Light, strong, powerful and quick to handle: the race frame in the Cannondale stable available dressed in everything from Shimano 105 to Dura Ace
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 flagship race model from Cannondale is now available in a wide range of different iterations.
There’s the most expensive Black Inc options, then the Hi-Mod choices before the standard SuperSix Evo and women’s models – with disc brakes available on a smattering of the choices; we’ll explain what sets all the options apart below.
Cannondale SuperSix history
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.
Now, Cannondale has developed an integrated system, which again boosts the claimed frame weight but reduces the overall build weight.
Cannondale SuperSix Evo technology
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 the previous 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.
The only exception to Cannondale’s exclusive fitting of the Si chainset is on the bikes with a SRAM Red eTap build.
Wheels are less uniform, with Cannondale using its own HollowGram options on some models, but speccing Mavic and Enve hoops where they better fit the overall package and price.
Cannondale SuperSix Evo Reviews
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 105 equipped model coming in at £1,799 as the top end model at £8,199.
Here are the models in price order, from the most expensive to the least.
SuperSix Evo Black Inc
Stylishly stealthy, the aero wheeled Black Inc bikes come with ENVE Carbon Smart clincher wheels, sporting Chris King Hubs and Dt Swiss spokes as well as boasting the Cannondale HollowGram SiSL2 crankset. They also have a special lightweight paint job, hence the “Black Inc” moniker.
- SUPERSIX EVO DISC BLACK INC.: £10,499.99 (Shimano Durs Ace Di2, Cannondale HollowGram SiSL crankset, ENVE Carbon Smart SES 5.6 Clincher Disc wheels)
- SUPERSIX EVO BLACK INC.: £8,999.99 (Shimano Durs Ace Di2, Cannondale HollowGram SiSL crankset, ENVE Carbon Smart SES 5.6 Clincher wheels)
SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod road bikes
The top end versions in the range use the new 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.
- SUPERSIX EVO HI-MOD DISC TEAM SHIMANO DI2: £8,199.99 (Shimano Dura Ace Di2, Cannondale HollowGram SiSL2 crankset, Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon SL Disc wheels)
- SUPERSIX EVO HI-MOD SHIMANO DURA ACE 1: £6,499.99 (Shimano Dura Ace, Cannondale HollowGram SiSL2, Mavic Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL wheels)
- SUPERSIX EVO HI-MOD SRAM RED ETAP: £6,399.99 (SRAM Red e-Tap, Cannondale HollowGram Carbon wheels)
- SUPERSIX EVO HI-MOD DISC SHIMANO ULTEGRA DI2: £4,699.99 (Shimano Ultegra Di2, Cannondale HollowGram Si 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
- SUPERSIX EVO ULTEGRA DI2: £3,199.99 (Shimano Ultegra Di2, Cannondale Si crank, Mavic Aksium wheels)
- SUPERSIX EVO DISC ULTEGRA: £2,799.99 ((Shimano Ultegra, Cannondale Si crank, Mavic Aksium wheels)
- SUPERSIX EVO ULTEGRA: £2,099.99 (Shimano Ultegra, Cannondale Si crank, Mavic Aksium wheels)
- SUPERSIX EVO ULTEGRA: £1,799.99 (Shimano 105, Cannondale Si crank, Mavic Aksium wheels)
- Review: The new Cannondale SuperSix EVO Disc – First Ride
SuperSix Evo Women’s bikes
The bikes in the women’s line up come specced with compact handlebars and women’s saddles, with a smaller range of sizes at 44cm – 54 as opposed to the men’s models from 44cm – 63cm.
- SUPERSIX EVO CARBON WOMEN’S ULTEGRA: £2,099.99 (Shimano Ultegra, Cannondale Si crank, Mavic Aksium wheels)
- SUPERSIX EVO CARBON WOMEN’S 105: £1,799.99 (Shimano 105, Cannondale Si crank, Mavic Aksium wheels)