Cannondale’s cyclocross history shows through with the CAADX Disc Ultegra, with the curved carbon blades of the UltraX fork carving precisely through hairpins as we switched line mid-corner. The 175mm cranks and stiff BB30 bottom bracket also make the most of meagre efforts.
Although not the lightest wheels, the Formula hubs have large disc side flanges to counteract braking stress and stiffen the wheels. Mated to a smaller 140mm rear disc rotor and the more common 160mm front, there was braking force to spare, steep descents were dispatched nonchalantly, and at 9.67kg (21.32lb) the CAADX isn’t a hindrance to carry.
Schwalbe’s Sammy Slick tyres were surprisingly good in the mixed conditions, and very fast, the central diamond tread gripping tenaciously, the knobbly edges proving sufficient in the loose stuff.
Settling into an almost perfect position on the shallow drop bar, in under a lap we found a rhythm with the Cannondale. Finding the sweet spot of the Bengal brakes, our cornering speed increased as we balanced weight and grip to give greater exit speed and close in on our race quarry.
The CAADX Disc Ultegra proved to be a rounded and cultured bike, whose sublime handling, fine spec and thoughtful touches won us over. It should give great service for years, and disc brakes only improve it.