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Verdict: 
One of the best-riding aluminium frames money can buy – and great value as well
Weight: 
8,030g
Cannondale CAAD12 Disc Dura-Ace
9 10

The CAAD12 is the latest in a long series of well-received bikes from Cannondale, most recently the predecessor to this, the fabled CAAD10. The CAAD12 is lighter, stiffer, more comfortable and available with or without disc brakes. Showing the company's commitment to disc brakes, the disc version was actually designed first, and the new frame is a whopping 206g lighter than the CAAD10 Disc that came out a couple of years ago.

What happened to the CAAD11? I hear you ask. Cannondale's official line is that it skipped a number due to it packing so much new technology into the latest frame. Or maybe it was just to avoid endless Spinal Tap references...

> Find your nearest dealer here

There are few brands as synonymous with aluminium as Cannondale, with its fabled CAAD – 'Cannondale advanced aluminium design' – series. The US company built its reputation on aluminium frames, and even though it has invested heavily in carbon fibre in more recent years, it remains fully committed to aluminium in a way few brands are.

Ride and handling

Following the popular and likeable CAAD10 was always going to be a tough act, but Cannondale has succeeded not only in retaining the key qualities of the previous model but also improving the ride quality. It's nothing short of marvellous.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - riding 6.jpg

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - riding 6.jpg

The new CAAD12 is a finely honed bike with a level of comfort and refinement that makes you wonder why you would buy anything else, and certainly ask questions of the short lifespan of aluminium at the cutting-edge of racing bicycle technology back in the 90s. It's so smooth that it outshines many carbon fibre road bikes I've tested for road.cc over the years.

The handling is fast and direct when being ridden at pace, and it never becomes skittish or erratic. The steering is direct and sharp; it's a very focused bike and the material and geometry come together to form a really beautiful whole. There's an impressive degree of compliance from the rear triangle.

That Cannondale has eked out such compliance from the frame is highly impressive. I'm not exactly spoilt with smooth roads where I live, and on many of the rough and poorly surfaced lanes the CAAD12 is superbly smooth. The combination of the changes to the rear triangle, with the flat seatstays devoid of a brake bridge and the skinny seatpost, help to filter out much of the vibration that can lead to an unsettled ride.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - seat stays.jpg

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - seat stays.jpg

Most of the time the front end is buttery smooth, too, but occasionally you'll hit a hard-edged crack in the road and get a jolt through the handlebar. This could be a combination of the frame, fork and front wheel, the last two of which have been beefed up to deal with the disc brake forces. It was so infrequent during the review period, though, it wasn't enough to ruin the ride.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - fork.jpg

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - fork.jpg

While the comfort impresses, the handling really shines. The stiffness of the frame and fork gives the CAAD12 a very direct and agile ride. It's sharply focused and feels very engaging through corners and on fast descents, with a crispness of control that's lacking in many bikes.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - riding 9.jpg

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - riding 9.jpg

The geometry helps here too. It's largely borrowed from the SuperSix Evo, the company's flagship race bike. It's geometry that I get on very well with, and the numbers work with the CAAD12. The stack and reach figures – the vertical and horizontal measurements from the centre of the bottom bracket to the top of the head tube – combine to provide a racy position, with the short head tube keeping the front end low. Cannondale has slightly lowered the bottom bracket on the new bike, which contributes to the stability it demonstrates at higher speeds.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc.jpg

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc.jpg

Don't think it's just a bike for KOM and segment hunters, though. Cannondale has thoughtfully fitted a generous height headset top cap so you can set the handlebar nice and high if you prefer. It can easily be removed and the steerer tube chopped down if you want to slam the stem (no spacers).

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - stem.jpg

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - stem.jpg

With the Shimano Dura-Ace components, the CAAD12 Disc is impressively a whisker over 8kg. More weight could probably come off with a change to some lighter components, but it's not a big factor when riding in the hills. The high stiffness of the CAAD12 makes it a great climbing bike, with very good power transfer and the stiff front end resisting flex completely. I didn't detect any disc brake rub from the front calliper when climbing out of the saddle.

There's a big debate about thru-axles on disc brake-equipped bikes. The CAAD12 didn't provide any concerns that the conventional quick releases were a bad thing. There was no brake rub from either end and no apparent lack of stiffness either. Many disc brake bikes are moving to thru-axles though, and it'll be interesting to see if potential customers are put off by Cannondale's reluctance to embrace them.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - front hub.jpg

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - front hub.jpg

For outright performance, the CAAD12 Disc can certainly match high-end carbon fibre rivals, and the comparison is worth making because it's a choice between two materials that many people will be making. The CAAD12 offers great value for money, and a better specification than you get on many carbon bikes at this price.

