Is Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 Worth Buying? [Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 Review]

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Cannondale Habit Carbon 3

  • Price: $4499
  • Frame: Carbon front and Aluminum rear
  • Stroke: 130mm rear, 140mm front
  • Tires: 29×2.5″
  • Gear: 1×12

What we like about it: Rock-solid lifetime warranty framework, high-cost performance for most people.

What we don’t like about it: There are only a few paint choices, making it difficult to meet more people’s choice of paint.

Rating (4.6/5)

2022 Cannondale Habit Carbon 3

Former DH World Cup rider Josh Bryceland had a great career with Cannondale habit. The Cannondale habit series is a classic in the Cannondale brand. The Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 is a powerful and relatively affordable mid-range carbon trail bike. It even has a special version for women riders.

After my months-long riding experience with the Cannondale Habit Carbon 3, I can feel its excellent performance for descending. It can handle the steep surfaces and large rocks it faces when dropping fast very well.

Below we analysis the climbing performance, descent performance, key features, components, and specifications of the Cannondale Habit Carbon 3, as well as other versions.

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Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 Climbing Performance

Cannondale Habit Carbon 3

Usually, there is an inherent impression that full suspension frames are difficult to get good climbing results. They are more often used on descending trails. But the Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 with its four-link suspension linkage is excellent. I felt the support it gave me when pedaling fast uphill. When climbing I usually turn the compression switch on the shock to Climb mode for climbing.

Especially on slick surfaces, the active suspension prevents the tires from loosening up against the ground.

The Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 didn’t take much time to get used to when climbing, and I was surprised at how efficiently it pedaled on the climbs. I found that it kept my center of gravity high throughout the ride and that the rear shock system didn’t drop too much on fast climbs in time.

In addition, the SRAM GX derailleur provides good shifting performance and great range through the 11-50t freewheel with a 30t cassette. When the riding section changed from flat to uphill, the dense gear ratios allowed me to ride without even feeling the stutter created by the shifting, which was enjoyable.

The Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 climbs moderately high grades and smooth trails very well. Only when the trails get very steep and tight does it become slightly strenuous. But there’s no doubt that it’s not the best tool for climbing when contrasted with a hardtail frame.

Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 Descending Performance

Cannondale Habit Carbon 3

The Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 packs a punch when facing downhill on a medium to a long-distance trail bike. And speed is a great companion for the Cannondale Habit Carbon 3.

On the Bellingham ride, I found that the powerful aggression at high speeds allowed it to skim freely through fast and smooth trails. And it can also descend as steadily as most touring bikes. This is due to the short (130mm) rear tire travel.

As you can see, the Maxxis rubber tires, which are wide in the front and narrow in the back, provide better stability when descending. It gave me great peace of mind as it quickly raced down the hill. Because we know through experience that the 2.5 front and 2.3 rear size is the right choice for a full suspension speedster configuration.

Not only that, the flip chip gives the Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 a more flexible adjustment angle. Up to 0.5° adjustable angle of head tube and seat tube. There is also a 6mm BB adjustable height, which can make it more suitable for each person belonging to their riding position.

And compared to the price, the Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 has very strong component specifications. It performs particularly well when it comes down.

I was able to negotiate the rocky descents with ease thanks to the soft feel of the Fox Float Performance 34 fork, which is adjustable in height.

And I was able to get stable control of my body after landing, which I think is due to the Float Performance DPS rear shock. The right amount of cushioning travel allows it to give me a comfortable and controlled landing.

For those who may not have noticed, Cannondale’s 150mm DownLow dropper is also an integral part of the downhill cushioning. It allows me to adjust my seat tube height at the right time as I ride through the woods.

Main Features


2022 Cannondale Habit Carbon 3

There’s no denying that the full suspension frame makes it particularly good on downhills. It can handle rough and difficult-to-leap tight sections with ease. Certainly, the frame of Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 is a frame that has been concentrated into the heart and soul of Cannondale. And the entire frame uses the very popular internal alignment design. Even after a very crazy mud ride will be very easy to clean.

