Cannondale CAD3 Frame Frameset

4.45/5 (118 Reviews)


Product Description

Cannondale CAD3 Frame


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Reviews 1 - 15 (118 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by baggins a Cross Country Rider from Boston

Date Reviewed: November 1, 2011

Strengths:    Reliable, stiff, very light, awesome tangerine color!

Weaknesses:    Geometry and technology outdated- no disc brake mounts, not compatible with current suspension travel

Bottom Line:   
Wow, I've owned this frame for over 15 years! Rode a wide range of trails- at one time I had it configured with a dual crown and did some runs down mount snow with it! It has not once given me ANY grief. I'm 6' and 210lbs (240 at one point), and the bike just takes it. I remember there was a time when people really slammed cannondale for weak head tubes. I honestly don't know what these people are talking about- dual crown off 4' drops and no problems. In fact, I tried to break it at one point to use the lifetime warranty!
That said, the geometry and technology is out dated. At the time it was cream of the crop (i would say in a lot of ways it still is), but the whole industry has changed since this came out. I'm in the process of building up another bike and really want disk front and rear, plus a 100mm fork. Time to hang up this frame for now.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Fells

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   Some place I can't r

Bike Setup:   Built it up too many times to remember

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Attila Kiss a Cross Country Rider from Budapest, Hungary

Date Reviewed: February 11, 2008

Strengths:    Stiffness, amazing power transfer of pedaling energy to the real wheel

Weaknesses:    none yet

Bottom Line:   
climbs like crazy, still cannot believe it's over 10 years old...

Steve, I may have been the one who snatched away that frame on eBay... although your post is over a year old, so I dunno.. Anyways, this is a lovely frame and despite that I'm a heavyweight (over 220lbs) rider, it is responsive, extremely reliable and maintenance-free.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   `96 M400

Bike Setup:   `07 XT derailleurs, Sram Attack shifters, CaneCreek DirectCurve 3 brakes and arms, Kore stem, BikePositive handlebar and seatpost, Mach1 rims, `08 XT cassette, XTR chain and cables

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by paul haworth a Cross Country Rider from england

Date Reviewed: February 4, 2008

Strengths:    bullit proof frame and head shock! indistructable!!!!

Weaknesses:    none, only the top headset bearing! keep a lizard skin around it then should have no probs!

Bottom Line:   
v ridged, climbs like an animal, decends just as fast!!!! depending on the rider of course!!!! good paintwork,still looks new-for a 8 year old bike, headshock just keeps on going, had to replace the top bearings tho! as the bottom bearing never seems to wear! overall my opinion is that the caad 3 volvo cannondale frame is the best frame on the planet! ive had trek 9.8- scott scale 20- kona king kikapu-full sus, yeti arc and many more bikes and ive always gone back to the trusted dale.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   llandegla, black run

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   e-bay

Similar Products Used:   scott scale 20 for ridgability

Bike Setup:   cross country, xc racing weapon. full xt -magura hydrolic disks, mavic wheelset,on hope hubs!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Steve Dayton a Cross Country Rider from Nine Mile Falls,WA

Date Reviewed: October 28, 2006

Strengths:    Light, strong, good paint and looks.

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
Could this be the last review on this frame? I pick it up for half price in Jan 2000, I built it up built and ready to ride in March. I just replaced the entire drive train and wheels in 06 with 9,000 miles on the bike which I should estimate 70% was ridden off road. So the frame and fork have over 9k and still going strong. I rate my self as an aggressive rider and weight 190lbs. Best cycling purchase I have ever made. Last year there was the same frame size and all on e-bay never built up. My only regret is not bidding on that frame.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Trail #7 on Lockout pass, ID

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   Bike Works

Similar Products Used:   Kona AA, Bridgestone MB2

Bike Setup:   All XT except cranks are LX, Marrzochi Superfly fork, Sun Ryno light rims, Rox shox sup. post.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jonny a Weekend Warrior from chattanooga, TN USA

Date Reviewed: October 3, 2005

Strengths:    LIGHT! Never weighed this (my) complete setup but its crazy light. Used for XC and commuting. This bike is the most favorite i've owned and for the money you can't go wrong

Weaknesses:    head shok failure (dd50 - best headshok IMO) but after years of neglect (in my parents garage, the shock is blown) -- no problem, i ride it on lockout. rear brake cable scratches top tube

Bottom Line:   
I abuse my poor bike, partly from ignorance, mostly from poverty. I straight traded for this bike (an old Trek y-3) years ago at a flea market. I feel like i got a spectacular deal -- seeing as how i spent $300 on the y-3 and it was ~3 years old at the time. I love cannondale adn this CAAD 3 frame. I get funny stares when i run up the stairs in my apartment complex this bike in hand (held by the seatpost) :-p

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   flea market

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   Shimano XTR F&R derailurs, Cassette, Chain, Sproket. XT Hubs and skewers, brakes and levers and crank/front sproket. Kore lite 2 seatpost, Easton EA70 al. straight bar 5 deg. bend sachs grip shifters Mavic 217 rims bent to hell and hammered back

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brian Thomas a Cross Country Rider from Vernon BC Canada

Date Reviewed: December 20, 2003

Strengths:    STIFF!!! aWesome frame and it's just a little heavier than 3 lbs. Climbs like crazy!! cannondale does awesome job on the welds too bike looks great. NO HEADSHOCK....that's a real +++

Weaknesses:    Bars can swing back and hit the top tube denting them. I have 1 small ding from that but other than that not much. The paint is a little chippy too.

