Cannondale SuperSix Evo Tiagra

Sitting at the tail end of the Cannondale SuperSix Evo range is the Tiagra-equipped carbon bike, but that doesn't mean you get any less performance out of the frame

Score

9/10

Pros

  • Frameset
  • Ride quality
  • Speed

Cons

  • Weight
  • Brakes

Price as reviewed:

£1499.99

The Cannondale SuperSix Evo Tiagra is the cheapest SuperSix Evo you can buy at £1,499.99. However, it’s only the spec that dictates the price point – you still get an amazing frameset that’ll improve any day spent on the bike.

Buy now: Cannondale SuperSix Evo Tiagra from Tredz for £1499.99

The SuperSix started life in 2004, then called Six13 using a carbon and alloy mix, before becoming fully carbon in 2007. Today, you have the ‘standard’ SuperSix Evo that has no less than 12 models, which include both rim and disc, as well as a few women’s-specific options, ranging from the Shimano Tiagra version I’m testing here at £1,499.99 to £4,799.99 that has carbon wheels and SRAM Red eTap.

Cannondale SuperSix Evo Tiagra

Integrated cables give a nice modern look

Getting the bike out of its box I was a little worried that I wasn’t going to enjoy riding the Cannondale SuperSix Evo Tiagra, especially after being spoilt with the Hi-Mod version when I was racing a few years back. The Hi-Mod version is Cannondale’s all-singing and all-dancing top-end carbon version, which is of course, lighter and stiffer but has exactly the same geometry as the Evo.

Weight wise we are looking at 8.8kg for a size 52cm, which is weighty considering the size.

I was pleasantly surprised though once I got going with the Cannondale SuperSix Evo Tiagra – straight away I was made aware of the capability of the frame.

It’s made from what Cannondale calls BallisTec carbon and its its own proprietary high-strength carbon construction that promises to be lightweight, stiff where it needs to be and with a geometry that, from previous experience, handles very well and is one of the best-handling bikes you can buy – all in a relatively aggressive package.

Cannondale SuperSix Evo Tiagra

A traditional look to the frame helps this bike stand out

That is one of the best things that the Cannondale SuperSix Evo Tiagra offers – handling quality, I’ve always said if you want to know what a good-handling bike feels like, take a SuperSix for a spin. Thankfully you still get that amazing handling feeling on this Tiagra version.

This is down to a mixture of the geometry and carbon layup, where Cannondale has added enough stiffness for performance and eased off in certain areas to allow for a little compliance laterally – especially helpful in the corners. What I noticed is the lack of chatter when pushing the bike to its limit, with it feeling totally assured in its light and nimble package.

Arguably what the Cannondale SuperSix Evo Tiagra lacks is out-and-out stiffness, which the Specialized Tarmac or Trek Emonda – and also the more expensive SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod have bags of, where performance demands are higher for the racers. But that little bit of compliance for the regular model is welcome in my eyes.

Spec

What is on offer is fairly basic and robust components which don’t match the performance of the frame. Of course we know the reason for this is to get the bike in at that crucial £1,500 price point, but it isn’t all bad and the frame does do a great job of soaking up the worst of the buzz from the hard-hitting Vittoria Zaffiro tyres and boxy RS 2.0 rims on Formula RB hubs.

The problem is that for lower-priced bikes from other brands you often get Shimano 105 or even Shimano Ultegra! So seeing Tiagra here is a little disappointing. However, gear changing and lever action is more than fine.

The issue I did have is with the brakes and how poor they felt while out riding. It’s something I haven’t felt on a road bike in a while in a sea of direct-mount brakes and hydraulic disc brakes on the market.

Cannondale SuperSix Evo Tiagra

FSA crankset does the job, but is basic looking

They lack power, mainly, and are a little inconstant. I swapped them out straight away.

As this is the older Shimano Tiagra you’ll only get 10 speeds at the back, something to be mindful of when upgrading.

The RS 2.0/Formula Hubs with Vittoria Zaffiro 25mm tyres are not offensive and do the job. A huge amount of performance can be gained by changing these to another pair of wheels. Mavic Ksyrium Elites spring to mind here.

The finishing kit from Cannondale works well and the saddle is comfortable too.

Value

Buy now: Cannondale SuperSix Evo Tiagra from Tredz for £1499.99

The frameset is such a stunner that I’d happily spend a little extra to get Shimano 105 instead of Tiagra. Those brakes are so disappointing that I would be a little careful in the wet with them, but here you are paying mostly for the frameset and components can be upgraded with time. Cannondale more often than not has offers on and most recently had a great carbon wheel deal upgrade so you could grab yourself a right bargain.

Verdict

I was pleasantly surprised with the Cannondale SuperSix Evo Tiagra. Setting up and seeing its weight I wasn't sure the ride would be any good, but with such a brilliant frameset – the same frame you get right up to Dura-Ace level but at a fraction of the cost – you'll get the benefit, along with the chance to upgrade when you are ready.

Details

Frame: SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon, Di2 Compatible, SAVE, PressFit BB30
Fork: SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon, SAVE, integrated crown race, 1-1/8" to 1-1/4" steerer
Weight: 8.8kg
Groupset: Shimano Tiagra
wheels: RS 2.0 / Formula Hubs
Tyres: Vittoria Zaffiro, 700 x 25c
Sizes: 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60cm
Contact: www.cyclingsportsgroup.co.uk