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Just in: Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - latest generation aluminium road bike with disc brakes

Cannondale's brand new Dura-Ace-equipped CAAD12 lands in the office

Is this the brightest bike we’ve ever had in the office? Probably. It's certainly one of the most eagerly anticipated new bikes in a while. It's the new Cannondale CAAD12 disc, of course. Tony took it up and down some mountains at the worldwide launch last summer, now we can review it properly.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - top tube detail.jpg

The new CAAD12 is the latest in a long series of aluminium road bikes from the US company and succeeds the hugely popular CAAD10. No CAAD11? Cannondale says that because it has packed so much technology into this new frame that it felt it had to skip a number. Some might speculate it was to avoid Spinal Tap references. The only CAAD10 you can now buy is the CAAD10 Track.

- Cannondale launches new CAAD12 - it's lighter, stiffer, more compliant and available with disc brakes + video

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - seat tube detail.jpg

Regardless of the name, this new CAAD12 Disc has a frame that has been manipulated and shaped using a proprietary computer modelling programmed called True Flow Modelling. The result is a frame that is 206g lighter than the CAAD10 Disc, and it’s actually 4g lighter than the non-disc version. That's an impressive weight saving and shows there is still plenty of potential gains to be had from aluminium.

- 11 of the best 2016 aluminium road bikes

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - seat stays.jpg

Not only has weight been saved, but Cannondale makes some big claims for improved stiffness and compliance. It says the frame is 10% stiffer at the head tube and 13% at the bottom bracket, and the frame is 50% more compliant due to changes in the rear triangle and the use of a 25.4mm seatpost, borrowed from the Synapse. 

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - rear disc.jpg

The new frame features a lot of tube shaping, it really is very impressive to look at how much the individual tubes have been shaped and pushed. There’s full internal cable routing, and it’s been designed for the latest Flat Mount disc calipers.

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - crank.jpg

There’s a wider BB30a bottom bracket borrowed from the SuperSix Evo. Though the bike is specced with 25mm tyres, there is space for 28mm tyres. There are no thru-axles, instead, Cannondale has stuck with conventional quick releases. 

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - bottom bracket.jpg

We’ve got the top-of-the-range model in for a test. It costs £2,499 and is equipped with a Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 mechanical drivetrain with a Cannondale HollowGram Si chainset. The 52/36 chainrings are matched with an 11-28t cassette. 

- Review: Cannondale CAAD10 Ultegra

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - bottom bracket 2.jpg

The wheels are the new Mavic Ksyrium disc-specific wheels with Yksion Elite 25mm tyres. Brakes are Shimano RS785 Flat Mount calipers with 140mm disc rotors at both ends. Cannondale has dipped into its own parts bin for the handlebars, stem and seatpost, and finished it all off with a Fizik Arione saddle. The 56cm bike pictured weighs 8.03kg (17.7lb).

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc - front disc.jpg

There’s also a CAAD12 Dic Ultegra (£1,999) and CAAD12 Disc 105 (£1,499) in the range which uses the same frame and fork. More at and a full review coming soon.

David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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