Cannondale vs. Specialized Mountain Bikes – Which should you choose?

Trail riding and cross country are two great ways to incorporate an adventurous escapade with a good solid workout. If you’re a fan of cycling, then I don’t have to tell you that you need to ensure you choose the right option for your riding needs. Picking between Cannondale vs. specialized mountain bikes, for example, requires you first to gather enough data to make a well-informed decision.

Mountain bikes are an excellent way to get a fun and exciting workout during the weekends or on your days off. Exploring various trails can introduce you to new experiences you would have never encountered when sitting around in your house. This can also be a good way to spend time with friends and family when organizing such a get-together. However, choosing the right mountain bike for your needs may not always be as easy as it sounds. There are a variety of brands in the market that you can choose from when looking for a suitable option.

Two of the major producers of quality mountain bikes include Cannondale and Specialized. These companies are continually looking for new ways to enhance a rider’s experience with their products. If you’re seeking a reliable option in the market, then studying the various aspects of these two manufacturers can be a great place to start. You should note that both producers have a roster of options in this category, with each exhibiting a variety of benefits and characteristics according to a rider’s particular needs. To simply understand the general differences between these two bikes, I have compared and contrasted similar models from each company.

Some of the elements you can use in your comparison when studying the different characteristics of these two bikes include:

Specialized Mountain Bike
Catalyst SmartForm C3 Alloy
A1 Premium Aluminum
Tektro Cable Actuated Disc
Radius Cx7 Mechanical Disc
Seat Post
Alloy, micro-adjust
Alloy, 12mm Offset

Cannondale vs. Specialized Mountain Bikes – How to Choose


Both the Cannondale and Specialized mountain bikes boast a light frame due to the components involved. Specialized mountain bikes implement an A1 premium aluminum to their structure, while the Cannondale alternative exhibits a specialized C3 alloy created to enhance the strength and endurance of the material. Most alloys have aluminum as a major part of their ingredients; thus it can be said that premium aluminum will feature similar effective properties as their alloy counterparts.

The Bike’s Chain

An issue that many people tend to overlook when considering a potential bike purchase is the quality of the chains involved. Yes, the chains may look new, sparkly and durable when it’s at the shop – but is there anything extra offering protection against the elements? Remember, mountain biking often involves off-road trails that are full of dirt and moisture which means your chain can rust in a short time. Specialized mountain bikes add an anti-corrosion coating to their chains, as well as provide a reusable missing link with purchases.

Bike Geometry

The structure of the bike is another important element to consider. A quality mountain bike should allow for a relaxed and comfortable position when riding. This can be achieved through the particular design of the bicycle’s frame and structure. Specialized mountain bikes implement their Sport Trail 27.5 Geometry in many of their models. This allows for easier versatility from the bike, allowing you to navigate different terrains easily.

The Cannondale mountain bike comes with an upright riding position, as well as easy-reach ground elevation. This means that you can comfortably set your feet on the ground when coming to a stop, enhancing the balance and safety you can enjoy. The upright riding position ensures your back doesn’t suffer from too much exertion due to having to maintain an uncomfortable posture for extended periods.


Another element you might not consider is the particular size that is right for your needs. If you buy a bike that is too big, you will have trouble controlling it. If you buy a bike that is too small, on the other hand, then you will most likely be very uncomfortable whenever you’re on it. Cannondale mountain bikes offer you five general choices when it comes to size, namely XS, S, M, L, and XL. Specialized mountain bikes, however, are divided according to gender in some cases. Meaning one model can come in both a male and female format. It should be noted that the difference between these two options mainly consist of size and build.

Cannondale vs. Specialized Mountain Bikes Product Review


Catalyst 3, sport bike, sporting bike, hardtail bike, mountain bike, MTB, cannondale, aluminum

If you want an exciting way to enhance your riding experience, then the Cannondale mountain bike is the right choice for you. Boasting an SR Suntour coil spring with preloaded adjustments, the bike is an excellent option for going cross country or riding across paved roads. Its dual-density grips ensure your hands remain comfortable during an extended ride.


• A SmartForm C3 alloy frame that reduces its overall bulk.

• Upright riding position design in its geometry that enhances the potential comfort enjoyed by the rider.


• The bike chains are not reinforced with an anti-corrosion coating.

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Specialized Mountain Bikes$hybris-hd$

Specialized mountain bikes are a great option for those looking to enhance the leisurely experience of a particular ride. Featuring a coil-sprung suspension that punches way above its weight, it focuses on ensuring a rider can comfortable navigate any route they choose. Its 8-speed gear system allows you to be comfortable navigating different up and downhill locations without much effort.


• Anti-corrosion coating on the bike chains to enhance its durability.

• Specialized dirt pedals to handle off-road terrains.


• The replaceable alloy derailleur is not always easy to manage without prior experience.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do mountain bikes have to be for off-road trails?

No, mountain bikes can function just as efficiently on paved routes and roads used by motorists. It does, however, offer the best experience when considering off-road escapades.

Is alloy as strong as steel?

An alloy is made up of a mixture of different metallic components that are designed to enhance the properties of the final material. Though it may not always be stronger than steel, it’s designed to offer adequate protection to the frame of your bicycle.

Does the Gear System on my bicycle affect how fast I can go?

The gear system on a mountain bike offers a means for you to better negotiate different terrains and elevations in a route. This ease can result in faster speeds attained, but that improvement will be a product of your effort and not an enhancement by the gear system.

What is an upright riding position geometry?

An upright riding position geometry is a design on Cannondale mountain bikes that allow the rider to maintain a straight position when they ride, instead of having to bend over the handlebars. This can offer better comfort over extended periods.

Can the size of my mountain bike affect how fast I can go?

Technically speaking, yes. You need to find a size that is just right for you, otherwise, you will have problems with control and navigation. This, in turn, will affect your speed and overall progress.


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