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Cannondale Quick CX3 Review

The Cannondale Quick CX 3 is a joyrider in every sense of the word. Based on a mountain bike frame, the CX 3 has been upgraded with road components to make it more compatible with urban environments.


 

Full Review

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 microSHIFT 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 microSHIFT 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 Vittoria Terreno Dry, 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 the number of gears. The basic design shape is consistent throughout all 4 models. Notable differences include the following:

CX 1

Shimano Deore XT components
Shimano MT400 hydraulic disc brakes
SmartForm C2 aluminum alloy

CX 2

Shimano Acera components
SR Suntour NCX with lockout, 50 mm travel
Weight 26 lbs.

CX 4

Shimano Tourney drivetrain
Tektro mechanical disc brakes
21 speeds


 

Cannondale Quick CX 3 Specifications

Cannondale CX 3 retails for $825 and comes packed with some quality components for that money:

  • Frame: SmartForm C3 alloy with SAVE, 1-1/2 in. to 1-1/8 in. the tapered head tube, internal cable routing, and rack/fender mounts
  • Fork: SR Suntour NEX with lockout, 63mm, 1-1/8 in. steerer
  • Tires: Vittoria Terreno Dry 700×40 with a reflective strip
  • Crankset: Shimano Tourney, 46/30
  • Front Derailleur: microSHIFT Dual Pull
  • Rear Derailleur: microSHIFT M26L
  • Cassette: Sunrace, 11-34, 8-speed
  • Shifters: microSHIFT
  • Brakes: Tektro HD-T275 hydro disc, 160/160mm RT10 rotors
  • Saddle: Cannondale Fitness Ergo Double Density
  • Pedals: Cannondale Platform
  • Number of gears: 16
  • Weight: 29 lbs. 1.6 oz.
  • Gender: Unisex

 

Should You 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.

Availability – REI


 

Sizes & Buying Options

S – 5’2″ – 5’6″
M – 5’6″ – 5’10”
L – 5’10” – 6’1″
XL – 6’2″ – 6’4″


 

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2 thoughts on “Cannondale Quick CX3 Review

  1. Laura says:

    Hi I’m looking at buying a used 2017 CX 3. Like new condition. How much is it worth?

    1. Sam Millers says:

      The 2017 CX3 retailed for $870 new. As the ’17 model had a 3×9 Shimano Deora/Acera/Alivi groupset and hydraulic brakes – which are great, I’d be looking at something around $300-$400 for a used bike that’s been properly maintained.

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