Cannondale have cemented themselves as a strong player in the e-MTB market thanks to the versatility of their rides.
The Cannondale Moterra Neo Carbon 2 is their mid-range offer in the highly regarded Moterra carbon series.
In our Cannondale Moterra Neo Carbon 2 review, we’ll look at everything the bike has to offer and decided whether it’s another definite Cannondale e-MTB to purchase or one to avoid.
Join us as we get stuck into the Neo Carbon 2…..
Our Verdict At A Glance
Another seriously versatile e-MTB by the guys at Cannondale. It’s another real all-rounder, which can take on some very tricky terrain, handles well, packs a punch and is light-weight. It can be thrown down steep descents as well as it can climb up the steep inclines, meanwhile, remaining a comfortable ride throughout. It isn’t for early stage riders however and is pricey, so we wouldn’t suggest it being bought by anyone who doesn’t know what their doing on an E-MTB or MTB.
Cannondale Moterra Neo Carbon 2
As the name suggests, you’ve got a fully carbon frame here, which means the bike is nice and light.
It weighs in at 23.2kg, much lighter than the later aluminium bikes in the Cannondale Moterra range.
Its low centre of gravity, coupled with that light weight means it’s incredibly agile and easy to manipulate through the corners and tricky twisty sections.
The handling of this bike is a big selling point and it gives you the confidence to throw the bike into steep descents.
All the cables on the Moterra Neo Carbon 2 run through the stem, so it feels a tidy front end of the bike.
That light weight, enduro design also helps with the bike’s climbing efficiency. It dances confidently up steep descents, thanks to its powerful Bosch motor, coupled with that carbon frame – it’s aimed at high end riders, who want to take on the toughest tracks, particularly with a focus on the enduro and downhill disciplines.
The Moterra Carbon Neo 2 is a bike that can take some serious abuse.
The Moterra Carbon Neo 2 has a decent size of a battery – 625Wh, which is hidden nicely into the frame of the bike.
The manufacturer’s stated range for the battery is 108km (67 miles), which isn’t too dissimilar to some of the other bikes in the Moterra Neo range such as the Moterra 5 only having 7 miles less. There are certainly bikes which can go a lot further, but this is around average for a mid-level e-MTB.
However, one downside is the charge time of the Carbon Neo 2. It takes around 6 and a half hours to fully charge up the battery, which isn’t anywhere near the quickest in the e-MTB market.
But there are positives – when you take into account that light-weight carbon fibre frame, coupled with the chunky size of battery, it means you can have confidence in the battery’s power on the steep inclines.
The battery is situated low and central in the frame’s down tube, which gives it a balanced centre of gravity, ideal for manipulating the bike through some pretty gnarly downhill sections too.
The Cannondale Neo 2 comes with a powerful Bosch Performance Line CX motor, which packs a real punch.
It emits 85Nm of torque and that power, along with the light-weight frame, helps you fly up some tricky inclines.
That light-weight frame has some elements to consider though – it might feel a little unbalanced on the steepest sections, with its front wheel riding up without some decent down pressure.
But that’s a minor issue when you take into account how easily it powers up the mountain.
The motor is protected nicely by an aluminium skid plate, so you can throw the bike around without worrying about the motor getting damaged.
It has an overall top assisted speed of 25km/h (15.5mph) and has various modes you can flick between including – turbo, sport, tour, eco and walk assist.
These all offer you something different, so you can conserve battery when on the flat and easy sections, and really crank up to the turbo mode on the steepest of inclines.
The Moterra Carbon Neo 2 is a full suspension ride, with 160mm travel at both the front and rear.
It has the new RockShox Zeb Select forks at the front end and RockShox Deluxe Select R, Debon Air rear shocks.
As a result, it feels incredibly balanced on the tricky descents and it soaks up the bumps well, leaving you feeling comfortable throughout the ride – including on those big drops and through challenging rock gardens.
As we mentioned earlier, it’s a fun ride and it will take on some gnarly terrain with ease.
For most of us the Neo Carbon 2 will do the job nicely.
There could be one downside for new-school downhill riders. They’re unlikely to feel comfortable on the steepest descents, with quick transitioning corners, due to the 66.5 degree head tube angle and 51mm offset, which is different to a lot of other bikes.
However, this does make the bike feel snappy and manoeuvrable, which some might prefer – it’s not necessarily a big negative, it’s just a different feel on the bike and takes some getting used to.
The Cannondale Moterra 2 comes with Magura MT5 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes.
They’re super responsive and you can pull up the brakes really late on going into fast corners and switch-backs.
When you take into account the 160mm full suspension and the quality of the brakes it fills you with confidence in all sorts of terrain.
The Moterra Neo Carbon 2 comes with 27.5inch or 29inch x 2.6inch Maxxis Assegai, dual compound, tyre at the front and a 27.5 inch or 29 inch x 2.6 inch Maxxis DHR II tyre at the rear.
