Ari Timp Peak Pro eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout




Photos by Max Rhulen & Dusten Ryen
Video by Brian Niles / Treeline Cinematic

Cannondale’s latest eMTB is a unique offering to the market, bringing a full power drive unit and impressively low sub-46lb overall weight to the table. As a challenge to the big-battery and heavyweight bruisers in the eBike market, we were excited to include the Moterra SL in this year’s shootout to see how it performed.

2024 EMTB SHOOTOUT SERIES – The Cannondale Moterra SL 1 was one of 14 eBikes that our staff thoroughly tested with absolute objectivity in mind. From different types of riders to terrain, our goal is to present the best and most honest information possible to help you make your best decision. Of course, we’d love to thank Fox Racing and Schwalbe Tires for being invaluable partners to this series and making it happen and to Howler Bike Park for hosting us for our testing.


• 150mm FlexPivot Suspension
• Mixed 29”F/27.5”R Wheels
• Shimano EP801 Motor
• 601Wh Custom Battery

Price: $7,000 – $14,000

Frame: Series 1 Carbon w/FlexPivot | 150mm
Fork: Fox Factory 36 | 160mm
Shock: Fox Float X Factory

Motor: Shimano EP801 | 85Nm | 600W Peak
Battery: Cannondale Custom | 601Wh
Display: Shimano EM800

Brakes: SRAM Code Silver Stealth | 200mm Rotors
Handlebar: HollowGram SAVE riser Carbon
Stem: Cannondale 1 Alloy
Seatpost: Cannondale DownLow Dropper
Saddle: Fizik Terra Aidon X3

Hubs: DT Swiss 350
Rims: DT Swiss XM1700
Front Tire: Maxxis DHF 29×2.5” WT | EXO+ | Maxx Terra
Rear Tire: Maxxis Dissector | 27.5×2.4” | EXO+ | Maxx Terra

Cassette: SRAM XS-1295 XO Eagle | 10-52t | 12spd
Cranks: e*thirteen e*spec Plus| 165mm
Shifter: SRAM AXS POD | 12spd
Derailleur: SRAM XO Eagle Transmission | 12spd


  • Ultra Light eBike

  • Fun, Active Ride

  • Killer Looks


  • Could Be More Playful


FRAME AND FEATURES | Cannondale came to market with the Moterra SL 1 with the aim of making the lightest full-power Trail eMTB out there with a “full capacity” battery. To deliver this, they created a frame with their Series 1 Carbon Fiber that utilizes their FlexPivot chainstay. The 150mm travel Horst Link rear end features a flexible Carbon portion in place of the Horst pivot, which they say is a more efficient construction for weight and stiffness. As standard the Moterra SL is a mixed-wheel (29” front, 27.5” rear) bike, but a flip chip allows for a dual-29” setup to be used if desired. Up front, there’s a 160mm travel fork.

Cannondale stressed the details on the Moterra SL, with an “engineered” plastic skid plate below the motor; their DirectLine fully-guided internal cable routing, and their Proportional Response Tuned Suspension and geometry. Proportional Response ensures riders of every size of bike get similar handling on the trail.

There’s a 200mm rear brake post mount; molded chainstay protection; room inside the front triangle for a large water bottle, and SRAM’s UDH for T-Type compatibility and easy replacements. There’s a lifetime warranty on the front triangle, and five years on the rear end.

Cannondale Moterra SL 1 eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout

DRIVE UNIT AND ELECTRONICS | Cannondale opted to equip their Moterra SL with the Shimano EP801 drive unit, producing 85Nm of Torque and up to 600W Peak Power. This is powered by a custom 601Wh battery developed by Cannondale, which claims to offer the highest energy density on the market. This battery is integrated into the frame and non-removable without dropping the motor, allowing Cannondale to optimize the frame structure and shave weight.

To extend the range of the 601Wh battery, Cannondale delivers the Moterra SL with a custom rider profile containing four modes: ECO, Trail 1 (for range), Trail 2 (for more power), and BOOST for maximum power. Of course, riders are able to customize two different profiles using the Shimano E-Tube App, with the choice of three to 15 power modes that can be independently customized.

