The 2021 Cannondale E-Bike Lineup & Our Take On Each Model
Cannondale was founded in 1971 in Wilton, Connecticut, originally as a supplier of precast concrete slabs for use in construction. After one of the co-founders, Joe Montgomery, went on a bike camping trip with his son and thought that having a trail-ready bicycle trailer would have made it so much easier, the first bike-related product, the Bugger trailer, was conceived. They expected to sell a few, but during a trip to the New York Bicycle Show in the very early 80s, they had so many orders for the trailers and bags that even bike dealers were lining up to buy multiples so they could stock their shops.
After 6 months of sales and refinement, Cannondale became the premiere supplier of lightweight bicycle saddlebags and trailers in the world. Using the infrastructure that had been implemented to produce the trailers and bags, in 1983 Todd Patterson, a genius inventor, was brought into the team and designed the first of Cannondale’s extremely lightweight aluminum frame bikes. These were so light and so durable that supply could never keep up with demand once competitive racers got their hands on them.
In the 21st century, Cannondale was at the head of the field in producing carbon fiber frame bikes for both competition and street use. They were also one of the first to jump into the e-Bike segment, in a lucrative deal between themselves and Toshiba, using the latter’s quick-charge lithium-ion-titanite “SCiB” battery pack. Today, they are the class of the field, with 21 models of e-Bikes for use from urban commuting to mountain and trail bikes, all of which fall under the “Neo” moniker to denote them as electric.
The Treadwell Neo is the entry-level bike for those mostly looking for an easy day-to-day bike that doesn’t pretend to be anything else. The bike is rated to be able to travel 47 miles per charge. It also comes with smartphone connectivity to monitor charge, distance travelled, calories burned, and the like.
The Treadwell Neo is fully street legal and has 9 speeds on the rear shifter. Featuring a hidden 250Wh battery and a hub-assist 250W rear motor, it is not designed to drive the bike along. Instead, as the name suggests, it is there to assist the rider in moving the bike. A perfect example is if the onboard sensors detect a steep upwards angle, the motor assists the rear wheel in climbing said hill. The Treadwell Neo has a price tag of $2,500 and is available in Stealth Grey or Highlighter Yellow.
The Treadwell Neo EQ is the commuter bike version that sits at the top of the Treadwell model range. With a package basket up front, mudguards, and a raised handlebar, this bike is meant for the modern professional to use the bike lanes and pathways in their city to reach work. Emphasizing comfort over pure e-fitness, the seat itself is mounted on a suspension spring, as well as the front handlebar upright holding a micro-suspension inside.
Differences that make this bike more upmarket include a headlight and taillight that are controlled from either the electric assist start button on the top tube, or via smartphone app. As well, the package shelf is easily capable of handling a notebook bag or a moderately sized briefcase if tied down.
It has the same 250Wh hidden battery and 250W rear hub assist motor as all other Treadwells, and also has a 9 gear shifter, this time geared slightly more towards low and moderate speed riding. The price tag is $2,650 and only comes in Matte Black.
The Quick Neo SL 2 is a more serious bike for the e-Fitness crowd, featuring a sport-oriented seat and dropped handlebars to improve body position for getting up some speed on the road. Featuring mostly hollow aluminum construction, it also gains lightness by having the front fork made entirely of carbon fiber.
Much like the rest of the e-Fitness lineup from Cannondale, the Quick Neo uses a 250W hub-assist rear motor with a hidden 250Wh battery. It features a Shimano 9 speed rear shifter, and micro-suspension in the handlebar upright at the front. The Quick Neo SL 2 has a price tag of $2,550 and is available only in Sage Grey.
The Quick Neo SL 1 is the upscale e-fitness bike for those serious about the fitness half of the equation. Made of ultra-light hollow aluminum, it features a carbon fiber front fork with micro-suspension in the front upright. The bike features both front and rear lights, with the rear acting as a reflector if not activated, and has a 10-speed shifter instead of the usual 9 of the other Neo models.
