85 Nm and a 600 Wh capacity. We’re yet to find anything as light with that kind of power. This is due to the fact that Cannondale rely on the full-power Shimano EP801 motor, paired with a 601 Wh battery. The motor system is housed in a full-carbon frame, offering 160/150 mm travel (f/r), and rolling on a mullet wheel setup. We put it to the test.

To read the full review head over to our sister magazine E-MOUNTAINBIKE!

If you want a light-assist eMTB, you can always change the support mode, but you can’t just make a bike lighter.

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Words: Julian Schwede Photos: Salva Moreno; Kike Abelleira; Julian Schwede

About the author

Julian Schwede

Juli is used to dealing with big rigs. Besides working on his bike, he also tinkered and worked on buses after completing his training as a vehicle mechatronics engineer. Since the development of large-scale electric motors was too slow for him, he went on to study technical business administration while building carbon fibre tables on the side. Though his DJ bike is welded from thick aluminium tubes, his full-susser is made of carbon and it's already taken him to the top of numerous summits. Apart from biking, he likes climbing via ferratas or vertically on the wall. Nowadays, his personal bike gets ridden less as he tests the bikes that get sent to us, pushing them to their limits to see what they're capable of. In addition to bike reviews, Juli also takes care of the daily news and thinks of himself as the Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent.