The Cannondale Habit had a frame geometry that provided a nice handling feel, but was ultimately let down by its suspension performance
Climbing – 3 stars
The Habit felt great climbing on the road, but perhaps underscoring the need to do demos of mountain bikes offroad, was less efficient when on trails. The Habit’s firm pedaling feel on the road likely comes from the moderately high pivot location for the single pivot suspension system. It works great on paved roads and smooth fire roads, but encountering trail obstacles such as when climbing rock ledges results in pedal feedback. Despite the perceived efficiency of the suspension due to the Habit’s firm feel at the pedals, just a bit more extended time on the bike revealed that the Habit required more rider energy for climbing than more efficient suspension designs with less pedal feedback.
Descending - 3 stars
Descending on the Habit was actually not bad with frame geometry promoting a desirable handling feel. The Habit’s weak link was the performance of its suspension. Unlike other 120mm travel bikes that effectively utilize all of their suspension travel, the Habit had a tendency not to want to settle well into its suspension travel. The result is a bike that handles decently well, but tends to get knocked around on rocky decents.
Cornering - 3 stars
Cornering on the Habit generally felt decent, but it tended to get thrown off line by trail obstacles. This characteristic led me to be less confident in cornering hard on this bike especially over rougher terrain.
Summary: The Habit is a bike with reasonably good frame geometry in search of a better working suspension design.
5 stars - Absolutely outstanding
3 stars - Solid performance, meets expectations
1 star - Misses expectations by a wide margin