Cujo 2 Hardtail MTB Boasts the Right Stuff to Make It on Your Christmas List

Sometimes we run across a bike that deserves a bit of attention. Why? Sometimes it's because it's an affordable machine, and other times it's packed with goodies.
Cujo 2 Hardtail MTB 7 photos
Photo: Cannondale
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There are occasions, however, where a bicycle covers the above-mentions aspects and then a few more. This seems to be one of those cases.

What you have before you is known as the Cujo 2, and if you've been keeping up with autoevolution, you've met the other two members of this lineup, Cujo 1 and Cujo 3. Personally, I've chosen to leave the 2 for last as it looks to be the best deal in terms of components and features for price from this lineup.

Now, much about the team behind this machine doesn't need to be said. After all, Cannondale is a crew that's been around since 1971. Since then, 50 years have gone by, and Cannondale has risen to become one of the world's go-to teams for bicycles and bicycle components.

As for the Cujo 2, this bike wraps all that knowledge and know-how into one neat package. Best of all, the 2020 version is running for a cool 1,350 USD (1,192 EUR at current exchange rates) and features components rarely seen on a bike of this price. It might be one of the reasons why Cannondale hasn't produced any more Cujo 2s since then.

Cujo 2 Hardtail MTB
Photo: Cannondale
To kick things off, each Cujo frame is completed using SmartForm C2 Alloy, which special tube construction techniques to yield a precise wall thickness allowing Cannondale to control stiffness and strength. Top this all off with internal cable routing to keep everything snag-free, and off you go.

However, Cujo frames have another trick up their sleeves. Even though these bikes are hardtails by definition, Cannondale's building techniques yield a rear triangle that absorbs vibrations and shock through specially designed flex zones. It's called SAVE, and you may not be able to see it, but you'll feel the difference while riding.

Adding more suspension to your otherwise stiff ride, a RockShox Judy Silver TK fork with 120 mm (4.7 in) of travel provides the extra smoothness you need. A set of WTB Ranger Comp tires with 2.8 in (71.1 mm) cross-section tubes will be adding a bit more softness and control to your ride.

If you thought a RockShox Judy is a sight to see on this bike, what about the SRAM drivetrain featuring a full SX Eagle setup tune to the sounds 1x12 speeds? Chain, crank, derailleur, shifters, and the 11-50T cassette, are all SX Eagle. What else is there to say?

Cujo 2 Hardtail MTB
Photo: Cannondale
Funny enough, Shimano still managed to get in on this action and is providing the brakes on the 2. An MT200 hydraulic disc brake set with 180 mm (7.1 in) or 160 mm (6.3 in) rotors should do the trick in helping you control this beauty.

All other secondary components are supplied with in-house gear. Handlebar, saddle, stem, and grips, all from Cannondale. As for the seat post, you'll find that 2 is equipped with a TranzX dropper seat post, just perfect for helping you take on that downhill trail you've been scoping in the past.

Put all that together, and you have a bike that comes in with a weight of 32.4 lbs (14.7 kg) but no mention of the weight limit this puppy can handle. Does it even matter anymore at this point?

Listen, I know you may be pushing Santa a bit far to ask his little helpers to build a Cujo 2 for you, but maybe they won't have to if they just look around some local dealerships. I'm sure there's still one out there hanging around in some window.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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