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Cannondale Quick Women's 3 review – Fitness bike with road DNA

Does this flat-bar road bike live up to its name?

A metallic green Cannondale Quick 3 bike leaning against a grey brick wall
(Image: © Mildred Locke)

Our Verdict

At the risk of sounding like a marketing playbook, the Quick does what it says on the tin, and really puts the ‘fun’ in ‘functional’

For

  • - Lightweight and stiff for quick acceleration
  • - Lots of tyre clearance for a cushioned and comfortable ride
  • - Stem is SP-Connect compatible for easy phone mounting
  • - Beautiful paintwork with integrated reflective accents
  • - Good quality build that offers value for money

Against

  • - Women's specific model doesn't come with women's specific contact points

It’s no secret that these days there’s an ever-increasing number of categories into which a bicycle can fit, from the obvious monikers of ‘road bike’ and ‘mountain bike’ to the more ambiguous terms like the best commuter bikes and 'fitness bike’. The Cannondale Quick 3 is marketed as the latter, but what exactly is a ‘fitness bike’ and what is it designed for? 

At first glance it looks like it fits nicely into the best hybrid bikes on the market at the moment, with its chunky but slick tyres, flat handlebar and disc brakes. However, just like I’d describe a hybrid bike as a combination of a road bike and mountain bike, I’d describe a fitness bike like the Cannondale Quick 3 as a mash up of a hybrid and a road bike; still designed for upright urban riding, but with more of a focus on speed and efficiency. As a flat bar bike it’s obviously not designed for the roadie, but it definitely borrows more elements of its design from the best road bikes than the traditional hybrid.

I’ve spent the past couple of months riding the women’s specific model almost every day, from running errands around town, to leading group rides and spending long periods of time out and about. Read on for what I think of the Cannondale Quick 3.

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A metallic green flat bar Cannondale Quick 3 bike leaning against a grey brick wall

The Cannondale Women's Quick 3 comes in a beautiful metallic emerald green colour (Image credit: Mildred Locke)
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Close up of green fork legs on a bike with reflective accents

The paint features lots of reflective accents for 360-degree visibility, including on the fork legs... (Image credit: Mildred Locke)
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A close up of the reflective head badge on a green Cannondale bike

... the head badge ... (Image credit: Mildred Locke)
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Close up of the reflective Cannondale logo on a green bike's top tube

... the logo ... (Image credit: Mildred Locke)
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Details of reflective accents on the back of the seat stays on a green bike

... the seat stays ... (Image credit: Mildred Locke)
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Detail of the reflective pattern in the paintwork on the seat tube

... and the seat tube (Image credit: Mildred Locke)

Design and specification

The frame is constructed from SmartForm C3 aluminium, and is paired with a full carbon fork to keep the overall weight down and add some stiffness and efficiency to the ride. The women’s version of the Quick 3 comes in a beautiful metallic emerald green, all black components and finishing kit, and aesthetically it’s simple and eye-catching, especially thanks to the multiple 360-degree reflective accents integrated into the paintwork. The Cannondale logo, seat stays, seat post and fork blades all feature reflective elements in a variety of patterns and blocked out sections, helping to light up the bike in low visibility conditions.

There are mounts for mudguards, a rear rack, and two bottle cages within the front triangle, and for £850 / $1,075, the specification is fairly good value too. The drivetrain is a mix of 9-speed Shimano Altus and Acera components, combining a 48/32 Prowheel crank with an 11-34T Sunrace cassette, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, and Schwalbe Spicer 700 x 35mm K-Guard reflective tyres. All these features point to the intention for the bike to deliver fast and comfortable paved performance. 

The women’s specific model comes with the exact same unisex contact points — a Cannondale Fitness Ergo Double Density saddle and Ergo Fitness Dual Density Lock-On grips — and only differs slightly in geometry. The unisex model comes up larger, with a higher standover and longer effective top tube length. Its size range includes Small – 2XL, while the women’s models come in XS – Large. There are slight variations in the numbers for the women’s and unisex sizes which overlap, so be sure to check thoroughly for the right fit. Generally, the women’s model is likely to work better for people with a shorter stature and reach. If you have a longer reach and inseam, you might fare better with the unisex range.

