Is Cannondale Trail 7 Worth Buying? [2022 Cannondale Trail 7 Review]

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2022 Cannondale Trail 7 

  • Price: $760
  • Travel: 100mm (front)
  • Tires: 29×2.5″
  • Drivetrain: 2X8

What we like about it: The SR Suntour XCT shock fork and microSHIFT 8-speed drivetrain give beginners a comfortable off-road experience at a very cost-effective price that opens the door to off-roading.

What we don’t like about it: A single bike color that doesn’t satisfy a wider majority of people’s choices.

Rating (4.7/5)

Cannondale Trail 7

Have you ever fantasized about mountain cross-country? Have you ever wanted to ride through the wooded trails with reckless abandon? This 2022 Cannondale Trail 7 is just the thing to fulfill your off-road bike fantasies. The SmartForm C3’s alloy frame makes it light and durable, and the R Suntour XCT shock fork with 100mm of travel gives you the stability you need to ride on rough trails. It is also equipped with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes for effective and quick braking of the tires. This Cannondale Trail 7 cross-country mountain bike is designed for the mountains and will ignite your passion for mountain trails.

Here we talk more about Cannondale Trail 7 riding performance, main features, key components, and other models in the same series. If you want to know more, welcome to follow us.

Climbing Review

As an entry-level mountain trail bike, the Cannondale Trail 7 can be considered very good in terms of climbing performance.

The SmartForm C3 alloy frame makes the body light enough to have more stamina to climb in the face of rough roads. During the ride, I could feel the lightness of the body. This is very friendly for some newbies. Because it can effectively reduce the rider’s physical strength. The bike is also equipped with WTB Ranger Comp tires. 29×2.25″ classic size can easily drive through some gravel sections. Its excellent grip gave me great confidence when climbing.

When I first got the bike, I couldn’t wait to get out on the trails with a friend. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the microSHIFT 8-speed drivetrain. 2×8 gearing has more gearing options compared to the Trek Marlin 6. It allows you to face different situations with ease. Many of you may prefer the 1x drivetrain, but the Trail 7’s 2×8 drivetrain allows you to save more energy on the climbs. Sure, the 2× shifting may be slightly more complicated for the novice climber. But what could be more exciting than being first to the top ahead of your friends? As I rode this Trail 7 and managed to pass my friend, I felt a great feeling.

Descending Test

I have to say, this Cannondale Trail 7 always brings something to the table.

For me, the most enjoyable part of off-roading is the feeling of speeding up steep slopes. The SR Suntour XCT shock fork is an entry-level shock fork, but it’s perfectly adequate for some novice users.

In addition, with the 100mm of travel, I did not feel too many bumps in the process of riding. Also, the lighter body, makes it more nimble on some specific roads. I flew down through the forest paths, feeling the joy brought by the wind and bumps until I pulled into the flat road.

Of course, the most noteworthy feature is the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. When facing steeper inclines, you only need a little bit of force to stop the bike. This is certainly the best news for newbies, after all, the performance of the brakes is about your safety. It is also because of the hydraulic disc brakes that I dare to take on the more rugged mountain roads.

2022 Cannondale Trail 7 General Riding Review

Although the Cannondale Trail 7 is a cross-country mountain bike, it also gives a better feel on low-impact trails and some flat roads. In addition, the 29×2.25″ tires provide plenty of grip on both smooth roads and muddy trails.

At the same time, the drivetrain of the 2× is enough to get you through most road conditions. You can kick it up to top speed for a crazy fast ride, or you can leisurely wander around the grass. It all depends on your mood.

Main Features


Cannondale Trail 7

Honestly, the first thing that caught my eye was the look of the Cannondale Trail 7. Cannondale’s Proportional Response suspension design and the new Habit with its 130mm suspension, coupled with the SmartForm C3 alloy frame, give it a different kind of aesthetic.

That brings us back to its paint job, there are so few colors to choose from. It’s really hard to satisfy most people’s choices, but that doesn’t stop me from loving it.

Not only that, this bike has been detailed with internal alignment for a cleaner look. So when driving on the road after the rain, you can not worry about the cleaning problem.

As I said, this is a bike for beginners. Both the SR Suntour XCT shock fork and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes show that the designers have the beginner in mind.

If you still do not know what to choose for the new contact off-road, then I would recommend you choose this one.


As a mountain bike, the geometry of the Cannondale Trail 7 is certainly designed with the user in mind. This brings me to the 73.5° seat tube angle, which makes my ride much easier. This angle keeps me more balanced and ensures a comfortable ride that is more conducive to climbing.

