I purchased my new 2016 Cannondale CAAD 12 Ultegra 58cm in November 2015. Principle use is daily commuting to work @40miles round trip. I am 6′ 220 lbs who has competed in triathlons and Ironmans for the better part of 3 decades and I only write that qualification to illustrate the fact that I have ridden many bikes across many miles. After having ridden so many high performers I could not settle on a more traditional commuting bike and the CAAD 12 is a perfect blend for me.
The CAAD 12 is an outstanding value and I would rate it as one of the best bike I have ever ridden. For me it has the perfect blend of comfort and stiffness enabling me to end my rides without having my nerves rattled and maintaining the responsive feel of a solid road machine. The cockpit has a great feel to it, enabling several position changes while maintaining control and access to your systems. The CAAD 12 is a great cornering machine as well allowing you to go deep and fast while never feeling that you are on the edge. This is a great road machine for club racing or; lets say, high performance commuting. My CAAD 12 was purchased at Nytro in Encinitas CA and the team at Nytro did their predictably outstanding job setting it up and are always available for the kind of support you simply won’t get from the larger format stores.
So every Ying has it’s Yang and under the heading of opportunities for improvement there are only a couple that I discovered in the 200 or so miles I have logged so far on this CAAD 12. I would say for me the jury is still out on the disc brakes. For me it feels like the caliper brakes arrest forward momentum much faster but perhaps with less overall control. Its not that the disc doesn’t stop you but it feels like I need to apply more pressure of my levers to get the same stopping power I would be familiar with in the caliper systems. When I say the jury is out, I mean that if I were using this bike for hard core club racing I would likely for with the caliper brakes only for the weight savings. The other very minor finding I had was the pain job. That matt finish is very attractive and looks fast. However, the grey highlights seems to be very difficult to clean especially if you get any of your chain grease on it. Nytro recommended the WD-40 Bike formula but I have not tried it just yet but they never steered me wrong yet.
The bike is one component of your purchase experience and I would be remiss not to mention that the experience of purchasing this bike and receiving the support of a professional cycler like Nytro in Encinitas CA made the acquisition of this bike a dream. Overall I have never felt compelled to write a review on anything I have purchased but I have also never been so satisfied with a purchase and would highly recommend this bike to anyone looking for performance without taking a second on your home.