For example, a similarly equipped SuperSix Evo will set you back £3,699. Which is better? That's an impossible question to answer. Both are excellent bikes, but the value for money that the CAAD12 offers is unquestionably superior.

Frame redesign

As I said earlier, Cannondale actually designed the disc brake version of the CAAD12 first. Both frames, constructed from 6069 aluminium, share many of the same design features, with the same impressive improvement in stiffness and compliance.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - cable route.jpg

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - cable route.jpg

The disc frame is 206g lighter than the CAAD10 Disc, with a frame pegged at a claimed 1,094g. That is 4g lighter than the non-disc CAAD12, itself 52g lighter than the CAAD10 – 1,098g compared to 1,150g for the CAAD10.

The weight savings on the disc version go a long way to reducing the current weight penalty of running disc brakes. Both frames are lighter than many carbon frames, and only a few hundred grams off a top-end carbon frame, which would cost you as much as this complete bike.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - seat tube detail.jpg

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - seat tube detail.jpg

It's not just lighter, it's stiffer and more compliant too. The revised profile of every single tube has, according to Cannondale, resulted in an increased frame stiffness – 10% stiffer in the head tube and 13% at the bottom bracket. That's not all. Cannondale says it is 50% more compliant than the CAAD10, with more vertical deflection in the rear triangle. To eke out even more compliance, there's the 25.4mm seatpost we first saw on the Synapse.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - saddle and post.jpg

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - saddle and post.jpg

How has it achieved these improvements? Cannondale used a proprietary computer program called True Flow Modelling. This enabled the designers to test and asses many variations of frame design, taking into account all the requirements such as tyre and chainring clearance, and profiling the tube shapes and thicknesses to produce a frame that meets the brief.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - bottom bracket 2.jpg

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - bottom bracket 2.jpg

It's similar to the design process used to develop carbon frames, but there are more limitations with aluminium. Aluminium can be manipulated a reasonable amount, but not to the same extent as carbon fibre. This new process allows Cannondale to work around those restraints. This development also points to the fact that, despite aluminium having been in use since the 1990s, there is still much room for improvement in the material.

The CAAD12 also borrows many design features from the SuperSix Evo. There's a similar hourglass shaped head tube, a dramatically tapered head tube and flared seat tube, and a BB30a 73mm bottom bracket. This wider bottom bracket shell has allowed Cannondale to increase the size of the seat tube, down tube and chainstays, to ramp up the frame stiffness.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - head tube badge.jpg

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - head tube badge.jpg

The carbon disc fork is a carry-over item from the CAAD10 Disc, complete with a post mount fitting. The rear calliper is fixed to the chainstay using the modern flat mount standard, and it's very neatly done. Fitting the rear brake to the chainstays, a common approach on road disc bikes, has freed up the seatstays to be honed for compliance, with their bridge-less and flat oval shape helping to provide some give.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - rear disc.jpg

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - rear disc.jpg

Cannondale has stuck with conventional quick release axles and we suspect the reason is much the same as Giant and Specialized have given us – they're all waiting for a clear thru-axle standard to emerge before making the leap.

All cables and the rear hydraulic hose are routed inside the frame. There's increased tyre clearance, with space for up to 28mm tyres, while 25mm tyres are fitted as standard.

Prices and particulars

The new CAAD12 range includes three disc models: the CAAD12 Disc 105 at £1,499, the CAAD12 Disc Ultegra at £1,999, and the bike tested here, the CAAD12 Disc Dura-Ace, gracing the top step of the range.

As the name implies, our test bike comes with a Shimano Dura-Ace 11-speed mechanical groupset, with BR785 hydraulic disc brakes using 140mm Ice-Tech rotors. A 52/36t chainset points to speedy intentions while the 11-28t Ultegra cassette is a help on the hills.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - drivetrain.jpg

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - drivetrain.jpg

As you'd hope and expect, Dura-Ace 9000 really is a very good groupset. When mechanical shifting is this light and joyous to use, you wonder why you would want Di2. The ergonomics of the mechanical levers are much more appealing.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - shifter.jpg

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - shifter.jpg

The brakes are everything we've come to expect from Shimano hydraulics: a firm lever feel with oodles of power even with just one finger caressing the brake lever, and all the modulation that means no risk of locking a wheel.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - riding 5.jpg

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - riding 5.jpg

System Integration (Si) has been a big thing for Cannondale for a long time. This bike comes with a proprietary 25.4mm carbon fibre SAVE seatpost and Hollowgram SI hollow forged chainset, complete with SpideRings; bearing these in mind during the design process has, Cannondale claims, contributed to a frameset that is lighter than if using other brand components. Shifting performance of the Si chainset with the Dura-Ace drivetrain is just as good as a Dura-Ace chainset.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - front mech.jpg

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - front mech.jpg

Cannondale has opted for Mavic's latest Ksyrium Disc WTS wheels with 25mm-wide Mavic Yksion Elite tyres. This is a brand new wheelset from the French company, based on its long-running top level wheelset but obviously updated for disc brakes.

