Over the year's Cannondale has emerged a serious contender across the Road, MTB and hybrid categories. A big part of this dominance and growth can be attributed to it's superior frame building processes and technology. We got our hands on the Cannondale Trail 6 29er, the 'companys entry-mid level performance MTB, and we certainly got a taste of that superior frame. To find out about our in-depth revelations, read on.
The Cannondale Trail 6 29 comes with a well weighted frame that is made of trail optimized 6061 Alloy. The frame boasts of Cannondale's proprietary S.A.V.E micro-suspension technology that insulates a lot of the feedback from the road. The frame is made of Smartformed alloy for better steering, overall strength and lightness. It also has double pass welds, smooth joints and oversized and optimized tubing. All this results in an extremely well built frame that is also used on superior Trail models. We told you they take their frames really seriously. The Bicycle comes with a 100mm SR Suntour XCT-100 with coil springs. The lockout option on this suspension system was sorely missed
The fit on the Trail 6 was quite compact, with the rider's balance well centered in the middle. The overall ergonomics was not too aggressive and was something that will bode well for amateur performance MTB riders.
Cannondale's latest design direction has been towards using a lot of matte black, and the Trail 6 is no different. It comes in a color combo of matte black Red and Grey combo that has been christened 'Barbecue' by the company. It looks classy and it gives you the impression that it means business out on the trails. What adds to the color combination is the smooth welds across the joints which give the bicycle a superior and premium feel to it.
The Trail 6 29 2016 comes with a 24 speed drivetrain. Honestly, this was one area that disappointed us as we felt the combination of Shimano Tourney (FD-M190) in the front and Shimano Acera (RD-M360) in the rear and connected to Acera Rapid fire plus shifters, could have a higher specc'd drivetrain at this price point. That being said, the shifting on offer was accurate and smooth. It serves its purpose of being an entry mid level performance bicycle from a premium brand.
With an MTB such as the Cannondale Trail 6, you are going to be pushing the limits and raising the bar on every ride on the mountains, and for that you need noteworthy stopping prowess. This Cannondale comes with Hydraulic Mechanical disc with 180mm rotors in the front and 160mm in the rear.¾ While braking, you will notice that the stopping motion is very well controlled and at no time are you caught unawares with the excess stopping power on hand.
The superior frame has to have it's advantages across multiple facets of the ride, and the handling is where the Trail 6 scores, and scores well. It is agile, and nimble which are not words one would usually use on a 29'MTB. It handles with aplomb and what's more is that it corners with confidence and is stable as you angle in and out. The wide handlebar with a curve in the middle gives riders a comfortable yet commanding position over the bicycle. The one area where it was not too responsive was when we decide to pop the front wheel to glide over protrusions in the road.
The tires on the Trail 6 ¾are the WTB Nineline 29'* 2.0. These tires come with a micro-square thread design and a supple casing to give you superior traction, while ensuring a good smooth roll for spirited riding on trails. The Knobs are relatively low profile. These tires are fitted on to Alex DC double wall rims (32H). The overall grip and support of the tires seemed adequate for most off road terrains, whereas I do have my doubts about their performance in wet and muddy conditions.
The Cannondale Trail 6 seats it riders fairly comfortably, and the overall ride is pliant. This is primarily due to Cannondale's S.A.V.E micro suspension technology that uses engineered flex to reduce the feedback and vibrations in the fork and frame. The 100mm SR Suntour XCT-100, with coil springs used only 80% of its entire range of motion. The saddle on the Trail 6 was Cannondale's 'Stage 3' performance saddle, which was firm enough to keep you in the right position through off-road rides. If required you could marginally adjust the saddle tilt based on the whether you are climbing (slight tilt down) or riding downhill (slight tilt up). This being said, the ideal position for most riders is to have the saddle absolutely flat.¾
The final word on the Cannondale Trail 6 29 (2016) is that it is a well built MTB that has the necessary firepower and build quality to take you through most trails out there. The superior frame will ensure that you can use this performance MTB effectively for many years to come.Î¾ Priced at Rs.47,250, it does seem a little pricey for the components that come as standard, but the brand Cannondale commands that premium due to i's innovation and illustrious performance on professional racing circuits, which helps them build world class bicycles that are meant to stand out from the crowd.