SETUP | Aside from swapping springs out for different weight riders, the Moterra Neo LT reviewed was very straightforward. We’ve got plenty of experience with the Zeb fork and the rest of the componentry is tried and true. Bosch’s drive unit and system do not require any additional setup or tuning, but if you’d like to download the app for monitoring, updates or other little features, it’s an easy enough process.
ELECTRONICS & INTEGRATION | For many of our testers, Bosch is the preferred drive unit. It offers strong power and is regularly the fastest drive unit when we do our “Drag Race” or soft-pedaling race challenges. While the Shimano has comparable torque, when in Turbo the way Bosch delivers it feels a bit more wide-open and artificial. For some that is exactly what they want, still others may prefer a more manual feel. No matter your preference or desired feel, what’s undeniable is the way in which Bosch bikes leave most others in the dust in a race scenario.
Nothing stands out as remarkable in terms of integration. The Bosch Kiox 300 is bulky and hotly debated. For some it’s another big and unneeded bit that could break off in a crash, but for others it offers highly desirable information about the ride. One polarizing point was the charge port cover. It does a great job of keeping out debris but was very hard to open. We’d even wager that riders who don’t have a tool or help, won’t be able to open it themselves. A larger lever to reduce the force would be nice to see.
CLIMBING | For those unconcerned about their “Shreddiness” the long chainstays make this bike a goat when it comes time to crawl uphill. It keeps that front tire down, letting the Bosch drive unit put down power. The suspension platform is on the more traction-rich side than the efficient end, helping the rear wheel to conform to the terrain to generate further traction. With one of the higher bottom brackets on test and the short 160mm cranks, ground clearance is impressive making pedaling through technical chunky terrain much easier than many.
DESCENDING | In addition to benefiting the climbing capabilities, the rear end length adds to the bike’s stability and composure at high speeds and on steep terrain. If you’re a rider who’s charging downhills with intent, or you’re just looking for a planted, stable, and safe ride that will crank out miles and help you climb steep hills with ease, the Moterra Neo LT delivers.
At 58.1lbs, the Moterra Neo LT 2 was the heaviest bike in our eBike Shootout, however the lively suspension platform meant the bike still came off the ground when needed. For some of our more playful and active riders, however, that heavy weight was exacerbated by the long rear end. Obviously the long chainstays have pros, which we’ll cover, but the drawbacks should also be noted. A longer rear end means a heavier feeling front end, so manuals and popping up the front of the bike requires more effort. Also, the longer rear end means the back tire is less likely to break traction, so riders who like quickly changing directions, snapping the back end into corners or slashing freeride lines, may not love the added stability and traction.
The suspension feel is lively and active, with a plush and supple feel off the top. Even with a coil, it still has enough progression to keep most riders pleased as they push harder on the descents. Over the course of our testing, however, we did notice the Moterra got a bit louder, with some noise coming from within the downtube, bolt checks and silencing efforts may be needed to keep your bike stealthy, but it wasn’t excessively loud either.
FINISH AND VALUE | Our riders didn’t have many complaints when it came time to evaluate Cannondale’s Moterra Neo LT. Sure the weight and rear end length could be issues for some, but we realize they could be equally valuable to others. We didn’t love how hard it was to open the charge port cover, but like how well it protects the port. Beyond that the bike hung in there and was a stable, reliable workhorse. It was especially favorable to our camera crew for its easy get-on-and-go character.
In terms of value, it would be hard for us not to justify spending the extra $300 to get the better kit and considerably lighter weight of the Fezzari, but Cannondale’s chosen build kit left little to complain about and we think its performance will suit many riders.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Overall, the Cannondale Moterra Neo LT 2 is a solid electric mountain bike. While we didn’t really have any major criticisms on how it rode or areas where we didn’t like it, it also didn’t have us jumping off with a huge smile or proclaiming how awesome it was either. It is a good eMTB plain and simple. Depending on your terrain and riding style, it may help or hinder you a bit, but overall, it is a solid long-travel option.
WHO’S IT FOR?
In our opinion, the Cannondale Moterra Neo LT line will suit riders who are looking for a mile-crunching, long travel eMTB, and those regularly hitting high speed downhills. If you are looking for a climbing beast that is comfortable in the saddle for long days, but can still eat up high speed downhills, or long backcountry missions, this could be a good option for you. While we don’t think it’s the most playful or snappy eMTB due to the weight and long chainstays, we realize lots of riders care more about stability, climbing performance and confidence or stability on rougher terrain. The Moterra LT packs those features in and gives you 750Wh of juice to get plenty of exploring done.
Weight: 58.1 lbs