The cheaper of two versions, the wheelset weighs 1,850g and the new disc-specific rim is laced to oversized hubs with 24 spokes in both wheels. The hubs are compatible with Centerlock and 6-bolt rotors and thru-axles. The Ksyrium Pro Disc wheelset would lop 315g off the weight, an upgrade that would take the bike under 8kg.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - tyre and rim.jpg

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - tyre and rim.jpg

Despite their rather high weight, the wheels are very stiff and solidly built, but the rims are narrow by today's standards, at 19.5mm, and the 25mm Mavic tyres do come up a bit narrower than they would on a wider rim.

Cannondale's own C1 aluminium handlebar and stem with a colour-matched Fizik Arione R7 saddle, with manganese rails, completes the build. It's all reliable and well-finished kit, with the handlebar providing a good reach and drop.

Conclusion

Aluminium bikes are commonly overshadowed by lighter and fancier carbon fibre frames, but if you were in any doubt that an aluminium bike should at least be considered, then you really ought to arrange a demo of the CAAD12. It's really that good.

> Check out our guide to the best aluminium road bikes here

Aluminium has slowly been making a comeback in recent years, with Specialized, BMC, Trek, Rose, Canyon and British brand Kinesis all producing state-of-the-art aluminium frames that are light enough to rival carbon, at a price that won't make such a dent on your bank balance. And as I've found with the CAAD12, the latest aluminium bikes offer a ride like you won't believe.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - riding 7.jpg

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - riding 7.jpg

It seems a bit unfair to compare aluminium to carbon, but for many people it will be a key factor in a new bike purchase decision. An aluminium frame saves a lot of money for components, so you get a better-specced bike for the same money. And when the ride and performance are this good, choosing aluminium isn't a second best option.

Verdict

One of the best-riding aluminium frames money can buy – and great value as well

road.cc test report

Make and model: Cannondale CAAD12 Disc Dura-Ace

Size tested: 56cm

About the bike

State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.

FRAME CAAD12 Disc SmartFormed 6069 Alloy SPEED SAVE BB30a Di2 Ready flat-mount disc

FORK CAAD12 Disc SPEED SAVE BallisTec Carbon 1-1/8 to 1-1/4 post-mount disc

HEADSET CAAD12 1-1/4 lower bearing 25mm top cap

STEM Cannondale C1 Ultralight 7050 Alloy Ti bolts, 31.8, 6 degrees

HANDLEBARS Cannondale C1 Ultralight 7050 Alloy Compact

GRIPS Selle Royal Team

FRONT BRAKE Shimano BR805/785 Hydraulic Disc 140/140mm

REAR BRAKE Shimano BR805/785 Hydraulic Disc 140/140mm

FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano Dura-Ace 9000, braze-on

REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano Dura-Ace 9000

SHIFT LEVERS Shimano R685 Hydraulic Disc

CASSETTE Shimano Ultegra 6800 11-28-28 11-speed

CHAIN Shimano HG700-11 11-speed

CRANKSET Cannondale HollowGram Si hollow forged, BB30a

CHAINRINGS OPI SpideRing, 52/36

BOTTOM BRACKET FSA BB30 Bearings

PEDALS N/A

RIMS Mavic Ksyrium Disc WTS

HUBS Mavic Ksyrium Disc

SPOKES Mavic Ksyrium

TYRES Mavic Yksion Elite WTS, 700x25c

SADDLE Fizi:k Arione R7 MG Rails

SEATPOST Cannondale SAVE, 25.4 x 350 mm

Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Cannondale says:

RIDER PROFILE

Aspiring racers, fast club riders and anyone else looking for a high-performance alternative to carbon.

INTENDED USE

Road Racing, Criteriums, Training

SPECIALITY

Tearing through corners and accelerating like a rocket.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
8/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

Very good build quality.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

SmartFormed 6069 Aluminium with flat mount disc fittings and internal cable routing. Carbon fork.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

Very similar to the SuperSix Evo, so it's quite racy.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

Just needed a change to a longer stem and it was perfect.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Impressively comfortable, but front end noticeably firmer than the rear triangle.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

Yes, good for sprinting and climbing.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

It climbed efficiently and was ideal for fast paced riding.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?