The same hub-assist 250W motor kicks in later than it would on other models, allowing for the rider to actually burn more calories and get more of the benefits of low impact cardio exercise. The motor assist button as well as the Cannondale app for smartphones allows for the rider to tune the level of assist they want in finer gradients than the SL 2. The Quick Neo SL 1 has a price tag of $2,950 and only comes in Black Pearl.
The Quick Neo SL 1 Remixte, as with all other Remixte models, is the same bike as the SL 1, except with the dropped top tube. For the SL models, this drop is not as significant as with other model lines and helps keep the structural rigidity of the bike high.
The Quick Neo SL 1 Remixte has a price tag of $2,950 and only comes in White Champagne.
The Adventure Neo 4 takes the ideas of the two introductory lines, the Treadwell and Quick, and flips them on their head. It uses a super-strong yet lightweight aluminum alloy monotube construction, eliminating the top tube entirely to make the Adventure as easy to get on to as a step-through scooter.
As well, the hub-assist electric motor is gone. Instead, a Bosch Active Line 250W drive unit, with a Bosch 400Wh battery mounted in the downtube from the handlebars to the pedals, provides serious power over 65 miles of use.
There are multiple ride modes as well, controlled by a small LCD unit where the left shifter would be on the handlebars. It can turn the assist completely off, or run in eco, tour, sport, or turbo. Each mode is a step up in the amount of assist, with turbo providing up to 29.5 lb-ft of assist torque.
This allows for the bike to easily reach speeds of 20 MPH if you need to flow with stop/go traffic on your ride or commute. The seat has suspension built into the seat upright, so your ride will be smooth and comfortable as well.
The Adventure Neo 4 has a price tag of $2,700 and is available in either Electric Blue or Grey.
The Adventure Neo 3 EQ is the first of three “EQuipped” variants of the Adventure Neo line. This EQ subtitle means that it has mudguards, a pannier rack system, and front shock absorbers that have 63 mm of travel. This is more than enough to handle the urban jungle, with all the little cracks and holes in the road.
Included as well in the EQ subtitle are a front headlight and a rear blinker light that is mounted to the pannier rack system. This is important if you have slightly oversized pannier or topmount bags. The brakes are also upgraded to hydraulic actuation, exactly the same kind of system found on full-spec motorcycles.
The Adventure Neo 3 EQ has a price tag of $3,000 and is available in either Rally Red or Black.
The Adventure Neo 2 EQ steps things up a notch over the Adventure Neo 3 EQ. A Bosch 500Wh battery provides extra distance, with a single charge lasting up to 80 miles of electric assistance. Like the Adventure 3 EQ, it features full mudguards front and rear, and a pannier shelf over the back wheel for saddlebags or a top box.
The Bosch drive line assist also features an uprated 37 lb-ft of torque, so if you come across one of those 30% incline hills on your route, just thumb it into Turbo mode and cruise on up as if you were pedalling on a flat surface. Suspension setup remains unchanged over the Adventure Neo 3 EQ.
The Adventure Neo 4 has a price tag of $3,400 and is available only in Sage Grey.
The Adventure Neo 1 EQ is the premiere version of the Adventure Neo line. A 625Wh battery giving you 85 miles of assist, a top-spec Shimano Deore 10-speed shifter, hydraulically actuated disc brakes, and premium touch materials on the seat and handlebars.
What sets this specific Adventure Neo apart is the inclusion of a Garmin rear-facing radar. Using similar technology that cars use for radar-guided cruise control, the Garmin system will detect cars, bikes, and pedestrians behind and warn the rider if they’re getting too close, too fast. It also features slightly longer suspension travel on the front forks, allowing for even more comfort on the ride.
The Adventure Neo 1 EQ has a price tag of $4,350 and is available only in Emerald.
