With the Mavaro Neo 1, Cannondale have introduced a step-through bike for urban use that combines elements from the future with a throwback to the 90s. The bike promises lots of comfort and security for everyday use. Read on to find out why the bike’s most innovative features are inspired by bats and whether the overall concept works for everyday use!
How much technology fits in an urban step-through bike? Cannondale want to demonstrate just how safe, comfortable and practical a bike that would all too often be dismissed as a granny bike based on its looks can be. “Ride comfortable, live comfortable” is the de facto motto of the Mavaro Neo ebike. Perfectly suited to city living, it’s an ebike designed to make your life easier and more comfortable, providing all the features needed to do so. A step-through bike that can comfortably, safely and reliably transport you from A to B – and when it gets late to C and finally to D and bed 😉
Back to the future – the HeadShok DL50 fork looks familiar. Doesn’t it come from one of those Cannondale mountain bikes that caused a stir in the 90s? According to the manufacturer, the fork, together with the suspension seat post and voluminous Schwalbe Big Ben tires are designed to generate lots of comfort, even off the beaten path. But the flagship feature of the Mavaro ebike is its intelligent Garmin radar system. Cars approaching from the rear will trigger an advance warning on the cockpit display to avoid any nasty surprises. The Cannondale also provides generous levels of support, delivered by a Bosch Performance Line CX motor.
Bücken muss sich hier niemand mehr – Die Ladebuchse für den Akku ist schön weit oben.
Combined with an infinitely variable Enviolo hub gear, you’re guaranteed stress-free and relaxed riding. All in all, it makes for an interesting blend of mountain bike components from times past, combined with current road- and ebike components. It’s interesting to see the diverse external influences that are influencing urban bike development. At first glance, the utility of these solutions isn’t clear. Look closer and you’ll realise that the unusual concept makes a lot of sense on a step-through bike.
Massive. That’s the first word that crossed our minds when we saw the Cannondale Mavaro Neo 1. With its bulky proportions, it blends in perfectly with the SUVs that have taken over our city streets. The large head tube, oversized down tube and the wide, raised chainstays give the bike an identifiable profile. Unfortunately, the welds of the aluminium frame are of average quality and can’t match up to the level of Cannondale’s aluminium road bikes. In contrast, the Racktime rack, with a load rating of 25 kg, is neatly attached at the rear of the bike. The Bosch Performance Line CX motor is integrated perfectly too. The multitude of cables are neatly routed inside the Cannondale Mavaro Neo 1’s frame and the robust aluminium mudguards almost let you forget the rudimentary appearance of the welds. To top it off, the chainstay protector is cleverly fitted to the raised stays – good-bye dirty trouser legs! The daylight running light integrated vertically in the head tube lends the step-through bike a futuristic look and is a meaningful addition to safety in traffic. The seperate, automatic Supernova light then turns on when it gets dark, throwing out a generous cone of light.
Cannondale Mavaro Neo 1
Motor Bosch Performance Line CX 75 Nm
Battery Bosch PowerTube 625 Wh
Display Bosch Kiox
Seatpost Post Moderne parallelogram seat post
Brakes Shimano MT400 180/160 mm
Drivetrain Enviolo hub gear
Stem Cannondale 1 Si , adjustable
Handlebar Cannondale E-Series, Ergo Backsweep, 680 mm
Wheelset Enviolo hub and Cannondale 2 rims
Tires Schwalbe Big Ben 28 x 2,0”
Size SM MD LG
Weight 28.8 kg
Perm. total weight 150 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 121 kg
Trailer approval yes
Kickstand mount yes
Garmin Varia radar
Daylight running light
GATES belt drive
Cannondale HeadShok suspension fork
Six Cannondale Mavaro Neo models are available, with prices starting at € 3,799. The most affordable version comes with a Bosch Active Line Plus motor, Bosch Purion Display, 500 Wh battery and Shimano Deore drivetrain. Depending on the motor, battery and gearing you’re after, that price goes all the way up to € 5,999 for the top-end model we tested. The three frame sizes are designed to be suitable for riders between 149 and 200 cm tall. S is recommended for riders from 149 to 170 cm, M for riders from 165 to 185 cm and L for riders from 180 to 200 cm tall. Thanks to the adjustable-height stem, the riding position can be further fine-tuned.
Cannondale Mavaro Neo in geometry
|Top tube||580 mm||605 mm||638 mm||622 mm||662 mm|
|Seat tube||440 mm||520 mm||580 mm||485 mm||535 mm|
|Head tube||134 mm||134 mm||160 mm||194 mm||243 mm|
|BB Drop||79 mm||79 mm||79 mm||80 mm||80 mm|
|Reach||370 mm||395 mm||420 mm||434 mm||460 mm|
|Stack||647 mm||647 mm||672 mm||658 mm||705 mm|
|Wheelbase||1,118 mm||1,143 mm||1,177 mm||1,159 mm||1,200 mm|
Cannondale Mavaro Neo first ride review
Climbing aboard the Mavaro is super easy and you’ll hardly have to lift your leg. There’s lots of space to step through, even for big feet, with no bottle cages in the way. Instead, these are mounted on the left and ride of the bulky head tube, where they’re easy to reach without having to bend over while riding. The new Bosch Performance CX motor produces a powerful 75 Nm torque that helps you set off in a pleasantly forceful way. The four assistance modes offer the right level of support for all situations and as long as you’re not riding constantly in Turbo mode through mountainous terrain, you’ll get close to the claimed 120 km range in flat cities.