No

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Quite lively and light.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

Really engaging handling with good agility.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

You could reduce weight with lighter wheels.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

A carbon handlebar might provide a bit more front end compliance.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?

Not really.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
8/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
7/10

Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?

Really impressed with Cannondale's Si chainset, and it's quite a looker too.

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels and tyres for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for weight:
 
6/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for comfort:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for value:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the wheels and tyres.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels or tyres? If so, what for?

The wheels are stiff but they're not that light. The tyres aren't that supple and the narrow rims don't make the most of the 25mm tyre width.

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
7/10

Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?

No complaints with any of the contact points.

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes

Would you consider buying the bike? Yes

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
9/10

Use this box to explain your score

The CAAD10 used to be the aluminium benchmark, but the new CAAD12 has just taken over.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

31 comments

Avatar
Ogi [100 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I really like the new CAAD12 (both disc and non-disc). If I was in the market to get the bike that does it all...this is the one. Deals with winters easily, fast, aggressive, light and also appears to be relatively comfortable. It's probably not as comfortable as some steel machines, but I think the difference might be small (offset by speed and lightness).

Cannondale definitely shows that Aluminium is not dead.

Avatar
jollygoodvelo [1616 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Now that's a glowing review. Good to hear.

I understand the CAAD12 frame is identical all the way up the range - wonder if a shop would supply one in that cool Dura-Ace colour with the 105 spec fitted to it?

Avatar
Gossa [82 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Gizmo, unlikey you will find a dealer to do such a downgrade but they do the 105 rim brake bike in Japan in that yellow, not sure how feasible it would be to ship one over?

 

Avatar
wilkij1975 [23 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I like the look of these as a frame only. Only thing that spoils it for me is the 25.4 seatpost being an unusual size for any component change. I'm quite tall but all legs so would need plenty of seatpost but it looks like it comes with a 330mm(?) post which may not be enough.

Avatar
Charles_Hunter [149 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

The frame isn't a compact geometry which may help with your seatpost length issue.

 

wilkij1975 wrote:

I like the look of these as a frame only. Only thing that spoils it for me is the 25.4 seatpost being an unusual size for any component change. I'm quite tall but all legs so would need plenty of seatpost but it looks like it comes with a 330mm(?) post which may not be enough.

Avatar
dreamlx10 [187 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

It's hardly Dura-Ace with only the front and rear mech is it ?

Avatar
Scotty14 [2 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

A tough choice between this and a Bowman Palace self build.

 

 

Avatar
part_robot [198 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

When I read reviews like these, they always come across as  "this frame is amazing for ali, but most carbon frames are better". In absolute terms, how good is the Caad 12 versus, say the Supersix Evo?

Avatar
rjfrussell [362 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
part_robot wrote:

When I read reviews like these, they always come across as  "this frame is amazing for ali, but most carbon frames are better". In absolute terms, how good is the Caad 12 versus, say the Supersix Evo?

 Prescisely the question I was asking myself.  Reviewer?

Avatar
Disfunctional_T... [173 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

How much of the compliance comes from the seatpost? How much do the chainstays actually deflect?

road.cc should do a blind comparison test of the CAAD 12 vs a Super Six Evo.

Avatar
Stinkers [32 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Scotty14 wrote:

A tough choice between this and a Bowman Palace self build.

 

Scotty go down the Bowman route. I have two Cannondales, an older CAAD and a Hi-Mod Synapse and they are both great bikes. The problem is that Cannondale customer service (this may be a UK issue) is unimaginably bad. They treat their customers and their dealers with absolute contempt.

The delivery of my Synapse took months and months beyond the promised date (makes Canyon look good) and only then after I took to a forum like this to complain as before that they didn't even acknowledge my attempts to contact them. Now I've had a failure in one of the Cannondale specific CZero rims and Cannondale have told me that it isn't a speific part to Cannondale (though marketed as precisely that) and told me, and this is a quote, that a wheel is not an essential part that is required to make our bike work ... so no they can't sell me a replacement. This response after chasing and chasing to get even an acknowledgement again.

 

Their lack of service has been so bad as to make me regret buying a bike as fantastic as the Synapse. 

So, if you're confident that the Cannondale will never have a fault - great bike. If you think you may ever need to speak to Cannondale customer services - avoid it like the plague.

Avatar
part_robot [198 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Disfunctional_Threshold wrote:

How much of the compliance comes from the seatpost? How much do the chainstays actually deflect? road.cc should do a blind comparison test of the CAAD 12 vs a Super Six Evo.

