The 2019 Cannondale Trail 6 Mountain Bike: The Full Review

Cannondale trail 6 2019 review

Well-built with an accessible price point, the Trail 6 is the newest mid-range mountain bike from Cannondale. Cannondale’s known for having a balance of price, smart components, and quality of build in their bikes. This makes them great for beginners or intermediate bikers.

The new Cannondale Trail 6 is a hardtail with a 100 mm SR Suntour fork in the front and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes in the rear. What do these parts mean? Well, it’s going to be a great choice as someone’s first entry into the real world of mountain biking. If you’re one to frequent gravel bike paths or smooth single tracks, this is a good choice as well.

We’re going to do a deep dive into this bike’s features, components, and our personal opinion in this full Cannondale Trail 6 review. But first, let’s break down the quick specs:

Cannondale Six Mountain Bike: Specs

cannondale trail 6 2019

Wheel Size: 27.5 or 29 inches
Bike Frame: Alloy C2
Suspension: 100 mm front (great for cross-country riding)
Gears: 2×9
Weight: 30 lbs
Brakes: Disc brakes
Derailleur Gears: Shimano Acera and MicroShift
Fork: Suntour XCM-RL
Current Price: Under $1000 (check the listed price now!)

Benefits Overview: 

This bike has a high-quality aluminum frame with modern geometry. It delivers a solid performance on a variety of trails, making it truly versatile for mountain biking and hill climbs. It’s good during both descents and ascents. This is a great option for new riders.

Drawbacks Overview:

Some components on this bike are entry-level. While that’s not the worst thing, dedicated riders might prefer upgrades. This is a more technical singletrack bike, so higher quality components could improve its overall performance.

Cannondale Trail 6 Features Overview

In our Cannondale Trail 6 review, we found that what makes this bike so exceptional is how all the components work together for a smooth and exhilarating ride. This bike is the sum of its parts. If you’re already pumped, you can buy the bike now! Otherwise, stick around and check out what benefits each component offers below:

Frame

The frame of the Cannondale Trail Six consists of C2 Alloy that was specially reinforced for trail riding. The technology used in the material helps to absorb a high level of vibration from the road. The frame keeps you balanced, smooth, and steady as you ride.

The frame is durable and double-welded yet still light. You’ll even notice that the weight is evenly distributed throughout the entire body. This frame is the same one that is fitted for much more expensive models. Consider that as part of the major value you’re getting from this bike.

Steering/Fork

Suntour XCT 100mm fork

The Trail 6 comes complete with a Suntour XCT 100mm fork with coil springs. Its pre-load option means it won’t compress unless it sustains a pretty big hit. The remote-handling lockout feature will minimize energy loss. 

You’ll notice a switch fitted on to the handlebar. This allows for engaged or disengaged suspension whenever you want. It’s responsive and will work well on easy to mid-level rides.

The Cannondale Trail 6 mountain bike doesn’t have overly aggressive ergonomics. This makes it great for an entry-level bike.

Derailleurs and Drivetrain

The Trail 6 from Cannondale boasts a 2×9 drivetrain from Shimano. Shimano is a giant in the cycling industry, and they are known for producing a large selection of top-notch gear. Put simply, with a Shimano drivetrain, you can rest assured of its quality. It’s nice and light, which entails great speed ability and nimbleness. The drivetrain is powered by a KMC X9 chain, which is a standard 9-speed for this price range. It can last a long time as long as you clean and regularly lube it.

While we were excited by the drivetrain on this bike, we were a tad disappointed by the derailleurs. We’ve got the powerful Shimano Acera Shadow shifting in the rear, but the front side has Microshift.

Microshift isn’t the worst set up. However, there are better options out there. With Microshift, you might notice some shifting if you’re doing a lot of uphill trail work. The derailleurs shouldn’t give out, but they don’t do well in maintaining tension in the long run.

