Cannondale builds on almost 40 years of crafting Advanced Aluminum Design alloy frames for their 13th generation CAAD road bike. The new CAAD13 is more race-ready than ever with aero-optimized tube shapes, modern wider tire clearance, rim & disc brake options, and improved rider comfort. Developed to toe the start line against much more expensive carbon bikes, Cannondale gives one more reason to first consider an aluminum road bike.

2020 Cannondale CAAD13 aluminum road race bike

2020 Cannondale CAAD13 alloy road bike, affordable aluminum crit road race bike
c. Cannondale

Cannondale Advanced Aluminum Design (CAAD) again expands the possibilities of alloy road bikes in this v13 – claiming a faster, more comfortable, more capable lightweight road bike made from the 13th element on the periodic table. Cannondale built their brand on getting more out of aluminum than most bike makers, so we’re always keen on seeing where they take it next.

While alloy frames originally carried the stigma of a harsh ride, Cannondale have managed for years to create alloy bikes that bucked that trend. The latest CAAD13 promises to take it a step further by building in aero tube shaping, while preserving round tube weights and surprising comfort.

2020 Cannondale CAAD13 alloy road bike, affordable aluminum crit road race bike

The heart of the CAAD13 in a new SmartForm C1 premium 6069-alloy that Cannondale says gives ultralight weight, plus high stiffness & strength through careful control of tube thicknesses throughout the formed tubeset.

2020 Cannondale CAAD13 alloy road bike, affordable aluminum crit road race bike

The idea to create more aero tubing was a direct takeaway from the aerodynamic optimization of the latest SuperSix Evo.

2020 Cannondale CAAD13 alloy road bike, affordable aluminum crit road race bike

This new integrated design CAAD13 uses the same basic truncated airfoil profiles as that premium carbon racer – at a much more attainable price point. Cannondale says they were able to maintain the same light weight & high stiffness of the old round tubes with these carefully shaped & butted aero shapes, while lowering drag by as much as 30%!

SAVE-ing your butt

2020 Cannondale CAAD13 alloy road bike, affordable aluminum crit road race bike

The new alloy bike claims to also be more comfortable thanks to Cannondale’s SAVE system tech (remember that was the idea of built-in micro-suspension flex developed on their endurance road bikes as Synapse Active Vibration Elimination.) Beyond careful material placement in the new tube shapes, dropped seatstays are one key part of allowing a bit of vertical flex, as is the new full BallisTec carbon tapered steerer fork across all models.

But the CAAD13 also incorporates the same proprietary KNOT 27 aero seatpost & integrated seatpost clamp first debuted on the SuperSix Evo – said to be lighter & more comfortable than the previous SAVE iteration.

2020 Cannondale CAAD13 alloy road bike, affordable aluminum crit road race bike

One other good way to add comfort (and control) is bigger tires. The new CAAD13 fits up to 30mm tires on the disc brake versions, and 28mm tires on rim brake models. The direct mount rim brake bikes are said to be limited by actual brake caliper clearance, so maybe some aftermarket brake option could even allow bigger tires on those as well – although the 28mm claimed clearance appears to be pretty conservative.

CAAD13 tech details


2020 Cannondale CAAD13 alloy road bike, affordable aluminum crit road race bike

In addition to the aero shapes of the new bike, the CAAD13 adds the same multi-position, triple water bottle cage mounts on the down tube (check photo further up) that we see across most modern aero road bikes. A high position lets two bottles fit. But since most riders usually need just one bottle for racing, the lower position is always more aero with just a single cage.

The disc bikes also feature Speed Release axles for all of the strength benefits of 12mm thru-axles with quick QR access, which should still work with most thru-axle wheelsets.

All bikes get a new SwitchPlate modular internal cable routing system, BB30 bottom brackets, and full coverage fender mounts with a removable seatstay bridge mount.


New Cannondale SuperSix EVO road bike geometry

Geometry of the new CAAD13 carries over the identical fit as the premium carbon SuperSix Evo – in eight frame sizes (44-62cm). Cannondale has always touted their CAAD road bikes as the everyman’s race bike, so they get the same low, aggressive race fit & precise handling as their top carbon race bikes. The CAAD13 does add a higher stack headset option too though, so you can get a more upright position without looking too out of place.

Pricing, Spec & Availability

2020 Cannondale CAAD13 alloy road bike, affordable aluminum crit road race bike

The new CAAD13 road frames are offered in a number of complete rim & disc brake bike builds across many price points with 105, Ultegra, or Force eTap AXS – although a bit varied which version is available in which market. All can all be ordered today from your local Cannondale dealer.

2020 Cannondale CAAD13 alloy road bike, affordable aluminum crit road race bike
2020 Cannondale CAAD13 Disc Force eTap AXS

The North America-only crit race-ready $5,750 CAAD13 Disc Force is by far the most expensive option with deep, wide HollowGram 45 KNOT carbon wheels and a carbon cockpit.

