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Cannondale CAAD13 Disc 105 review

Ignore the specs and enjoy the ride

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £2,250.00 RRP | USD $2,300.00 | EUR €2,299.00 | AUD $3,499.00
Pack shot of the Cannondale CAAD13 Disc 105 road bike

Our review

It’s neither cheap nor light, but it rides so well you just won’t care
Pros: Exciting ride quality; mudguard mounts; useful clearances
Cons: Weight; wheels can’t be run tubeless
Skip to view product specifications

The CAAD13 was launched in 2019, with Cannondale completely revamping the platform to bring it in line with the latest trends – its features focused on comfort, aero and practicality.

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Where the CAAD12 had a more traditional diamond frame design, the CAAD13 frameset strongly resembles Cannondale’s ultra-modern SuperSix EVO carbon race bike.

The CAAD13’s dropped seatstays create a smaller rear triangle for stiffness and allow for greater flex through the seatpost and seat tube, hence improving rider comfort over the CAAD12.

Cannondale also borrowed some aero features from its flagship, with the CAAD13 sporting truncated aerofoil tube profiles, for a claimed drag reduction of “up to” 30 per cent over its predecessor.

Tyre clearances have grown to accommodate wide 30mm tyres front and rear, and there are bosses for proper mudguards too, with an optional bolt-on seatstay bridge taking care of the upper mount at the back.

While a number of brands have reverted to threaded bottom brackets, citing greater practicality, Cannondale is sticking doggedly with its signature BB30A press fit.

The semi-internal cable routing is pleasingly straightforward, however, while the cockpit setup is standard, with no proprietary parts or complex integration.

The Cannondale CAAD13 Disc 105 road bike has internal cabling
Internal routing keeps the CAAD13 looking slick.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

Aesthetics are highly subjective, but to my eyes the CAAD13’s frameset looks a little cheap because of the paint job.

I don’t mind the undisguised welds – there’s an appealing honesty to not concealing a frame’s metallic nature – but the colour scheme is flat.

The CAAD13 Disc’s geometry presents no particular surprises.

You might be thrown by the slacker head angles (between 70.9 and 71.2 degrees) across the four smallest sizes, but these are balanced by a larger fork offset, producing near-constant trail figures across the range (around 58mm), so handling should be pretty consistent – and it’s excellent.

This 54cm bike has 384mm of reach and 555mm of stack – pretty standard race-bike numbers without being excessively aggressive.

Cannondale gives you a full 105 groupset aside from the cranks, which are Cannondale’s own but appear to come from the FSA stable.

While groupset-matching items warm the cockles of my heart, I quite like the look of these and have no complaints about the shifting performance of their chainrings.

The Cannondale CAAD13 Disc 105 road bike is equipped with Shimano 105 hydraulic discs
Shimano 105 hydraulic discs are very competent stoppers.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

The CAAD13 has mid-compact gearing with a 52/36 and 11-30 cassette, but the choice of a medium-cage GS 105 rear derailleur means fitting a larger cassette for steep climbs is an option.

The generic-looking Cannondale-branded wheels are usefully wide with 19mm internal rims, but they sadly can’t be converted to tubeless. A Prologo saddle aside, the finishing kit is all in-house.

On paper, the CAAD13 Disc 105 is heavy and averagely-specced for the money, but that all melts away when you’re in the saddle.

Shimano 105 performs as well as ever and the shifting feels particularly good on the CAAD13, likely thanks to that simple cable routing.

Having said that, the CAAD13 feels lively with an almost springy quality under pedalling that makes you feel fast and strong. As a result, and in spite of its not inconsiderable heft, the Cannondale is a highly effective and very enjoyable climber.

Male cyclist in purple riding the Cannondale CAAD13 Disc 105 road bike
A brilliant performer, with accurate handling and a smooth ride that shames many carbon bikes.
Steve Sayers / Immediate Media

In fact, it’s a brilliant all-round performer, with accurate handling and a remarkably smooth ride that shames many more expensive carbon bikes.

I’m not convinced the CAAD13 Disc looks like a bike that costs well over £2,000, but the ride is so good I’m not sure it matters.

Male cyclist in purple riding the Cannondale CAAD13 Disc 105 road bike
The CAAD13 is a truly great bike.
Steve Sayers / Immediate Media

The CAAD13 isn’t just one of the best aluminium road bikes out there – it’s a bloody good bike, full stop.

I wish it came with nicer wheels and had pretty paint, but it rides brilliantly out-of-the-box regardless.

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If you’re lucky enough to be in a position to spend an extra £500 on the carbon equivalent, I’d strongly consider opting for the CAAD13, and putting the spare cash towards a better wheelset.

Cannondale CAAD13 Disc 105 geometry

Seat angle (degrees)74.574.374.173.773.372.972.572.1
Head angle (degrees)70.971.271.271.273737373
Chainstay (mm)408408408408408408408408
Seat tube (mm)404442481519540562583604
Top tube (mm)510520530546562578594611
Head tube (mm)94114130154164188209230
Fork offset (mm)5555555545454545
Trail (mm)6058585858585858
Bottom bracket drop (mm)7974747272696969
Bottom bracket height (mm)263268268271271273273273
Wheelbase (mm)9769859941008992100510161028
Standover (mm)686723753790805829848868
Stack (mm)505520535555575595615635
Reach (mm)370374378384389395400406

How we tested

We put four of the best aluminium road bikes you can buy right now to the test on our local road loops and testing grounds.

The Cannondale, Kinesis and Bowman all come with disc brakes and are priced between £2,000 and £3,000, while the Specialized has a much smaller price tag and a spec that includes rim brakes.

Also on test

Product Specifications


Price br_price, 5, 3, Price, AUD $3499.00EUR €2299.00GBP £2250.00USD $2300.00
Weight br_weight, 5, 6, Weight, 9.1kg (54cn), Array, kg
Brand br_brand, 5, 10, Brand, Cannondale


Available sizes br_availableSizes, 11, 0, Available sizes, 48, 51, 54, 56, 58, 60cm
Brakes br_brakes, 11, 0, Brakes, Shimano 105 hydraulic disc
Cassette br_cassette, 11, 0, Cassette, Shimano 105 11-30
Chain br_chain, 11, 0, Chain, Shimano HG601
Cranks br_cranks, 11, 0, Cranks, Cannondale 1, 52/36
Fork br_fork, 11, 0, Fork, BallisTec Carbon
Frame br_frame, 11, 0, Frame, SmartForm C1 premium alloy
Front derailleur br_frontDerailleur, 11, 0, Front derailleur, Shimano 105
Handlebar br_handlebar, 11, 0, Handlebar, Cannondale 3 alloy
Headset br_headset, 11, 0, Headset, CAAD13 integrated
Rear derailleur br_rearDerailleur, 11, 0, Rear derailleur, Shimano 105
Saddle br_saddle, 11, 0, Saddle, Prologo Nago RS STN
Seatpost br_seatpost, 11, 0, Seatpost, HollowGram 27 KNØT alloy
Shifter br_shifter, 11, 0, Shifter, Shimano 105
Stem br_stem, 11, 0, Stem, Cannondale 3 alloy
Tyres br_tyres, 11, 0, Tyres, Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slick 700x25mm
Wheels br_wheels, 11, 0, Wheels, Cannondale RD 2.0 on Formula hubs