Further, the rear fork and the lower tube with a protective piece to protect the frame and paint are not easily damaged. And designed with a mounting hole for the installation of a water bottle cage.

The Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 is made of Cannondale’s BallisTec carbon in the front and SmartForm C1 alloy in the rear triangle. This rear end has an “Ai” (asymmetrically integrated) offset that pushes the drivetrain on the bike outward for an offset that slightly improves the triangulation of the rear tire spokes. So we were shocked at the carbon frame of the Cannondale Habit Carbon 3. Obviously, it makes a good trade-off between cost and lightness.


Of course, the more modern geometric design does make it easy to descend without being prone to error. This is a very important point. Obviously, the use of a longer wheelbase (1210mm) improves stability at speed and ensures that it doesn’t get unwieldy on the flat. Moreover, the longer forward reach (460mm) makes it more comfortable on long rides or into jagged rocks, allowing me to maintain a stretched-out position and a lower bottom bracket (339mm). Typically, the smaller head tube angle (66°) and shortened rear lower fork (435mm) allow for more fun, lighter bouncing moves between the rocks, making it easier to do more tricks.

Components and Specifications

SRAM GX Eagle/SRAM NX Eagle 1×12 Drivetrain

SRAM GX Eagle/SRAM NX Eagle 1×12 Drivetrain

The rear derailleur is undoubtedly the most important and most frequently used position in the drivetrain. The Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 gives the rear derailleur a higher-end GX kit to provide a better riding experience. The rest of the bike uses the mid to high-end NX kit.

It is worth mentioning that all Eagle series discs are equipped with a DUB center shaft and direct mount discs. The X-Sync tooth profile is optimized for 12-speed chains, which greatly reduces the problem of chain drop during shifting at high speeds.

SRAM Guide R Hydraulic Discs

As you know, SRAM Guide R hydraulic discs are heavily featured in full-suspension mountain bikes in the same price range. Its braking performance feels strong enough to me and the leverage feels good.

It can be said that the SRAM Guide R is a very durable and solid brake. However, it has to be said that the brakes need to be bled frequently and sometimes there is some contamination when opening them, resulting in a decrease in brake performance.

Maxxis Tires

Maxxis Tires

The Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 uses Maxxis Minion DHF 29 x 2.5″ WT in front and Maxxis High Roller II 29 x 2.3″ in the rear. Undoubtedly, it uses different tire configurations for the front and rear. The thicker front tire gives it increased speed, better traction, support, and stable handling when descending.

Also, the puncture protection of the EXO gave me great self-confidence when slamming down at heights up to 9 feet. The tires are more durable and can handle sharp gravel with ease. The vacuum tires on the front and rear also make the tires easier to maintain while riding and less prone to flat tire dilemmas while improving lightweight.

Performance DPS Shock Absorbers

As I tested, the 130mm of cushioning travel in the rear provided a nice descending experience for the Cannondale Habit Carbon 3. Its rear cushion travel felt far greater than the 130mm labeled when I rode it, and the ride made it feel like a very stable bike. The proportional response suspension can deliver good results.

Overall, there is good adaptability over smaller bumps and good support over medium strokes. In addition, there was again enough progression in the depth of the stroke to allow me to handle the next challenging section with ease. The excellent damping makes me especially proud at high speeds, as it seems to feel more stable the faster I ride. One more thing, the 150mm DownLow dropper also plays a nice role in the ride.

Fox Float Performance 34 Front Fork

x Float Performance 34 Front Fork

I can confidently say that the Fox Performance Float 34 fork is the lightest and stiffest iteration to date compared to its predecessor. It has been redesigned to meet modern lightweight riding needs by keeping the stiffness and strength while making the tubing as light and thin as possible.

Meanwhile, the Fox 34’s arch design is more compatible with forest road bikes like the Cannondale Habit Carbon 3, with the addition of lower bypass channels with air and oil. This improvement prevents the unintended consequences of rising pressures.

