There is no question that today’s bicycle manufactures are putting out a never-ending supply of carbon frames that all claim to be lighter, faster, and more comfortable than any bike frame that came before it. But leave it to Cannondale to up the game with their new CAAD 10 aluminum frameset. And in the sea of carbon, this bike stands out for what it is not.
It is not an all out race bike, nor a touring bike, and not even a climbing bike. What it is can only be described as the best all around bike money can buy. Cannondale has taken advantage of their vast experience building aluminum bike frames to design a bike that can fit into any price range and fit any need. With the frame coming in at 1150 grams, it is lighter than other company’s carbon frames.
I was able to ride our test CAAD 10 for two months, putting around 2,000 miles on it. It was put through the paces in some crit races, a Gran Fondo, a few 75+ mile hill climbing training rides, and even as a commuter on my 14 mile round trip ride to the office and back. The CAAD 10 might just be the one bike that can replace almost any bike designed to be ridden on asphalt. The frame is stiff, in fact very stiff, while somehow still being comfortable to ride on a century. It all comes together nicely, allowing just enough vertical flex when you are riding on uneven pavement, but displaying almost no side to side movement. The perfect mix of vertical compliance/lateral stiffness that is the goal of all frame manufactures.
Our test CAAD 10 was a real beauty with a polished aluminum frame with perfect welds. It was built up with SRAM Rival, Fulcrum Racing wheels, Prologo saddle, a carbon fork, and a FSA Energy BB30 crankset.
With a MSRP of $2,000, the CAAD 10 Rival is in the sweet spot of the price range. Easily affordable, but so well built and equipped that it will easily be able to grow with the rider for many years to come. The CAAD 10 is also available with Shimano 105, Shimano Ultegra, Shimano Ultegra DI2, and SRAM Force, with the pricing running from a MSRP of $1730 to $4,100.
• SmartFormed 6069 Alloy Construction – A complex mix of hydroforming, mechanical shaping, taper-butting, double-pass smooth welding and heat treating, SmartForming is the most advanced aluminum construction in the world, for lighter, stronger frames.
• Elite Race Geometry – Unlike much of the competition at these price points, the CAAD 10 is a thoroughbred racer. Its geometry is virtually identical to their SuperSix EVO for razor sharp cornering and response acceleration.
• Speed Save Stays – The flattened shape and internal butting of the CAAD 10’s seat stays and chain stays allow them to flex vertically, but stay stiff laterally and torsionally. This lets the rear wheel track the ground, improving speed, cornering, grip and comfort.
Cannondale has hit a home run with the CAAD 10. It is a true performer, able to be a pure race bike, and double as a daily commuter. Don’t be scared away by the aluminum frame, instead embrace it, show it off, and best of all, ride until the wheels fall off of it.