The Cannondale Quick CX 3 is a joyrider in every sense of the word. Based off of a mountain bike frame, the CX 3 has been upgraded with road components to make it more compatible with urban environments.
RATING: Strong Performer
BEST FOR: Offroad commuting
FEATURES: 160 mm hydraulic discs, 50 mm front suspension, versatile 40 mm tires…
Cannondale Quick CX 3 Specifications
Cannondale CX 3 retails for $700 and comes packed with some quality components for that money:
- Frame: SmartForm C2 alloy with SAVE, 1-1/2 in. to 1-1/8 in. tapered head tube, internal cable routing and rack/fender mounts
- Fork: SR Suntour NEX with lockout, 50mm, 1-1/8 in. steerer
- Tires: Kenda Piedmont, 700×40
- Crankset: Shimano Tourney, 46/30
- Front Derailleur: Shimano Tourney, 31.8 clamp
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano Altus
- Cassette: Sunrace, 11-34, 8-speed
- Shifters: Shimano Easy Fire EF505, 2×8
- Brakes: Shimano MT200 hydro disc, 160/160mm RT10 rotors
- Saddle:Cannondale Quick CX Ergo
- Pedals: Cannondale Platform
- Number of gears: 16
- Weight: 29 lbs. 1.6 oz.
- Gender: Unisex
S – 5’2″ – 5’6″
M – 5’6″ – 5’10”
L – 5’10” – 6’1″
XL – 6’2″ – 6’4″
REI – MSRP $700
- Lightweight frame and drivetrain
- Hydraulic Shimano disc brakes
- Upright, relaxed geometry
- Versatile 40 mm tires
- Slow on flats
- Small for travel
The Cannondale Quick CX 3 is a joyrider in every sense of the word. Based off of a mountain bike frame, the CX 3 has been upgraded with certain road-worthy components to make it more compatible with urban environments.
Cannondale designed the Quick CX 3 with off-road commuting in mind, and it suits that purpose perfectly. Boasting a comfortable front shock, this bike can take a lot of punishment while providing a smooth, even ride.
Great for crushed gravel paths or hiking trails, the CX 3 offers a lot of flexibility to ensure that your riding effort remains constant, regardless of where you might be pedaling.
What’s Good About Cannondale Quick CX 3
As a higher-level beginner bike, the Quick CX 3 comes loaded with decent, mid-level parts.
Frame & Saddle - Good
The SmartForm aluminum frame provides great stability while dropping weight compared to its traditional steel counterparts.
That being said, the frame is of a thick diameter and quite rigid. The top tube length is noticeably shorter than some, providing a comfortable upright riding position.
Dual water bottle mounts come standard on all versions of the Quick CX. There are also rear rack mounts, as well as stays for full-sized fenders.
The proprietary Cannondale Quick CX Ergo saddle is designed with comfort as its main focus. Based on mountain bike designs, this saddle was created with bumps and rough terrain in mind.
Drivetrain & Derailleurs - Good
The 16-speed drivetrain is built with Shimano components and provides a wide array of gear combinations to get you up any large hills you may encounter on your morning commute. While not anything particularly high-end, it’s certainly a quality, dependable road setup.
Made out of high-grade aluminum, the Shimano Altus series rear derailleur features improved chain retention and more stable shifting to ensure a smooth ride all the time.
Tires & Brakes - Great
The Cannondale Quick CX 3 comes stock with Kenda Piedmont, 700×40 mm tires, which are built with compacted gravel in mind.
While these aren’t the fastest tires when dealing with smooth pavement, off-road rides will be an absolute breeze with these high volume cyclocross tires.
Disk brakes are currently a must have on all cyclocross-commuter hybrid bikes.
The Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes included with the Cannondale Quick CX 3 is a solid, mid-level set that’s ridiculously easy to adjust and repair.
Other Quick CX Models
It’s important to note that the Cannondale Quick series of bikes actually has 4 different versions, the CX 1, 2, 3, and 4. The notable differences between these models tend to be the drivetrain components, brakes, and number of gears.
The basic design shape is consistent throughout all 4 models. Notable differences include the following:
- Shimano Deore XT components
- Shimano MT400 hydraulic disc brakes
- SmartForm C2 aluminum alloy
- Shimano Acera components
- SR Suntour NCX with lockout, 50 mm travel
- Weighs 26 lbs.
- Shimano Tourney drivetrain
- Tektro mechanical disc brakes
- 21 speeds
Should I Buy It?
The Quick CX 3 is a great mid-level stump jumper. While not the best bicycle for your urban commute, the CX 3 provides a dependable ride regardless of the terrain.
At just $700, it hits a critical price junction between functionality and cost. Keep in mind that the drivetrain components are decidedly mid-level, and will most likely need replacement after some time if you abuse the bike too much.
While the added cyclocross touches like front suspension make rough trails fun to jet down, the wide travel provided by the fork makes smoother landscapes somewhat more challenging and unbalanced.
At the end of the day, a bike like this is always going to feel heavy and sluggish on urban commutes. But if speed is not crucial to you, you will absolutely love the comfort.
The geometry on the CX 3 is great for comfortable riding on back trails, providing an upright stance that’s enhanced by its flat, wide, comfort bars.
At the end of the day, the Cannondale CX 3 may not be at the top of the gravel bike pack. But, it packs a lot of mid-range features that make its price point very attractive for experienced cyclists looking for a change in feel from their traditional road bikes.