Cyclo-cross season is upon us and the Cannondale CAADX Disc Ultegra is the first knobbly-tyred machine to arrive at RoadCyclingUK.
Cannondale’s cyclo-cross collection is split into two ranges, based around the race-specific, carbon fibre SuperX frame (which is not brought into the UK by distributor Cycling Sports Group) and the more versatile, aluminium CAADX frame. Our Shimano Ultegra-equipped machine is the top-of-the-range build in the four-bike CAADX range at £1,499.
The CAADX is the more utilitarian of the two frames, thanks to what Cannondale call a ‘Relaxed Race Geometry’, giving it a slightly taller headtube and slightly slacker headtube angle than the SuperX, resulting in a more upright position and, ‘dale say, more stable handling.
Mudguard and rack mounts also mark the CAADX out as a machine capable of winter training/commuting and light touring duties. The do-it-all cyclo-cross market is a fast growing one and this is Cannondale’s take. “Race on Sunday, commute on Monday,” they say. We’ll be putting that to the test.
Cannondale were among the pioneers for high-end aluminium and CAAD – as in CAADX, as well as the CAAD8 and CAAD10 road bikes – stands for Cannondale Advanced Aluminum Design. The CAADX is made from taper-butted, heat-treated 6061 aluminium and Cannondale say their ‘double-pass smooth weld technology’ eliminates weak points found on traditionally-welded frames, resulting, they claim, in a lighter, stronger frame.
The SAVE seatstays have a flattened profile which is said to improve comfort and control over rough terrain, which is, after all, where a ‘cross bike should come into its own.
Cannondale’s Ultra X Disc fork, with carbon blades and a straight-through 1-1/8″ aluminium steerer, slots into the frame. Overall weight for the complete bike is 9.48kg for our 54cm test machine.
On to the spec and the CAADX Disc Ultegra has shifters and derailleurs from Shimano’s second-from-top groupset. FSA provide the Gossamer chainset, with cross-specific 46-36t chainrings, paired with an 11-28t Ultegra cassette.
The cable disc brakes are Cannondale’s own MB700T post-mount units. The wheels pair Maddux CX3.0 Disc rims with Formula hubs and 35mm Schwalbe Sammy Slick tyres. Cannondale finishing kit (stem, compact handlebar, 27.2mm seatpost – all aluminium – and a chromoly-railed saddle) complete the look.
To cast a quick eye over the rest of the CAADX range: the Disc 105 build costs £1,099.99, the Disc Tiagra model retails at £999.99 and the cantilever brake-equipped Sora model is £799.99.
We’ve got a test schedule planned which includes ‘cross races, road and off-road training (read – hacking around the woods), and commuting, so it’s time to get muddy.