Cannondale SuperX (video)

The Cannondale SuperX has proven its mettle on the race circuit countless times – we take a closer look at what makes the bike so special

Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike

Promotional feature with Cannondale

Cannondale is calling the SuperX “the new boss of cross”. This is the bike that dominated the US pro circuit last year ridden by the Cannondale team’s Stephen Hyde, who also won the US National Championships.

Cannondale cherry-picked design features from its mountain and road bikes and boiled it all down into the SuperX. The bike has short chainstays and a steep seat tube for traction and nimbleness, and incorporates the bump-softening SAVE micro suspension flex of the Synapse endurance road bike range.

The narrow 25.4mm seatpost flexes dramatically under load and the seat-clamp is built into the underside of the top tube for a very clean look and to allows more post flex.

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This Cannondale’s features their unique Ai offset drivetrain, used on its mountain bikes, which moves the rear hub and chainring 6mm to the drive side to accommodate wider tyres and to avoid mud build-up fouling the frame and transmission.

As another result of the Ai offset, the rear wheel is symmetrically dished, making it stiffer. The SuperX Di2 comes with Cannondale’s own wide-section 35mm deep HollowGram carbon clinchers. If you have other wheels that you want to use, any decent mechanic can dish the wheel over 6mm to fit in the back of the SuperX.

At the front end, the SuperX deploys a slack head tube angle of 71 degrees across all but the smallest sizes and has a longer rake for agile handling in trickier sections. The lower headset bearing is a 1.5in for extra lateral stiffness, while the skinny fork legs soak up the bumps.

The SuperX is made of Cannondale’s BallisTec carbon-fibre, which gives it a high level of strength and stiffness for such a lightweight frameset.

With its removable front mech hanger, the SuperX always looked like a bike designed for single-ring groupsets and this year Cannondale is only selling single-ring models.

This top-spec version gets a Cannondale HollowGram 40-tooth chainset, coupled to a Shimano XT Di2 clutched rear mech operated by Shimano hydraulic road Di2 shifters. Its motor is twice as powerful as that of a road derailleur for consistent shifting in the filthiest conditions plus the clutch function eliminates chain slap.

Price            £4,299.99

Frame            SuperX BallisTec carbon

Fork            SuperX BallisTec carbon

Size range            46 – 61cm

Weight            8.1kg/17.7lb

Groupset            Shimano XT Di2 rear mech, Cannondale HollowGram Si chainset, Shimano R785 shifters

Gear ratios            40, 11-32

Wheels            Cannondale HollowGram carbon

Tyres            Schwalbe X-One 33mm

Brakes            Shimano R805 hydraulic

Bar            Cannondale C1 Ultralight alloy

Stem            Cannondale C1 alloy

Seatpost            Cannondale SAVE Carbon 25.4mm

Saddle            Fabric Scoop Shallow Race


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