Bike of the Week 15: 2011 Cannondale CAAD10 5

The 2011 CAAD10 from Cannondale is a major upgrade to the tried-and-true CAAD9 frame that has been winning races for years. Cannondale knew that if they wanted to make the best better, it would have to be a revolutionary change, not just an evolutionary tweak. The CAAD10 reviews have been phenomenal from a number of sources. Drawing inspiration from the Flash mountain bike frame, the CAAD10 uses a seatstay design similar to the Continuous Fiber found on the Flash and SuperX, adds a tapered full-carbon steer tube, a massive top tube, and maybe most importantly a SAVE chainstay. The SAVE chainstay was developed initially for the Synapse road bikes to give microsuspension compliance for comfort without sacrificing any performance or efficiency. When SAVE is coupled with the BB30 frame/bottom bracket, it becomes the best available. This design feature is now on most of Cannondale’s carbon and aluminum road, triathlon, mountain, and fitness/recreation bikes.

One of the new features that stands out to me is the new fork. Each CAAD10 from the top Dura-Ace model down to the affordable 105 model all feature the same full carbon fork. Full carbon means carbon steer tube, carbon crown, and carbon blades. Most “carbon” forks have some aluminum bonded to carbon. It is visually different than other forks in that the dropout is on the back of the fork leg. It allows the fork blades to rake out further forward to increase the road shock absorption. I suspect we will see this design in more forks in the next couple of years from Cannondale. Because it tapers from 1 1/4″ at the bottom bearing to 1 1/8″ at the top, there is a good clean fit at the frame/fork junction that gives lightweight stiffness and strength.

A 56cm CAAD10 frame weighs in at an impressive 1050 grams. That is lighter than most competitors’ carbon frames! With all the improvements from a standard aluminum frame, the CAAD10 rides as smoothly and with the feel of a carbon bike… without the price tag. That is a big claim, but come ride it for yourself. The “carbon feel” is a solid, responsive, smooth, efficient, comfortable, stable, predictable, confident ride. It is difficult to explain that if you haven’t experienced it.

This particular model is outfitted with the new 2011 Shimano 5700 series 105 drivetrain, a BB30 FSA Gossamer crankset, Shimano RS-10 wheels, and the new Tektro brakes. At an affordable $1400, this bike pictured weighs in at just 18.6 pounds including reflectors and price tag. The two colors the 105 bike comes in are race red as pictured or gloss jet black. In stock now in many sizes in both colors. Come and see it.

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