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Cannondale Habit 2 Neo
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Electric assist mountain bikes (eMTB from this point on in the article) in the $6-7K segment like my Cannondale Habit Neo 2 are the most popular and fastest growing segment of mountain bikes offered today - if you can find one. This Cage Match could easily be a comparison between Trek Rail, Giant Stance, Specialized Levo or any other brands in this category. But it is its competitor, the Trek E-Caliber 9.6, that makes this comparison worth writing. To research this article I took the opportunity to commandeer Tricia’s Trek E-Caliber 9.6, one of the new generation lightweight eMTBs. Hopefully this comparison is intriguing enough to keep your attention until I disclose our (patent pending) Who is it for?/Who is it not for? at the end.

eMTBs still fall under Cycling Rule 10.6.B regarding weight: The more you spend, the less you get. Whereas the majority of the eMTBs are 50 pounders like the Habit 2 Neo, we are seeing a new class of eMTBs emerging with a scale-friendly sub 40-pound weight. These lightweight eMTBs achieve that lean weight a couple of ways. The slimming down of the bikes starts with a lighter drive pack like the smaller modular battery system on the Orbea Rise with Shimano EP8-RS drive, or the Trek E-Caliber’s unique Fazua drive pack, one of the lightest and most compact assist systems in the industry. This weight savings usually comes at a financial cost, and the lightweight segment can be one of the most expensive of the eMTB category. Bikes like the lightweight 36-ish pound Trek E-Caliber 9.9 XXI, the high end brother to the E-Caliber 9.6 discussed here, comes in just a penny under $13.5K. Tricia’s OCLV carbon framed E-Caliber 9.6 is arguably one of the best light eMTB values at $6599.99. So, how does a 10lb weight difference between these two segments change your real world riding experience and, most importantly, which one is better … for you?

If you to
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