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Cannondale Adventure Neo 1EQ Review

Last updated 
robb dorr
By
Robb Dorr,
Co-founder
Images from manufacturer's website

85 mi

RANGE

20 mph

TOP SPEED

4 hrs

CHARGE TIME

55 lbs

WEIGHT

Mid-drive

MOTOR TYPE

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Cannondale Adventure Neo 1EQ Review: Takeaway

If you can find $4,400 for the top-of-the-line Adventure Neo 1 EQ, you’ll have radar telling you how far and fast cars are behind you. Controversial in the cycling world, the SmartSense technology is set to save cyclists’ lives by allowing you to take evasive action to avoid being rear-ended.

Even if you can’t splurge for the top model, the whole range of Adventure Neo electric bikes are built with comfort and safety in mind, making for best-in-class e-bikes for commuters and city dwellers.

Ideal for...

Riding on busy streets and fast roads (with SmartSense tech)
Commuting to work
Mobility issues
Shopping
Riding out with friends on a tour/adventure

E-Bike Overview

This series of electric bikes all sport great 27.5″ road wheels, 2.2″ tires, integrated front and rear lights, and comfortable seating positions.

The Bosch electric powertrain and Shimano (on the 1 and 2) and Tektro (on the 3 and 4) brakes and gears make for best-in-class riding. Even with only 50 Newton meters (Nm) of torque, the three cheaper models will make sweating up a hill a thing of the past.

Groundbreaking technology aside, the Adventure Neo range is all about comfort and style. All models are pedal assist, so you won’t have a throttle, but this does mean added range.

Reasons to Buy

All four models come with great saddles and are step-through bikes — if you are less mobile or older, this means you can get out on your electric bike with your friends and family.

The Neo 1 has a 625Wh battery, making it ideal for long days in the saddle. However, even the Neo 4 has a 400Wh battery that still offers 40 miles of realistic range.

The SmartSense technology is reliable and simple to use. It gives a green light on the control screen for vehicles that are far away. Should one come up quickly, you get a red flashing line on your screen. The sensor also alters your rear light to flash urgently to catch the sight of the vehicle driver — hopefully giving you both enough warning to prevent a crash.

Things to Consider

While the SmartSense technology can be useful, it only works if drivers are alert. It won’t stop a vehicle from hitting you if the driver isn’t paying attention.

Across the models of the range, we’re disappointed in there being too great a step between each model. There’s nearly a $900 leap between the Neo 1 EQ and Neo 2 EQ and only a $650 difference between the Neo 2 EQ and Neo 4 EQ.

The bottom end Neo 4 EQ bears little resemblance to the Neo 1 EQ. Though the Neo 1 EQ has the SmartSense tech, it also has by far the best battery and motor. Could Cannondale have offered a better battery and motor for the Neo 2 EQ and evened out the range?

Specs & Components

Safety System
Cannondale SmartSense with rear facing radar (top model 1 EQ only)
Motor
Bosch Performance mid-drive (up to 60Nm of torque on 1 EQ model)
Battery
400Wh to 625Wh depending on model
Brakes
Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
Cargo
Panniers on 3 of 4 models excluding Neo 4
Gears
9- to 10-speed depending on model
Wheel Size
650b

The specs above come from the manufacturer and may vary from what you’ve experienced. Notice something that needs correcting? Let us know.

Ratings

Power
4/5
4

In the case of the top end Adventure 1 EQ, it comes with the top of the range Bosch Performance Line Cruise mid-drive motor that will easily take you to 20 mph before cutting out. Offering up to 65 Newton meters of torque, a fear of hills will be a thing of the past.

Unfortunately, the wide road tires will impact flat-out speed thanks to friction with the road. The other components such as the saddle, forks, and battery all add weight to the electric bike, bringing about inefficiencies that are essentially trade-offs between better rider experience and pure speed.

Range
5/5
5

On the top spec Adventure 1 EQ, you get a 625 Watt hour battery. Though it likely won’t get you the claimed 85 miles of range on a ride — more like 60 in realistic conditions — this sort of power and range will allow you to do a big day’s cycle trekking.

As with all electric bikes, range will be impacted by the terrain on which you ride, how much cargo you’re carrying, your own bodyweight, and your average speed. However, this is an efficient electric bike in terms of power output and battery use, so these issues impacting efficiency aren’t an issue compared to cheaper, heavier e-bikes.

Comfort
5/5
5

All four models of the Cannondale Adventure Neo have the rider in a confident, upright position with a comfortable riding posture. For your rear, a very wide and comfortable saddle (made specially for this line of e-bikes) will allow you to ride many miles without getting saddle-sore.

In addition, 63mm travel Suntour forks will absorb most of the bumps and potholes on a route, and these are helped with the 2.2” road tires on mid-sized 27.5” wheels.

Durability
5/5
5

There are a lot of parts on this electric bike that will require maintenance. The pedal drivetrain will require regular oiling (and replacement every 500-1,000 miles), and the brake pads will need looking at around 500-700 miles of cycling.

However, in terms of a machine that you’ll be able to use for many years to come, look no further than the Adventure EQ line of e-bikes. With top quality components and technology, this machine will serve you well with the right maintenance.

Style
4/5
4

With a traditional upright city bike style, the Cannondale Adventure Neo looks very much of the modern day. The well-proportioned downtube and wheels and an overall crisp, clean look of the machine create a very high-tech e-bike with sober yet stylish lines. This is very much the sort of electric bike you’d like your friends to see you riding, as it’ll show you have an eye for quality.

Our Research Methodology

We personally research and test every e-bike featured in our reviews and guides to provide accurate, data-driven recommendations. Learn how we review.

About Our Editorial Team

robb dorr
Written by Robb Dorr
Co-founder
Robb is a massive cycling enthusiast who has more than 20 years of non-motorized cycling experience. He started eBikes.org to lower the barrier of entry to cycling and reduce the intimidation people can experience when getting into the cycling world.

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