The CAAD Optimo is derived from the CAAD 12 and has the same geometry and the same highly regarded ride quality with a price of just $1,462.
As previous highlighted in our other features on Cannondale's new 2017 road bikes released at Bike Press Camp, the new CAAD Optimo and Slate for women continue the trend of offering high quality bikes at affordable prices. The CAAD series has a long heritage of offering a quality aluminum frame to up-and-coming racers. The Slate was a hit last year as a performance road bike that offers the flexibility of venturing off road as well. In fact, RoadBikeReview got to test the Slate first hand in scenic Malibu, CA. Now, women can appreciate the same sense of adventure with a model of their own.
Cannondale CAAD Optimo - Disc 105
The CAAD Optimo is targeted towards the aspiring cyclist and seeks to make cycling more accessible to more riders. This bike has many features derived from the popular CAAD12 and it strikes a solid balance of performance and value. The geometry is actually identical to the CAAD12 and it is designed the same way - with Cannondale's Tube Flow Modeling design process. This method uses advanced software to evaluate tube forming for factors like weight, stiffness and aerodynamics. The "SmartForm" C2 aluminum frame is lightweight and provides a quality ride feel that is deserving of the CAAD name.
The frame features internal brake cable routing, flat mount disc brakes, tapered head tube and a BB30 bottom bracket. Highlighted here is the CAAD Optimo Disc with a Shimano 105 11-speed drivetrain, FSA Gossamer cranks, 50/34 chainrings and TRP Spyre C mechnical disc brakes. The Optimo is spec'ed with a 25c tire but it can fit up to a 28c. This bike will be available in eight sizes (48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 63cm) and six different models ranging from $699 to $1,462. The CAAD Optimo will hit dealers late August/early September and the MSRP of the CAAD Optimo 105 shown here is $1,462.
Cannondale makes a women's specific version of the Slate for 2017 which will be available early fall with an MSRP of $1,999.
Cannondale Slate - Womens Apex
The Slate is a legitimate road bike that can go off-road as well. While women could ride the previous versions of the Slate, this year's women's specific version uses the same frame but differs in the "touch points". The handlebars are more narrow and the saddle is a women's specific model. One big difference is that in order to keep the price of this Slate down, it doesn't come with the Lefty Oliver road suspension fork with 30mm of travel. The Slate Womens has a Lefty style Solo rigid fork which is a one-piece alloy design. The frame is Cannondale's "SmartForm" C1 premium alloy with SAVE Plus features.
The Women's Slate Apex takes the blend of versatility and capability of the Cannondale Slate and tailors it for women who want to ride off the beaten path. The Slate Apex is equipped with 650b wheels, tubeless 42mm tires, a Lefty Solo Rigid Fork, a SRAM Apex 1 11-speed drivetrain and SRAM Apex 1 hydraulic disc brakes. This bike is available in two sizes (SM, MD) and best of all, the MSRP is $1,999.
The Slate Apex's price is kept under $2k by using the Solo rigid fork instead of the Lefty Oliver road suspension fork found on the higher priced models.
We talked with Cannondale Global Marketing Manager for road bikes, James LaLonde who said, "We've seen a change in road cycling and there's a lot of raw cyclists out there who want to explore beyond the traditional paved road that they're used to. We refer to the Slate as a road bike and not a gravel bike but we leave it up to the rider to really define the bike. Define it, discover it and determine where and how they want to ride it."
The three previously available mens versions of the Slate are still carried over (105, Ultegra, Force CX1) and each of these come equipped with the Lefty Oliver. There is also a mens version of the Slate with SRAM Apex for the same $1,999 price.
For more information visit www.cannondale.com