2020 Cannondale CAAD13 alloy road bike, affordable aluminum crit road race bike
2020 Cannondale CAAD13 Disc Ultegra
2020 Cannondale CAAD13 alloy road bike, affordable aluminum crit road race bike
2020 Cannondale CAAD13 Ultegra

But stepping down to Ultegra is a big drop in price – 2,700€ for the CAAD13 Disc Ultegra in Europe, $2,400 / 2,100€ for the rim brake CAAD13 Ultegra with its wider global release.

2020 Cannondale CAAD13 alloy road bike, affordable aluminum crit road race bike
2020 Cannondale CAAD13 Disc 105
2020 Cannondale CAAD13 alloy road bike, affordable aluminum crit road race bike
2020 Cannondale CAAD13 Women’s 105

A Shimano 105 group build is the most affordable. Disc brake CAAD13 Disc 105 bikes run $2,100 / 2,000€, while rim brake CAAD13 105 bikes are the lowest price of entry at $1,800 / 1,800€. A couple of women’s 105 rim & disc versions are also available that offer the same geometry & spec as the men’s bikes, with gender-friendly contact points.


    • Cannondale claims the CAAD13 is the same weight as the CAAD12 for the frame – the CAAD12 weighed in at 1,094g (seen on BikeRadar). This weight is probably for a size 54 cm or 56 cm I guess…

    • Carbon with its super light construction and mind boggling expense is slowly killing itself off. My Colnago CLX 3.0 became obsolete overnight yet the difference in climbing speed between it and my old Basso Loto is minimal. This Cannondale looks likely to be the way the sport is going to head. No worries about errors in layup having your frame shattering under you at 40 mph.

  1. There is no like the caad 2 or 3, with those exquisite polished welds. The current caad 13 apparently suffer from varicolece in the union of the tubes.

  2. It’s a bit sad for me to see those relatively rough welds compared to seamless joins they were doing 20 years ago.

    • Exactly my thought….that would however raise the price (not that we wont pay it, they wont pay it).

      I remember reading (either in VeloNews or Winning Magazine about the train station where Cannondale got its name…..those days are LONG past)…I wanted a Cannondale so bad (then got one and at 115lbs or so could not keep the bike down, almost as harsh as the Klein Quantum, almost)

      • My Time VX was completely unridable with narrow high pressure tires. The move to wider lower pressure tires has been a Godsend to those of us that put in miles. Cannondale recognized that in this design.

      • I’ve been running 28 mm tires of multiple brands in my CAAD10 for some time now. No issues whatsoever. It’s such an awesome bike, 6 years of fun and still going strong

    • There are trade-offs involved in smoothing the welds. Earlier “smooth” joints were done (AFAIK) with two pass welds which were then ground down. The multi-pass welds have a greater time and temperature impact on the tubing metal, and the grinding requires slightly thicker tubing to account for minor abrasion of the tubing during the grinding process. The welds as-pictured are fine looking aluminum welds.

      • Fillet brazing vs. TIG welding

        Brazing, a lower temperature process than welding, uses a bronze rod to create a fillet–a French word for ribbon–pronounced FILL-it (not fill-LAY). It was previously thought higher welding temperatures would ruin good tubing. We now know because welding is faster, the damaging effect of higher temperature is mitigated by shorter heat duration. While disagreements about the relative merits of lower temperature vs. shorter duration continue, a properly fillet-brazed joint will certainly have greater accident “survivability.” I.E., if you run into a tree or parked car, a fillet-brazed joint is less likely to fail. Either joint will withstand decades of normal use.

        Because the bronze fillet is softer than the steel tubing it joins, a skilled craftsman can sculpt a brazed joint without cutting into the tube. Please note that the quality of this sculpting (or craftsmanship) is highly variable–look for large smooth fillets with compound radii and long feathered edges. Beware of “overbite.” Overbite, a result of hurried or sloppy work, is where part of the steel tube has been carelessly filed away at the edge of the fillet. This creates a stress riser that can lead to frame failure. Unfortunately, overbite is a common flaw found on many fillet-brazed frames.

        Unavoidable downside of fillet brazing #1: Price. Because fillet brazed construction requires much more time and skill, the price of a properly fillet-brazed tandem frame will be $300-$500 higher. If the price differential is lower, inspect the joints carefully before taking delivery. Because of the price, most bicycle customers choose a TIG welded frame. Of the seven models of steel tandems we build here at Santana, only the Noventa is still fillet brazed.

        Unavoidable downside of fillet brazing #2: Weight. A filleted joint, like a lugged joint, is slightly heavier than a TIG-welded joint (4oz penalty on a single bike, 12oz penalty on a tandem). However, because our fillet-brazed Noventa uses stronger and thinner Columbus NivaCrom tubing, it remains lighter than a TIG-welded cromoly frame. For an even lighter steel frame we could TIG-weld a Noventa, but since weight freaks (as opposed to workmanship freaks) prefer our lighter and less expensive aluminum Sovereign, we don’t produce a TIG-welded Noventa.