As is typical for Shimano-equipped bikes, there’s a SM800 display and the two-button switch on the bars. Nestled in the top tube is a custom power button with battery and power mode indicators.

Cannondale Moterra SL 1 eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout

GEOMETRY | The Cannondale Moterra SL sports some of the more interesting geometry figures in this year’s group test, including the slackest head tube angle and longest chainstays. This head tube is adjustable thanks to an angle-adjustable headset, steepening from the stock 62.5° to a more typical 63.7°. The remainder of the geometry is fairly typical of an aggressive Trail eMTB.

2024 eMTB Shootout Bike Geometry

BUILD SPECS | Depending on your location, Cannondale’s build specs vary a little, so we’ll focus on North America for brevity. In the USA, you have the choice of three builds from the $7,000 Moterra SL 2 to the $14,000 LAB71. We tested the middle SL 1 build which retails for $8,750, with a well considered high-end build spec.

The SL 1 uses a Fox Factory suspension package, with a 160mm 36 fork and Float X shock offering high levels of tunability to maximize the performance of the ride.

SRAM provides a XO T-Type drivetrain, with an e*thirteen e*spec Plus alloy crankset. Also SRAM is the Code Silver Stealth brakeset, stopping on a pair of 200mm rotors.

The finishing kit is mainly Cannondale in-house spec, with their HollowGram SAVE carbon fiber handlebar; “1” 7075 Alloy stem, and DownLow dropper seatpost. Fizik provides their Terra Aidon X3 eMTB saddle.

Rounding out the specs is a DT Swiss XM1700 wheelset, which is wrapped in a pair of Maxxis tires with EXO+ casings as standard. These were swapped out for our control tires for the 2024 eMTB Shootout: a pair of 2.4” wide Schwalbe Magic Marys in Super Gravity casing and Addix Soft compound. This gave a level playing field in terms of on-ground traction, and gave us a dependable tire set to give a more direct comparison from bike-to-bike.

Our Cannondale Moterra SL 1 build equipped with the Schwalbe control tires weighed in at an impressive 46.1lbs (20.9kg).

Cannondale Moterra SL 1 eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout


SETUP | Following Robert’s time at the launch camp for the Moterra SL, and an initial shakedown ride on our test bike by Sourpatch, we were in agreement that the headset cups needed to be flipped to the “Steep” setting. At 63.7 degrees, “Steep” is certainly not the descriptor that comes to mind, but it makes sense when compared to the stock 62.5 degree Slack setting. In this stock, slack setting, adequately weighting the front tire in loose terrain was too difficult to inspire confidence to push hard.

Other than the head tube angle, the Moterra SL 1 provided no issues in getting setup. The cockpit felt comfortable, and the suspension was easy to get dialed into a comfortable and balanced spot.

Cannondale Moterra SL 1 eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout

ELECTRONICS AND INTEGRATION | The updates Shimano made with their EP801 have pushed its performance up to equal the Bosch drive unit, which has long been our benchmark. The EP801 now matches its grunt for the steepest portions of climb, but delivers the power in a slightly different manner. The Shimano system offers a slightly more natural feeling assistance than the Bosch drive unit, feeling to require slightly more user input but also reacting slightly faster to user input and offering slightly better control when comparing Shimano’s BOOST to Bosch’s TURBO modes. The Bosch system would still be our choice for racing scenarios, but the gap is no longer so profound.

The integration of Shimano’s EP801 with the custom 601Wh internal battery is very good on the Cannondale Moterra SL. Some riders may complain at the non-removable battery, but there are some profound benefits for riders who are able to live with it. Frame structure is improved, shaving weight for a given strength and stiffness. There’s also a reduced likelihood of battery rattle since more secure mounting hardware is typically used. The resulting clean and compact frame packaging is notable, and the Moterra SL looks very sleek as a result.

