Cannondale Quick 3 vs Trek FX3 Disc


In this article we’re taking a look at two popular mid-range commuter/fitness bikes from two reputable manufacturers,  Cannondale and Trek. They are the Cannondale Quick 3 and the Trek FX3 Disc.

Both of these bikes are aimed at fitness enthusiasts and commuters, who are looking for a reliable new bike and are willing to spend more than the entry level offerings in exchange for better, more reliable components.

Let’s start with the price, which is pretty similar. The FX3 Disc comes in at $899.99, while the Quick 3 sets you back $925. The extra 25 dollars isn’t a significant difference to decide for one or the other.

They are also pretty similar in the choice of materials. Both of them come with aluminum frames and carbon forks. It’s nice to see internal cable routing on both bikes, which reults in cleaner looking lines.

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Both the Trek and the Cannondale come in 5 sizes, and range from small to extra-extra large, but there is a significant difference in the maximum weight each of these bikes can carry.

The Trek has a maximum total weight limit of 300 lbs (136 kg), which includes the combined weight of the bike, rider and the cargo, while the Cannondale can carry a 300 lb (136 kg) rider and 30 lbs (14 kg) of luggage not including the bike’s own weight. This is good news for heavy riders looking for a bike in the XXL range.

Both bikes are available in women’s versions, which means different color variations and in the case of the FX3, it also has women specific saddles for better comfort for female riders. Both the Quick 3 and the FX3 are also availabe with low step through frames in case you don’t fancy throwing your legs over the rear wheel and the saddle when getting on and off the bike.

Sadly, if you opt for other than the standard Cannondale version, you’re going to pay a higher price. Here’s a comparison chart of the differences.

Quick 3Quick 3Quick Women’s 3Quick 3 RemixteFX 3 DiscFX 3 Disc Women’sFX 3 Disc Women’s Stagger
Price$925$1000$1000$1000$899.99$899.99$899.99
ColorsChameleonMercury, Rally RedTurquoiseTurquoiseDnister Black, Rage RedVoodoo Trek Black, MagentaVoodoo Trek Black, Magenta
FrameNormalNormalNormalLow Step-ThroughNormalNormalLow Step-Through
SizesSM,MD,LG,XL,2XLSM,MD,LG,XL,2XLXS,SM,MD,LGXS,SM,MD,LGS,M,L,XL,XXLXS,S,M,LS,M,L

In terms of groupsets and other components used, both bicycles are quite comparable.

They both come with 9 speed cassettes and double cranks, resulting in a wide gear ratio, but with a difference offered in the lowest and highest gear ratios.

Cannondale’s highest gear ratio is going to provide a faster speed at the same pedal revolution, concentrating on faster speeds, while Trek’s more focused on the lower gear ratios, and helps tackle steep hills better.

Cannondale Quick 3 (Chameleon)

The Cannondale Quick 3 uses Shimano Altus shifters, Acera front derailleurs and Alivio rear derailleurs. For brakes it uses Tektro HD-R280 hydraulic disc brakes with 160mm rotors at the front and 140mm rotors at the rear. Even with the smaller rotor at the rear, it provides sufficient stopping power for its intended use.

The Trek FX 3 is equiped with Shimano components both for the brakes and the for the drive train. It uses Shimano Acera shifters and front derailleurs and Alivio rear derailleurs. It’s not a huge upgrade over the Quick 3, but it’s nice to see a higher end shifter for less price. The FX 3 uses Shimano MT201 hydraulic disc brakes with 160mm rotors both at the front and the rear, which again, is slighly better than the Cannondale offering.

In terms of weight, the Cannondale manages to keep it under 25 lbs, while the FX 3 comes in at just under 26 lbs. It’s not a huge difference, especially for the type of use these bicycles are intended, but it’s always nice to have a lighter bike, especially if you need to carry it up the stairs.

One area where Cannondale offers a bit more comfort over the Trek is the tire size, which is 35 mm against the 32 mm of the latter. The 3 mm difference translates into a smoother riding experience on uneven roads, and it makes getting up curbs and hitting potholes a little safer, reducing the chance of a pinch flat.

I also love that Cannondale offers Schwalbe Spicer tires with reflective strips on the wheels. They offer excellent puncture resistance (number 5 on Schwalbe’s scale, which is on par with the Schwalbe Marathon, and runs up to 7). These tires perform very well on urban roads, but they don’t offer much traction off road.

The Trek comes with their own manufactured Bontrager H2 tires, which aren’t terrible, but they definitely offer significantly less puncture protection compared to the Schwalbe. If you want to eliminate the chance of flats, this is something you should probably upgrade as soon as you get the bike.

Trek FX3 Disc (Dnister Black)

Both bicycles have mouting points for two bottle cages, fenders and racks, and the FX 3 also includes additional eyelets on the front fork.

Ergonomic grips and comfortable saddles are included in both packages. These are great for getting started, and if you spend a lot of time in the saddle, you may want to upgrade those down the line.

Both bikes come with basic plastic pedals. The Cannondale is a little more versatile, while the Trek is more geared toward city riding. Again, they are fine just to get started, but you will probably want to replace them if you use your bike a lot.

