Mountain Bike 2018 Cannondale Bad Habit 4 vs Trigger 3

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
Pugski Ski Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
14,762
Location
Tahoe
This has been a breakout year for me on the mountain bike trails. I had three amazing rides on trails that instilled confidence and reinforced my enthusiasm for mountain biking, so I decided it was time to demo some bikes that have the potential to take the place of my trusty Trek.

I'll talk more about a variety of bikes later, but today I'm going to give some feedback based on my experience with two bikes from Cannondale that have similar geometry but different specs. In ski speak, I liken this to two skis that are 88mm underfoot but have different flex patterns and turning radii.

I demoed the Trigger 3 and Bad Habit 4 in size medium, a day apart, on different trails. The Bad Habit 4 has 120mm of travel and is 27+ so the tires are wider and suck up a lot more in the rugged terrain and rolled over the rocks in the trail with little effort. We took the Sundance Cutoff from Cinnamon Twist to Sundance, which has some rocky areas where timing of pedal stroke is essential on the uphill. The 1x11 drive train definitely makes life easier, coming from a 3x9. The confidence came quickly to me on the downhill section as soon as I felt the bike roll over rocks that would normally give me pause.

The Trigger 3 has 150 mm of travel and standard 27.5 tires, making it a bit more nimble to maneuver and seemingly lighter while climbing (though I haven't checked the actual weight). My day on the Trigger 3 started on the Pivot Mach 5.5, but I switched bikes with @Philpug a couple miles into the climb, which was a 4-mi sustained uphill with switchbacks and loose decomposed granite. I was impressed with the climbing ability and generally nimble feeling while making my way around the switchbacks and loose granite. The reward after a long uphill climb is, of course, the downhill fun. This bike delivered the fun in a way that I hadn't thought possible over the past few years.

On both of these rides, I did more climbing than I usually do and found myself doing better on the climbs than I have in the past. Perhaps it is the tire size, perhaps it's the ease in shifting, or perhaps it's the ability to use the dropper post to adjust my body position on climbs and downhills. Maybe it is all of the above.

IMG_0166.JPG


I could honestly be happy with either of these bikes; because of the improvements in my riding experience, I'm leaning toward the Trigger 3. This could easily change as I continue to demo.

A couple photos to give you an idea about geometry

IMG_0167.JPG

IMG_0168.JPG

Cannondale Geometry.png


Thanks to BlueZone Sports for the demos.

A bit about me:
I am a 51-year-old female who, after taking off 7 years from riding, is falling back in love with mountain biking. I tend to be timid but am gaining confidence doing things I used to do, like log piles, rock gardens, and switchbacks. My goal is to find a bike to replace my 9-year-old Trek Fuel EX8 WSD 16.5.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Tricia

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
Pugski Ski Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
14,762
Location
Tahoe
Just looking at the pics from yesterday. This is my smile after coming through a significant(to me) rock section.The way I and Bad Habit 4 handled it put this smile on my face. So much fun!
IMG_3353.jpg
 

Tony S

thread drift a specialty
Skier
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Posts
3,766
Location
Maine
I spent a half hour on a 2016 Habit, top line trim. Did not get on the Bad Habit. (That's the plus version, right?)

God that bike was a rocketship. Less comfy than what I was looking for, but the fastest bike of the day, with the sharpest handling. If I raced a lot, I would have bought it.

Meanwhile, I think plus bikes are a hoot, and awesome for confidence building.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Tricia

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
Pugski Ski Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
14,762
Location
Tahoe
Meanwhile, I think plus bikes are a hoot, and awesome for confidence building.
That's the sense that I got from it.
 

laine

I ski like a girl. Fast.
Skier
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Posts
583
Location
Oakland
Well, the Bad Habit is more of a cross-country ride with 120mm of travel and the Trigger 3 is more of a "trail" bike (whatever that means) with 150mm of travel. Geometry and travel aside, looking at the links on the CDale site, the Trigger has a better fork and brakes, so those factors alone could impact the ride, how the bike absorbs bumps and how it feels when stopping.

Love that you're excited about biking again!
 
Thread Starter
TS
Tricia

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
Pugski Ski Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
14,762
Location
Tahoe
Well, the Bad Habit is more of a cross-country ride with 120mm of travel and the Trigger 3 is more of a "trail" bike (whatever that means) with 150mm of travel. Geometry and travel aside, looking at the links on the CDale site, the Trigger has a better fork and brakes, so those factors alone could impact the ride, how the bike absorbs bumps and how it feels when stopping.

Love that you're excited about biking again!
The Trigger definitely has some better components. Very noticeable on the ride.

Love that you're excited about biking again!
You're excited! I'm excited! Phil's excited!
Lets all get excited!
:yahoo::yeah::yahoo:
 

Philpug

Notorious P.U.G.
Admin
Pugski Ski Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
23,740
Location
Reno, eNVy
Will @Tricia pull the....
What was Roy Rogers trusted steed's name?
 
