The Cannondale CAAD13 is coming … so what might it look like?

by Dave Rome


The UCI’s approved frames and forks list has once again given us a sneak-peek of the bike launches we can expect soon. The latest version of the list includes a Cannondale CAAD13, an update to the hugely popular series of aluminium road bikes.

So far, all we have is the model name and the knowledge that Cannondale will offer the CAAD13 in rim and disc brake variants. The existing CAAD12 was released alongside the SuperSix Evo just in time for the 2015 Tour de France, and we won’t be surprised if the CAAD13 becomes official around the same time this year (June/July).

An excerpt from the UCI’s updated approved frames and forks list.

Since the UCI updated its approved frames and forks list some five days ago, discussions of the new bike have unfolded on Reddit and WeightWeenies. There’s some speculation the CAAD13 will add aero elements to the CAAD line, others suggest further weight reductions will be on offer. There’s even a suggestion the CAAD13 may be the first production bike to use new nanoparticle-infused 7075 aluminium.

Most of the speculation seems reasonable, especially given recent advancements and industry investment in aluminium frame design. The existing CAAD12 rim brake boasted a 52g weight saving, 10% stiffer head tube area and 13% stiffer bottom bracket over the previous iteration (the CAAD10), all while adding a claimed 50% more frame compliance. It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine similar gains can made in the CAAD13 again. As for the nanoparticle-infused 7075 aluminium, our feeling is the technology might just be a little too new.

One comment on WeightWeenies, from user “Dan Gerous”, suggests the CAAD12 was first spotted in race use under Cylance (US-based Continental team), and that perhaps we’ll see a repeat of this in 2019 with Aevolo racers using the bike before its official unveiling.

CAAD12 Disc
The CAAD12 Disc’s use of a rear quick-release shows how quickly the bike has become dated, compared with current industry norms.

With popularity in discs at an all-time high, the existing CAAD12 Disc (equipped with a quick-release rear axle), has been begging for an update. And certainly, the CAAD13 will offer thru-axles front and rear, and most likely use flat-mount brakes too. It wouldn’t be too surprising if the disc-version offered space for up to 32c tyres, too (the Synapse Hi-Mod can fit 32c).

Perhaps for the first time in the past decade, Cannondale’s CAAD series is no longer the clear benchmark in the aluminium road bike space and it’ll be interesting to see if the American brand can earn back that honour with this next iteration. Given the almost cult-like following the CAAD series already has, the CAAD13 is certainly one we’ll be watching closely.

What are you expecting from the CAAD13? What would you like to see?

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