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Cannondale Moterra Neo 3 Review

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

75 mi

RANGE

20 mph

TOP SPEED

5 hrs

CHARGE TIME

50 lbs

WEIGHT

Mid-drive

MOTOR TYPE

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Cannondale Moterra Neo 3 Review: Takeaway

If you’re serious about mountain biking and want to move into electric mountain biking, the Cannondale Moterra Neo 3 could well be your first introduction to eMTB. With upper-midrange components, this is a beast that won’t disappoint as you take on the hardest terrain.

 

Ideal for...

Cross-country (XC) mountain biking
Bikepacking across hard terrain
Longer rides/days in the saddle

E-Bike Overview

With a 12-speed drivetrain, the Cannondale Moterra Neo 3 is an electric mountain bike you can ride economically uphill and down. The ratios on the rear cassette allow you to take on some big inclines without leaning so hard on the power system, extending your day in the saddle.

Alongside the Shimano XT drivetrain come Shimano MT 420 4-piston disc brakes with 203mm rotors that won’t overheat, even when abused.

The 150mm travel RockShox forks and shock provide the ultimate ride comfort. You can program two ride settings into the rear shock for different riding modes, too — perhaps a softer setting for rougher terrain and a harder setting for uphill sections.

The Bosch Performance Line CX 250-watt motor kicks like a mule with 85 Newton meters of torque. Offering up to 3.4 watts of power for every watt you put into the pedals, it’s a responsive, light, and powerful system that won’t hang about even on the really steep bits.

When it comes to the battery, we say in the table above that this has a range of 75 miles. Unless you’re riding on entirely flat terrain, that is unlikely. On the sort of topography you’ll be riding, you’ll get the best part of eight hours riding before it cuts out — that could mean to the top of the mountain and back!

Reasons to Buy

We love the great battery range and powerful Bosch Performance Line CX motor that, combined with the excellent drivetrain, brakes, and forks, makes for a good electric mountain bike that will handle almost anything thrown at it.

The 29-inch wheels and Maxxis tires make this a serious cross-country bike. Maxxis are among the best for gripping on loose and wet substrate — and mud and dirt are where the Moterra calls home.

Finally, the wheels are tubeless ready, allowing you to go tubeless and vastly reduce the amount of time you’ll be at the side of the track doing puncture repair. While we’re not amused that Cannondale hasn’t gone fully tubeless here, setting it up as tubeless is one of the first tweaks you should set about doing.

Things to Consider

Don’t buy this electric mountain bike unless you know what you’re doing or at least have a friend who is willing to help you tune it to your needs.

The machine isn’t great for singletrack or downhill — it’s more for XC runs. It excels best at climbing mountains rather than seeing how quickly you can get down them.

There are very few things negative to say about it, otherwise. If you are stretching to $7,000 for a mountain bike like this — and know how to use it — you’re going to have as much fun as you can with your clothes on!

Specs & Components

Motor
Bosch Performance Line CX
Battery
Bosch 750Wh
Drivetrain
Shimano XT, 12 speed 10-51t ratio
Brakes
Shimano MT420, 4-piston hydraulic with 203mm rotors front and rear
Wheels
29" wheels front and rear
Tires
Maxxis Minion DHF (front) and Maxxis Rekon (rear)
Front fork
RockShox Yari 150mm travel
Rear shock
RockShox Deluxe Select 150mm travel with 2-position mode adjust

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
4.5/5
4.5

The top-of-the-range Bosch Performance CX motor offers an industry-leading 85 Newton meters of torque. That means you’ll be able to accelerate quickly, even on a very steep hill. Do remember that you can lose traction on loose/wet surfaces unless you pull away gently, but even after the first turn of the crank, you’ll soon pull away with ease.

Unfortunately, the Maxxis tires are not suited to sustained road use and are designed to be used primarily off-road. They will limit the speed you get on hard surfaces — don’t expect to get 40 mph on the road — but will deliver the grip on off-road surfaces to maximize speed over rough ground.

 

Range
5/5
5

The Cannondale Moterra Neo 3’s 750-watt-hour in-tube battery (the largest made by Bosch) will allow many hours of riding even on big hills and mountains. Though you may use 80 miles as a guide, on very hilly terrain, this will drop significantly.

For an unsupported cross-country route, you might be carrying gear for your day out such as a toolkit, hydration, and lunch. This added weight will impact the range you get, so factor your cargo into routes and riding plans.

 

Comfort
4.5/5
4.5

With a poised, trekking position, this electric bike will allow you to shift your weight to handle obstacles easily. The RockShox fork and rear damper have 150mm of travel that can be adjusted according to the terrain you’re riding on. Additionally, each sized frame has different mounting points for the rear shock to optimize riding geometry for the rider.

On 29” wheels (ideal for longer cross-country runs), the Maxxis Minion front and Maxxis Rekon rear tires will ensure grip on different substrates, from muddy forest trails to stony and dry mountain tracks.

 

Durability
4.5/5
4.5

As long as you follow basic maintenance principles, like oiling the chain after every ride and keeping an eye on chain stretch/cassette wear, the components on the Cannondale Moterra Neo 3 are designed to last. The motor and battery are sealed against water ingress, and the drivetrain is designed to take a serious amount of abuse. Treat this bike well, and you’ll have a trusty riding partner for many years to come.

 

Style
4.5/5
4.5

The Cannondale Moterra Neo 3 is as beautiful an electric mountain bike as you can get for a raging mud monster that will chew up hills and take big jumps without letting you down. We have to say, this is form and function in perfect marriage thanks to the sleek frame that comes in either deep teal or mercury colors.

 

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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