At the same time, the 68.0 ° head tube angle allows you to have a more flexible response in the process of steering. Some people may be concerned about its stability, but my personal feeling is that it is not. Don’t forget about the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes.

Components and Specifications

MicroSHIFT 8-Speed Drivetrain

MicroSHIFT 8-Speed Drivetrain

While most mountain bikes opt for the 1× system, the Cannondale Trail 7, being a cross-country mountain bike, opted for the 2× system to give the user a better climbing experience. So it does provide more power on the climbs. I was able to feel its power saving during the ride.

But again, it does take a bit of time to get familiar with the slightly more complicated gear shifting. But as a mountain bike, it’s important to climb quickly and efficiently. And for me, the enjoyment of mountain cross-country is what matters most. That’s the reason people choose it.

Tektro Hydraulic Disc Brake

Tektro Hydraulic Disc Brake

For cross-country mountain biking, braking safely and quickly is undoubtedly important. I didn’t need much energy to think about braking during my ride, whether on slippery roads or curvy ramps. Because it all ensures stable and smooth braking.

So, at this price, the Cannondale Trail 7 with this configuration is certainly a boon for newbies.

WTB Ranger Comp Tires

WTB Ranger Comp Tires

The Cannondale Trail 7 uses 29×2.25″ WTB Ranger Comp tires. This is enough to give you a good grip on most roads, including muddy trails, gravel grass, etc.

In addition, the 29×2.25″ classic mountain bike tire configuration gives enough traction during the driving process. I could feel the bite of the tires against the ground while driving. This allowed me to perform some more maneuvers.

Other versions of Cannondale Trail

As a mountain bike also launched by Cannondale, the Trail Women’s 7 has the same configuration as the Trail 7. But after all, it is a mountain bike for girls, so in terms of appearance, there are some small differences compared to the Trail 7. First of all, its top tube is slightly curved, so it is convenient for girls to get on and off the bike. Second, in the color choice, you can have more choices.

So, for newbies don’t worry too much, after all, Cannondale has even gender in mind for you. The price of both bikes is the same, so you can buy according to your needs.

What we like about it?

  • More variable speed adjustment of 2×8 shifting makes me enough to face all kinds of situations.
  • The 29×2.25″ tires have plenty of grip and traction.
  • Excellent geometry so you can ride in comfort.
  • SmartForm C3 alloy frame with a lightweight and durable carcass for a longer-lasting experience.
  • Tektro hydraulic disc brakes for stable and effective braking.
  • SR Suntour XCT shock fork for more stability on steep layouts.

What we don’t like about it?

  • There are too few paint options, with only two colors to choose from.
  • 2X8 shifting, relatively complex for newcomers is not friendly enough.


  • What is the drivetrain of the Cannondale Trail 7?

MicroSHIFT 8-speed drivetrain.

  • What are the tires on the Cannondale Trail 7?

The Cannondale Trail 7 has WTB Ranger Comp 29×2.25″ tires.

  • What is the Cannondale Trail 7 frame made of?

The Cannondale Trail 7’s frame is a SmartForm C3 alloy frame.

  • Cannondale Trail 7 size chart
size Rider height
SX 137 – 158 CM
SM 154 – 164 CM
MD 161 – 173 CM
LG 170 – 184 CM
XL 181 – 191 CM

 Cannondale Trail 7 specs


Frame SmartForm C3 Alloy, SAVE, 1-1/8″ headtube, post mount disc, StraightShot internal cable routing, dropper post compatible, BSA-73 BB Standard: BSA, 73mm, Threaded Colors: Black; Green
Fork SR Suntour XCT DS, 100mm, coil, 42mm offset (27.5″) 46mm offset (29″)
Bottom Bracket Sealed bearing cartridge, square taper
Headset Semi-Integrated, 1-1/8″
Stem 6061 Alloy, 31.8, 8°
Handlebar 6061 Alloy Riser, 31.8mm, 25mm rise, 700mm
Saddle Cannondale Stage 3
Seatpost Cannondale 3, 6061 Alloy, 31.6 x 350mm (XS – SM), 400mm (MD-XL)
Pedals Cannondale Platform
Grips Cannondale Dual-Density


Rear Derailleur microSHIFT M36L
Front Derailleur microSHIFT Dual Pull Compact, Band Clamp
Crank Prowheel, 36/22
Shifters microSHIFT, 8-speed
Cassette Sunrace, 11-34, 8-speed
Chain KMC Z8.1, 8-speed
Brakes Tektro M275 hydraulic disc, 160/160mm rotors
Brake Levers Tektro hydraulic disc


