Race numbers, chequered flags, last lap bells and the Cannondale SuperSix Evo: all quintessential components of traditional road race.
The Cannondale SuperSix Evo aims to be lightweight, whilst still offering race winning power transfer, and the geometry to put the rider in a fairly aggressive stance.
The SuperSix Evo won a place in our Cycling Weekly 2018 Editor's Choice Awards, as well as winning the 2017 Women's Bike for the Year title (with the same frame and adjusted touch points) and it was a runner up for Lightweight Bike of the Year in 2016, too.
The flagship race model from Cannondale is now available in a wide range of different iterations.
There's the most expensive Hi-Mod choices before the standard SuperSix Evo and women's models - with disc brakes available on a smattering of the choices.
Cannondale SuperSix history
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The Cannondale SuperSix first arrived on the scene in 2004; then carrying the title Six13, followed by 'System Six'. The bikes were, at the time, incredibly lightweight with a carbon and alloy frame mixture.
The 'six' component of the name trickled down from the number the primary frame material - carbon - houses on the periodic table. When the entire bike became carbon in 2007, the name changed to SuperSix, then in 2011 we got the SuperSix Evo which weighed in at 695 grams for a size 56.
Later came the Cannnodale SuperSix Nano, with a frame weight of 665g for a size 56. The frame weight was later beefed up again, to 760g, when it was felt that the low weight had a negative impact on the ride quality.
Our 2019 SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod review model came in at 7.02kg for a complete bike, in a size 52 with Shimano Dura Ace, disc brakes and Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon SL Disc wheels.
As per any long standing bike model that's seen success for over a decade, the SuperSix Evo has enjoyed a fair dose of technological upgrade in its time.
Any race bike needs to be stiff enough to accelerate well in a sprint, but also needs to be light. Cannondale uses its 'BallisTec' carbon - which is its own proprietary high-strength carbon construction.
BallisTec is tailored to offer stiffness where it matters, but the layup is kept light where weight can be saved. The recently added Hi-Mod versions use a newer weave of high and ultra modulus fibres which add additional rigidity whilst keeping the ride quality lively.
An asymmetric BB30a bottom bracket also adds to the stiffness. However, in order to ensure the frame stays compliant, Cannondale uses its 'Speed Save' micro suspension system which absorbs road buzz and shocks.
Unlike the more notable suspension we see on bikes such as the Specialized Roubaix and Diverge, which carry 'Future Shock', Cannondale's 'Speed Save' just means the tubes at the rear chainstays and seat stays, fork or seatpost can deflect to absorb shock.
Cannondale also uses a 25.4mm seat post, as opposed to the standard 27.2 - this offers further bump-smoothing by reducing flex by a claimed 36 per cent.
The 2017 Cannondale SuperSix frames are slightly heavier than former years - 2017 frames come in at 777g compared to previous years, at 760g in a size 56cm. However, the brand has gone all out for integration with a lighter fork, integrated crown race and seatpost - so the newest Evo has an overall weight 70g lighter than previous iterations.
Where disc brakes have been incorporated, the brand has used an integrated design so that only 150g is added to the frameset.
Whilst the SuperSix Evo is far from an aero road bike in the traditional sense, a few watt savings here and there have been added. 'Truncated Aero Profile' tubes and a lower placed water bottle mount save an average of 6 watts when riding at 45kph. Not a bike that you would choose for time trials, but a nice additional nod.
The feature that always sets a Cannondale SuperSix Evo apart on test is the responsive handling - perhaps in part down to the Continuous Carbon Speed Save Fork which is constructed from one piece of carbon, from dropout to steerer, delivering high strength and low weight.
Cannondale SuperSix Evo Geometry
'Flat backs for flat out rides' is the way that Cannondale describe the geometry on their SuperSix, and it's a bike created for racing.
This means a fairly long top tube, with a short stack and a short wheelbase to create nippy handling. The stack and reach on a 56cm measures 56.7cm/39.3cm.
The women's versions share the same frame - a size 54 with a stack of 55.1cm and reach at 38.7cm, but the women's models feature compact handlebars and women's saddles.
Cannondale SuperSix Evo Componentry
Cannondale doesn't just do frame technology - it created the now industry wide BB30 and it makes its own Si chainsets and HollowGram wheelsets.