Brakes and Tires

Depending on the size of the frame you choose, your bike will either come with 27.5” tires or 29” tires. The Cannondale Trail 6 29er is just a slightly larger model with a larger frame. Regardless of the tire, all of them will be WTB Ranger Comp 2.25”.

These tires use a micro-square tread to give a lot of traction on even the smoothest of rides. The knobs aren’t too big and won’t slow you down on paved roads. The only time the small knobs could present an issue is in wet or muddy conditions when they might not grip as well.

A mountain bike like this one has lots of stopping power with its Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes. With 160mm rotors fitted on the front and rear wheels, you’ll have equally distributed force when stopping. If you press the braking levers with your hands, you’ll feel the serious kind of control it promises.

mountain bike in motion

Ready for a ride that gives you full control? Check out the Cannondale Six Mountain Bike today!

Pedals and Saddle

There’s so much that stands out about this bike. Unfortunately, the saddle and pedals aren’t part of that. These are pretty standard features across all of the Cannondale bikes within the same price range.

Standard components aren’t a bad thing. And it says something that Cannondale’s pedals and saddle have not received a ton of negative reviews or complaints. Sure, there might be a more comfortable saddle, but it’s also not the worst one out there.

The flat pedals are the Cannondale Platform option. These aren’t clipless, but if that’s what you prefer, it’s easy to fit them to this model.

What It’s Like to Ride

While the components and specifications of a bike are important to know before buying, they’re not the most important.

If you’re a cyclist, the most important thing to you is the ride. You want to know how it will feel on the trail when it’s just you and the bike. That’s why we took the Trail 6 for a test drive to clue you in on just how it feels to ride.

Most bikes will either stand out in their climbing or descending power. What’s so distinct about this model, besides the affordable Cannondale trail 6 price, is that it’s great all around. 

It’s versatile enough for an easy ride with friends and family but also shines with speed and precision on a fast singletrack. It’s a true generalist in that sense. It performs satisfactorily in several different circumstances. From hill climbing to cross-country trekking, you can do anything with the Trail 6.

When descending, the solid traction will help you feel secure and balanced. There might be a slight loss of grip in muddy, greasy, or wet conditions, but that’s a risk for any bike and tread. There’s very little rolling resistance, which makes for great transitions from trails to sidewalks and beyond.

For hill climbs, the Trail 6 can also motor its way up steep hills. The upright geometry of the bike will make extended climbs pretty comfortable. Also, the front suspension’s remote can lock out the fork to create a more efficient uphill ride. While super bumpy and rocky terrain might be too much, a gentle uphill slope is just right.

Benefits

  • High-quality components from Shimano ensures extended years of worry-free performance
  • Frame built with tough yet lightweight aluminum C2 Alloy; a great foundation for future upgrades
  • Versatile handling for both bike paths and singletrack trails thanks to grippy and fast-rolling tires.
  • For smaller riders, smaller frame size option with 27.5-inch wheels available for improved fit and performance 
  • Rack mounts on the bike make it easy to tote along for commutes
  • A great option for a first “real” mountain bike
  • Durable brakes perform even under heavy stress
  • Remote lockout option is a big plus for steep uphill climbs
  • Lifetime warranty included

Drawbacks

  • Derailleurs could be better; you might want to invest in upgrades
  • Small tire knobs may present issues in wet or muddy conditions
  • The SR Suntour suspension fork doesn’t perform well on singletrack trails that require technical riding; should not be a problem for beginner riders
  • No dropper seat makes steep descents difficult; to fix this, simply dismount and re-adjust the seat
  • Quick-release axles may be dated and less efficient; components can be upgraded with thru-axles

Final Review

This is a solid choice for a bike if you’re new to the mountain biking scene. It will serve you well on a variety of terrains. You’ll find ease in both trekking uphill and flying downhill, thanks to components like a remote lockout, Shimano drivetrain, and pre-load option. If you’re new to the trail life and you see a Cannondale Trail 6 for sale, don’t miss your chance.

BUY IT NOW AT A REDUCED PRICE AND GEAR UP TO HIT THE TRAILS