Every time I buy a new bike, I spend at least a hundred dollars on accessories. The only thing I’d add to Cannondale Adventure Neo 3 EQ is a bell.
The svelte, step-through ebike comes with built-in lights, a luggage rack, and fenders. It has hydraulic disk brakes and a 9-speed Shimano Altus shifting system. For getting to soccer games, the local farmer’s market, or a quick ride to the bar, it’s a turnkey transportation solution.
It can even go 65 miles on a charge if you ride like my mom, or about 30 if you ride like I do. And those miles feel excellent. It’s not overpowered or scary. It’s pretty light, and it has great suspension both on the seat post and the front fork. The mid-drive motor means it rides like a normal bike—no throttle required. There aren’t many ebikes that come with so few caveats.
At $3,000, even the price is right. If you’re looking for a go-anywhere ebike and you don’t want to muck around with upgrades, or worry too much about the maintenance of sub-standard components long-term, it’s one of my new favorite options.
It took me a minute to figure out which new Cannondale step-through ebike I was testing, because of the company’s backwards naming system for makes and models.
This Adventure Neo 3 EQ is not to be confused with the more expensive Adventure Neo 2 or Neo 1 EQ models, or the cheaper Neo 4 EQ, all of which look nearly identical, but come in different colors. You’ll inexplicably spend less for the electric blue model (the Neo 4) but more for the bright green one (the Neo 1). My review model—the Neo 3 EQ, now that you can’t remember— came in the middle of the range and lacked any color at all, arriving in a mild-mannered black.
Especially in this color, the bike looks classy and nondescript. The only splashes of color on the bike are the brown rubber handles and a brown seat, reminding you of the classy leather saddles and handlebars of the olden days, but with modern durability.
The battery and mid-drive motor are integrated into an aluminum frame that feels simultaneously sturdy and lightweight. It’s easy to lift your leg over the frame, even with a bag full of groceries strapped to the back.