In addition to the usual features you’d expect to find, the Cannondale Quick 3 also packs a couple of extra punches to provide some fitness-related perks for its target audience. First and foremost, it comes equipped with Cannondale Wheel Sensors, which allow you to connect to the Cannondale app and track your ride data. Furthermore, the Intellimount stem can hold any SP-Connect compatible phone cases, making it easy for riders to affix their phone in place to create a dashboard. Combining these two features allows you to keep track of metrics like your speed and mileage, while the Cannondale app also provides reminders when your bike’s due for a service, as well as eco reports, with information about how many gallons of fuel you’ve saved and CO2 reduced by riding instead of driving.

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Close up of a drivetrain on a green bike

The drivetrain is made up of a mixture of components from Shimano, Sunrace and Prowheel (Image credit: Mildred Locke)
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Close up of a black Shimano Alivio rear derailleur

A 9-speed Shimano Alivio rear derailleur provides the rear shifting (Image credit: Mildred Locke)
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Close up of a black Shimano Acera shifter

While the front shifting is Shimano Altus (Image credit: Mildred Locke)
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Close up of black Tektro hydraulic disc brake shifter

Braking power comes from hydraulic Tektro disc brakes (Image credit: Mildred Locke)
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Close up of a Cannondale Ergo Fitness Double Density saddle

The saddle is unisex but I found it to work well, thanks to the cut out and rounded back (Image credit: Mildred Locke)
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A close up of a bike wheel hub with a black Cannondale wheel sensor affixed in place

It comes with a wheel sensor for app connectivity (Image credit: Mildred Locke)
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A close up of the Cannondale stem with SP-Connect compatible Intellimount

The stem with Intellimount is compatible with SP-Connect mounts (Image credit: Mildred Locke)

Performance

From the outset I was really pleasantly surprised by the ride feel of the Cannondale Quick 3. Known for its aluminium frames, Cannondale has produced a fitness bike that accelerates quickly and delivers a stiff but comfortable ride, enabling you to pick up the pace when you need to without experiencing undue arm fatigue. 

Handling is extremely responsive, thanks to the brand’s OutFront steering geometry (which pairs a 55mm fork offset with a slack head tube angle of 71 degrees), with the ride feeling very fun and zippy.

From pootling around town to heading out on longer rides, I’ve found myself beating some personal records and even managing to overtake my partner on the climb home which, honestly, is kind of a big deal for me. The bike just wants to be fast, and it doesn’t require a huge amount of effort to let it.

Although aluminium frames can sometimes feel quite harsh on uneven surfaces (and let’s face it, the roads in the UK are anything but smooth in many parts of the country), the combination with 35mm tyres helps to soak up some of the road chatter and cushions the ride significantly. I’ve been able to comfortably ride the Quick 3 practically all day, running errands around town and taking longer detours to enjoy the nice weather we’ve been having, and not suffer for my efforts afterwards.

The mixed Acera and Altus groupset may not be the most premium shifting money can buy, but it does a fine job on this type of bike, shifting smoothly through the gears, of which there's a fairly decent range to help with undulating landscapes. Meanwhile the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes offer powerful and graduated stopping, and the Schwalbe tyres have so proven to be grippy even in the wet and resistant to punctures despite my penchant for taking them on daily rides through glass-strewn city centre streets.

In terms of ride position, the Cannondale Quick 3 puts you in a relaxed and relatively upright posture, which makes sense for this kind of riding: it helps you see and be seen in traffic, and enables you to ride for longer without feeling any unnecessary strain. 

