Cannondale Bicycles Trigger 29 4  2014 Mountain Bike Review

Cannondale Bicycles Trigger 29 4 2014

Reviews / Trail Bikes

Cannondale Bicycles 790,082

At A Glance

Cannondale are a bike company that have always walked their own path, the Trigger is yet another example of this. With a bold livery and a proprietary shock at the centre of the bikes design the Trigger range is pure Cannondale.

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So are they right to shun accepted wisdom? A few weeks with the Trigger would soon yield the answer!

Tech Heads

At the heart of the Cannondale is the Dyad RT2 pull shock; it is essentially two shocks in one. A remote switch toggles between the two chambers, giving a firmly damped 80mm of travel in the Elevate mode and a less damped 130mm of travel in the Flow mode. Engaging the Elevate mode will result in steeper angles and a higher bottom bracket as well as reducing and firming up the travel. Pop it into Flow and the angles slacken and the bottom bracket drops, travel increases and the rear end is more compliant.

Cannondale do not stop there, the Smartform alloy Trigger features 15mm thru axles in the pivot linkage and swingarm pivot. There is a full 1.5” head tube, ICGS03 mounts and a 142x12 rear axle.

Up front a Rock Shox Revelation RL29 130 51mm offset fork offers basic adjustment.

Shimano Deore and SLX deal with drivetrain duties and Shimano SLX brakes get the nod for slowing things down.

Wheels are Formula hubs laced with DT spokes to WTB ST i23 rims. These are shod with WTB rubber in the form of fast rolling 2.2 Wolverine TCS tyres.

Cannondale provide the 60mm stem, 740mm bars and grips.

The seat pin is a 31.6mm Cannondale and the saddle is a WTB Volt Satin Steel.

Cannondale Trigger 4 Medium

Seat tube 459mm
Effective top tube 606mm
Head tube 110mm
Chain stay 448mm
Front triangle 705mm
Wheel base 1153mm
BB drop 28mm
Head angle 69°
Seat angle 73.5°
Reach 424mm
Stack 616mm

Weight w/o pedals 31.1lbs

On The Trail

Out on the trails the somewhat lively colour scheme drew attention to the Trigger. Almost without exception this lead to the sudden realisation that ‘it has that funny shock’, this comment normally being accompanied by a look that normally only comes from sucking on a lemon.

So is the inherent dislike for pull shocks justified? Simply put, no.

Toggle the remote to Elevate and it does exactly what it says on the tin, climbing fast and feeling lighter than its 31lbs. The 80mm of travel is taut yet still affords good levels of grip. That said the Trigger climbs very well in the Flow mode too, there is plenty of support to combat sinking deep into the travel and there is traction galore.

In fact the Dyad RT2 is so good in the Flow mode that I rode the Trigger in it for well over 300 mixed terrain miles, every one of them enjoyable. Plush over chatter and super controlled throughout the length of the stroke it impressed time and again.

Add to this the performance of the Rock Shox Revelation fork up front, which is supple at the start of the stroke with just enough progression through the last third to ensure no unpleasant bottom outs.

Complementing the excellent suspension is a noticeably stiff frame and geometry that is pitched just right for the Triggers trail bike status.

The fast rolling Wolverine tyres, 29er hoops and the comfortable feel of the Cannondale makes it a great all day mile muncher but it is so much more than that.

The fairly steep head tube angle and short front triangle make it a pleasure to throw through tight trails and picking the front end up becomes compulsive.

Out in the open it is fun to spin the bike up to speed and then put it in hard to induce smooth drifts that only need a touch of counter steer to bring under control.

Hitting some pretty steep, rough descents the Cannondale fared better than it had any right to, it’s a very capable bike.


Controlled suspension, the Fox Dyad RT2 really is an excellent unit and the Rock Shox Revelation does a good job at this price point.

Frame stiffness and geometry that gives the Trigger a truly engaging ride.

Good kit that works, this is the bottom of the range model, which makes that statement equally impressive.


It’s a little heavy for a bike in the trail category, but then this is the lowest spec model and the weight does come down as the cost goes up. The relatively steep head tube angle could catch you out on aggressive downhill sections.


The Trigger 4 is a very easy bike to ride; this made me feel relaxed and confident. I soon found myself hopping over logs at the side of the trail and generally messing around, it soon dawned on me that every time I went out on the Cannondale I had fun.

There is more to the Trigger 4 than that though, overall speeds are high and the Cannondale is a true mile muncher.

It is not found wanting when it comes to racing through single track or hammering along undulating trails either.

If you like to enjoy your mountain biking and want a bike that offers an engaging ride yet can still handle a tough terrain dust up then get a test ride on the Cannondale Trigger.

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This review was in Issue 27 of IMB.

For more information visit Cannondale Bicycles


By Rou Chater
Rou Chater is the Publishing Editor of IMB Magazine; he’s a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, but his passion for bikes knows no bounds. His first mountain bike was a Trek 820, which he bought in 1990. It didn’t take him long to earn himself a trip to the hospital on it, and he’s never looked back since. These days he’s keeping it rubber side down, riding locally and overseas as much as possible.

Tried this? What did you think?