 

My Synapse seatpost (and narrowed seat tube) flexes a LOT. It's even visible just sitting on it. I think it contributes significantly.

Avatar
part_robot [198 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Stinkers wrote:

 Cannondale (though marketed as precisely that) and told me, and this is a quote, that a wheel is not an essential part that is required to make our bike work ... so no they can't sell me a replacement.

Isn't that illegal in the UK/EU? Retailers and manufacturers have at least a 1 yr mandatory warrantee... I might actually be 2 years but that'd involve me Googling it. If the retailer isn't helping you then Small Claims time?

Either way, that's extremely lame. Have you not have any success with their UK distributer? I've found them quite helpful by phone in the past.

Avatar
rjfrussell [362 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

"Isn't that illegal in the UK/EU? Retailers and manufacturers have at least a 1 yr mandatory warrantee... I might actually be 2 years but that'd involve me Googling it."

Not sure where you get that from.  The only relevant statutory obligation is on the seller (not the manufacturer, if not bought directly from them), that the goods must be of satisfactory quality.

Depending on the nature of the wheel failure and how long after purchase it occurred, there may be a claim against the seller.  But the legal remedy will be a claim in damages.  Neither seller nor manufacturer can be forced to provide or sell a new wheel of a particular type.

Avatar
Scotty14 [2 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Stinkers wrote:
Scotty14 wrote:

A tough choice between this and a Bowman Palace self build.

 

Scotty go down the Bowman route. I have two Cannondales, an older CAAD and a Hi-Mod Synapse and they are both great bikes. The problem is that Cannondale customer service (this may be a UK issue) is unimaginably bad. They treat their customers and their dealers with absolute contempt.

The delivery of my Synapse took months and months beyond the promised date (makes Canyon look good) and only then after I took to a forum like this to complain as before that they didn't even acknowledge my attempts to contact them. Now I've had a failure in one of the Cannondale specific CZero rims and Cannondale have told me that it isn't a speific part to Cannondale (though marketed as precisely that) and told me, and this is a quote, that a wheel is not an essential part that is required to make our bike work ... so no they can't sell me a replacement. This response after chasing and chasing to get even an acknowledgement again.

 

Their lack of service has been so bad as to make me regret buying a bike as fantastic as the Synapse. 

So, if you're confident that the Cannondale will never have a fault - great bike. If you think you may ever need to speak to Cannondale customer services - avoid it like the plague.

 

Thanks for this. I had a Connondale CAAD 5 for years, nver had a reason to deal with thier customer service thankfully. Sounds like a rough experience for you.

The CAAD 12 I like isn't this one actually, its the SRAM version with regular brakes. For some strange reason it's only available in the USA. I've emailed Cannondale for an explanation.

Wonder if I'll get one:)

Avatar
part_robot [198 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
rjfrussell wrote:

Not sure where you get that from.  The only relevant statutory obligation is on the seller

So? Still means they have to get a fix from someone and if they can't fix it they can ask for a full refund:

Quote:

Under EU rules, a trader must repair, replace, reduce the price or give you a refund if goods you bought turn out to be faulty or do not look or work as advertised.

Under EU rules you always have the right to a minimum 2-year guarantee at no cost.

This 2-year guarantee is your minimum right. National rules in your country may give you extra protection: however, any deviation from EU rules must always be in the consumer's best interest.

If goods you bought anywhere in the EU turn out to be faulty or do not look or work as advertised, the seller must repair or replace them free of charge or give you a price reduction or a full refund.

As a general rule, you will only be able to ask for a partial or full refund when it is not possible to repair or replace the goods.

Avatar
Stinkers [32 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Scotty14 wrote:
Stinkers wrote:
Scotty14 wrote:

A tough choice between this and a Bowman Palace self build.

 

Scotty go down the Bowman route. I have two Cannondales, an older CAAD and a Hi-Mod Synapse and they are both great bikes. The problem is that Cannondale customer service (this may be a UK issue) is unimaginably bad. They treat their customers and their dealers with absolute contempt.

The delivery of my Synapse took months and months beyond the promised date (makes Canyon look good) and only then after I took to a forum like this to complain as before that they didn't even acknowledge my attempts to contact them. Now I've had a failure in one of the Cannondale specific CZero rims and Cannondale have told me that it isn't a speific part to Cannondale (though marketed as precisely that) and told me, and this is a quote, that a wheel is not an essential part that is required to make our bike work ... so no they can't sell me a replacement. This response after chasing and chasing to get even an acknowledgement again.