There are two additional nice details from Cannondale, which are not present in the Trek.

One of them is the inclusion of their integrated wheel sensor, which they developed together with Garmin. It pairs up with your smartphone, and provides you information about your bicycle, service intervals, speed and other useful details. Although it’s not essential, but it’s certainly nice to have.

The second bonus is that the Cannondale paintjob includes 360° reflective details, which makes it super safe to ride at night because it’s virtually impossible to not notice. This, combined with the reflective strip of the Schwalbe tires, is a winning duo.

Cannondale Quick 3Trek FX3 Disc
FrameSmartForm C3 Alloy, tapered head tube, reflective, internal cable routingAlpha Gold Aluminum, internal cable routing, rack and fender mounts
ForkFull carbon, Thru-axle, fender mounts, reflectiveFX Carbon, rack and fender mounts, ThruSkew 5mm QR
HeadsetFSA Sealed Bearing, Integrated1-1/8″ threadless, sealed cartridge bearings
Bottom bracketCartridge, square taper
CrankProwheel, 48/32Shimano MT210, 46/30, chainguard (170mm or 175mm length)
ChainKMC Z9, 9-speedKMC X9
ShiftersShimano Altus, 9-SpeedShimano Acera M3000, 9 speed and Shimano Acera SL-M3010, 2 Speed
Front derailleurShimano AceraShimano Acera T3000
Rear derailleurShimano AlivioShimano Alivio M3100, long cage
Rear cogsSunrace, 11-34, 9-speedShimano HG200, 11-36, 9 speed
Front hubFormula CRX-512, 12x100mmFormula DC-20, alloy, 6 bolt 5x100mm QR
Rear hubAlloy Disc Cassette QR, 28HFormula DC-22, alloy, 6-bolt, Shimano 8/9/10 freehub, 135×5 QR
RimsCannondale Disc, Double wall w/eyelet, 32hBontrager Tubeless Ready Disc, 32-hole, presta valve
SpokesStainless Steel 14gStainless steel 14g
Tire Size3532
TiresSchwalbe Spicer 700 x 35c, K-Guard, reflective stripBontrager H2 Comp, wire bead, 30tpi
Wheel size700c700c
Brake leversTektro HD-R280
BrakesTektro HD-R280 hydro disc, 160/140mm rotorsShimano MT201 hydraulic, 160mm rotors
GripsCannondale Ergo Fitness Dual Density, Lock-onBontrager Satellite IsoZone Plus, Lock-on, ergonomic
Handlebar6061 Alloy Double-butted, 25mm rise, 8 degree sweep, 6 degree rise, 640mmBontrager Satellite Plus IsoZone, alloy, 31.8mm, 15mm rise, 600mm or 660mm width
SaddleCannondale Fitness Ergo Double DensityBontrager H1
Seatpost6061 Alloy, 27.2 x 350mmBontrager alloy, 27.2mm x 330mm
StemCannondale 3 with Intellimount, alloy, 31.8 clampBontrager Elite, 31.8mm, Blendr compatible, 7 degree 90mm/100mm/110mm
Weight11.1 kg / 24.6 lbs11.74kg / 25.88 lbs

When it comes to comfort and bike geometry, there are lots of similarities, and some differences too. Let’s see some of them taking the L size bikes in from both manufacturers.

The Quick 3 has a slightly longer wheelbase, which translates to a marginally more stable ride, while the FX 3 is a little easier to steer and turn.

The FX 3 has a slightly longer chainstay, which means that you may be less likely to bump into heel clearence issues if you use a pannier than you are with the Quick 3. The difference is only 15mm, but sometimes that can be the difference between hitting a pannier or not.

The Cannondale is slightly more oriented towards speed, while the FX 3 is a more balanced, and a slightly more upright bicycle.

These differences are quite subtle and probably not very noticeable to a beginner, but one would notice the difference if he sat on one after using the other one for some time

Cannondale Quick 3Trek FX3 Disc
Seat tube50 cm50.8 cm
Seat tube angle73°73.5°
Head tube length18.4 cm16.0 cm
Head angle71°71.5°
Top tube59.8 cm57.1 cm
Bottom bracket height28.2 cm29.6 cm
Bottom bracket drop6.8 cm6.5 cm
Chainstay length43.5 cm45 cm
Offset5.5 cm5 cm
Trail6.2 cm6.8 cm
Wheelbase108.6 cm107 cm
Frame reach41.4 cm39.8 cm
Frame stack60.2 cm58.6 cm
Stack to reach ratio1.451.47

Which is the better choice for you?

If you are committed to spending a lot of time in the saddle, and you want to ride at fast speeds, you should probably opt for the Cannondale Quick 3. It is better for performance riding and offers some other benefits, such as great puncture protection and the integrated wheel sensor. If you weigh more than 263 lbs (120 kg), and you intend to carry some stuff with you, the Cannondale is the only option you have between these two.

If you’re not too concerned about a marginally higher top speed, and you’re looking for a more upright bicycle that can get you up steeper hills, and has slightly better components, the FX 3 won’t disappoint.

Either way you choose, the main thing is to get on your bike and ride it often. The best bike you can own is the one that makes you want to ride it every time you see it.

Happy pedaling!

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