Perhaps wisely, Cannondale have chosen to use the Quick name on a commuting bike rather than a time trial machine. Call a bike that’s only purpose in life is going fast ‘Quick’ and you open it, and more likely its owners, up to ridicule when they roll in just behind the tortoise. On a practical machine being Quick is simply a bonus.
The Quick 8 is a versatile bike that’s best suited to the hurly-burly of the day-to-day commute. While its eight-speed hub gear limits its long-distance credentials, it does make it an attractive option for the ‘greasophobe’. There’s a dash of fun in there too for messing about on towpaths and hardpacked trails at the weekend.
Frame: Cannondale do good alloy – 6061 neatly ﬁnished and pretty smooth (8/10)
Handling: Good around town – nippy and accurate. Sharp response adds enjoyment (8/10)
Equipment: Nexus hub is great for commuting but isn’t as versatile once the distance and gradient increases. Own-brand kit does the job (7/10)
Wheels: Built for everyday strength and reliability rather than outright speed (7/10)
For actual speed, the Quick is hampered by its relative sparsity of gears. Hub gears, like the eight-speed Shimano Nexus here, are ﬁnding their way onto more and more affordable urban runabouts and if you don’t want to get your hands dirty then they make a lot of sense. They also make a lot of sense if your riding tends to be stop-start – being able to change while standing still is a proper bonus.
The eight speeds offered by the Nexus should prove enough to those living in all but the hilliest areas, but if you’re used to more then you’ll likely ﬁnd them a bit gappy and spend a lot of time twisting the bar-mounted shifter to ﬁnd the right ratio. Also, as with any hub gear, there’s a weight penalty.
The back wheel of the Quick weighs almost 3.5kg and to anyone used to a traditional rear end, it feels as if it needs more of an effort from standstill to get moving. Once going though, the 36-spoke three-cross pattern wheels roll smoothly and the chunky tyres help soak up bumps.
As well as an aluminium frame, the Cannondale also has an aluminium fork, the Fatty. While this doesn’t have the same road buzz-damping properties as a carbon fork, the bike is still comfortable enough for most townscapes.
Returning to the quick theme – well, Cannondale started it – speed doesn’t just have to refer to forward momentum of course. Handling can be quick too, and perhaps this is what Cannondale is referring to. Certainly, the Quick 8 is at home darting in and out of trafﬁc – conﬁdent and positive. We like it.
The Cannondale makes a nod towards off-roading – its Schwalbe CX Comp tyres offer decent levels of grip on looser surfaces, but roll quickly and smoothly on the road – and it can also turn its hand to longer riding duties. There are rack mounts both front and rear should you get bitten by the (light) touring bug, and if the Avid Single Digit 5 V-brakes don’t do it for you when laden there are disc brake mounts.
The limited gearing is likely to discourage bigger trips, but to be honest the Quick is unashamedly a commuting bike and if your riding is mainly urban, the distances aren’t excessive and the inclines shallow, then the Quick is easy to recommend.