The chunky tyres soak up the pressure really well on those really bobbly and uneven sections, and the slightly wide tyre makes you feel nice and balanced.
Need more info on tyres? Head to our guide on selecting the right mtb tyres.
The Moterra Neo Carbon 2 comes with a 12 speed SRAM XG-1275 Eagle Cassette and SRAM NX Eagle 12 speed shifters.
It also comes with a new Hill Hold stop function, which gives you assistance and stops the bike rolling backwards if you’re having to walk/push it up a tricky, hard to spin, section.
This is by no means at the cheap end of the market, but it’s pitched right for the level of riding the bike can contend with.
It isn’t an entry level bike, it’s geared up for some serious riding and although it might not be up to scratch for the very top riders, this can take on a lot of punishment and come out glowing. If you are a top rider looking to push the absolute limits and have the budget to match your skills, the Moterra Neo Carbon 1 might be a better option to look at.
Facts & Figures
|Model Name||Moterra Neo Carbon 2|
|Frame||160mm travel, BallisTec Carbon Front Triangle, SmartForm C1 Alloy Swingarm, Proportional Response Tuned Suspension, removable downtube battery, alloy skid plate, Ai offset drivetrain, internal cable routing, 148x12mm thru-axle, post mount brake, tapered headtube|
|Fork||RockShox Zeb Select, Charger RC, 160mm, DebonAir, 15×110, 51mm offset|
|Headset||Integrated Sealed Bearing, Tapered|
|Rear Shock||RockShox Deluxe Select R, DebonAir|
|Drive Unit||Bosch Performance Line CX 250W|
|Battery||Bosch PowerTube 625Wh|
|Rear Derailleur||SRAM GX Eagle|
|Shifters||SRAM NX Eagle, single click, 12-speed|
|Chain||SRAM NX Eagle, 12-speed|
|Crank||FSA Bosch E-bike w/ custom Ai offset, 160mm, 34T|
|Rear Cogs||SRAM XG-1275 Eagle, 10-52, 12-speed|
|Brakes||Magura MT5 4-piston hydraulic disc, Magura MDR-P 220/203mm, 6-bolt rotors|
|Brake Levers||Magura MT5 Trail HC hydraulic disc|
|Rims||WTB ST i29 TCS, 32h, tubeless ready|
|Front Hub||Formula 15×110|
|Rear Hub||SRAM MTH 700, 12 x 148, XD Driver|
|Spokes||DT Swiss Champion|
|Tires||(F) Maxxis Assegai, 27.5/29 x 2.6″, dual compount, EXO, tubeless ready / (R) Maxxis DHR II, 27.5/29 x 2.6″, 3C, EXO+, tubeless ready|
|Front Tire||Maxxis Assegai, 27.5/29 x 2.6″, dual compount, EXO, tubeless ready|
|Rear Tire||Maxxis DHR II, 27.5/29 x 2.6″, 3C, EXO+, tubeless ready|
|Handlebar||Cannondale 3 Riser, 6061 Alloy, 15mm rise, 8° sweep, 4° rise, 780mm|
|Stem||Cannondale 1, 3D Forged 6061 Alloy, 1-1/8″, 31.8, 7°|
|Saddle||Fabric Scoop Shallow Sport, steel rails|
|Seatpost||Cannondale DownLow Dropper, internal routing, 31.6, 100mm (S), 125mm (M), 150mm (L/XL)|
|Extra 1||Preinstalled light cables|
|Seat Tube Length (cm)||40.0||43.0||46.0||51.0|
|Top Tube Horizontal (cm)||58.7||61.4||63.8||66.6|
|Top Tube Actual (cm)||52.2||55.2||57.8||61.2|
|Head Tube Angle||66.0°||66.0°||66.0°||66.0°|
|Seat Tube Angle Effective||75.0°||75.0°||75.0°||75.0°|
|Seat Tube Angle||67.0°||67.0°||67.0°||67.0°|
|Head Tube Length (cm)||10.0||11.0||12.0||13.0|
|Front Center (cm)||73.5||77.2||79.7||82.7|
|Chain Stay Length (cm)||45.0||45.0||45.0||45.0|
|Bottom Bracket Drop (cm)||1.0||1.8||1.8||1.8|
|Bottom Bracket Height (cm)||35.1||36.2||36.2||36.2|
|Fork Rake (cm)||4.4||5.1||5.1||5.1|
Thank you for tucking into another of our Cannondale electric bike reviews.
The Moterra Neo Carbon 2 is another incredibly versatile bike, which thrives in a variety of terrain – from the tricky twisty downhill sections, to the punishing climbs.
This is genuine all-rounder which will cope with most things you will throw at it, while remaining steady and comfortable throughout.
This is another very accomplished Cannondale e-MTB, but that does come at a cost and it isn’t on the cheaper end of the scale.
It certainly stands firm in the e-MTB market though and is a decent option for riders who are looking to step up into some more challenging terrain.
So what are you waiting for?
Get out there and get spinning.