Unbiased Bike Reviews, Guides & How-To's
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Cannondale Trail 3 is a bike with a reasonable price and unreasonable money to value ratio. It’s the best mid-range model Cannondale’s Trail series has to offer.
There’s no reason not to ride a quality trail bike and have fun off-road every day if you’re going shopping with a limited budget.
Technology that was considered high-end just a few years ago is now available on mid-range MTBs such as Cannondale Trail 3.
At $1,300, this bike is accessible to almost any trail enthusiast, plus it packs a powerful punch when it comes in contact with dirt, mud, rocks, and gravel.
Here’s our detailed review if you like what you’ve seen so far!
Trail 3 is a competent bike that’s bound to help you improve your off-road skills and ignite your passion for riding more.
Cannondale Trail 3 comes with excellent components supplied by big brands such as SRAM, Shimano, RockShox, and WTB that guarantee high performance.
This hardtail 29er has a decent list of specs considering the price:
If you are a trail enthusiast and an intermediate rider in search of a low-priced but high-specked bike, Trail 3 should be able to spark your interest.
Some of the things you might like include size-specific wheels and tires, comfortable and actionable geometry, and excellent components.
Our full review below will tell you all about its good and bad sides and show you whether or not it is a good buy.
Cannondale’s entire Trail series is best-known for its premium SmartForm aluminum frames with SAVE micro-suspension technology. This frame has a tapered head tube that makes it compatible with high-end forks and internal cable routing that keeps everything working smooth longer.
The frame’s geometry and performance are finalized with an excellent RockShox Judy Silver air fork with 120 mm of travel, compatible with both 27.5″ and 29″ wheels. With a remote lockout switch, you can easily engage it or disengage it.
A big selling point of the Trail 3 bike is Cannondale’s Smart Wheel Sensor. It’s fitted on the front wheel and helps you track your activities. It will measure your speed, distance, and calories burned, so you always know how hard and how long to ride.
This sensor also allows you to register your bike and reminds you of any upcoming services in order to keep your bike well-maintained and running smoothly.
You can control it using your smartphone, by installing Cannondale’s free app.
A good mountain bike is only as good as its brakes. Luckily Cannondale Trail 3 comes with Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes that have excellent stopping properties.
They’re combined with a 180mm front rotor and a 160mm rear rotor, so they’ll bring you to a full stop in no time. They’re also known for precision braking that allows riders to control the speed in all types of conditions.
A few years ago, 1×12 drivetrains could only be seen on bikes that costed double what Trail 3 sells for. Now, thanks to SRAM SX Eagle, even intermediate and budget-conscious riders can enjoy the simplicity and practicality of this setup.
Trail 3’s drivetrain consists of a compact 30T crank and a wide-range 11-50T cassette, both of which are from the SRAM SX Eagle group. You won’t run out of granny gears no matter how steep the hill in front of you is.
The be frank, at $1,300, Cannondale Trail 3 does not really have any big disadvantages. The biggest one is its weight, which could be lower.
The entire bike weighs 31.9 lbs. (14.5 kg), which is not too heavy, but there’s certainly room for some dieting. You might feel some sluggishness when riding uphill or trying to accelerate fast.
To slim it down, a good place to start would be the wheels.
If you have your expectations set right, Trail 3 will easily meet them and even exceed them. This is a remarkable bike that will shine on low-impact trails, gravel roads, fire roads, and on casual rides.
If you’re looking for a bike that can do a little bit of everything when it comes to off-road-riding disciplines, Trail 3 will give you that luxury. You can even ride it on paved roads, though it’s better-suited for rough terrains.
Cannondale Trail 3 is built for durability, handling, and long XC rides that require comfortable geometry and reliable components.
See our review of Trail SL Series for even more similar bikes.
Are there better bikes out there? Yes, many. Are there better bikes for this amount of money? Hardly any. Cannondale’s attention to detail is hard to beat.
Size-specific wheels make it easy to fit this bike to any rider out there and the Smart Wheel Sensor makes you feel you’re riding a more high-end machine.
If you want to ride off-road on a regular basis and have an equal amount of fun on paved roads on the way to the trails, Cannondale Trail 3 will keep you happy for a long time.
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