Elsewhere, the Fox 34 upgrades the negative air spring to make the fork more conducive to compression at the start of the travel. Fox says it also facilitates travel support and improves maximum sensitivity.

Other versions of Cannondale Habit Carbon

2022 Cannondale Habit 4

We reviewed the frame of the Cannondale Habit Carbon 3. After really getting our hands on the SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain, we got a good feel for its dense, compact shifting and reassuring cushioning. It has a considerable advantage in both ascent and descent.

To that end, we looked up the Cannondale Habit 4, a cheaper iteration of the Cannondale Habit Carbon 3. Both the fork and drivetrain use more affordable components, while the frame is made of all aluminum. I believe that to meet the demand of more consumers for affordable bikes, it may be difficult to find a full-suspension mountain bike as cost-effective as the Cannondale Habit Carbon 3.

What we like about it?

  1. More affordable price.
  2. Flip chip, which can adjust the geometry.
  3. Ai offset rear tire, improve the triangulation of rear tire spokes.
  4. Integrated downtube and rear lower fork protection.
  5. All sizes from S-XL are available, and special models are designed for women.

What we don’t like about it?

  1. Heavyweight compared to a full carbon frame.
  2. Looser seat tube angle.


  1. Can I ride the Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 on the road during the week?

The Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 is certainly up to the task, whether it’s forest road gravel or city roads. While it may not be as fast as a road bike, there is no difference between them in terms of comfort.

2. What brand of tires are they for the Cannondale Habit Carbon 3? What are the sizes?

Both front and rear tires are Maxxis branded, the front tire is Maxxis Minion DHF EXO 2.5″ WT and the rear tire is Maxxis High Roller EXO 2.3″.

3. Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 is suitable for which heights?

The sizing chart for the Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 is as follows.

(These sizes are only general guidelines, and the true fit may vary from person to person. The easiest way to find your size is the best way to go for a test ride)

Rider height (cm) Rider height (inches) Frame size
148cm – 158cm 4’10” – 5’2″ XS
158cm – 168cm 5’2″ – 5’6″ S
168cm – 178cm 5’6″ – 5′ 10″ M
178cm – 185cm 5’10” – 6’1″ L
185cm – 193cm 6’1″ – 6’4″ XL
193cm – 198cm 6’4″ – 6’6″ XXL

Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 SPECS


Frame 130mm travel, BallisTec Carbon front triangle, SmartForm C1 Alloy swingarm, Proportional Response Tuned, Ai offset drivetrain, ISCG05, PF30, Post mount brake, tapered headtube 
BB Standard: PF30, 83mm, Press Fit 
Color: Emerald
Fork Fox Float Performance 34, 140mm, Grip Damper, Sweep adj., 15×110, tapered steerer, 51mm offset
Rear Shock Fox Float Performance DPS EVOL, 3-Pos adj.
Bottom Bracket SRAM DUB PF30 MTB83
Headset Integrated, 1-1/8 to 1.5″, sealed angular contact bearings
Stem Cannondale 3, 3D Forged 6061 Alloy, 1-1/8″, 31.8, 0°
Handlebar Cannondale 3 Riser, 6061 Alloy, 15mm rise, 8° sweep, 4° rise, 780mm
Saddle Fabric Scoop Shallow Sport, steel rails
Seatpost Cannondale DownLow Dropper, internal routing, 31.6, 125mm (S), 150mm (M-XL)
Pedals Not Included
Grips Fabric Funguy Locking Grips


Rims Stan’s NoTubes ARCH S1, 32h, tubeless ready
Spokes DT Swiss Champion
Front Hub (F) Formula 15×110
Rear Hub (R) Formula 12×148 w/ HG driver 12×148
Tires (F) Maxxis Minion DHF 29 x 2.5″ WT, Dual compound, EXO puncture protection, tubeless ready(R) Maxxis High Roller II 29 x 2.3″, Dual compound, EXO puncture protection, tubeless ready protection, tubeless ready