Rims WTB SX19, 32h
Spokes Stainless Steel, 14g
Front Hub Shimano HBTX 505
Rear Hub Shimano FHTX505
Tires WTB Ranger Comp, 29×2.25″ (27.5×2.25″ – XS, SM), DNA Compound


 Comparison Table

Bicycles Price Gear Brakes Tires Click View
2023 Trek Marlin 4 Gen 2  $629.99 3×7 Tektro MD-M280 Mechanical Disc   27.5 “x2.2” or 29 “x2.2”Click View
Giant Talon 2 $750 1×9 Tektro HDC M275 Hydraulic Disc  27.5 “x2.2” or 29 “x2.2” Click View
Liv Tempt 2 $750 1×9  Tektro HDC TKD 149Hydraulic Disc 27.5 “x2.4” or 29 “x2.4″” Click View
Diamondback Overdrive 29 1 $750 2×8 Tektro Mechanical Disc Front 29 “x 2.25″ Rear 29″ x 2.21” Click View

2022 Cannondale Trail 7 vs 2023 Trek Marlin 4 Gen 2

2023 Trek Marlin 4 Gen 2

Again, for a trail entry-level mountain bike, the Trek Marlin 4 Gen 2 is equally good. It’s not too far off from the Cannondale Trail 7 in terms of configuration, but it’s a bit cheaper.

In actual riding, I prefer the Cannondale Trail 7, which uses Tektro M275 discs after all. So when it comes to some special terrain, the Trail 7 has better braking.

Meanwhile the Trek Marlin 4 Gen 2 has a 3×7 drivetrain, which makes it more complicated than the 2× for the newcomer.

But as I said above, the advantage of the Trek Marlin 4 Gen 2 is the price. If you’re a newbie and have the budget, the Cannondale Trail 7 would be a good choice.

Learn More: 2023 Trek Marlin 4 Review -Best Entry Level Mountain Bike

2022 Cannondale Trail 7 vs 2022 Giant Talon 2

2022 Giant Talon 2

I have to say that the Giant Talon 2 is on par with the Cannondale Trail 7, both in terms of the lightweight ALUXX aluminum frame used for the body configuration and the Tektro HDC M275 hydraulic discs used for the brakes. This makes it hard for me to choose between the two.

The Cannondale Trail 7’s 2× system has more gearing adjustments, making it easier for me to climb. The Giant Talon 2’s 1× system has fewer gearing adjustments, but it’s just as easy for a novice to use.

If you had to choose between the two, I’d probably go with the Cannondale Trail 7 because I like the look of it better.

2022 Cannondale Trail 7 vs 2022 Liv Tempt 2

2022 Liv Tempt 2

The 2022 Liv Tempt 2 is built on an ALUXX aluminum frame, which makes the whole thing very light and compact.

In my testing comparing the two bikes, the Liv Tempt 2 had the same great damping experience. And like the Cannondale Trail 7, it uses Tektro HDC TKD 149, hydraulic discs. This has good braking ability on some steeper roads.

However, the Liv Tempt 2 has a 1x series drivetrain. Although it takes care of the novice experience, it is still slightly inferior to the Cannondale Trail 7 in terms of climbing.

Learn more : Is Liv Tempt 2 The Perfect Choice? – [Liv Tempt 2 Review]

2022 Cannondale Trail 7 vs 2022 Diamondback Overdrive 29 1

Diamondback Overdrive 29 1

I found while riding the Diamondback Overdrive 29 1 that it has a higher seat tube angle than the Cannondale Trail 7. So it will have a more stable center of gravity during the ride.

Compared to the Cannondale Trail 7, the Diamondback Overdrive 29 1 uses Tektro mechanical discs with 180mm front and 160mm rear rotors. Although easy to maintain, the Tektro hydraulic discs are still more inadequate in braking compared to the Cannondale Trail 7. You can appreciate the braking effect of the Tektro hydraulic discs on a real ride.

If speed is what you’re looking for, then the Cannondale Trail 7 is sure to satisfy you. Because the 2× system has more shifting options than the Diamondback Overdrive 29 1, it gives you a faster riding experience.

I still like the thrill of speed that comes with off-roading. So Cannondale Trail 7 is worth going for.

In case, the above comments are helpful to you, please remember to share the subscription. Have a great day!

Learn more : Top 8 Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes Under $1000

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