Motor: Bosch Performance Line Sport 250W Drive unit
Est. Range: 85 mi / 136 km
Top Speed: 28 mph / 45 kph
Pedal Sensor: Unknown
Battery: Bosch PowerTube 500Wh
Transmission: Shimano Acera, 9-speed
If the Adventure Neo line is for those tackling the urban jungle, the Tesoro Neo X line is for those wanting to get a little bit dirty. Using a newly developed “C alloy,” the bike is incredibly light but as stiff as a full on racing mountain bike. The X 3 uses the slightly heavier C2 version of the alloy, but does not sacrifice that much weight in doing so. Paired with the Bosch Performance Line Sport driveline assist motor, an incredible 48 lb-ft of torque, up to 28 MPH, helps the bike conquer both the paved road and the forest trail.
A ruggedized pannier rail, tough mudguards, dual-sport spec tires from Schwalbe, and 100 mm travel front for suspension fills out the comfort and utility of the X 3. An oversize 180mm hydraulic front disc brake helps pull the speed out of the bike as quickly as the driveline assist motor adds it. A 500Wh battery is standard, as is a 9-speed rear sprocket shifter.
The Tesoro Neo X 3 has a price tag of $3,350 and is available only in Black.
Motor: Bosch Performance Line Sport 250W Drive Unit
Est. Range: 85 mi / 136 km
Top Speed: 28 mph / 45 kph
Pedal Sensor: Unknown
Battery: Bosch PowerTube 500Wh
Transmission: Shimano Acera, 9-speed
Much like in the Treadwell Neo and Quick Neo lines, the Tesoro Neo X 3 Remixte is the exact same bike as described above, except with a dropped top tube.
Interestingly, for a bike that is meant to be both on and off road, the dropping of the tube has not affected the structural rigidity of the bike at all.
This means that the X 3 Remixte will be able to handle pretty much anything you throw at it, road or trail-wise, and will get you over, around, or through those obstacles while feeling like a proper, hardcore dual-sport bike.
The Tesoro Neo X 3 Remixte has a price tag of $3,350 and is available only in Black.
The Tesoro Neo X 2 bike takes the X 3, and dials it up to 11, meaning that it has an 11-speed rear sprocket instead of 9-speed. As well, the X 2 is made out of the lighter weight C1 version of Cannondale’s “C alloy,” which means more hollow tubes. Cannondale has not wasted this opportunity, and the X 2 can handle dual batteries if a longer trip, such as e-Bike camping, long distance trail rides, or major bike-lane commutes are possible.
Out of the box, the X 2 can crush 80 miles of mixed mode riding, so with dual batteries, you would realistically have between 140 to 160 miles of electric assist riding. And that’s all contained in a rugged but lightweight frame meant to attack the hills, trails, and gravel that get in your way.
The Tesoro Neo X 2 has a price tag of $4,100 and is available only in Midnight Blue.
As has been repeated time and again, the Remixte version of the X 2 is the exact same bike, except with a dropped top tube. Interestingly for the X 2 model, however, is the fact that despite compressing the space between the top tube and the downtube, the dual battery capability remains unchanged.
Why is that important? Because it shows that through years of experience and engineering excellence, Cannondale has thought of the finer details.
Often, when a frame shape is changed, something needs to be sacrificed to make it work. Not so with the Tesoro Neo X line!
The Tesoro Neo X 3 Remixte has a price tag of $4,100 and is available only in Midnight Blue.
The Tesoro Neo X 1 is the e-Bike for you if you are planning a multi-day trail ride. All you need to do to figure that out is look at the major specs: 62.7 lb-ft of torque, dual-battery ready for two huge 625Wh batteries, each with power for 105 miles. Preload and rebound adjustable front Suntour Raidon 34 100mm front suspension. Integrated motor guard for the rougher parts of the trail.
As well, you get a 12-speed Shimano rear sprocket, allowing for the most control of where and when you want the electric torque to help you out. The saddle sat upon its own independent suspension, meaning if you come over a particularly nasty bump, your tailbone will not suddenly end up around your ears.