A note about sizing: I usually ride a small or extra small bike, depending on its geometry, though when arranging to get a sample of the Quick 3, I was advised by the Cannondale team to size up to a Medium. It’s worth noting that the Quick sizes up fairly small, partly due to the slightly sloping top tube and the OutFront geometry creating a lower standover and shorter reach. I have quite long legs for my small stature (156cm height with 78cm inseam) and I found the medium to fit me pretty well, though I did need to cut a couple of inches off the seatpost to get the saddle height right. If you buy the Quick, be sure to pore over the numbers before you commit, and ideally take one for a test ride first.

Verdict

I’ve had a lot of fun riding the Cannondale Quick 3; it lives up to its name. It accelerates quickly and efficiently, maintains decent output on the road, feels very comfortable for an aluminium and carbon frameset, and is versatile enough to meet a variety of needs. Commuters and urban cyclists can attach some mudguards and a rear rack for year-round riding with luggage, then take it on a speedy and fun adventure at the weekend. The included wheel sensors and connectivity via the Cannondale app will please a lot of people who enjoy monitoring their ride data and controlling and customising various functions through their smartphone, which they can easily mount to the stem with an SP-Connect case. All in all it’s a very functional but also very fun ride.

Testing scorecard and notes
AttributesNotesRating
Design and aesthetics Simple, metallic emerald green paint with lots of reflective detailing9/10
Components Mixed drivetrain components including Shimano Altus and Acera, Prowheel and Sunrace. Excellent Tektro hydraulic disc brakes and Schwalbe tyres.7/10
Performance, handling and geometrySuper speedy and efficient, comfortable, precise handling, fun and zippy9/10
WeightWeighing 11.5kg it's pretty on par with bikes in this market8/10
Value for moneyPretty good value for money, high performance and included wheel sensors for easy app compatibility, although the components could be improved8/10
Overall rating82%

Logbook: Cannondale Women's Quick 3

  • Temperature: 10 to 20 degrees C
  • Weather:  Sun, rain, wind, cold, warm
  • Road surface: Mostly paved with a little bit of gravel and canal towpath
  • Route:  Multiple routes around Bristol and the South West
  • Rides: 50+
  • Mileage: ~300km

Tech Specs: Cannondale Quick Women's 3

  • Price: £850 / $1,075
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L (women’s) / S, M, L, XL, XXL (unisex)
  • Weight: 11.5kg (size M with pedals)
  • Frame: SmartForm C3 Alloy
  • Fork: Carbon
  • Shifters: Shimano Altus, 9-speed
  • Front derailleur: Shimano Acera
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Altus
  • Crankset: Prowheel, 48/32
  • Cassette: Sunrace, 11-34 9-speed
  • Brakes: Tektro HD-R280 hydraulic disc, 160/140mm rotors
  • Wheels: Cannondale Disc
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Spicer, 700 x 35c, K-Guard, reflective strip
  • Saddle: Cannondale Fitness Ergo Double Density (unisex)
  • Seatpost: Cannondale 6061 Alloy
  • Stem: Cannondale 3 with Intellimount
  • Handlebars: Cannondale 6061 Alloy
  • Extras: Cannondale Wheel Sensor

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Mildred joined as Reviews Writer for Cyclingnews and BikePerfect in December 2020. She loves all forms of cycling from long-distance audax to daily errand-running by bike, and does almost everything on two wheels, including moving house, and started out her cycling career working in a bike shop. For the past five years she's volunteered at The Bristol Bike Project as a mechanic and session coordinator, and now sits on its board of directors.

Since then she's gone on to write for a multitude of cycling publications, including Bikeradar, Cycling Plus, Singletrack, Red Bull, Cycling UK and Total Women's Cycling. She's dedicated to providing more coverage of women's specific cycling tech, elevating under-represented voices in the sport, and making cycling more accessible overall. 

Height: 156cm (5'2")

Weight: 75kg

Rides: Stayer Groadinger UG, Triban RC520 Women's Disc, Genesis Flyer, Marin Larkspur, Cotic BFe 26, Clandestine custom bike