Cannondale CAAD10 Review & Comparisons

The Cannondale CAAD10 Track 1 is one of a few different models with this technology. They are CAAD10 Force, CAAD10 105, and the CAAD10 Ultegra. The differences involve the availability and the CAAD designation (Cannondale Advanced Aluminum Design). For the purposes of our review today, we'll be using the mid-range model: CAAD10 Track 1.

We’ll compare this bike with others in the Cannondale line as well as comparable models from other brands to give you a comprehensive overview of rides in this price point.

What is the Cannondale CAAD10 Designed to Do?

Stack (534mm)
Reach (408mm)
Price

The purpose of the Cannondale CAAD10 Track 1 is to serve as a traditional road bike that combines elements of an endurance ride with those of a touring model to strike a balance between comfort and performance. You’ll see details of both in each of the bikes we’ve considered.

Who is the Cannondale CAAD10 Good For?

The Cannondale CAAD10 Track 1 is a ride for the serious biker if just because of its price point because it’s not cheap. However, that means a definite upgrade which is evident in everything from the frame to the components to the geometry that deliver what they promise. The ideal buyer will appreciate the differences that this model brings to the table to make it a good value for the money.

  • Frame
  • Groupset

The CAAD10 uses a SRAM Omnium, 48T single crankset and a SRAM PC-1, 1/8" cassette.

The groupset is both the lightest and the strongest alloy as a high-performance external bearing track crank. It is stiff to deliver a smooth, confident ride for the serious cyclist with less chain slippage and slap.

Pros

  • cog
    The Cannondale CAAD10 Track 1 comes in a wider range of sizes than some models we considered that are more limited in this respect.
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    Outstanding choice of components puts the bike in the high-performance category at an affordable price for what you get.
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    The stiffness of this mid-range bike is on a par with what you’d expect at this price point which makes it a great compromise between cost and components.

Cons

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    The geometry is a stark departure from what you may expect in a CAAD10 ride, bordering more on that of a BMC Track Machine.
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    The bike will get noticed on the road, but some may not like its bold color.
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    Some may find the Mavic Ellipse Track wheelset a bit heavy over the long haul.

Expert Quotes

“I fell in love with the Track. It's just you and your bike. There's [sic] no gears. There's [sic] no brakes. It's just speed." - Track Racer Sullivan Van Way 

“This is a bonafide race-ready track bike." - Zach Gallardo

How Does Cannondale CAAD10 Compare to Other Bikes from Cannondale?

Comparison using each bike’s geometry is often difficult with Cannondale because of the inconsistency in available measurements. We’ll focus on the ones that have data for all of the 54cm sized models and explain how each one affects performance and the rider experience. We'll compare the CAAD10 to Cannondale's Apex 1 SE, CAAD12 Ultegra, Synapse Carbon Disc 105, Supersix Evo Ultegra, and Slate Force 1 models.

Wheelbase


Wheelbase = the length between the front and rear axles of the bike.

The Cannondale CAAD10 Track 1 comes in at 992mm for its wheelbase length which puts it in line with what we’d expect in a road bike which is understandable since the company markets it as a racing mode. The shorter number gives it a lively ride, putting it on a par with the CAAD12 Ultegra and Supersix EVO Ultegra. It is a fast bike versus the more relaxed feel of the Apex 1 SE.

Stack Height


Stack = the vertical distance between the bottom bracket and the middle of the top tube. 

The stack height of the Apex 1 SE makes for a more aerodynamic and comfortable ride because you’ll be more bent over on the frame of the bike. The CAAD10 Track 1, however, comes in at the other end of the spectrum at 534mm. That will make for a more upright profile and thus, more enjoyable ride which fits its description as a bike for both the track and the road.

Reach Length


Reach = the horizontal distance between the bottom bracket and the middle of the top tube. 

The same distinctions apply to the reach length as well with some key differences. The Apex 1 SE focuses on stability and comfort yet again with better slow speed handling and a more upright position with its shorter reach. The CAAD10 Track 1 takes the opposite approach with the longest reach at 408mm for better speed and aerodynamics.

Price

Cannondale takes its line of road bikes seriously with an excellent selection of components which is reflected in the price going from the aluminum frame of the CAAD10 Track 1 to the carbon model in the Synapse Carbon Disc 105 and Supersix EVO Ultegra. 

Component Differences

One of the more obvious components shifts comes with the groupset which goes from the SRAM crank of the CAAD10 Track 1 to the Cannondale Si with FSA rings of the Synapse Carbon Disc to the performance grade, SRAM Force 1, of the Slate Force 1. Both the Synapse and the Slate Force 1 have hydraulic disc brakes. The Apex 1 SE stands out as having the cheaper but weightier mechanical disc brakes.

How Does the Cannondale CAAD10 Compare to Similar Bikes on the Market?

Cannondale has a solid reputation in the industry which is reflected in its portfolio of bikes that have captured many design awards. It is evident in its many innovations including the SmartFormed Alloy aluminum construction of the CAAD10 that balances strength with a lighter weight for better performance. Let’s see how it stacks up with comparable rides. Here, we'll compare the CAAD10 to the Giant Defy Advanced 1, Diamondback Century 2, Trek Émonda ALR 6, BMC Roadmachine 03, and the Specialized Roubaix Sport.

Stack/Reach


The CAAD10 Track 1 stands out from the bunch with the highest reach at 408mm with a clear emphasis on aerodynamics in this category. But it also has the shortest stack at 534mm for greater maneuverability. The CAAD10 differs in its approach to optimize both measures whereas the other models seek that happy medium between the two.

Trail


Both the Trek Émonda ALR 6 at 56mm and CAAD10 Track 1 at 57mm have less trail which means faster steering. The BMC Roadmachine 03 and presumably the Diamondback Century 2 are on the touring end of the scale to provide more stability at higher speeds. As the name would imply, one of the goals of the design of the Roadmachine 03 is balance bike for all-day rides.

Bottom Bracket Drop

Unfortunately, this measurement is not available for the CAAD10 Track 1, yet we assume that it would fall in line with the comparable brands because of its focus on stability with other measurements. The lower figures translate into a higher clearance which is more common with touring models. At 76mm, the Specialized Roubaix Sport runs the risk of heel strikes, especially during sharp cornering.

Wheelbase


Wheelbase = the length between the front and rear axles of the bike.

All of our picks have a wheelbase that is typical for a road bike designed for a sportier ride. The same applies to the CAAD10 Track 1 at 992mm. The exception is the Roadmachine 03 which approaches that of a cyclocross bike meant for touring which comes at the cost of speed.

Component Differences

The Roubaix Sport differs from our other choices including the CAAD10 because it has a carbon frame which gives it an edge in strength and power transfer. The bikes all have double cranksets with the exception of the CAAD10 with a single one. The Century 2 and the Roubaix Sport both use sub-compact models with the others opting for compact ones.

The differences are that the single set-up reduces the overall weight of the bike while giving you better clearance and cleaning things up on your handlebars. You’ll also get a wicked set of calves especially if you take to the hills. There’s also the peace of mind of less maintenance and risk of things breaking down, always an advantage on the road.

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