Cannondale has today launched the new CAAD13, an all-new aluminium road frameset, following the modern trend of dropped seat stays, aerodynamic tubing, disc brakes and increased tyre clearance.
Cannondale has been a pioneering force in high-performance aluminium road bikes for almost four decades, the American brand says the new CAAD13 is faster, smoother, more comfortable and more broadly capable than anything that’s come before it. On first ride impressions, the bike manufacturer is not far off the mark.
The new CAAD13 takes several design cues from the brand’s recently updated carbon fibre SuperSix EVO. While it forgoes the cable-integrating aero-profile head tube, it does feature aerodynamic tube profiling throughout, the same D-profile SAVE seat post, lowered seat stays, and 'SpeedRelease' bolt through axles.
The top of the range model comes with 45mm KNOT carbon fibre wheels, SRAM Force eTap AXS, and features Cannondale’s new SAVE aerodynamic handlebar and stem. All models make use of a BB30a bottom bracket, use a full carbon fork with tapered steerer, feature subtle reflective detailing to increase safety in low-light conditions, and are Di2-ready with the added benefit of Cannondale's SwitchPlate interdace port on the down tube.
The all-new CAAD13 also retains the sharp, responsive handling that we’ve come to expect from the CAAD range. Throwing it into tight corners didn’t unsettle the bike at all and the 28c tyres really helped to accentuate the bike’s sure-footedness. The frame felt stiff and subsequently, power transfer was instant. In fact, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re riding a high-end carbon road bike.
Fast and light
Cannondale claims the new tube shaping helps to offer the same light weight and stiffness as traditional round tubes while saving up to 30% in drag reduction. The new handlebar and stem further decrease drag and the down tube features three bottle cage mounts, which enables a lower bottle mounting position for even more aerodynamic gains.
It's more capable
The new CAAD13 line-up features three disc brake and two rim brake models for men, and one of each in the women’s line-up. Tyre clearance has also been increased: With 30mm tyres fitted to the disc brake models, you’ll still have 6mm clearance either side. Rim brake calipers do limit you to 28mm tyres, but that is still ample.
The new model also features mudguard mounts, which might seem like an odd addition to performance-focussed aluminium road bike, but for me, it really increases the appeal – having the option to use the CAAD13 all year round is a selling point that many other race-ready bikes miss out on.
While separate bikes for racing and training isn’t uncommon in a cyclist’s garage, the CAAD13 is a bike that combines the two without compromise, potentially making racing more accessible to more riders, which can only be a good thing.
Smoother and more comfortable
Following the newly updated geometry of the SuperSix EVO, the CAAD13 takes a similar step, receiving a more relaxed stack and reach versus it's predecessors. Cannondale's road product manager Sam Ebert explained to Cyclingnews that all of the team's sponsored pro riders were still able to maintain their existing bike fits on the newly updated SuperSix EVO, meaning the move opens up the CAAD13 to a wider range of cyclists without negatively affecting their sponsored professional racers.
Additionally, careful aluminium distribution, lowered seat stays, clearance for wider tyres and a full-carbon fork combine to double the bump-absorbing compliance compared to the previous CAAD12. This has a marked effect on ride comfort and results in a smooth, fast, race-ready road bike that can be enjoyed all day long.
Cannondale CAAD13 model list and pricing:
Cannondale CAAD13 Disc SRAM Force eTap AXS Disc £3,999 / US$5,750
Cannondale CAAD13 Disc Shimano Ultegra Disc £1,999
Cannondale CAAD13 Disc Shimano 105 Disc £1,583 / US$2,100
Cannondale CAAD13 Shimano Ultegra rim brake £1,583 / US$2,400
Cannondale CAAD13 Shimano 105 rim brake £1,333 / $1,800
Cannondale CAAD13 Disc Women’s Shimano 105 Disc £1,583 / US$2,100
Cannondale CAAD13 Women’s Shimano 105 rim brake £1,333 / US$1,800