In recent years aluminium has made a bit of a comeback, with BMC, Specialized, Trek, Canyon and Rose among those developing lightweight alloy bikes. Cannondale had the very successful CAAD10 in its lineup, and now the promise of its best ever lies with the new CAAD12 – which has scooped our sister title Cycling Plus‘s coveted Bike of the Year 2016 award.
We think aluminium never quite got a fair crack at the top. Just as bikes were getting lighter, and stiff enough for pro riders to race on, they were swept away by carbon.
In aluminium alloy’s turn-of-the-millennium heyday Cannondale was the biggest innovator with bikes such as the R4000 (CAAD4) on which Italian sprint king Mario Cipollini, after winning a stage of the 1999 Tour, declared to the cameras, “Cannondale makes the best bikes!”
Bring it on
With the new CAAD12, Cannondale seems to be throwing down the gauntlet to the competition in high-grade alloy. The numbers are compelling: the frame weighs just 1098g, which is 52g lighter than the CAAD10, while the fork – based on Cannondale’s new EVO design – weighs a mere 300g. More expensive CAAD12 models get the HM fork, a scarily light 280g.
The CAAD12 features the 25.4mm diameter seatpost that Cannondale pioneered on the Synapse, and more recently the new EVO. The new Si crankset is also a Cannondale design.
Bossing the rough stuff
Predictable kit compromises
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