Updated: 23rd November 2016
A thoroughbred Cyclocross bike with a versatile character, the Cannondale CAADX feels just as at home on rain soaked, pot-holed city streets as it does on muddy fields and woods. In this review we will look at the stable, confident ride that the CAADX offers on all types of terrain. This is an all-round-adventure machine that can be raced on Sunday and then ridden to work on Monday.
Lightweight and smooth riding all four CAADX models – the Sora, Tiagra, 105 and Apex - feature disc brakes combined with wide tyres for confident wet weather cycling on all road surfaces. The gearing is lower than you would find on a road bike, so you can take on the challenging terrain of a Cyclocross race course as well as the steepest of road climbs. You will also find hidden rack and mudguard mounts so you can expand the bike’s usability without affecting its racy looks.
The SmartFormed C2 aluminium frame is the same on all models and features tube shapes inspired by the CAAD12 for a lightweight yet robust platform. You will also find the same Ultra X Disc fork with tapered steerer and carbon blades for precise steering control as well as a smoother ride. The dialled Cyclocross geometry is the same as the Cannondale Super X.
The SPEED SAVE micro suspension system built into the fork and rear stays offers an incredibly smooth ride over rough surfaces. This built-in compliance allows the wheels to track more efficiently over rough surfaces which provides improved traction, handling, higher speeds and faster cornering. Of course, a smooth bike is also a more comfortable bike.
Cannondale’s signature smooth welds give the bike the smoothest looks you are likely to find on any alloy road or CX bike.
In traditional Cannondale style, each CAADX in the range is named after the groupset fitted to the bike. The first three models in the range – Sora, Tiagra and 105 - all feature a CX double chainset with 46t & 36t chain rings, combined with a Shimano 11-28t cassette. This offers lower gears with relatively close ratios for efficient cycling on challenging terrain. The top of the range CAADX Apex does away with the front derailleur and splits the difference with a 40t chainring for improved running reliability when the track conditions deteriorate.
The CAADX Apex also features the excellent SRAM Apex hydraulic disc brakes for precise stopping control in all-weather conditions. The cable operated disc brakes on the other three models also offer all-weather performance but with a slightly less refined feel.
Cyclocross gearing gives you the perfect ratios for racing around muddy fields as well as riding over rough road surfaces.
Robust CX wheels and Cyclocross tyres are ideal for rough terrain cycling as well as offering extra security on rough roads.
Offering dependable performance, the Cyclocross wheels on the CAADX are tough enough for the very roughest cycling. The CAADX Tiagra and Sora feature CX 3.0 disc rims while you get the tubeless ready CX 2.0 disc rims on the 105 and Apex. The Formula CX-20 hubs on the CAADX 105 and Apex are specifically made for cross racing and feature well sealed bearings for increased longevity.
For grip on loose and muddy surfaces you get Schwalbe 35mm or 33mm Cyclocross tyres on every model. The CAADX Sora features the road friendly Sammy Slicks while the Tiagra and 105 are shod with Rapid Rob tyres for improved off-road performance. The Apex sports the X-ONE race tyre for the best performance on CX tracks.
With the same dialled Cyclocross geometry as its bigger brother the Super X, the CAADX is an obvious choice for the budding CX racer. However, to restricting it to CX racing would be to ignore the all-round ability the CAADX offers. The stable geometry combined with disc brakes and lower gearing makes this a better bike for urban cycling than most other drop bar bikes.
While the CAADX Sora is aimed at road riders who like to stray into the rough and the Apex is for dedicated CX racers, a simple tyre change is all you need to do to make any of the Cannondale CAADX models more (or less) road friendly.