Finger dancing: The Shimano XT levers are compact,
adjustable and connected to a great-performing brake system.
Cannondale’s DYAD RT2 Dual Shock remote switch is a thing
of beauty that is intuitive and easy to use.
Shockingly simple: The DYAD
RT2 Dual Shock does require a
high-pressure shock pump
(delivered with the bike), and
following the recommended
pressure setting is the best
place to start. You can experiment on the trail.
Got your back: The
SuperMax wheel hub has
increased flange spacing.
Why? It adds strength to
back up all the improvements to the Lefty.
Big connection: The Trigger 29er uses a top link that is 3D
forged in two pieces and welded in a box-section construction.
Oversized 15-millimeter axles beef up key suspension pivot
fiber while the clamps are aluminum. The clamps come with
four spacings to keep the head tube as low as possible in the
smaller frame sizes.
This 29er Lefty gets a new 61-millimeter offset that positions the fork body farther to the rear. This gives riders the
option to run stems as short as 50 millimeters without sacrificing steering performance. And, this design is compatible
with any stem made for 1.5-inch steerer tubes. Sealing the
deal is an all-new, wider SuperMax hub that increases flange
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
The Trigger 29er screams “ready to roll.” It has amazing
(and expensive) Schwalbe Hans Dampf tires on Stan’s wheels.
It has a dropper seatpost. It has a chainring bash guard. It has
lock-on grips. It has a chainstay protector. It has a WTB saddle. It has a Shimano Shadow Plus rear derailleur. It has a 7-
inch brake rotor up front and a 6-incher in the rear.
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Setup: Unless you know how to set sag motocross bike
style (it takes two people to measure a point from near the
rear axle to the saddle), you will have to rely on Cannondale’s
recommended pressure settings. Cannondale’s suggested air
pressure settings, which we found too firm on the Trigger
26er, work well on the 29er.
The balance between the rear suspension and the fork is
not as touchy as it was on the 26er. It is a lot less complicated
to achieve that balanced suspension feel.
Ergonomics: The Trigger 29er puts you in an upright,
trail-riding position. Some riders experienced leg contact with
the seatstays while pedaling, but it was minimal. While the
DYAD RT2 Dual Shock looks massive, it certainly stays out of
the way. We are WTB saddle fans, and the wide bar is ideal to
finish off the cockpit.
Moving out: It only takes one pedal to realize you have
never ridden a bike like the Trigger 29er. It messes with your
mind. The Lefty looks massive and the tires are gigantic, but
you don’t feel like you are pushing a tank. It steers with light
input, and the drivetrain gets all 30 pounds rolling along nice-
ly. The remote lever for the Dual Shock is small and easy to
use. For flowing to the scary sections, we always left the
shock in the short-travel position. And while the Lefty can be
firmed up, we left it open and enjoyed the “plush.”
We have watched as conventional forks caught up to and in
some cases surpassed the lateral rigidity of the original Lefty
fork. Cannondale just raised the bar again. This new Lefty
moves back to the top for its weight (around 4 pounds).
In the rough: Switch the shock to full travel and let ’er rip.
We were impressed by how well matched the front and rear
suspensions are. If Cannondale had just slapped this Lefty on
the bike without improving the rear suspension’s lateral rigidity, it would have been an unbalanced mess. The front end
would have overpowered the rear. Instead, the rear suspension ups its game, and you have a bike that simply plows
Descending: Just like in the rough, the Trigger 29er rolls
through anything and stays quiet while blasting down the
mountain. It remains plenty stable at speed, but never feels
like some raked-out, lethargic downhill bike when you want
to change a line. The suspension soaks up landings with a
progressive feel—and forget about flex throwing you off. It is
just not going to happen. Braking is excellent, and those tires