Cannondale CAAD12 – Bike Review

Cannondale CAAD12 – Bike

The Cannondale CAAD12 draws on all of the American brand’s 30 years of expertise with aluminium and throws in the super brainpower of modern computing.

Frame

The CAAD12 uses 6069 aluminium alloy, which is said to be more expensive than the 6061 used on lower-end frames but requires less material without losing strength and stiffness. SmartForm delivers precise butting of the tubes, which Cannondale says stops abrupt changes in wall thickness, thus reducing stress and optimizing weight. The fork is full carbon and is the same fork used on the SuperSix Evo — 200g lighter than the previous version.

Specification

Shimano Ultegra R8000 runs throughout, offering a light shift action with decent stopping power from the rim brakes. You’ll get a Cannondale chainset here, which is no demotion and the cranks are known to be lightweight and stiff.

Mavic Aksiums are a decent, robust set of wheels. This bike would feel a little better with a more expensive set of hoops though, along with a wider internal rim with wider rubber to soak up road buzz. Tyre-wise you get Mavic’s Yksion WTS 25c. Our tester was not a fan, feeling the odd slip on cold, damp days and getting an out-of-saddle slip on a climb. These also measured up closer to 24mm than the stated 25cm.

The Ride

While the CAAD12 offers a less forgiving ride than an equivalent carbon bike, it’s not uncomfortable. There’s room for at least 28mm tyres and this would help comfort levels. Geometry-wise it’s identical to the Cannondale SuperSix Evo, which we loved. In other words it’s nimble and nippy but still stable and predictable.

It’s a pity it comes with a relatively wide 42cm handlebar when the industry leaders are going narrower for improved aerodynamics. Performance-wise you cannot fault the Cannondale CAAD12.

Conclusion

The Cannondale CAAD12 is an awesome bike for a great price. As aluminium is a cheaper material to work with than carbon, the overall cost saving is passed onto you, meaning you get a high-performing frameset without taking a big hit to your wallet, although you’ll feel the rumble of the road more.

  • Weight: 7.8kg
  • Frame: CAAD12, SmartForm C1 Premium Alloy, SAVE, BB30a, Di2 Ready
  • Fork: CAAD12, SAVE, BallisTec full carbon, 1-1/8in to 1-1/4in steerer
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra R8000
  • Brakes: Shimano Ultegra
  • Bars: Cannondale C2, 2014 Alloy, Compact
  • Stem: Cannondale C2, 7050 Alloy, 31.8, 6 ° rise
  • Seatpost: Cannondale C2, UD Carbon, 25.4x300mm (44-56), 400mm (58-63)
  • Saddle: Selle Royal Seta S1
  • Wheels: Mavic Aksium
  • Tyres: Mavic Yksion Elite Guard, folding, WTS, 700x25c

Rating 9.5/10

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