Rear Derailleur SRAM GX Eagle
Crank Truvativ Stylo 6K DUB, 30T, Ai offset
Shifters SRAM NX Eagle, 12-speed
Cassette SRAM PG-1230, NX Eagle, 11-50, 12-speed
Chain SRAM NX Eagle, 12-speed
Brakes SRAM Guide R hydro disc, 180/180mm Centerline rotors
Brake Levers SRAM Guide R hydro disc


Comparison Table

Bicycles Price Drivetrain Brakes Tires Click view
Trek Top Fuel 9.7 $4499 1×12 Shimano Hydraulic disc 29″ x 2.4″ Click View
Ibis Ripmo AF NGX $4299 1×12 SRAM G2 R, Hydraulic disc 29″ x 2.5″ Click View
Marin Rift Zone 29″ Carbon 2 $4379 1×12 Shimano SLX, Hydraulic disc 29″ x 2.5″ Click View
Liv Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 3 $4300 1×12 Shimano BR-MT420, Hydraulic disc 29″ x 2.5″ Click View

Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 VS Trek Top Fuel 9.7

2023 Trek Top Fuel 9.7

Cannondale and Trek are undoubtedly the strongest matchups between the big names. Compared to the Cannondale Habit Carbon, the Trek Top Fuel 9.7 uses a full-carbon frame this time. This also gives it a big advantage in terms of shock absorption ability and overall bike weight when riding.

The Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 does an excellent job this time and uses different cushioning high travel front and rear. The Trek Top Fuel 9.7, on the other hand, uses the same 120mm front and rear, and in testing, it did confirm that its cushioning was not as good as it could have been.

1500 Miles Off-Road In Real-World Testing-Trek Top Fuel 9.7 Review

Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 VS Ibis Ripmo AF NGX

2023 Ibis Ripmo AF NGX

At an almost comparable price, the Ibis Ripmo AF NGX uses an all-aluminum frame. This also makes it slightly heavier. But it seems to have spent its budget on cushioning to counteract the vibration sensation from the aluminum frame. The use of super strong and extra-long travel front and rear suspension is better than almost any bike in its price range.

It is also equipped with sturdy Maxxis Assegai tires that give it amazing braking traction through rock gardens and crushing corners.

Although, the same drivetrain and the same tire size make the two not much different in normal riding. But the excessive weight discourages most cyclists, after all, no one wants to climb a mountain with a very heavy bike.

Ibis Ripmo GX Review – Taking You Off-road

Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 VS Marin Rift Zone 29″ Carbon 2

2023 Marin Rift Zone 29" Carbon 2

The Marin Rift Zone 29″ Carbon 2 is also a good choice. The same choice of SRAM and Shimano two of the leading high-end kit, and the same 1×12 shifting system allows us to descend more smoothly.

The lack of an adjustable reverse chip also makes it less likely to be more comfortable to ride. But the Marin Rift Zone 29″ Carbon 2 is a little less comfortable than the cushioning system. The smaller cushioning travel in the front and rear shows that it is more focused on climbing and descending performance.

If you are a descent-focused rider, the Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 is not a bad choice.

learn more : Is Marin Rift Zone 27.5 1 Worth Buying? [Marin Rift Zone 1 Review]

Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 VS Liv Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 3

2022 Liv Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 3

At $199, the Liv Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 3 is a full-suspension trail bike. The all-carbon frame brings a correspondingly low weight to the bike. But compared to the Cannondale Habit Carbon3, which is available in a wide range of sizes S-XL, the Liv Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 3 is a women’s model. It is only available in the smaller three sizes (5’2″-5’11”).

But the off-road performance of the full-suspension frame is always unquestionable to us. They also have a dense and efficient 1×12 shifting system. The Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 also has more powerful front and rear cushioning and a better drivetrain. But it’s up to us to choose SRAM or Shimano shifting and braking system.

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Learn more : Is Liv Pique 29 2 A Good Choice? -[Liv Pique 29 2 Review]

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