Cannondale Moterra eMTB Review 2024


It’s in cockpit components: handlebar, saddle, stem and seatpost that we often see examples of companies working hard to bring down the cost of an e-bike as they move from the most expensive version to the most affordable version. The Cannondale Moterra is no different.

With the Cannondale Moterra 1, we see a carbon fiber handlebar, but on the other four models, they all receive an alloy bar.

All five of the Moterras receive a dropper post and the amount of adjustability varies depending on the size of frame. The smaller sizes getting less range and the bigger sizes covering more.

Drivetrain, brakes and wheels

For an eMTB to meet the sort of performance riders expect, it really can’t afford to trip where the motor, battery, suspension, brakes or drivetrain are concerned. A weakness in any of those areas will hamper an eMTB’s performance.

The Cannondale Moterra comes with a 12-speed drivetrain on the 1, 2 3 and 4. The Moterra 5 comes with a 10-speed drivetrain, which results in a narrower range of gearing.

The Moterra 1, 2 and 3 see a mix of Shimano parts: XTR and Deore XT on the 1, Deore XT and SLX on the 2 and Deore XT and Deore on the 3. The Monterra 4 comes with SRAM NX Eagle parts. While the Monterra 1, 2 and 3 all feature a super-wide-range 10-51t cassette (510 percent range), the SRAM-equipped 4 sports an 11-50 cassette. The Monterra 5 comes with a 10-speed Deore group. We presume they chose this group for improved durability. However, it does come with a notably narrower range of gears (11-42t, which means a roughly 380 percent range).

Practically speaking, riders across most of the U.S. won’t miss that 51t cog in back because the terrain simply isn’t steep enough or long enough to require it.

The Cannondale Moterra 1, 2, 3 and 4 all come with 4-piston hydraulic brakes. They range from near-top-of-the-line Deore XT on the 1 down to TRP brakes on the 4. All are paired with 203 or 200mm rotors. The Moterra 5 receives more traditional 2-piston stoppers with 180mm rotors, another signal that this eMTB may be primarily aimed at riders living in flatter locales.

The wheels all feature 32 spokes and alloy rims, with hubs that use thru-axles (15 x 110mm front, 12 x 148mm rear). As we move up the line from least expensive to most expensive, bearing quality improves and weight goes down without sacrificing strength.

While the Moterra 1, 2 3 and 4 all come with 29 x 2.6-in.-wide tubeless-ready tires, the Moterra 5 comes with 29 x 2.3-in.-wide tires.

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