I came to the CAADX from a steel light touring/gravel bike. For the last year that was my daily commuter and workhorse bike as well as my off road machine that I enjoyed for countless rides on dirt and gravel at the James River Park System, Pocahontas State Park, and beyond. However, with road racing season coming to a close, I suddenly felt an itch to try out a new cycling discipline, CYCLOCROSS!
I knew that whatever 'cross bike I bought would have to fill the void of my daily commuter and gravel exploration bike because I would be selling my aforementioned steel rig. Enter: the Cannondale CAADX SE.
New for 2018, Cannondale announced a new division of gravel exploration "Specially Equipped" bikes that would compliment their current models. The CAADX SE features the same frame and components as the standard model but it gets an extra dose of off-road chops with a wider, tubeless wheelset and lower gearing. It's light and fast enough to really hold its own on the cross course, but comfortable and stable enough to handle extended off-road rides.
Apart from a rock solid drivetrain and excellent TRP brakes, my favorite part of the build is the tires. Often bikes come stock with less than ideal tires that most of us swap out to better tune the performance of the bike. With the CAADX SE, there is no such need. It comes out of the box with tubeless ready WTB Riddler 37mm tires. Who doesn't love gumwalls?
This bike is punchy, stable, and fast and easily outperforms my old steel bike on the trails. It's smoother and much lighter making it more fun to ride and bringing new excitement to the same old local trail system.
Final weight on the bike (set up tubeless) is 22lbs. Not bad for a 105 level aluminum cross bike!
If you're looking for a highly versatile bike to commute over cobbles, explore some fire roads, or enter your first cross race, this bike is an excellent choice. I've already got an overnight, gravel bike-packing trip planned for later this fall to see how it handles out in the wilderness.
Come on by the shop and test ride one of these rad machines! The all new 2018 CAAD X SE is an excellent bike with excellent value.