Bike test 04: RIDE 69 – Cannondale CAAD10 Black Inc Disc
Cannondale’s Black Inc with disc brakes is the fourth bike on test in RIDE Cycling Review #69. It’s part of the CAAD family so it’s bound to have a legion of fans as this aluminium series is as popular now as it was when it first appeared all those years ago. Never mind the disc brake debate – which cannot be ignored in industry/riding circles these days – this is a bike that has plenty to talk about. Click the photo below to get a slideshow of close-up images and have a listen to what some in the office had to say after their first ride(s).
See the full review in the magazine (RIDE #69 – volume 3, 2015)
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Click the image below to begin a slideshow of close-up photos of the Cannondale CAAD10 Black Inc.
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Click the SoundCloud file below to listen to Jack Lynch’s comments and/or read the transcript (at the bottom of this page).
Jack Lynch – first impressions
“It’s an aluminium bike as all CAADs are. It’s a lot of fun and it’s something I could almost recommend to just about anyone at any level of the sport.
“It’s really, really comfy for and aluminium bike – that’s something that is quite hard to pull off. It’s light, it’s springy, it felt a lot more like a carbon bike, I guess, than some aluminiums which are a bit dead. And it’s able to get into quite an aggressive position too so it sort of ticks all the boxes as far as a performance bike goes but also as an entry-level bike. In saying that it’s a $5,500 machine so it’s probably not so entry level.
“SRAM Red is as good as always. It’s obviously very different to the other two brands but it’s a feel that once you master and get used to it’s very hard to go back and you can understand why there are so many SRAM fanatics.
“Same with the disc brakes too. I actually prefer these ones to another big brand out there that actually does road discs, just for the feel of the brake levers. Not because of modulation or anything like that, it’s just that they are a little bit closer to the bar and I can easily grip them from being in the drops on the handlebars. And there’s not gaping holes like there are in Shimano’s lever so sometimes I’ve whinged about a couple of areas where I can get my thumbs caught in and when I’m mucking around fiddling with my levers when I’m riding I can get quite distracted but the SRAM ones are really, really nice.
“The bike itself is fantastic. It was super light. I particularly liked getting out of the saddle feeling the absence of those standard rim brakes.
“It was a lot of fun. You look down at the forks and you can’t really see anything it’s just like a big, wide, stable platform and it really gives a lot of confidence through bends and I really felt that.
“It’s also really stiff out of the saddle too which is a lot of fun and you can obviously put that down to Cannondale’s BB30 which is something that they’ve worked tirelessly on and pushed a lot and for good reason, it’s a really good system.
“It’s got a 52/36 chainrings on it so they’re probably going to become the new norm I’d suggest and you’ll probably read all about that in the reviews. It’s also got an 11-28 so it’s all pretty standard for 11-speed stuff.
“The paint job’s pretty easy to take care of, it’s just a matte black with a bronze and gold on it. What’s cool about it is SRAM has actually matched their colour decal to the frame so it gives it that unique feel.
“I can’t complain about the wheels they spun really quickly. They’ve got broad bearings on them by the looks, a nice thick hub. It’s easy to draw comparisons between a road wheel and a mountain bike wheel, for obvious reasons. I don’t know the brand Czero, I think it might be a Cannondale brand but no real complaints. It keeps the price of the bike down and also means that you can muck around and upgrade if you want.
“So yeah, it was a really great bike as you’d expect from a CAAD. I enjoyed it. I’d probably like to ride it a little bit longer and through some certain big descents and climbs to see how it would perform there but it seems like it could be a goer.”
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Click the SoundCloud file below to listen to Rob Arnold’s comments and/or read the transcript (at the bottom of this page).
Rob Arnold – first impressions
“It’s Rob having a chat about the Cannondale with disc brakes. It’s a CAAD10 and the main point of difference is clearly the stopping. These are SRAM hyrdraulic discs, it’s a relatively small rotor and I can’t give you too much technical detail because I’m not hip to the groove of all the disc-speak. I have been pretty vocal about the lack of need for disc brakes on road bikes but I know there’s a lot of people who read this magazine who are keen on the idea.
“So, what’s my feeling on it? This is definitely not the first road bike with disc brakes that I’ve ridden, I’ve been on another Cannondale – the Synapse, that had the Shimano equivalent with discs… and the thing that I notice is that the stopping power is fantastic. It’s exactly what you would expect.
“There’s a little bit of the typical disc brake… ah, the sound of a little bit of shrapnel on the disc, you can hear a ‘tssk…’, like a scratching noise and that settles after a bit of use. This is a test bike so it’s been in and out of workshops, in and out of different kind of weather, and with different riders and it’s held up pretty well.
“It’s stopping but the noise is a little bit off-putting but that’s only when you take the initial handful of brake.
“The sensation of stopping on the front brake is different because it’s got that centre-pull feel. You know the difference between stopping on a rim brake and the pulling force coming from the hub [with disc brakes]; it’s neither here nor there for me… I think the sensation of stopping is easily controlled, there’s plenty of modulation which they always talk about with disc brakes. But it feels different. It’s a different kind of skidding sensation, because essentially the rubber on the road is what’s going to pull you up in the end.
“It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a super powerful disc brake or a super powerful rim brake, on road tyres you’re still going to stop the same way. The difference is obviously in the wet but it’s a beautiful bright sunny day so I can’t comment on how it will handle in different weather.
“Otherwise, just really quickly, it’s very comfortable, surprisingly so for an aluminium bike. I have an old ‘Black Lightning’ CAAD which I hang on the wall and then ride on special occasions and this is different to that, it’s a more compliant ride. I’m putting that down to the pinched chainstays which are supremely narrow in the centre and there must be a bit of give there because it just isn’t as harsh as I remember aluminium to be.
“It’s nice to be back on the old Cannondale cranks it’s a familiar shape and, looking down from above, they do look sweet.
“Otherwise it’s a short frame so just be wary of your sizing. I had this saddle pushed back on its rails and I still felt like I was needing to push my bottom back a bit further.
“Lots I could say but really, that’s my time limit so I’ll just say: disc brakes, do we need them? Not really. Will people like them? Yes, definitely.”