Cannondale has never shied away from creating bikes for all types of riders, whatever their needs. The brand has been making this style of hybrid for a while. The latest incarnation, the Cannondale Quick Carbon 1, with its slick-looking carbon frame, is a well thought out package featuring some top quality components such as the Shimano 105 gears.
The first thing I noticed was the size of the sweeping handlebar on this cow-horned crazy horse, instantly making it feel like a downhill bike. I got over my initial reservations of the 66cm bar once I’d given it a go and actually enjoyed the control it offers.
For town use, and longer weekend rides, I would consider cutting the bar down.
Regardless of bar width, the cockpit on the Quick 1 works well, and there is plenty of room to personalise it with ample spacers and the ability to flip the stem for a more upright riding position.
The funky-looking Ergo Performance lock-on grips are definitely rider friendly, and the Shimano M396 brake levers and RS-700 shifters both sit well around them.
Steering this bike is easy and it feels stable even at high speed, making it fun to ride and tuck into corners. The geometry creates a flamboyance that makes you want to ride fast, yet the carbon Quick 1 is forgiving without any awkward quirks or twitchiness to keep it practical.
Cannondale retains its traditional oversized tubes, but the rounded edges on the angular frame take away any harshness to the styling.
There might not be any road vibration-absorbing gadgets like Specialized’s Future Shock or Trek’s IsoSpeed, but I never missed them. I had no comfort issues, even on longer rides, thanks to the Cannondale’s road-soaking SAVE technology where the rear stays are designed to flex for a compliant ride. This happens without feeling sluggish or like you’re losing any power.
It was only when the terrain took a turn for the worse or I hit the gravel that I really noticed road vibration. This may have also been down to the 28mm Schwalbe Lugano tyres. On the flip side, the Schwalbes offer a good balance of speed and comfort for road duties.
When you look at the engine room it’s obvious that Cannondale specced this bike for the road with the FSA Gossamar 50/34 compact chainset paired with a Shimano 11-28 cassette. This won’t be an issue for most riders but it doesn’t have the range of some, which might be useful in the hills or for off-road rides.
The Cannondale is a true hybrid, bringing together the company’s knowledge of both road and mountain bikes to create a classy and fun bike to ride.
It might not have the ride widgets of some other flat bar bikes, such as the Specialized Sirrus or Trek FX Sport, but it remains extremely capable, delivering a lively smile-inducing ride. It will get you to work quickly and in style, yet you can still enjoy the same ride for hours at the weekend without getting beaten up. You just might want to chop those bars down.