The Si chainsets are known for being stiff, and on the upper end of the range they become Si HollowGram, at which point they're stiff and incredibly light. The bikes at the top of the tree come with the Cannondale HollowGram SiSL2 crankset, which retails at close to £1k on its own, so it's a component of note with a claimed weight of 483g vs a Dura Ace version which comes in at 609g.
For 2019, Cannondale has added a pre-installed Power2Max power meter to some of the top end models.
Cannondale uses its own HollowGram wheels on some models, but speccing Mavic and Fulcrum hoops where they better fit the overall package and price.
Cannondale SuperSix Evo Reviews
- Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Disc Team
- 2016 Cannondale SuperSix Evo Women’s Shimano Ultegra
- 2015 Cannondale SuperSix Evo Carbon 105 5
Cannondale SuperSix Evo Range
While the Hi-Mod and standard SuperSix Evo models differ in material construction, the frames in the range share matching technology and geometry.
Spending more will result in incremental improvements - the stiffness of the Hi-Mod, better shifting of a top end groupset, but trickle down tech means that you can enjoy much the same ride quality on a Shimano Tiagra equipped model coming in at £1,499.99 as the top end model at £8,499.99.
Here are the models in price order, from the most expensive to the least.
SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod road bikes
The top end versions in the range Canondale's Ballistec Hi-Mod carbon. This combines high and ultra-high modulus fibres, offering a high level of stiffness with the low weight associated with using minimal material.
Many of the more expensive build options come with pre-installed power meters, too.
- SUPERSIX EVO HI-MOD DISC TEAM SHIMANO DI2 DISC: £8,499.99 (Shimano Dura Ace Di2, Cannondale HollowGram SiSL2 crankset, Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon SL Disc wheels)
- SUPERSIX EVO HI-MOD SHIMANO DURA ACE D12: £6,499.99 (Shimano Dura Ace Di2, Cannondale HollowGram SiSL2 with Power2Max NG Eco Powermeter, Fulcrum Racing Quattro Carbon wheels)
- SUPERSIX EVO HI-MOD SHIMANO DURA ACE: £4,699.99 (Shimano Dura Ace, Cannondale HollowGram Si w/ Power2Max NG Eco Powermeter, Cannondale HollowGram Si Carbon wheels)
- SUPERSIX EVO HI-MOD SRAM RED ETAP: £4,799.99 (SRAM Red e-Tap, Quarq Prime Carbon crankset, Cannondale HollowGram Si Carbon wheels)
- SUPERSIX EVO HI-MOD DISC SHIMANO ULTEGRA DI2 DISC: £4,799.99 (Shimano Ultegra Di2,Cannondale HollowGram Si w/ SpideRing cranks, Cannondale HollowGram Carbon wheels)
- SUPERSIX EVO HI-MOD DISC ULTEGRA: £3,999.99 (Shimano Ultegra, Cannondale HollowGram Si cranks, Mavic Aksium wheels)
- Review: Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Team
- CANNONDALE SUPERSIX EVO CARBON DURA ACE: £3699 (Shimano Dura Ace, Cannondale HollowGram Si w/ SpideRing cranks, Cannondale HollowGram Si Carbon wheels)
- CANNONDALE SUPERSIX EVO CARBON ULTEGRA RACE (women's version available): £2999.99 (Shimano Ultegra, Cannondale HollowGram Si w/ power2max NG Eco Power Meter cranks, Cannondale HollowGram Si Carbon)
- CANNONDALE SUPERSIX EVO CARBON DISC ULTEGRA DISC (women's version available): £2699.99 (Shimano Ultegra, Cannondale Si w/ FSA rings crankset, Mavic Aksium Disc wheels)
- CANNONDALE SUPERSIX EVO CARBON ULTEGRA: £2099.99 (Shimano Ultegra, Cannondale Si w/ FSA Rings crankset, Fulcrum Racing Sport wheels)
- CANNONDALE SUPERSIX EVO CARBON 105 (women's version available): £1799.99 (Shimano 105, Cannondale Si w/ FSA Rings crankset, Fulcrum Racing Sport wheels)
- CANNONDALE SUPERSIX EVO CARBON TIAGRA: £1499.99 (Shimano Tiagra, FSA Omega crankset, RS 2.0 wheels)
- Review: The new Cannondale SuperSix EVO Disc – First Ride
All bikes feature the same geometry and promise expert handling, with slightly higher end upping ride quality and componentry improving in performance and dropping weight as you move through the ranks.
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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.
Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor.
Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.
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