Bottom Line:   
Great bike. If you are a pure XC rider go for it. Frames can be a little weak if you want to do anything other than XC. You feel EVERYTHING on this bike I mean EVERYTHING. the good and the bad. Don't jump or hop or any of that crazy stuff. It's a pure XC racing machine. That's how you get the "Cracknfail" name.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Kal Park

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   Rebec and Kroes Cycle Ottawa, Ontario

Similar Products Used:   Norco bikes..not much this calibre

Bike Setup:   CAAD3 Frameset, XTR hubs, Sun 0degXC rims 28 holes. Race face air carbon bars, lx grouppo Race face thermo sp headset....that's it

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jeff Hatch a Cross Country Rider from Guilford, CT USA

Date Reviewed: May 20, 2002

Strengths:    REALLY Friggen light and stiff! This bike kicks ass on the climbs and excelerates like a bat out of hell. I also paid $600 for a bike with all xtr except for the front derauller and crankset-weighs under 25 lbs-worth abou $2500 brand new.

Weaknesses:    Dropouts-the hub wore a groove into the drivetrain side dropout-now the wheel doesn't stay too straight when under full steam. But that doesn't bother me too much. It is only about 1-2 mm off. I will probably get it replaced within a year(the dropout.)

Bottom Line:   
I love this bike! I have won races on it!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Westwoods

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Friend

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale Jekyll-i ride an f700

Bike Setup:   xtr hubs, rear derraler, brakes, brake levers; sram quartz grip shift;sram chain;xt cassette, crankset, front derrauler;brontrager easton ea70 handlebar;cannondale seatpost, stem; headshok sl fork; selle san marco saddle; hutchinson alligator tires;mavic x517 rims;dt swiss spokes

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ken a Cross Country Rider from Algonquin, IL, USA

Date Reviewed: May 1, 2002

Strengths:    The '98 R1000 frame is a excellent, rock solid frame. It climb, decends, and flys through the flats with out any hint of flex. The frame does not absorbe any energy and the power goes staight to the wheels.

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
Cannondale bikes are a lot of money but they are worth every penny. They are a very rigid frame so the ride can be a little bumpy if you dont have a carbon fork. I have a 56 cm. frame and i am 5'11". It seemed to be a little short so i had to get a longer stem but it seems to get pretty good now. No power is lost due to a flexy frame. This is my second cannondale, the other is a F900 mountain bike, but i like the frames so much i had to get a cannondale road bike to. The frame is well worth saving a few extra $ over something a little cheeper.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   back roads

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   praire trail bike shop

Similar Products Used:   Nishikki road bike and tried a few GT's

Bike Setup:   Straight ultegra, Mavic cxp30 and Slice carbon fork

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jim the old salt a Cross Country Rider from N. evans ny

Date Reviewed: March 13, 2002

Strengths:    light stiff and climbs better than I do

Weaknesses:    paint does chip easy but

Bottom Line:   
I bought this frame in 2000 . I'm not a little guy buy no means 5'9 195lbs. The 16" frame built up to 21lbs. this is one nice bike that climbs like crazy. it is stiff but and beats you pretty good. it handles very well on tight technical stuff and makes this old guy look like he knows what hes doing . owning this after my gt is like going from a MG to a 911.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   any great WNY trail

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   local shop

Similar Products Used:   gt backwoods mongoose rockadile

Bike Setup:   cad3 frame 98judyxc xt everything else

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Neil a Racer from London, England

Date Reviewed: January 31, 2002

Strengths:    super-stiff rear triangle means it leaves a ducati 996 standing at the lights...
the fatty-r fork is in a league of its own, and the paint job is just beautiful.


Weaknesses:    replaceable (thank god!) rear dropout. i'm about to buy my third. that gorgeous paint chips easily, and violent inner-city children covet it for its beauty.

Bottom Line:   
spend extra on decent components and i swear you'll never buy any other brand of frame again. if you must buy the Bad Boy (essentially the same tubing, but with horrid geometry) then at least upgrade the fork to Fatty-R or Pace. this frame is the absolute bollocks - super-light, super-fast and strong as an ox. i'd buy another tomorrow.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   St John Street, EC1!

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $900.00

Similar Products Used:   GT Zaskar, GT Karakoram.