 

Their lack of service has been so bad as to make me regret buying a bike as fantastic as the Synapse. 

So, if you're confident that the Cannondale will never have a fault - great bike. If you think you may ever need to speak to Cannondale customer services - avoid it like the plague.

 

Thanks for this. I had a Connondale CAAD 5 for years, nver had a reason to deal with thier customer service thankfully. Sounds like a rough experience for you.

The CAAD 12 I like isn't this one actually, its the SRAM version with regular brakes. For some strange reason it's only available in the USA. I've emailed Cannondale for an explanation.

Wonder if I'll get one:)

 

Best of luck. I'm certain the bike will be great fun.

My issue wasn't so much the warranty point. I get that a year old wheel may or may not be covered. For all they know I might have abused it and used the rims as a trampoline. It's actually been given more tlc than the family ... as is right and proper.

My issue is more about the Cannondale customer service and the attitude.

My view is that a company that cared about its customers would have responded with a "very sorry that this has happened but I'm afraid that it is not covered under our warranty (but if you'd like us to test the wheel here is the process that you should go through ...) but to ensure that you can keep riding the bike in the specification for which you paid so much money and because we value you as a customer, we will supply you with a replacement wheel. The cost is £X. In the event that the damaged wheel proves to have had a manufacturing fault, we will refund the cost."

Of course they have no real incentive to find a fault in the returned rim but as a customer I'd have felt valued. As it is I feel abused. 

Seems like customer service 101 but ...

 

Avatar
Fish_n_Chips [512 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Wish I could buy that yellow frame and fork only.

Not liking the current frame and fork (only) in the black colour.

If it had the thru axel, a bit of future proofing would be nice. And you can replace the wheels with lighter ones.

My CAAD10 is getting worried...

 

Avatar
rix [162 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

Why do they call it CAAD12 Dura-Ace???

Only Dura-Ace components I can see are derailleurs. More appropriate name would be Cannondale CAAD12 Disc with some Dura-Ace.

P.S. My 8.1 kg CAAD10 Disc Ultegra is not worried  3

Avatar
Disfunctional_T... [173 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

So the front brake is post-mount and the rear is flat-mount? That and the fact that it's lacking thru axles makes me want to hold off until next year's iteration.

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rix [162 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

The fact that front brake is not flat mount, means that they are using the same old forks that were used on CAAD10. I will wait for next gen CAAD12. Hopefully they will not use left over parts from older models and will use less exotic standards than BB30a bottom brackets and 25.4mm seatposts.

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Disfunctional_T... [173 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I'm fine with the 25.4 mm seatpost. Several companies make them, including Thomson. Or you can buy a shim for a few dollars (Problem Solvers).

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leqin [191 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

1990's???????

Wasn't the first aluminium framed bicycle called the Lu-Mi-Num back in 1893.... not bad road.cc.... only 100 years out.

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JustinCarone [1 post] 1 year ago
0 likes
Stinkers wrote:
Scotty14 wrote:
Stinkers wrote:
Scotty14 wrote:

A tough choice between this and a Bowman Palace self build.

 

Scotty go down the Bowman route. I have two Cannondales, an older CAAD and a Hi-Mod Synapse and they are both great bikes. The problem is that Cannondale customer service (this may be a UK issue) is unimaginably bad. They treat their customers and their dealers with absolute contempt.

The delivery of my Synapse took months and months beyond the promised date (makes Canyon look good) and only then after I took to a forum like this to complain as before that they didn't even acknowledge my attempts to contact them. Now I've had a failure in one of the Cannondale specific CZero rims and Cannondale have told me that it isn't a speific part to Cannondale (though marketed as precisely that) and told me, and this is a quote, that a wheel is not an essential part that is required to make our bike work ... so no they can't sell me a replacement. This response after chasing and chasing to get even an acknowledgement again.

 

Their lack of service has been so bad as to make me regret buying a bike as fantastic as the Synapse. 

So, if you're confident that the Cannondale will never have a fault - great bike. If you think you may ever need to speak to Cannondale customer services - avoid it like the plague.

 

Thanks for this. I had a Connondale CAAD 5 for years, nver had a reason to deal with thier customer service thankfully. Sounds like a rough experience for you.

The CAAD 12 I like isn't this one actually, its the SRAM version with regular brakes. For some strange reason it's only available in the USA. I've emailed Cannondale for an explanation.

Wonder if I'll get one:)

 

Best of luck. I'm certain the bike will be great fun.

My issue wasn't so much the warranty point. I get that a year old wheel may or may not be covered. For all they know I might have abused it and used the rims as a trampoline. It's actually been given more tlc than the family ... as is right and proper.