The Tesoro Neo X 1 has a price tag of $4,600 and is available only in Meteor Grey.
Par for the course with the Tesoro Neo X 1 Remixte. Unlike the other two models, there is no serious deviation from any specs. With its 29″ wheels, this bike is off-road ready and perfect for a rider who’s looking for a balance of speed, efficiency, and comfort.
Highlights of the bike include a Premium SmartForm C1 Alloy low-step frame, a 250w motor, Shimano 12-speed gearing, a 625Wh battery, and a Kiox color display. The 250w motor takes you up to a max speed of 28 mph.
Another feature of this bike is that like the other bikes in the Cannondale lineup, an integrated wheel sensor allows you to track your activity such as speed, distance, and calories burned. It comes in SM, MD, and LG.
The Tesoro Neo X 1 Remixte has a price tag of $4,600 and is available only in Meteor Grey.
As the name suggests, the Topstone Neo 5 is the least expensive of the top-spec e-Bikes from Cannondale. And oh my, have they packed a lot into this bike. The frame is made of the C1 alloy, while the entirety of the front fork is full carbon fiber. An 11-speed Shimano sprocket at the rear is driven by a Bosch Performance Line Speed drive unit in the pedal section, good to 28 MPH and providing up to 63 lb-ft of torque.
The bike comes with a 500Wh battery, giving it a good 70 miles range. Despite having no front suspension at all, the Topstone is rated as a do-it-all gravel and dirt trail bike. It will also work superbly well on the road.
The Topstone Neo 5 has a price tag of $5,000 and is available only in Black Pearl.
The Topstone Neo Carbon Lefty 3 is where things start to go ultra-premium. A Shimano 11-speed hydraulically actuated sprocket on the rear. The entire frame of the bike being made of ballistic grade carbon fiber, which is extremely durable and extremely lightweight.
It features Kingpin rear suspension with Lefty Oliver single side front suspension with 30 mm travel at the front.
This is an e-Bike that is meant to pose serious problems for a dirt trail that thinks it’s tough, or a gravel and dirt combination trail that is in serious need of conquering.
The Topstone Neo Carbon Lefty 3 has a price tag of $6,300 and is available only in Grey.
If you thought that the buck stopped with the Carbon Lefty 3, it doesn’t. The same ballistic carbon fiber frame is about the only similarity. The Shimano 11-speed hydraulic rear sprocket has a dual activation, to ensure the proper gear is selected when the rider demands it.
A full color Bosch Kiox display with under-bar mounted control unit brings the functionality of the Cannondale smartphone app directly onto the bike.
The Carbon 2 also features a 180 mm hydraulic front and 160 mm hydraulic rear brake. The entire braking and shifting management is through Shimano GRX controls, which are pretty much the best in class. This is a serious bike, for a serious rider.
The Topstone Neo Carbon 2 has a price tag of $7,200 and is available only in Black Pearl.
This is it. If you are looking for the highest tech, most feature packed, lightest, fastest e-Bike that Cannondale makes, you are looking for the Topstone Neo Carbon Lefty 1. Ballistic carbon frame. A Lefty Oliver single side 30mm front suspension. SRAM X01 Eagle eTap AXS rear sprocket with 12 speeds. SRAM Force AXS hydraulic brakes, which are full off-road competition grade. A saddle with a flex suspension system that smooths out bumps the rest of the bike doesn’t already.
The Carbon Lefty 1 is for when you want to annihilate the mountain in front of you, scrabbling up the shale and gravel, dropping carefully over rocks, needing that instant torque boost to get you up and over a big tree root. And, being made of ballistic-grade carbon fiber, even if you hit a tree at 20 MPH, you’re probably going to come off way worse than the bike will!
The Topstone Neo Carbon Lefty 1 has a price tag of exactly $10,000 and is available only in Emerald.