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CAAD frame sizing

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CAAD frame sizing

Old 09-07-23, 10:37 AM
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CAAD frame sizing

Good morning, everyone!


I'm a new cyclist hoping to get some direction on Cannondale road bike frame sizing, specifically for CAAD models. I've been coveting one since the first time I laid eyes on a friend's CAAD10 way back when.


I'm about 170 cm/5'6" in socks, but my torso is relatively long for my height (or lack thereof). I used the fit calculator at Competitive Cyclist but would appreciate human feedback from experienced cyclists, as well.


My inseam measurement is 73 cm/28.75" and my torso is 67 cm/26". According to Competitive Cyclist, I should be looking for a frame with a top tube length between 54.4 and 54.8 cm and a seat tube (C-T) length of 49.9-50.4 cm. Based on my height, Cannondale recommend a 48 cm/XS frame. I've compared the measurements of the CAAD10, CAAD12, and CAAD13 on Geometry Geeks, and think I should be able to stand over a 48 or 50 cm frame, but 52 cm would probably be too big. Does this sound sane? How much should I take the recommended top tube length into account? From what I understand, I should err on the side of a smaller frame; is that correct?


I'm currently riding a secondhand Bianchi Pista (55 cm). It definitely feels slightly too big, even with the seat lowered as far as it will go. It's a really fun bike, though, and I like the stiffness of the frame.


I'm looking at gently used CAAD10 bikes on FB/eBay. I live in a small town in eastern North Dakota, and while there is an LBS, they stock mostly gravel and fat tire/mountain bikes, and they do not carry any Cannondale models at all. I realize that there's a level of risk involved in buying a brand that isn't stocked locally, but I'm kind of stuck on owning a CAAD. The closest major city, Minneapolis, is a 5 hour drive from here, which would be fine except I don't own a car. I suppose I'm willing to find a way down there, but I'd like to have some idea what I'm looking for first. The CAAD13 105 Disc is not in stock in 48 or 50 cm at Cannondale, but I'm open to finding a bike shop in the Twin Cities area that could either ship to my LBS or adjust a bike in person.


Any suggestions or pointers would be welcome, and please don't hesitate to tell me if there's something major I'm misunderstanding! Thank you in advance.​​​​

Last edited by C57Bl6; 09-08-23 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 09-09-23, 09:02 PM
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My educated guess is that you'd be best off on a 52. This gets you a top tube that is useful for your long torso (you have the torso of someone who would ride a 54), while only penalizing you 1.2cm more standover height than size 50. I'm 5'4" with a 30" inseam and prefer a 50 or 51, but have one traditional 52 that fits fine.

Go smaller and you'll be looking at rather long stems, and I've found that some smaller sizes that should fit pefectly me feel odd. And certainly the steering angles are more "normal" on a 52 than on a 50.

You will not have any clearance when standing over the top tube, but you don't need that unless you plan on jumping on your bike like the Lone Ranger.

I base my comments on this 2014 CAAD10 geo chart:
https://cannondaleclub.blogspot.com/...-inc-disc.html
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Old 09-10-23, 08:49 AM
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I posted this today in another thread:

How to compare bike geometries

You can measure your Pista stack and reach with a wall and a tape measure. Or lookup it's published data if it's available.
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Old 09-10-23, 09:21 AM
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Did you ride your friends CAAD10? If so what size was it and did you like or dislike anything about the ride?

On that oversize Bianchi PIsta with the seat lowered, your bar drop from the saddle was probably not very much. On a properly sized CAAD of any model, you will have a lot of saddle to bar drop.

Fixing such really isn't as simple as raising the bars. That will make the sexy looking CAAD look like a clown. So figure out if you really want the aero position a CAAD will give you. Otherwise you should look at bikes with a higher stack that won't be as aggressive with the position they give. Cannondale and other bike brands have models of bikes that are made to give you different positions without having to put steerer tube extenders on them or weirdly angled stems.
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Old 09-12-23, 04:02 PM
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Thanks for all the advice, everyone. Unfortunately, I got hit by a pickup truck while riding my oversized Bianchi yesterday, so the issue of selecting its successor has suddenly become more pressing. Actually, both the bike and I were fortunate to escape with fairly minor injuries, but the former is going to need a new front rim at the very least.

The driver of the pickup truck was a teenager and he did not stop after hitting me. He's been identified and I'm hoping that his parents will put a bit of money towards my new bike. ​​​
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Old 09-13-23, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by C57Bl6
Thanks for all the advice, everyone. Unfortunately, I got hit by a pickup truck while riding my oversized Bianchi yesterday, so the issue of selecting its successor has suddenly become more pressing. Actually, both the bike and I were fortunate to escape with fairly minor injuries, but the former is going to need a new front rim at the very least.

The driver of the pickup truck was a teenager and he did not stop after hitting me. He's been identified and I'm hoping that his parents will put a bit of money towards my new bike. ​​​
Won't his parents be busy keeping him out of jail?
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Old 11-17-23, 09:02 PM
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My guess is that you will feel comfortable on a 52 cm frame. If you need to change the reach, an appropriately sized stem ought to manage the final tweaks.
Good luck and I’m glad you weren’t hurt.
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Old 11-22-23, 06:01 PM
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If I was still doing bike fitting, I'd put you on a 52 and go from there. Stem length will be either an 80 or a 90, unless it was swapped out by the previous owner.

If you're looking for a not as aggressive position the CAAD 10 puts you in, I may suggest the CAAD 8 or the Synapse. Both in 52.
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Old 11-25-23, 10:27 AM
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For riders with short legs and (relatively) long torsos I recommend getting the largest size you can stand over comfortably. Regarding bikes with sloping top tubes, I'd perform this test just behind the stem. I think in your case that would put you on the 48.
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