        Because a properly fillet-brazed frame is the ultimate hallmark of a skilled framebuilder, the best reason to buy a fillet-brazed frame is because you value the artistry and can appreciate the builder’s skill.

        • @roadstain: Its not possible to fillet braze aluminum frames.

          @HKP: Smooth welding on aluminum frames can be done with single pass or double pass welding. It kind of depends on the welder, and/or the factory. They do not grind the welds down (at least the sort of welding you’re seeing on the CAAD13 aren’t ground down).

          • @BradComis: Yes, large fillets _can_ be done in a single pass, but to the best of my knowledge Cannondale used two-pass welds on their earlier bikes which “featured” smoothed/ground welds. And yes, it’s obvious that the welds on the CAAD13 have not been ground. That is what @Heffe was complaining about, and I was responding to their complaint.

          • @BradComis ” Its not possible to fillet braze aluminum frames.”

            Yes it is, but it is tricky and complicated like a Hell. And, it’s not fillet, but just brazing. It is based on temperature differences from parental aluminum and additive aluminum. I braze my cable stops. The difference is only 50-60C. Really tricky if you try to do it with flame.
            Doing it in controlled environment, usually inductive heating, is widespread process in automotive industry.
            Based on that knowledge Mike DeVitt, founder of SE Racing, came on a glorious idea:
            Why not make two pieces of front end, like left and right, out of Al sheet, stamp them like car body parts? And join them in the middle, like the cut in the vertical plane? But, who is going to weld all that length (on the BMX frame would be around 80-100″)? That would be so much waste of time, look ugly (straight welds are the worse for free hand welding) and commercially bad.
            So, Mike took another idea from automotive industry. Why we don’t make a ribbon, like windshield gasket, what has two groves, in which Al sheet metal would fit? Run ribbon around the length of joint, make ribbon soft, in Al-0 state, and – dip braze it!!!!!!!!!!!
            That was the glorious part.
            Dip brazing is the most common bicycle frame manufacturing method. Millions of frames are made like that.
            There is a bath of molten metal, frame joints are sprayed with flux (that’s the key) dipped in to the molten metal, and it will only join the area where flux was. All other will leak (yes, hot metal is liquid). Super fast, super productive.
            Mike found aluminum car radiator factory in LA area, what had a bath big enough to dip the frames in. Process of brazing took like less than a minute, and Mike paid $1.83 for each.
            All what was visible was a little bump along the top and bottom of the “tubes”. Frame was quenched like any other 6061 material.
            Mike patented the process, and after leaving SE Racing it was not used anymore.

            And, I really don’t know why @roadstain you even talked about brazing, of steel?????????????? when article is about welded Al frame?

    • Could it be to allow for greater tire clearance as well as slow the handling down of the relatively shorter wheelbase bikes. I’m not too familiar with road bikes so this is just a guess.

    • Slack HTA pair with long rake fork (55mm vs usual 43-45mm) combine together making trail value=58mm. Trail value=58mm indicate that it’ll handle quick like normal race bike. Nothing to worry, actually. It’s not an endurance bike with trail value >62mm which can handle slower.

      • @Hexsense: Identical trail does not equal identical handling characteristics.

        @Caad13: Builders/manufacturers slack out the head angles on smaller frames to allow reasonably short reach (short top tubes) while avoiding toe overlap with the front wheel.

  3. There was no mention of what appears to be an alloy stem that attaches to the carbon aero bars. What model do they come with?

  4. I have no love for Cannondale, but you people thinking smooth welds are a good thing yall are simply delusional.

    Smooth welds are produced by some combination of double passes on the weld and grinding. Both of these processes weaken the frame. AKA crack and fail.

    If you don’t like proper aluminium welds there is an easy solution. Don’t buy an aluminium bike.

    Bikes are tools and you shouldn’t push for form over function.

      • As was pointed out to you above, you aren’t going to structurally fillet braze aluminum. There are Al brazing alloys that are sometimes used to attach things like shifter bosses and cable guides, but they won’t work for fillet brazing a frame. It’s also the case that many, but certainly not all, fillet brazed steel frames are filed/ground/sanded after brazing and before painting. “Anonymous Coward” above is IMO correct.

  5. I’ve been riding 52cm cannondales for the last ten years, the absence of the 52cm size is a real deal breaker for me. The 54 has too long of a reach, and the 51 too short. I will not be updating to this geo.

  6. Rad! I am excited to see more manufacturers coming out with bikes to compete with the Specialized Allez Sprint. Would be cool if it was available as a frame-only.

  7. What difference does a few grams of frame weight make when you slap on disk brakes that add 1.5lb to the build? 1.5 POUNDS… Sure if you throw $7000 at the build you can have a 16lb disk brake bike..

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