Efficient, versatile and fun; they’re the culmination of these terms. Even once you think they’re at their limit in terms of capabilities; they’ve got more in reserve. So why are they still overshadowed by enduro bikes? We’re talking trail bikes, the true workhorses of the mountain bike world. Whether it’s for a quick blast after work or back-to-back hard days crossing the Alps, the spectrum for these bikes is huge and that’s exactly why they’re often to go-to bike for people looking for the perfect all-rounder. We took eight of the most exciting trail bikes for 2015 to France and put them through their paces under the beating hot sun. While you’ve got to wait until issue #016 of ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine for the results, here’s a sneak preview of our trip, the tests and the first impressions of the Cannondale Trigger Carbon 2.

Im Rahmen unseres Trailbiketests in Südfrankreich fühlten wir den Trigger Carbon 2 auf den Zahn.
We explored the limits of this unique bike in Southern France.
DIe Lefty-Gabel und der Pull-Shock-Dämpfer prägen die unverkennbare Optik des Trigger.
The Pull-Shock and Lefty-Fork are integral to the unique aesthetic of the Trigger.

Everything but normal: the Cannondale Trigger Carbon 2 immediately commandeers your attention with its striking appearance: the black and red colour scheme, lefty fork, good lines and the Dyad RT2 pull shock. Completely revamped for 2015, this fully with 140mm travel has been able to do away with a rear pivot thanks to its flexible seat stay, which doesn’t only look good but also increases rigidity and should save weight. Having set our test bike up with Nobby Nic tyres, weighing 200 grams less than the stock tyres, the bike totaled at 12.65kg, placing it somewhere in the middle of the test field. We tested the Trigger along with seven other bikes in Southern France. This is just our first impression of the bike. Stay tuned for the whole group test in issue #016 of ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine.

Neither super compact nor excessively long and flat, the geometry hints that it could be a perfect all-round… The handlebar-mounted remote that controls the Fox Dyad rear shock lets you adjust between 140 or 85mm of travel, and combined with the Shimano XT 2×10 drivetrain, the Trigger should be a capable climber, unafraid of even the steepest slopes. But whether this concept will take, read more in issue #016.

Der Dyad RT2-Dämpfer lässt sich vom Lenker aus von 140 mm auf 85 mm Federweg reduzieren und bietet separate Zugstufen-Einstellmöglichkeiten der beiden Positionen für maximale Traktion bergauf und -ab.
The Dyad RT2 rear shock can be adjusted from the handlebars to either 140mm and 85mm travel and each setting also presents its own choice of air pressures and different sets of rebound speed so you can ensure maximal traction on both ascents and descents.
Elegant und ungewöhlich – Die Lefty SuperMax. Servicefreundlich verlaufen alle Züge unter dem Unterrohr.
Tidy and a touch unusual – The Lefty SuperMax. The cables run tidily under the downtube making it easy to service.
Lediglich die Ansteuerung für den Dämpfer verschwindet im Rahmen. Schön: ein aufklebter Bumper schützt den Rahmen.
It’s just the cable for the rear shock that disappears into the frame. Nice: the extra bumper that has been stuck on provides some more protection for the frame.

Price: 4,599 € | Weight: 12.85 kg | Wheel size: 27.5” | Frame size: M | Travel f/r: 140/140 mm | Toptube effective: 589 mm | Wheelbase: 1,151 mm | Head angle: 68,0° | Seat angle: 73,5° | Reach: 427 mm | Stack: 576 mm

For more information visit www.cannondale.com

The Test

These are exactly the sorts of bikes we’ve tested in this group test. And just like the previous group test, we chose not to order specific bikes from the manufacturers. Instead, we gave them the test criteria and left the decision up to them.

“In this group test we want get to grips with the real workhorses of the riding world. The bike should be as versatile as possible, guaranteeing a fun ride on virtually any type of trail, whether it’s the post-work blast or a multi-day Alpine ride,” was the message given in the briefing.

Die Bikes sind bereit für den Test.
The Bikes ready for testing.

For the travel, we settled on between 120 and 150 mm, and we opted for a price range of

€ 3,500–4,500. To improve their bike’s performance, companies had the freedom to alter the spec – this was restricted to small(ish) details that any dealer could adjust for the customer before they buy the bike. This included, but wasn’t limited to: the cockpit, the wheels and the option of a dropper seatpost.

The Bikes:

Cannondale Trigger Carbon 2 | Canyon Spectral CF 9.0 EX | CUBE Stereo 140 Super HPC Race | GIANT Trance Advanced 1 | Scott Genius 710 | Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Carbon | Rose Root Miller 3 | Rotwild R.Q1 FS

As we mentioned earlier, we’d chosen bikes that were all-rounders, ones that would be regularly confronted with diverse terrain on which it would have to continuously prove its worth. These eight candidates accompanied us to Provence, France. It wasn’t just long rides on the agenda either – we’d also scouted out a secret spot with some pretty demanding jumps. This is where their limits would be pushed. But, it should be mentioned that not every bike is primed for such tasks – if in doubt, check the manufacturer’s authorisation.

Over the coming weeks we’ll introduce you in more detail to the individual bikes on our website. However, the results will only be revealed in issue #016 of ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine. Until then, have fun reading the current issue. As always, it’s available digitally at no cost for tablets, iPhones and on our online viewer.

Words: Christoph Bayer, Andreas Maschke Photos: Christoph Bayer

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