A highlight is the Garmin Varia radar system, a technology that may already be familiar to road bike fans. The unit installed on the rack uses radar to detect moving objects up to 140 metres behind you. Approaching cars are identified and displayed as a moving point on the cockpit display – up to eight at any given time. To begin with, we were sceptical. Nature-inspired bat technology on a step-through bike in the city? Has the bike industry overreached yet again? Not at all! After the first few kilometres through town, we were surprised at how reliable and accurately the system works.
The Garmin radar doesn’t miss a beat and distant vehicles are picked up as well. With a bit of practice, it’s no problem to judge the real distance based on what is shown on the display. Vehicles approaching at high speed will even be displayed in red to warn of a potentially dangerous situation. The star of the show is the rear light integrated with the radar unit, which gets brighter the closer a vehicle gets in order to improve visibility and draw attention. This is a great safety feature and we did have the impression that lorries, trucks and other vehicles gave us a wider berth. Of course, the Garmin Varia system can’t replace an actual blind spot check. Nonetheless, on rides on largely empty roads, when you’re lost in your thoughts or the hum of the Bosch motor mixes with the wind or rain, the radar is a great tool to warn you of someone overtaking you without being shocked or taken unawares. You’ll only really realise just how useful it is when you go back to a Stone Age bicycle and get surprised by an almost silent Tesla whooshing by you.
The Bosch Kiox display is also an important source of information in the cockpit. It is controlled by a bar-mounted remote and provides a clear overview of the most important motor and battery information. The Kiox can record your rides and send them to your smartphone. For training purposes, it can also be connected to a heart rate monitor via Bluetooth. A USB port on its base lets you charge your smartphone or additional bike computer, meaning you can leave your power bank at home in future. Unfortunately, Bosch have specced a micro-USB A plug, meaning you’ll have to make sure to have this cable to hand. With the Kiox Lock function, Bosch provide a great way to protect against theft. Pay a one-time fee of € 9.99 and you’ll be able to link the display to your bike, meaning the motor will only work with exactly that Kiox display fitted. The display itself is fitted to the bar mount with a magnet and can be easily removed when not in use. Of course, your bike won’t be completely protected, but it does make life more difficult for potential thieves. If they try to get the bike unlocked at a Bosch dealer, the bike will be immediately identifiable as stolen. The SP-Connect mount on the stem is also practical, allowing you to mount a smartphone easily to be used as a navigation device.
Alongside safety, comfort also played a significant role in the development of the Mavaro Neo. The Cannondale HeadShok suspension fork combined with the suspended parallelogram seat post and the voluminous Schwalbe Big Ben tires result in a pleasant level of comfort. The sting is taken out of curbs, potholes and cobbles, resulting in a comfortable ride in and out of the city – almost like an SUV, which you’ll handily be able to see coming on your radar. The combination of Enviolo hub gear and Gates belt drive is also pleasantly quiet in use. This drivetrain makes a lot of sense for a step-through bike! The infinitely adjustable hub gear can be shifted whether you’re pedalling, coasting or standing still. You’ll also be able to get around in hilly towns as even with loaded up panniers, the powerful Bosch motor still pushes its way up 15% inclines. Pedalling at the 25 km/h assistance limit is relaxed but a step-through bike isn’t really designed for more speed or more power. Whether you’re ambling at walking pace through a pedestrian zone or cruising on the cycle path, the Cannondale Mavaro Neo 1 shines at all times with easy-going and predictable handling that won’t pose any problems for ebike newbies. The upright riding position and high level of comfort mean you’ll stay in control at all times. If you have sportier ambitions, you’ll find that the Mavaro ebike is more focussed on comfort than it is speed. For all the ambitious E-fans amongst you, Cannondale recently added an exciting alternative to its range: the Cannondale Topstone Carbon Neo Lefty 1 E-gravel bike.
Cannondale Mavaro Neo 1 conclusion
Cannondale’s urban step-through bike is purpose-built for the demands of the modern city and shines with excellent comfort and safety features. The Garmin Varia radar is particularly helpful in everyday use and reliably warns you of approaching vehicles. The combination of HeadShok suspension fork and suspension seat post generates lots of comfort on uneven roads. The newest generation, powerful Bosch Performance CX motor offers enough support on steeper inclines while the Enviolo hub gear shines with its stepless gear changes. While the rush hour traffic moves at a snail’s pace, you’ll fly by aboard the Cannondale Mavaro. Forward into the future!
For more information head to cannondale.com
- helpful radar system
- powerful Bosch Performance CX motor
- generous comfort thanks to suspension fork and seat post
- relaxed riding position
- rudimentary looking welds
Words & Photos: Philipp Schwab, Benjamin Topf