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Priced at £1,499.99, it's a bold mish-mash of good ideas that might just work

Bikes like the Cannondale Quick Carbon 2 can be confusing, interesting and inspiring all at the same time. It's not a road bike, a hybrid or a mountain bike in the way those tags are usually used, but it incorporates some of the best aspects of all three. The fact that Cannondale UK's Quick range spans 11 bikes split into three distinct groupings would seem to suggest that Cannondale have bags of confidence in the basic idea, but could it be that £1,500 is pushing the boundaries a bit?

The Carbon 2 is the most expensive bike in the Quick range and the only one with a carbon frameset (Carbon G2 frame and fork) that’s being brought to the UK. If you like the idea of the complete bike set-up but don't really feel a need for carbon and hydraulic disc brakes then you could opt for an otherwise similarly specced aluminium framed Quick SL 1 at £999.99. Other less lavish models bearing more in common with other hybrids go all the way down to £449.99.

Cannondale's marketing spiel lists the Quick Carbon as a bike that “blurs the line between upright recreational comfort and thrilling road bike speed.” First impressions are that this is exactly what it does. The lightweight carbon frame boasts many of the design and performance features of Cannondale's purist road bikes, the gearing is certainly road bike, and the whole package weighs in at just under 23lb (10.5kg). The riser handlebar and hydraulic disc brakes are where it differs radically from other purist road bikes, with 700 x 32c tyres doubtless adding an extra touch of comfort without necessarily detracting from speed.

The frame is a beautifully clean-moulded affair with the sort of smooth curved lines that you instantly want to touch. The slimline 'SAVE' seatstays and long extension of seat post should add extra comfort at the back end, and the very generous standover clearance of the frame will undoubtedly please many of the riders the Quick series is aimed at. Utility purposes are served well by two sets of bottle bosses plus rack and mudguard eyelets. The rear disc calliper is tucked in between the seatstays and chainstays, well clear of rack or guard stays. The gear cables and disc hoses are routed all the way through the frame and fork, leaving clean lines throughout, but giving easy access for re-routing via a weatherproof hatch under the bottom bracket.  

Several riders passing first opinions simply said they'd get some STI levers and a dropped bar and make it into a 'proper' road bike. But that's sort of missing the point. For a start, the Cannondale Helix 6 hydraulic brakes mean you'd either need to downgrade to cable discs or upgrade the complete drivetrain to Ultegra electronic plus hydraulics: in terms of price sensibilities you'd probably opt for the downgrade to cable discs. But, either way, we'll be reviewing the bike for what it is, rather than what it could be.

The 2 x 10 drivetrain matches Shimano Tiagra under-bar shifters operating a Tiagra front mech and a 105 rear, a 12-30 tooth cassette plus an FSA 50/34 crankset in an oversized (BB30) press-fit bottom bracket. The Element Xero C3 CX wheels used a twinned spoke (12 x 12) design that has a pretty good reputation in terms of stiffness and durability.

Attention to the finishing detail of the componentry looks excellent. The 24in low rise handlebar is probably about right for most urban riders, the grips are comfy well shaped bolt-on affairs and the Cannondale branded stem, seat post and saddle are all decent offerings. Simple wide, flat pedals are provided but we suspect a lot of riders would upgrade to their own pedal choice. 

On the surface, this would seem to be a good option for someone unhindered by price constraints but unconvinced by, or ill at ease with, the drop handlebar approach. We know plenty of riders like that, some with back issues, others who simply prefer a relatively upright ride posture. We're looking forward to doing a few roughly timed laps of our favourite hilly road loops, 'roughly' because a bike with a riser MTB style handlebar is not really meant for flat backed Chris Froome-looking-at-stems hammering. Full test report coming soon.

13 comments

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keith roberts [204 posts] 3 years ago
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I like it, seems like the kind of bike I could use everywhere and still have a crack at some strava segments,without breaking my back ....i'm biased though...I've already got a 'Dale.....  3

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BBB [448 posts] 3 years ago
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“...blurs the line between upright recreational comfort and thrilling road bike speed...”

Comfortable (upright) position doesn't help with riding at "thrilling" road bike speeds.  3

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Tony Farrelly [2893 posts] 3 years ago
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BBB wrote:

“...blurs the line between upright recreational comfort and thrilling road bike speed...”

Comfortable (upright) position doesn't help with riding at "thrilling" road bike speeds.  3

You can't go fast on a road bike riding on the hoods?

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BBB [448 posts] 3 years ago
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tony_farrelly wrote:
BBB wrote:

“...blurs the line between upright recreational comfort and thrilling road bike speed...”

Comfortable (upright) position doesn't help with riding at "thrilling" road bike speeds.  3

You can't go fast on a road bike riding on the hoods?

Hoods on average road bike will be still placed lower than the (1" riser) handlebar on this bike and will allow more aero position with bent arms.

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Guyz2010 [304 posts] 3 years ago
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tony_farrelly wrote:
BBB wrote:

“...blurs the line between upright recreational comfort and thrilling road bike speed...”

Comfortable (upright) position doesn't help with riding at "thrilling" road bike speeds.  3

You can't go fast on a road bike riding on the hoods?

You can.

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Nzlucas [127 posts] 3 years ago
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You can still go quick, just takes more effort.....

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kie7077 [901 posts] 3 years ago
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It's funny, people say disc brakes kill the look of a bike, personally I think a big bunch of wires sticking out of the handlebars looks awful and they are very un aero-dynamic.

But anyway, £1500 for a 10.5kg bike, what went wrong? My bike cost a third of that and weighs substantially less.

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Forester [123 posts] 3 years ago
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With bar ends, this would be ideal for the older rider who wants to keep up on a few Sportives- well done CDale.

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jollygoodvelo [1612 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm a Cannondale fan (and owner) but I can't see the market for this.

Surely it doesn't do anything that the Planet X XLS http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/CBPXXLSFB/planet_x_xls_shimano_tiagr... does - for £900 and at a kilo lighter.

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DrJDog [405 posts] 3 years ago
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£1500, 10.5kg, and Tiagra!?!?

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 3 years ago
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interesting amalgamation of bike features. Geared that way I bet it could still go decently fast on the flats

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dodgy [218 posts] 3 years ago
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Gizmo_ wrote:

I'm a Cannondale fan (and owner) but I can't see the market for this.

Surely it doesn't do anything that the Planet X XLS http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/CBPXXLSFB/planet_x_xls_shimano_tiagr... does - for £900 and at a kilo lighter.

The XLS is a lot of bike for the money and I was this far (pinches air between thumb and forefinger) of buying one as a commuter. But, it doesn't have mudguard and rack mounts. One point in favour to the Cannondale.

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alotronic [506 posts] 3 years ago
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The PX is also a road bike geo - ie has 'short' top tube so will be not so good with flat bars. There is a reason that MTBers and trekking bikes have 4-6cm longer top tubes than road frames. The PX is just a road bike with flat bars - this is designed for flats and will ride a heap better I suspect...