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First look: 2011 Cannondale CAAD10 and SuperX

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The flattened top tube should make for slightly less painful run-ups.

The flattened top tube should make for slightly less painful run-ups.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The BB30 bottom bracket shell is anchored by a gargantuan down tube and an ovalised seat tube.

The BB30 bottom bracket shell is anchored by a gargantuan down tube and an ovalised seat tube.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The rear brake housing stop is integrated into the seatpost collar.

The rear brake housing stop is integrated into the seatpost collar.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The seat stays sport a slender bridge to prevent mud build-up.

The seat stays sport a slender bridge to prevent mud build-up.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Flattened sections on the seat- and chain stays presumably will offer a slightly softer ride than current CAAD9 'cross frames.

Flattened sections on the seat- and chain stays presumably will offer a slightly softer ride than current CAAD9 'cross frames.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Tim Johnson and the rest of his Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com team are expected to be on Cannondale's new SuperX carbon 'cross machine this season.

Tim Johnson and the rest of his Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com team are expected to be on Cannondale's new SuperX carbon 'cross machine this season.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Cannondale equips the new SuperX carbon frames with full-carbon forks and tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/4" steerers for improved braking solidity and steering precision.

Cannondale equips the new SuperX carbon frames with full-carbon forks and tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/4" steerers for improved braking solidity and steering precision.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The top tube sports a rounded rectangular profile from end to end for better front triangle stiffness.

The top tube sports a rounded rectangular profile from end to end for better front triangle stiffness.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Cannondale borrowed some design language from its Flash carbon hardtail for the CAAD10's especially broad seat cluster.

Cannondale borrowed some design language from its Flash carbon hardtail for the CAAD10's especially broad seat cluster.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The CAAD10's SAVE-style shaping on the chain- and seat stays - plus a flattened and ovalised seat tube below the front derailleur clamp - is expected to yield a more comfortable ride than current CAAD9 frames.

The CAAD10's SAVE-style shaping on the chain- and seat stays - plus a flattened and ovalised seat tube below the front derailleur clamp - is expected to yield a more comfortable ride than current CAAD9 frames.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The newly tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/4" head tube on the CAAD10 is backed by a hydroformed down tube.

The newly tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/4" head tube on the CAAD10 is backed by a hydroformed down tube.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Black-on-black graphics on the top-end Dura-Ace model are especially subtle.

Black-on-black graphics on the top-end Dura-Ace model are especially subtle.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Cannondale continues its touted aluminum legacy with all-new CAAD10 road models for 2011.

Cannondale continues its touted aluminum legacy with all-new CAAD10 road models for 2011.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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New tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/4" full-carbon forks on the CAAD10 aluminum bikes are said to be just as strong as the company's bigger 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" models.

New tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/4" full-carbon forks on the CAAD10 aluminum bikes are said to be just as strong as the company's bigger 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" models.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Tyre clearance down below looks to be suitably adequate.

Tyre clearance down below looks to be suitably adequate.
(Image credit: James Huang)

Cannondale's long history of crafting cutting-edge aluminum chassis will thankfully continue into 2011 with the introduction of an all-new CAAD10 platform that sheds 200g from the CAAD9 version for an impressive estimated bare frame weight of around 1,050g (2.31lb).

As expected, tube shaping is more advanced than on the CAAD9 for better stiffness in certain directions but more tuned flex in others. The giant hydroformed down tube flares vertically at the head tube, the broad top tube sports a new squared-off oval profile, the seat tube is flattened and ovalised below the front derailleur clamp, and the chain- and seat stays boast SAVE shaping borrowed from the Synapse carbon bikes for improved rider comfort.

There's also a newly tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/4" head tube up front, which surrounds a similarly fresh all-carbon fork that Cannondale VP of research and development Chris Peck says is as strong as the company's earlier 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" models. Capping things off is Cannondale's trademark BB30 oversized bottom bracket shell.

Cannondale will offer four CAAD10 models for 2011 - all in either double or triple-chainring variants - with the top-end CAAD10 1 Dura-Ace (US$3,199) coming equipped with a Shimano Ultegra 6700/Dura-Ace 7900 mix, Shimano RS-80 clinchers, and an FSA SL-K carbon crank.

Shimano Ultegra-equipped models will come in at US$2,149, there's a SRAM Rival option for US$1,799, and finally a more entry-level Shimano 105 option at just US$1,499.

We also expect a bare frameset option that should appeal to privateer racers and DIYers looking to build their own setup.

Regardless of which option you choose, we're thrilled to see Cannondale stick to its aluminum roots as the CAAD10 should present a high performance, high value option for riders that prefer metallic frames or can't afford the company's higher-end carbon offerings. We're already slated to receive an early sample for a full long-term review so stay tuned for a full ride report in the near future.

Cannondale has gone carbon on its new SuperX 'cross model though, which sheds a whopping 450g from the current CAAD9 'cross platform for a total claimed frameset weight of just 1,400g (3.09lb).

Tube shapes are derived from both Cannondale's existing 'cross bikes and the groundbreaking Flash carbon off-road hardtail, including the unusually broad seat cluster, pinched SAVE seat- and chain stays, and the flared lower seat tube.

As on the CAAD10 road bike, the new SuperX also features a tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/4" front end but also a new full-carbon 'cross fork to go along with it.

Other details include a BB30 oversized bottom bracket, a flattened top tube underside for easier shouldering and barrier runs, a custom seat collar-mounted housing stop for the rear brake, Cannondale's 'BallisTec' high-impact carbon technology for long-term durability in the rough-and-tumble world of 'cross, and six sizes ranging from 44-58cm.

Unfortunately, none of the new bikes will come with disc mounts as the UCI's new rule changes apparently came too late in the development cycle - but we're guessing we'll see them in 2012.

Cannondale will offer two carbon SuperX models for 2011 plus up to four alloy models depending on location based on the current CAAD9 'cross platforms.

The top-end SuperX Red (US$7,499) will come with a SRAM Red transmission, Cannondale's own Hollowgram SL crank (with 'cross-specific 46/36T rings) and Zipp 303 Cyclocross carbon tubulars for a total claimed weight of just 6.59kg (14.52lb) without pedals).

Racers on a more realistic budget can instead opt for the SuperX Rival variant (US$3,749), which trades in SRAM Rival components and Mavic Ksyrium Equipe clinchers for a still-light total claimed weight of 7.57kg (16.70lb).

Aluminum CAADX models with come with either SRAM Rival or Shimano Ultegra, 105, or Tiagra builds with total prices ranging from US$1,179 to US$1,919.