My issue is more about the Cannondale customer service and the attitude.

My view is that a company that cared about its customers would have responded with a "very sorry that this has happened but I'm afraid that it is not covered under our warranty (but if you'd like us to test the wheel here is the process that you should go through ...) but to ensure that you can keep riding the bike in the specification for which you paid so much money and because we value you as a customer, we will supply you with a replacement wheel. The cost is £X. In the event that the damaged wheel proves to have had a manufacturing fault, we will refund the cost."

Of course they have no real incentive to find a fault in the returned rim but as a customer I'd have felt valued. As it is I feel abused. 

Seems like customer service 101 but ...

 

 

Having just built up a Bowman Palace frame with a 105 groupset and some wheels I built, I vote in favor of going that way. Concerning customer service, Bowman is fantastic. They seem to truly want you to have the best possible experience, and they work hard to see that it happens. The fact that you talk with some of the founding members of the company when you have questions (you've probably seen them on the forums here even) makes it feel like they're actually taking you seriously, and they do. 

As for how it feels to ride, I should mention that I’m new to road cycling and have spent most of my time on an entry level Trek road frame (2014 1.1). Despite my dearth of experience the difference between frames is noticeable and stunning. I corner and descend with a great deal more confidence, and when I put power down I can feel the bike leap into motion without hesitation. Sustained efforts feel smooth by comparison, too. My trek frame felt like pedaling through mud when I wanted to pick up speed, and I had to hesitate around corners and on descents because I just couldn't count on being able to make quick corrections in line choice if it was needed. With my Palace frame I slam into corners and fly out the other side, it's invigorating after so long on a what I now know to be a not-so-good bike.  But, hey, that frame got me into riding in the first place, so it served its purpose admirably. 

Anyway, if you are comfortable building the bike yourself or have a good shop handy I'd definitely say go with the Bowman Palace frame. Customer service is very good, and the frame is a joy to ride.

Avatar
Gossa [82 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Stinkers]</p>

<p>[quote=Scotty14

wrote:

A tough choice between this and a Bowman Palace self build.

 

Scotty go down the Bowman route. I have two Cannondales, an older CAAD and a Hi-Mod Synapse and they are both great bikes. The problem is that Cannondale customer service (this may be a UK issue) is unimaginably bad. They treat their customers and their dealers with absolute contempt.

The delivery of my Synapse took months and months beyond the promised date (makes Canyon look good) and only then after I took to a forum like this to complain as before that they didn't even acknowledge my attempts to contact them. Now I've had a failure in one of the Cannondale specific CZero rims and Cannondale have told me that it isn't a speific part to Cannondale (though marketed as precisely that) and told me, and this is a quote, that a wheel is not an essential part that is required to make our bike work ... so no they can't sell me a replacement. This response after chasing and chasing to get even an acknowledgement again.

 

Their lack of service has been so bad as to make me regret buying a bike as fantastic as the Synapse. 

So, if you're confident that the Cannondale will never have a fault - great bike. If you think you may ever need to speak to Cannondale customer services - avoid it like the plague.

Stinkers, I don't like airing dirty laundry in public but your comments are unfounded and you are not telling the whole story. Your Synapse was delayed because Shimano had component supply issues and we pulled some strings to get you up the queue on your Syanpse - You're welcome. You  had a response to your email about your wheel from our Warranty Manager within a working day who advised to you that the damage caused to your wheel by overtightening a replacement spoke meant that we would not advise you ride on those wheels. As we do not keep that particular wheel or rim in stock, he advised that there are other wheels available to make the bike ridable so you are conveniently bending the truth on what was said to make Cannondale look bad. We are sorry that Cannondale doesn't  meet your expectations but I think most people with the whole picture  would deem our response and suggestions to get you back on the road, a satisfactory level of service. 

Avatar
Gossa [82 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
rix wrote:

The fact that front brake is not flat mount, means that they are using the same old forks that were used on CAAD10. I will wait for next gen CAAD12. Hopefully they will not use left over parts from older models and will use less exotic standards than BB30a bottom brackets and 25.4mm seatposts.

 

Synapse, Evo and CAAD12 are all BB30A so there won't be a deviation from that but I expect to see a lot more BB30A compatible chainsets. The 25.4 post makes a huge difference to compliance and again, is shared on Synapse and new Evo. I think these standards are here to stay on Cannondales.

Avatar
Gossa [82 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Disfunctional_Threshold wrote:

So the front brake is post-mount and the rear is flat-mount? That and the fact that it's lacking thru axles makes me want to hold off until next year's iteration.