The Shimano E-Tube Project App allowed us to quickly maximize the power of the BOOST mode on the Shimano EP801 drive unit to create an even playing field. Cannondale supplies the bike with a four-mode drive unit setup, with two Trail modes (Trail 1 and Trail 2) to allow for battery life and support levels to be optimized. But for this group test, we ran the bikes in BOOST for the majority in order to get the best appreciation of how range and power stack up.

Range of the 601Wh battery felt to be true to its capacity, able to sustain the same number of laps as other bikes in this region of battery size, such as 625Wh-Canyon’s Strive:ON. The Cannondale sat slightly above average in terms of noise transmission from the drive unit when working hard. There were minimal rattles or vibrations from the motor, battery or cables when riding, giving an overall smooth ride.

Cannondale Moterra SL 1 eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout

CLIMBING | Cannondale is a brand that knows how to make a bike climb well, with their successes in XC racing. The Moterra SL felt to have some of that character instilled, with its low weight, efficient pedaling platform and balanced climbing geometry letting the EP801 drive unit charge up the hills. It’s a relatively long bike for its genre-blending trail-to-enduro category, mostly due to the long chainstay length. Because of this, it can be a little harder to weave through the tightest and most technical uphill sections, but the flip-side is plentiful weight naturally resting on the front end to keep it in check when things get steep on the way up.

Cannondale Moterra SL 1 eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout

DESCENDING | On the way down the hill, the Moterra SL was a mixed bag, but certainly offered a platform on which to have some fun. At this low weight, but with its suitably sturdy feeling frame and well-supported suspension, it descended much more like the bikes in the SL eMTB segment. It darted side-to-side on the trail and let us work the backsides of rollers for speed better than all but the Giant on test, yet held its own when things got a little rowdy.

Cannondale’s suspension platform was on the more lively and supportive side rather than offering a highly traction-rich and comfortable ride. This led to a little more work being required to keep it tracking through the slickest and roughest sections of trail, but with a more active riding style it still held its own. With the longest rear end on test, it wasn’t quite as playful as the looks may suggest, but the lighter weight than most avoided it from being a total slouch when popping and getting onto the back wheel. The plus side of this rear end length is more weight on the front wheel and increased stability when speeds increased, letting you charge hard and attack flat turns with confidence.

We’d love to see a longer travel version of the Moterra SL, perhaps with 160mm rear and a 170mm fork to bolster the descending capabilities further. But as it is, it’s a well-rounded eBike that makes for a fun time on a wide variety of terrain.

FINISH AND VALUE | There’s no denying the premium quality that Cannondale have delivered with the Moterra SL. The details are well covered, and the spec list for the $8,750 price tag makes the value proposition feel quite reasonable when all is said and done. There are few parts we’d look to change with the Moterra SL 1 build if it were to be our own. That’s not to say that $8,750 is a small sum or a smoking deal, but it feels comparatively good value.

One potential cause for concern – at least for the hardest charging riders – is the wheel spec. DT Swiss’s XM series is not technically eBike rated, which undoubtedly helps to keep the weight as low as Cannondale delivered. Sourpatch found this out the hard way early on in testing, flat spotting the rear rim beyond repair. The replacement wheel has so far withstood plenty of abuse without flinching, so this may have been an unlucky incident, but it’s worth mentioning all the same.

The Wolf’s Last Word

The Cannondale is a unique and very welcome addition to the eBike market, making for a very well-rounded trail to light enduro eMTB with a particularly lively character on the trail. It may not be the pick for the longest miles if you’re looking for maximum assistance throughout. If you’re prepared to manage battery capacity a little to extend your ride though, it’ll happily crunch long miles and provide a very fun and engaging ride as you go.


Riders looking for a light and agile full-power eMTB with an engaging trail feel that retains enough capability to tackle some gnarly descents. It’s an excellent example of a modern Trail eMTB that we’ve thoroughly enjoyed testing.

Price: $8,750
Weight: 46.1lbs


Without their support, we would not be able to make this series possible.


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