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Cannondale is a company that is passionate about biking. You can just tell that they absolutely love riding and are willing to try out new ideas. Enter engineer John Kramer AKA “The Kid”. He had an idea for a new all mountain bike that was capable of being ridden up hill and could handle anything that the trail could throw at you on the way down.

Cannondale Perp. Check out the welds.

As he started to make notes a couple of features kept coming to mind: low stand over height, 1.5” head tube and make the bike as adjustable as possible for a variety of conditions. The result was the Perp, a classic single pivot Cannondale bike that was ready to take on mountains. Lke all Cannondale frames the Perp features smooth welds (or double pass) were you don’t see the standard “line of dimes” that everyone else has. The tubes look like they have been molded all together and cast into one large frame at once instead of being welded together. the lines on the bike are very striking and it is pretty to look ad. You can easily see that Cannondale takes pride in building great bikes.

Cannondale Perp. Check out the welds.

The major difference between the Perp and almost every other frame is that the Perp has a adjustable travel from 180mm - 200mm just by unscrewing the shock mounts and relocated them to a secondary set of holes. The boys at head office also did a kindness by screen-printing onto the frame which hole was which travel length so that the older, more forgetful ones had no problem piecing it back together. The net result is that you can basically set this bike up to ride anything that Whistler or the shore can throw at it and have the confidence that you will be able to roll home at the end of the day.

Cannondale Perp.

The suspension had a typical single pivot feeling that was very plush and it almost felt bottomless on Dirt Merchant / Schleyer. The rear travel profile has a shelf in the middle giving it great absorption of breaking bumps and smaller trails obstacles in the first part of the travel while still being able to handle the big drops without feeling like you just fell of the face of the world. But I did have a small problem with the bike. Under load (suspension compressed) if I tried to change direction the back end tended to slip out on me. Didn’t seem to matter if I was going around a corner or coming off a face of a jump it just didn’t seem to like being squished and turned at the same time.

Cannondale Perp.

The Perp 2 comes with The Rock Shox Domain forks, but mine had a set of Totem forks instead (like the Perp 1 has). I found that they liked to dive in the corners and I had to pay very careful attention when railing around in a corner. Wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it was a totally different feeling for a fork than my trusty 888. Upon closer inspection and conference with the Cannondale head of R&D it seemed that I was under sprung on both the forks and rear shock and that swapping out the coils for some stiffer ones would help make the bike act more like it was intended to.

Cannondale Perp.

My Perp was spec’d well with a good mixture of parts that fit the market quite well. My only question was why they decided to use Hayes HFX-9 brakes. The rest of the bike was kitted out with SRAM products so it would seem that a set of Juicy’s would have been the easy answer, also I thought that the FOX Van R should have been swapped out for a DHX 4 or 5, for a bike that is suppose to be ridden up hills as well as down the Pro Pedal would have been a nice addition. Cannondale calls the weight for the Perp 2 at 41 lbs which isn't bad for a freeride bike, but if I was to have this as my "one for all bike" I would swap out the rubber for some light single ply tires no smaller than 2.35" and some nice light tubes to decrease the rotating mass.

Cannondale Perp Lowdown
Frame PERP, 180-200 mm
Fork RockShox Domain 318 Coil 1.5", 180 mm, Thru-20
Rear Shock FOX Van R Coil
Rims Mavic EX325, 36 hole
Hubs Thru-20 front, Sun Ringle Abbah Lawwill Thru-12 rear
Spokes DT Swiss Champion
Tires Maxxis Minion, 26 x 2.5"
Pedals Cannondale GRIND EX Platform
Crank TruVatiV Ruktion, 24/36/PC guard
Chain Shimano 9-speed
Rear Cogs SRAM PG-950, 11-34
Bottom Bracket TruVatiV Howitzer
Front Derailleur Shimano LX
Rear Derailleur SRAM X-9
Shifters SRAM X-7 Trigger
Handlebars FSA FR-330BOS, 40 mm rise
Stem Cannondale Freeride 1.5", 31.8 mm
Headset FSA Orbit Xtreme Pro 1.5"
Brakeset Hayes HFX-9 w/8" rotors
Brakelevers Hayes HFX-9
Saddle VELO 2051 FR
Seat Post Cannondale C4 Alloy
Colors Teak Brown (matte) (BRN)
Sizes S, M, L, XL
Extras Cannondale GRIND Grip, TruVativ Chainring Shift Guide

Opinion: If you can only afford one bike and like riding uphill then coming down hitting all the jumps and drops along the way this could be the bike for you. Having the suspension setup properly for your weight will make a dramatic change in how the bike feels and acts on the trail.

Sizes: S, M, L, XL.

Colours: Brown.

Plus: Durable, adjustable travel, clean lines and pretty to look at.

Minus: Weight if you are more of a climber.

MSRP: $2700 cdn ($2699usd)

Website: http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/07/cusa/mountain/perp/model-7VNG2.html

Rating: 3.5/5