Updated: 14th November 2017
The Cannondale CAADX is an aluminium cyclocross bike, built to be a fantastic racer, with honed geometry, made to give you the competitive edge. It’s not only made for racing, however. For commuting purposes, it could be the ultimate bike. The versatile handling and robust parts make the CAADX ideal for taking on rough city streets as well as back country adventures. We review the CAADX model range, showing the highlights.
With the ability to take up to a 37c tyre, a full complement of mudguard and rack mounts and a comfortable riding position, the CAADX is a bike that can take on many roles. As a winter bike, there’s little else you could wish for, especially when the weather turns. With reasonable price points and fantastic value for money, the Cannondale CAADX range makes for an attractive do-it-all dropbar bike.
The Cannondale CAADX gets Cannondale’s proprietary aluminium technology. CAAD stands for Cannondale Advanced Aluminium Design, and packs in high-end production techniques into its construction. Double pass welding allows for a stronger and smoother join between tubes. It also gives Cannondale the opportunity to manipulate the shapes of the tubes to suit the handling characteristics.
The frames come with a lifetime warranty, giving fantastic peace of mind, especially when competing or commuting. All frames get neat internal routing, keeping your cables from getting in the way, as well as two water bottle mounts. All four models in the range feature carbon bladed forks, complete with internal routing, completing the clean look.
The SmartForm C2 alloy frames are lightweight, yet robust, while the carbon bladed forks help to absorb vibrations and give direct handling
The Shimano 2x drivetrain setups have plenty of low and high gears, giving a wide range to tackle various terrains
The full Cannondale CAADX range gets fantastic Shimano road groupsets, ranging from Tiagra to Ultegra. To make it easy, Cannondale has named their models based on the groupset they get, so the CAADX Tiagra entry-level bike gets a 2x10 speed Tiagra groupset, and the CAADX Ultegra gets a 2x11 speed groupset. The unique model of the range is the 105 SE, as it gets an even wider range, sub-compact 48/32T chainset for greater versatility. The large cassettes and cyclocross 46/36T chainsets on the other models give a racing edge, while also allowing an easy and liveable gear range for everyday use.
The CAADX Tiagra to the 10r SE all get powerful mechanical disc brakes. They deliver smooth power in all weather and keep maintenance simple with cable actuation. The CAADX Ultegra gets even more powerful Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. They provide greater modulation, meaning you have more control over your speed, as you’ll better know how much braking force you’re using.
Cannondale made sure to equip the CAADX range with robust wheels, so that you can go riding off-road without worrying if your wheels are up for it. The road sized 700c wheels are fast rolling, keeping their speed well. On the CAADX Tiagra, Cannondale’s CX 3.0 rims are matched to Formula hubs, while the 105 and Ultegra get CX 2.0 rims Formula’s CX hubs, giving a lighter weight to the same strength.
The CAADX 105 SE model is the odd one out, and while it features the same Formula CX hubs, it gets upgraded WTB STP i19 rims. These are lightweight and have a 19mm internal rim width, which provides a greater platform for the tyre, aiding stability. They match fantastically to the WTB Riddler 37c tyres, which have more minimal tread pattern for faster rolling. The rest of the range gets 35c Schwalbe Rapid Rob tyres with larger knobs, for excellent off-road traction.
Cyclocross wheels are both lightweight and robust, giving you speed and the ability to tackle challenging cyclocross courses.
The Cannondale CAADX is an amazingly versatile bike. Its main purpose is to race in the demanding cyclocross discipline, but it is also happy doubling as your everyday workhorse. The lightweight alloy frame gets comfortable geometry, making it great for both racing as well as hitting city streets.
From the entry-level CAADX Tiagra to the range-topping CAADX Ultegra, you get Shimano groupsets that are built to shift smoothly in any condition. Every model gets a parts spec that is capable from the off and comes at a very competitive price point too. If a more premium build is what you’re after, then the carbon-framed Cannondale SuperX is worth a look.
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