Bike Setup:   Limited Edition Martyn Ashton CAAD3 Frameset, Mavic 618s with Hutchinson TopSlick Gold 1.0s, XT BB, LX drivetrain, hubs & brakes, disappointing DMR V8 pedals.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rob a Cross Country Rider from South Orange County, CA

Date Reviewed: November 21, 2001

Strengths:    Light weight, awesome welds, quick

Weaknesses:    Stiff

Bottom Line:   
I reviewed this frame back on 10/7/98. I since have bought a Proflex 5000 and am currently riding a Santa Cruz Superlight. But I did rebuild this bike. The shock from the Santa Cruz was sent back to Fox, so I pulled the Cannondale back out. Even though I fully believe that full suspension is required for all riding, this bike still rocks. This frame is worth any penny! Get one if you are looking for a hardtail.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   any with dirt

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   JAX - Fullerton

Similar Products Used:   Access, Giant, etc.

Bike Setup:   XT, Manitou SXR, CODA, USE Suspension Post

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Scott a Cross Country Rider from Cincy, OH

Date Reviewed: June 12, 2001

Strengths:    Incredibly light and stiff. Climbs effortlessly.

Weaknesses:    None so far, but bigger riders may find the ride a bit stiff... I weigh around 135 and love it.

Bottom Line:   
This bike rides itself! With my current setup, the complete bike weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 23 lbs. It climbs incredibly and tracks exactly as it should. It's inspired me to get back into XC racing this summer.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   From friend

Similar Products Used:   Trek 8700 carbon fiber/aluminum HT

Bike Setup:   Caad 3 frame, Manitou SX-R fork, caramba cranks, raceface rings, xt/xtr drivetrain, avid sd 7 brakes, sram levers and shifters, WTB speed xc wheels, panaracer fire xc pro tires, ritchey, bontrager parts etc. etc. (all for under $800!!- shop around before you buy)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Andrew Dixon a Cross Country Rider from New Gisborne, Victoria, Australia

Date Reviewed: May 30, 2001

Strengths:    Light, Strong, Stiff and gets the power down to the ground

Weaknesses:    Maybe the price, but the ride really changes that decision

Bottom Line:   
Great bike for the person who wants a quality bike and can afford a little bit more at the start but will pay off later. As we say in OZ its a beauty mate!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Cairns

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Cannondale f700 Cad 4

Similar Products Used:   Mates Volvo Cannondale Team Bike felt very simular to the F700

Bike Setup:   2001 f700 , Magura Julie Disks Are Excellent, XT & CODA, I would change the rims, Hutchinsons tires, Coda peddles, bar ends Basicallt set for racing and kept light in weight, about 11 to 11.5 kgs

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by BigBare a Cross Country Rider from OC, California, USA

Date Reviewed: May 23, 2001

Strengths:    Reasonably light and inexpensive
Has a good feel for an aluminum frame


Weaknesses:    Dents and "pings" easily

Bottom Line:   
I've been pretty happy with this frame, except for the fact that I bought it too small for me (but that's my own fault). It's super stiff under acceleration, but doesn't jingle your kidneys through the rough stuff like other aluminum hardtails I've ridden. The one bad thing I've noticed is that it's been getting dented by the handlebars and by kicked-up rocks really easily -- makes me think that they thinned out the walls a little too much to save weight. But I've ridden it really hard and it's still straight and seems to still be strong. Overall a good frame.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Jedi

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $189.00

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Stumpjumper
GT Karakoram (back in tha day)


Bike Setup:   CAD3 frame with RST fork, LX/XT parts.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Christian a Cross Country Rider from Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria

Date Reviewed: April 5, 2001

Strengths:    lightweight, stiff frame
durable
good workmanship
excellent handling
fantastic Fatty-D fork


Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
I've been riding this bike for 3 years and never had any problem. The bike climbs great, the fork works very well and the handling on single tracks and downhills is fantastic. The fork's strengths are its stiffness, the good response to bumps and the lock-out mechanism.
The only bad thing about Cannondale bikes is the high price you have to pay in Austria (or hole Europe). So, American Cannondale owners, spend your next holiday in Tyrol/Austria, the heart of the alps (and probably the country with the best selection of trails), bring your Cannondale bike with you and sell it here at the end of your visit! ;-))

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tyrolean mountainbike trails

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Sport Neuner

Similar Products Used:   Kettler, Trek

Bike Setup:   '98 F-1000, Shimano Deore XT, Avid brakes, Mavic Crosslink wheelset, Time ATAC pedals

Reviews 1 - 15 (118 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Have a CAD3 Frame, looking for shocks that can handle city riding and some trails.

Hey guys - first post! I know it's always annoying when you get redundant questions that have been answer a million times before, therefore I did a little of my own research prior to posting but didn't find much luck. Just to give an idea of what I'm riding: Cannondale CAD3 frame with Shimano "V" ... Read More »

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