Beautiful Bicycle: A Timeless Cannondale R3000Si

Beautiful Bicycle: A Timeless Cannondale R3000Si

Written by Contender Bicycles, on August 12, 2021

Depending on who you ask, this Cannondale CAAD 5 is either the coolest thing since sliced bread, or just another bike that rode too firm for its own good. Regardless of where you stand, there is no denying the importance of this bike.

Cannondale has pushed the aluminum agenda from the very start. Lots of people talk about the 3.0 and 2.8 as legendary frames. However, it wasn't until the launch of the CAAD series (and Mario Cipollini's antics) that their aluminum road bikes developed the versatility in application and ride quality seen today.

Vintage cannondale caad5

Ride quality, previous seen as firm and unyielding, slowly became more palatable with each iteration. Pedaling stiffness only improved with each iteration. The handling directness that aluminum could provide without the complexity and cost of carbon stayed as well, again without increasing costs exponentially like carbon.

Vintage cannondale caad5

This CAAD5 also saw the Slice carbon fork made by TIME Sport (yes, that TIME). TIME made incredibly lightweight forks, and alloy bikes benefitted strongly from the vibration damping and increased steering precision they offered.

Perhaps most importantly, however, is that Cannondale alloy road bikes just looked fast. This CAAD 5 frame was no exception. The dark blue metallic fades neatly into the flat blue in the back. The tubing is round overall but there are signs of the hydroforming we see today, including the top tube and the S-curve seatstays. The basic shape of this bike relented until last year with the design of the CAAD13, but the weight of this bike overall - 15.5 lbs according to our scales - has few competitors even today.

a blue cannondale bicycle with yellow lettering

Much of that weight - or lack thereof - comes from a lightweight 6000-series aluminum frame. At the time, Cannondale was the undisputed leader in aluminum technology. There were many other companies making alloy frames - after all, carbon fiber of the time was complicated, heavy, and very expensive - but few had their formula dialed like Cannondale did.

But then there are the components used here that really made this a unique bike. The stem of all places is made of magnesium, making it one of the lightest you could find, and decently stiff considering how light it is, even today. The Cane Creek 200 SL brakes go for weight weenie glory here too, as they were lighter than comparable Dura-Ace and Record brakes of the era.

Components Spec

Frameset Cannondale R3000Si - CAAD 5 - 48cm
Fork Slice Si by TIME Sport
Headset Campagnolo Hiddenset
Groupset Campagnolo Record 10
Crankset THM Carbones
Brakes Cane Creek 200 SL
Gearing 170mm crank, 53/39t chainrings 10-25t cassette
Wheelset Mavic Ksyrium
Tires Michelin Pro Race - 700c x 23mm
Easton EC90 Carbon - 40cm
Stem ITM "The Stem" - Magensium - 120mm
Seatpost U.S.E. Alien Carbon - 27.2mm
Saddle Selle Italia Trans Am LDY

Have any questions about Cannondale, or want to find a Cannondale road, gravel, or mountain bike for yourself? Contact us during business hours or any time to cannondale caad5Vintage cannondale caad5Vintage cannondale caad5

Vintage cannondale caad5

Vintage cannondale caad5


  • This is my exact ride. Such a beautiful bike and I appreciate the article.

    Adam on

  • Howard,
    happy to hear. I personally have owned everything from the cantilevered 2.8 all the way up to the CAAD10. Love these bikes. Thanks for sharing the story!

    Alvin - Contender Bicycles on

  • Ron,
    The Cannondale CAAD5 was discontinued a little while back, and while Cannondale makes the CAAD12 now, we don’t have any in stock. Check out our road bike section to see what we have in stock now and more.

    Alvin - Contender Bicycles on

  • That they are Tim, live and in the flesh. The previous owner loved them.

    Alvin - Contender Bicycles on

  • I’ve owned a version of this bike for 25 yrs. When I first bought the original version, Cannondale offered a frame trade in/upgrade from the factory, then in Bedford, PA. I was teaching med school at West Virginia University, close to the Cannondale factory, so it was easy. Best bike , more bang for your buck than anything else. I still own a CAAD10.


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