You know how great it feels to ride a Cannondale. Cannondale manufactures aluminum race bikes, gravel bikes, mountain bikes, and accessories like helmets, shoes, and bottle cages. To let you know our thoughts about the brand, we’ve come up with this Cannondale Trail 8 Review for you.
The company has also pioneered several innovations. They own, for example, a Cannondale lefty, which is a one-of-a-kind mountain bike.
We’ll tell you how it feels to ride one if you haven’t already. Cannondale reviews will cover the mountain, full-suspension, and hardtails for every riding discipline.
They build all kinds of bikes for all budgets, and they do it exceptionally well. Cannondale Trail 8 is a low-cost mountain bike ideal for beginners and those on a tight budget.
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Cannondale Trail 8 Review – Features
This new 2023 model includes everything you need in a good trail mountain bike, including a suspension fork, mechanical disc brakes, a decent 14-speed drivetrain, and a best-in-class SmartForm C3 Alloy frame.
Trail 8 has been such a huge success. Here comes one of the bike’s biggest surprises. Cannondale decided to equip it with Tektro mechanical disc brakes rather than the simple, low-cost V-brakes that are more common on entry-level models. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Cannondale for making that decision. It’s one of the main reasons.
These disc brakes provide excellent stopping power on demand in any weather condition. This makes the Cannondale Trail 8 an excellent choice for riders who want to ride all year.
Another feature we like about Trail 8 is the sizing or dimensions. Like some high-end models, it has a variable wheel size based on frame size. The Cannondale Trail 8 is available with 27.5′′ or 29′′ wheels.
The Suspension Fork And Frame
The Trail 8 is a popular mountain bike because it is inexpensive (around $500) and meets many criteria. It’s a stylish hardtail with a slew of useful features and high-quality components.
But we will start with the most important component of any bike: the frame. Trail 8 has a SmartForm C3 aluminum frame, which is lightweight and very durable. It has internal cable routing, which is uncommon for budget bikes, especially those under $1000.
In addition, the frame has two water bottle mounts and rear rack mounts. Remember that all Cannondale frames these days are excellent; they’ve been time-tested and provide excellent performance.
Front suspension is provided by the SR Suntour M3030 coil suspension fork, which has 75mm of travel. It provides adequate performance for most beginners when riding on trails or bumpy roads.
Other Components And The Drivetrain
The Cannondale Trail 8 has a two-speed, seven-speed drivetrain with a wide range of gears. Shimano makes both the front and rear derailleurs. Tourney (entry-level component) is the rear derailleur, and Altus is the front derailleur (second tier). The good news is that everything runs as smoothly as butter, and Trail 8 shifts easily and quietly.
The shifters are not Shimano, but microSHIFT Thumb-Tap, which surprised me. They’re great thumb shifters, but they don’t match the rest of the Shimano drivetrain. Many entry-level bikes now come with a simple Shimano Revoshift, but thumb shifters are better for the trails.
On this model, we also like the WTB Ranger tires. They are high-quality tires that provide a fairly predictable grip in various conditions. They’re fast enough for paved roads and grippy enough for trails. Everything you could want in a beginner’s mountain bike.
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Women’s Cannondale Trail 8 Model
In this Cannondale Trail 8 Review we’ll also discuss. Women’s Cannondale Trail 8 Model. Trail 8 is also available in a women’s version, which differs significantly from the unisex model.
The main difference is the frame shape—a slanted top-tube increases stand-over clearance, making it easier for shorter riders to mount and dismount. The frame sizes, however, are identical.
The paintwork is also different, with the women’s version sporting an appealing gray/turquoise gradient. We like it because it appears to be more feminine.
Remarkably, all of the components are identical, with the exception of the saddle—the women’s version includes a Cannondale Stage 2 Women’s saddle.
The only reason to choose the women’s model, in our opinion, is if you prefer the paintwork or require more stand-over clearance. Otherwise, even if you are a woman, feel free to get the unisex model if you prefer it or if that is all that is available.
Trail 8’s Drawbacks
Regrettably, there are a few aspects of Trail 8 that we dislike. The seat isn’t great, as it is on many low-cost bikes. Some riders find the seat a little too firm, but the good news is that you can always replace it with a more comfortable one. For added comfort, simply add a simple gel seat top.
We’d also prefer a better rear derailleur for smoother, more precise shifting. As previously stated, Tourney is the most affordable derailleur in the Shimano lineup. The Altus, like the front derailleur, is our first choice. However, we honestly can’t expect too much from a $500 mountain bike.
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Concluding this Cannondale Trail 8 Review, Trail 8 is only $510, which is hard to believe given the attention to detail that appears to have gone into its creation. Sure, it has some entry-level components, but it also has 27.5′′ and 29′′ wheels, disc brakes, high-quality tires, and a stunning design.
It’s an ideal mountain bike for beginners who want to experience the thrill of trail riding before upgrading to a full-suspension model.
As a result, Trail 8 is unquestionably worthwhile. There’s no reason not to buy it if you fit the rider profile we depicted above. It should last you for many miles and years.
Justin has previously written about cars and motorcycles for The Drive, Autotrader Oversteer, and Right Foot Down, among others. He is a connoisseur of weird old Japanese motorcycles but currently rides a common Kawasaki KLR 650. Justin considers the best place he has ever ridden to be Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. He is currently building a camper van to bring his motorcycle to even more interesting places. He is still looking for his lost TARDIS.