Last edited:
Thread Starter
TS
Tricia

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
Pugski Ski Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
14,762
Location
Tahoe
Will @Tricia pull the....
What was Roy Rogers trusted steed's name?
If I end up with the Trigger, I need to find stickers for it:
Don't fence me in
Happy trails
 

Tony S

thread drift a specialty
Skier
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Posts
3,766
Location
Maine
Since you're a Pivot dealer, have you tried the Mach 4? (Do they still make it?) I loved the fit and balance of that bike. True all-rounder.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Tricia

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
Pugski Ski Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
14,762
Location
Tahoe
Since you're a Pivot dealer, have you tried the Mach 4? (Do they still make it?) I loved the fit and balance of that bike. True all-rounder.
They do make a Mach 4 Carbon, but I haven't demo'd it.
I probably need to get on a few more Pivots.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Tricia

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
Pugski Ski Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
14,762
Location
Tahoe
@Rainbow Jenny stopped by the shop to see me yesterday to talk about bikes. She had a few questions about travel and why someone may want one bike over another based on travel, which is when I realized that there are probably people out there reading this thread who may have the same question.
Travel is the amount of distance the suspension will move before its fully compressed
Someone who is riding cross country or smoother trails may not need as much travel as someone riding downhill or on rougher terrain.
Short travel suspension is generally less than 120mm
Long travel suspension is generally 120mm or greater.
The Bad Habit 4 has 120mm of travel
The Trigger 3 has 150mm of travel
The Bad Habit 4 ... is 27+ so the tires are wider and suck up a lot more in the rugged terrain and rolled over the rocks in the trail with little effort.
This question also came up yesterday, so I thought I'd clarify a bit.
A 27.5+ bike will take different tire widths and profiles. Again, if you're on cross country trails, you may not want or need a wider tire. If you're going over a lot of rocks, or riding downhill, you may want a wider tire.

Another question that came up was about "slack" or "rake" on a bike.
Slack is the head tube angle. Rake is the fork offset.
Because this is about two Cannondale bikes, I'll share a youtube video from Cannondale describing how this is helpful.

Hope this is helpful.
 

Ken_R

Living the Dream
Skier
Joined
Feb 10, 2016
Posts
3,802
Location
Denver, CO
They do make a Mach 4 Carbon, but I haven't demo'd it.
I probably need to get on a few more Pivots.
They look good!

IMG_1704-2.jpeg



Regarding the Cannondales, the Trigger is in another league compared to the Bad Habit. Its a much better bike, more current tech, better components and overall capability and performance. The Bad Habit is a good bike but definitely a step down from the Trigger.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Tricia

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
Pugski Ski Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
14,762
Location
Tahoe
Bad Habit is a good bike but definitely a step down from the Trigger.
This is correct, but there are also different levels of Bad Habit. I rode the BadHabit 4.
 

Philpug

Notorious P.U.G.
Admin
Pugski Ski Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
23,740
Location
Reno, eNVy
We took out these two bad boys again today soo who would win this bike "Cage Match". I started the day on the Bad Habit 4 and after a few miles I thought I could be happy with this as a daily driver. I took it on some terrain that I was very familiar with to see how it woudl handle it, no problem. The 27.5+ 2.8" tires went over everything and nothing seemed to bother them. For the scientific unscientific seat of the pants timed test I took it down the switch backs of Cinnamon Twist to see how it would handle them but then to see how it would handle the uphil back on the return. I posted a time of 5:35 but that was actually incorrect because it included activating the timer on the iPhone, putting glove back on and putting phone in my pocket, then at the end taking phone out at the end, talking glove off, then turning phone on to see time. I will post the Trigger 3 number in a bit. I really felt the Bad Habit 4 would be fine as that daily driver but woudl consider stepping up to the Bad Habit 3, but not sure going from the Judy to the Pike plus the other upgrades was worth the price difference. I will let @Tricia add her descriptions of the two bikes.

Getting on the Bad Habit was like getting on a modern $599 90mm ski after coming from a 10 year old K2 Recon, the difference was immediately felt and I thought, I could easily get used this and I will be fine and indeed fun. If you are willing to accept that, do NOT try the next level up in bikes otherwise you will be spoiled and like skiing if you go back to that $599 ski, you will always be wanting the better ski and as with some readers here, never be completely satisfied. I am also that person. The difference and refinement was the difference between being content and being happy. I know I could be content with the Bad Habit 4, but I know I could never be truly happy.

Oh, the Trigger 3. After just a few pedal strokes the difference of the carbon frame and different suspension linkage could be felt. I thought I would miss the plushness of the 27.5+ tires of the BH4, but the longer travel of the Trigger ate up the rocks and undulations of the terrain. We took pretty much the same trail netork on the second ride as the first and specifically, I wanted to see how the Trigger 3 handled the down and up of Cinnamon Twist. With (roughly) the same glove/phone delays at the beginning and the end, the Trigger 3 did the same climb in 5:15, 20 seconds less. Well that 20 seconds could have been 15 or 25...not sure but either way, it was faster. Also, not only was it faster, it felt faster and smoother and handled it with less effort.
 
Top