feel, so we didn’t find ourselves moving around too much
to compensate for weakness. Just stay low and centered
and have fun.
Braking: The brakes are nicely matched to the needs of
the bike and offer plenty of stopping power without being
grabby. The rear end remains active under braking, adding
to the overall stopping performance.
TRICKS, UPGRADES OR TIPS?
The shock was a bit temperamental at first. It took
patience to dial in sag because we experienced a bit of
stiction. Our tip is to just get it close for the first few rides.
Once the shock is broken in, it is easier to consistently find
that 20-percent-sag sweet spot. Since the shock and rear
suspension are tuned together, we wouldn’t recommend
trying to replace the shock with an off-the-shelf version.
The bike comes with platform pedals but deserves
clipless pedals. The entry-level Shimano PD-M520L pedals
will set you back around $54, but it’s worth every penny
for trail riding.
Cannondale’s trick is using fairly lightweight, cross-country racing tires on the Rush 29 2. Are they durable
enough for trail riding? Not if you want hundreds of miles
of flat-free tire performance. Would we swap them for a
more durable tire? No way. The flat tire or ripped sidewall
trade-off is worth it for the gain in performance. Slap on
a heavy, more durable tire and you are going to lose a lot
of this bike’s appeal. Convert to tubeless and practice
We would still recommend that a rider willing to pay
around $2000 for a mountain bike start by looking at
aluminum 29er hardtails like the $1670 Cannondale Trail
SL 29er 1 that we raved about last year in our June 2013
issue. That bike was a full 5 pounds lighter than the Rush
29 2 and $170 less.
There are riders, however, who are physically or mentally done with hardtails but can’t afford to spend over $3000
for a mountain bike. In those cases, the Rush 29 2 fits the
bill perfectly. This bike delivers real dual-suspension performance, and Cannondale did a great job with its running
gear. The Rush 29 2 is an affordable dual-suspension bike
that we can wholeheartedly recommend. ❏
Gold Rush: Much performance
credit goes to the tires.
The brakes, hardware and
finish are all impressive.
Double-pass welding. Fine
Bottom bracket height
Top tube length
Head tube angle
Seat tube angle
32. 9 pounds
3. 9” (front)
3. 9” (rear)
X-Fusion 02 RL
Maddux DC3 ( 29”)
WTB Nineline ( 2.0”)
Cannondale Stage 3
Cannondale C3 ( 28”)
Shimano M446 hydraulic disc
Shimano Deore Shadow
Shimano 9-cog (12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36)
27. 8 feet (per crank rotation)
4. 6 feet (per crank rotation)
Gearing options: Cannondale gives the Rush 29er riders a 3x9
drivetrain that proves a lifesaver as the rides grow longer and the
climbs steeper. The bike responds well to out-of-the-saddle
CANNONDALE RUSH 29 2
Cannondale Rush 29 2