Cannondale Trigger Range Review

Cannondale Trigger Review

  • Price Range: From £2,349.99 - From £3,750.00
  • Discipline: Trail Full Sus MTB
  • Usage: All mountain and trail riding
  • Carbon frames throughout
  • Adjustable on-the-fly suspension
  • Versatile character
  • No alloy frame options
  • Styling may not be to everyone’s taste
  • No 29er options

Updated: 31st October 2017


The Cannondale Trigger is Cannondale’s latest iteration of their all mountain bike, and features a completely new design for 2018. It’s a full suspension MTB with 115-145mm travel in the rear and 150mm travel up front, and is based around 27.5” (650b) wheels.

It’s designed to be a brilliant all-rounder, and a lot of focus has been given to the bike’s ability to take on challenging downhill tracks with aggressive geometry, while still being a great climber. There are three models in the Cannondale Trigger range, all coming with a fantastic quality parts spec, with Fox suspension and either Shimano or SRAM drivetrains that’ll keep confidence high when on the trails.

Cannondale Trigger Frame


Ballistec carbon mainframes

Every model in the Cannondale Trigger range comes with a lightweight carbon mainframe. Ballistec Carbon is Cannondale’s proprietary carbon fibre and uses resins that are usually reserved for carbon baseball bats as well as fibres that are often found in ballistic armour, meaning that it’s super strong. The suspension rocker is also made using Ballistec carbon, but uses a forged process to create a super stiff structure.

The Trigger 3 and 2 both have aluminium alloy swingarms to complement the carbon mainframe, while the Trigger 1 gets a full carbon frame, front to rear. Cannondale’s Ai (Asymmetric Integration) is also featured on the Trigger, which refers to an offset of the rear end, where it is moved 3mm to the driveside. This helps give plenty of tyre clearance while maintaining a short chainstay length for nimble handling, and is matched to the Boost 148x12mm spacing in the rear. Neat internal cable routing finishes off this premium frame design.

Cannondale's Trigger is an undeniably entertaining and capable all-mountain bike – Bike Mag

Cannondale Trigger suspension


145mm or 115mm at the flick of a switch

Cannondale’s new Gemini suspension technology allows for quick travel adjustment between 145mm and 115mm, giving both fantastic climbing and descending prowess

Cannondale has joined up with Fox to develop a new suspension technology called Gemini. This uses a remote switch to change the travel between 145mm and 115mm at the push of a handlebar mounted switch. It’s not only the travel that changes, but the spring rate too, so the 115mm Hustle mode allows for super playful riding, while the 145mm Flow mode gives you all the control for rougher trails.

The suspension design is a linkage driven single pivot, with that large carbon rocker actuating the shock. The Gemini Fox shock is based on either the Float Performance DPS EVOL on the Trigger 3, Float X Performance Elite EVOL on the Trigger 2, or the Kashima coated Float X Factory EVOL on the flagship Trigger 1. All models get 150mm travel Fox Float 34 forks, with the Trigger 3 getting the Performance model, the Trigger 2 with the Performance Elite, and the Trigger 1 receiving a matching Factory series fork.

Cannondale Trigger groupset


1x groupsets throughout

The Trigger 2 and 1 both have SRAM’s new Eagle groupset, offering a massive range of gears

For drivetrain duties, Cannondale has done away with any 2x setups, rather focusing on the simpler and more effective 1x setup. This has allowed them to build a stronger frame and keep the handlebars space cleaner, doing without the second shifter.

On the Trigger 3 you get a Shimano SLX/XT 1x11 speed groupset with matching SLX disc brakes. The Trigger 2 and Trigger 1 both get SRAM’s XO1 Eagle drivetrain, featuring a 1x12 speed drivetrain, complete with 10-50T cassette, giving a massive range of gears. This easily competes with 2x drivetrains for gear range. The Trigger 2 and 1 both get SRAM Guide disc brakes for powerful and controllable stopping.

Cannondale Trigger wheels


Wide internal rims for great support

All three models in the Cannondale Trigger range are designed around 27.5” wheels and feature wide internal rims. These give superb support of the tyres and helps prevent the tyres rolling on the rims during cornering. The range-topping Trigger 1 gets Cannondale’s Hollowgram 30 carbon wheels, that are super lightweight and properly robust.

The Trigger 2 and 3 both get WTB i29 rims, which are fantastic alloy rims that offer superb strength for their light weight. All three models in the range get Maxxis Minion tyres, complete with puncture-resistant EXO casing and TR tubeless ready design, offering you the grip and traction in any trail condition, and the ability to ditch the tubes.

Cannondale’s Hollowgram 30 wheels have a 30mm internal width and are super lightweight, providing superb handling and fast rolling

Cannondale Trigger best for

Best for

A do-it-all MTB

The Cannondale Trigger is a trail mountain bike for riders who want a versatile MTB for tackling everything from local trails to enduro races. The adjustable travel, thanks to the Gemini suspension system, gives you the best of both worlds, with the 115mm travel setting allowing easy climbing, while the 145mm setting smashes downhill sections like much bigger bikes.

Carbon frames mean that the Trigger is lightweight and easy to throw around the mountain. The Fox suspension is confidence inspiring, giving you absolute control on the trails, and the smart frame design even allows you to hold a water bottle inside the front triangle, which is great for riding without a backpack. Cannondale have made the Trigger for riders who want that one bike to do it all, from back country rides, to hitting the jump trails.

Cannondale Trigger brake Cannondale Trigger linkage
Cannondale Trigger shock Cannondale Trigger seatpost
Cannondale Trigger derailleur Cannondale Trigger cable routing

Cannondale Trigger range models

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