 

Agree on the fork, it's a carry over fork from the CAAD10 disc. The development cycle of a new model can be at least two years and with standards changing all the time I guess some time you have to wait for the dust to settle but I expect the next gen fork with be flatmount.

However thru axles aren't used as Cannondale will only fit these where they are needed (I.E. to beef up the back end to cope with disc forces) which this bike doesn't need. The compromise is that 142mm seems to be the default bolt thru standard which can affect heal clearance. 

Good points!

Avatar
Gossa [82 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Stinkers wrote:
Scotty14 wrote:
Stinkers wrote:
Scotty14 wrote:

A tough choice between this and a Bowman Palace self build.

 

Scotty go down the Bowman route. I have two Cannondales, an older CAAD and a Hi-Mod Synapse and they are both great bikes. The problem is that Cannondale customer service (this may be a UK issue) is unimaginably bad. They treat their customers and their dealers with absolute contempt.

The delivery of my Synapse took months and months beyond the promised date (makes Canyon look good) and only then after I took to a forum like this to complain as before that they didn't even acknowledge my attempts to contact them. Now I've had a failure in one of the Cannondale specific CZero rims and Cannondale have told me that it isn't a speific part to Cannondale (though marketed as precisely that) and told me, and this is a quote, that a wheel is not an essential part that is required to make our bike work ... so no they can't sell me a replacement. This response after chasing and chasing to get even an acknowledgement again.

 

Their lack of service has been so bad as to make me regret buying a bike as fantastic as the Synapse. 

So, if you're confident that the Cannondale will never have a fault - great bike. If you think you may ever need to speak to Cannondale customer services - avoid it like the plague.

 

Thanks for this. I had a Connondale CAAD 5 for years, nver had a reason to deal with thier customer service thankfully. Sounds like a rough experience for you.

The CAAD 12 I like isn't this one actually, its the SRAM version with regular brakes. For some strange reason it's only available in the USA. I've emailed Cannondale for an explanation.

Wonder if I'll get one:)

 

Best of luck. I'm certain the bike will be great fun.

My issue wasn't so much the warranty point. I get that a year old wheel may or may not be covered. For all they know I might have abused it and used the rims as a trampoline. It's actually been given more tlc than the family ... as is right and proper.

My issue is more about the Cannondale customer service and the attitude.

My view is that a company that cared about its customers would have responded with a "very sorry that this has happened but I'm afraid that it is not covered under our warranty (but if you'd like us to test the wheel here is the process that you should go through ...) but to ensure that you can keep riding the bike in the specification for which you paid so much money and because we value you as a customer, we will supply you with a replacement wheel. The cost is £X. In the event that the damaged wheel proves to have had a manufacturing fault, we will refund the cost."

Of course they have no real incentive to find a fault in the returned rim but as a customer I'd have felt valued. As it is I feel abused. 

Seems like customer service 101 but ...

 

 

Stinkers, as I've said beow, you are not painting the whole picture, there was never even a discussion about warranty on your rim as it was damaged through an overtightened replacement spoke was it not? I don't believe you were tryng to claim warranty, you just wanted a new wheel or rim? I have seen all the emails between you, our warranty department and even our global president that you managed to email. We have responded politely and efficiently all along and have tried to suggest the best way to get you back out on the road. I'm sorry you see fit to express your lack of satisfaction here.

Avatar
Gossa [82 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Disfunctional_Threshold wrote:

How much of the compliance comes from the seatpost? How much do the chainstays actually deflect? road.cc should do a blind comparison test of the CAAD 12 vs a Super Six Evo.

 

The updates over CAAD10 plus the 25.4 post make it over 50% more compliant in the rear but a lot of comfort is generated through the frame flex.

 

I've ridden them all (being lucky enough to work for them). If I was spending my own money I would pimp out a CAAD12 as it's 80% of the performance of the Evo at 50% of the cost.

 

If money was no object, Evo is lighter and has more compliance but also factor if you crash it or it falls over outside the coffee shop and lands on a bollard, the CAAD12 would be more robust.

Avatar
Gossa [82 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
wilkij1975 wrote:

I like the look of these as a frame only. Only thing that spoils it for me is the 25.4 seatpost being an unusual size for any component change. I'm quite tall but all legs so would need plenty of seatpost but it looks like it comes with a 330mm(?) post which may not be enough.

 

I think it ships with a 350mm but some brands do up to 400mm and as another poster pointed out, it's a traditional shape not sloping.

Enve and Thomson do posts as well as Cannondales 3 different versions and more are coming.

 

Cheers

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