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Your complete buying guide to choosing a Cannondale road bike, from race bikes to endurance models

Cannondale is one of the most desirable and popular road bike brands and if you're in the market for a new bike, its bikes are worth considering, with models covering the full spectrum of riding from racing to touring. Here's a complete overview of the key models in the 2017 range. 

Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod

Cannondale’s flagship carbon fibre race bike has been critically acclaimed bike since it was first launched in 2011. The SuperSix Evo is now in its second generation. Visually it's very similar to the previous bike, but the changes included refined tube shapes, including an aerodynamic down tube,  a skinnier fork and narrower 25.4mm seatpost. These improvements benefit stiffness, weight and comfort of the latest Evo.

There are 11 models in the SuperSix Evo range.  Five of them are disc brake models and seven are the lighter Hi-Mod versions, which employ a high modulus carbon fibre in the layup. That save a bit of weight, offers slightly better ride refinement, but does mean a bigger price tag.

- Cannondale unveils all-new SuperSix Evo road bike

SuperSix Evo Disc Black Inc.jpg

SuperSix Evo Disc Black Inc.jpg

There are seven Hi-Mod models and four of them have disc brakes. The SuperSix Evo Disc Black Inc. is the range-topping model, and at £10,499.99 it’s one of the most expensive road bikes on the market. It gets that price due to a no-expense parts build including Enve wheels, seatpost, handlebar and stem and a full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset. 

SuperSix Evo Black Inc..png

SuperSix Evo Black Inc..png

You can also buy the SuperSix Evo Black Inc. without disc brakes for £8,999, with a broadly similar build. 

SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod RED Etap.jpg

SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod RED Etap.jpg

SRAM’s eTap is popular this year and for £6,399.99 Cannondale offers the SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod RED Etap. The build is completed with Cannondale’s own wheels, which are tubeless compatible. 

- Review: Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Dura-Ace

 SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Disc Ultegra .jpg

SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Disc Ultegra .jpg

The most affordable disc-equipped model is the SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Disc Ultegra (£3,999). 

Cannondale SuperSix Evo

The regular SuperSix Evo uses a carbon frame made without the high-modulus fibres, which keeps the cost a bit more modest but does mean a slight weight increase. The range covers a price frame from £1,799.99 up to £3,199.

SuperSix Evo Ultegra Di2.png

SuperSix Evo Ultegra Di2.png

The SuperSix Evo Ultegra Di2 costs £3,199 and gets Shimano’s second-tier electronic groupset with Mavic Aksium wheels and Cannondale finishing kit. 

SuperSix Evo Disc Ultegra.png

SuperSix Evo Disc Ultegra.png

If you want disc brakes the SuperSix Evo Disc Ultegra £2,799 (a bike we’ve reviewed) gets a thru-axle fork and quick release rear dropout, with Shimano Ultegra brakes and mechs and Cannondale’s own Si crankset.

SuperSix Evo 105.jpg

SuperSix Evo 105.jpg

Coming in well under two grand is the SuperSix Evo 105 (£1,799.99) with the same frame as the other bikes here but with Shimano’s excellent 105 groupset.

- Review: Cannondale SuperSix Evo 105

Cannondale CAAD12

Cannondale founded its reputation on aluminium, with Mario Cipollini winning four consecutive stages of the 1999 Tour de France aboard a CAD3 aluminium race bike.  It's one of the few brands that still invests time and money in developing an aluminium road bikes, and following the success of the CAAD10, a firm road.cc favourite, it launched the CAAD12 to much fanfare. While it’s better in every department, it has the same tried-and-tested geometry that echoes the SuperSix Evo.

- Review: Cannondale CAAD12 Disc Dura-Ace

There are five models in the 2017 range priced from £1,399 right up to £3,699, and three of them come with disc brakes. 

CAAD12 Disc Dura-Ace .jpg

CAAD12 Disc Dura-Ace .jpg

The range-topping CAAD12 Disc Dura-Ace (£3,699) shows that when you choose an aluminium frame you get a lot more equipment for the money. This bike is a case in point. A Shimano Dura-Ace mechanical groupset with hydraulic disc brakes, 35mm deep carbon clincher tubeless-ready wheels with Schwalbe One 25mm tyres provides a good looking package. 

CAAD12 ULTEGRA.jpg

CAAD12 ULTEGRA.jpg

The CAAD12 Ultegra (£1,999) is the most expensive rim braked model in the range. An Ultegra mechanical groupset with Cannondale Hollowgram SI crankset and Mavic Aksium Elite wheels provides a race or sportive ready build.

CAAD12 105.jpg

CAAD12 105.jpg

Propping up the range is the CAAD12 105 (£1,399) and as the name suggests includes a Shimano 105 groupset and reliable Mavic Aksium wheels with matching Yksion Elite 25mm folding tyres. 

CAAD Optimo

Cannondale has dropped the old CAAD8 and CAAD10, but has introduced the new CAAD Optimo. It’s a new bike that borrows some of the new technology in the latest CAAD12 but is aimed at offering a slice of the race-bred performance at a more affordable price. Both bikes are built around disc brakes. 

CAAD Optimo Disc Tiagra.jpg

CAAD Optimo Disc Tiagra.jpg

There are two models in this new range. The CAAD Optimo Disc Tiagra (£999.99) gets the ball rolling with a Shimano Tiagra groupset with an FSA crankset and Promax mechanical disc brakes. 

CAAD Optimo Disc 105.jpg

CAAD Optimo Disc 105.jpg

For another £200 the CAAD Optimo Disc 105 (£1,199.99) upgrades the Tiagra parts to 105 level, and Promax brakes to TRP and lighter Maddux wheels. 

Cannondale Synapse 

The Synapse is Cannondale’s endurance and sportive road bike, the one to choose if you have long rides planned and want a bit more comfort than the SuperSix Evo race bike offers. It’s available with a carbon or aluminium frame, sharing the same key SAVE features aimed at reducing road vibrations, and available with disc or rim brakes. 

- Review: Cannondale Synapse Carbon Ultegra Disc

The Synapse range includes 13 models and covers a price range from £699.99 with a Claris right up to the all-singing Hi-Mod Disc Black Inc. costing a cool £6,999.99. 

The Hi-Mod Disc Black Inc.jpg

The Hi-Mod Disc Black Inc.jpg

And that’s where we start. The Hi-Mod Disc Black Inc. (£6,999.99) features a top-end build of Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 with hydraulic disc brakes and Cannondale’s new Hollowgram HG SL carbon fibre tubeless-ready clincher wheels, and some very nice finishing kit. 

Synapse Carbon Disc 105.jpg

Synapse Carbon Disc 105.jpg

The Synapse Carbon Disc 105 (£2,199.99) is the most affordable carbon version with disc brakes. It’s not the high-modulus carbon frame (more expensive carbon fibres shed a bit of frame weight) but it gets all the same distinctive tube shapes regardless, including that hole in the bottom of the seat tube and 25.4mm seatpost. As the name indicates, it’s built with Shimano 105 parts, including the gears and hydraulic disc brakes. 

 Synapse Carbon 105 .jpg

Synapse Carbon 105 .jpg

If you’re into disc brakes, your options are a little limited as Cannondale has slowly decreased the rim brake offering during the current Synapse’s lifespan, and indication of the demand for disc brakes on this style of bike. The Synapse Carbon 105 (£1,799.99) is your most expensive rim brake offering, with a Shimano 105 groupset with Cannondale Si chainset and Mavic Aksium wheels and tyres. 

Synapse Claris.jpg

Synapse Claris.jpg

The Synapse Claris (£699.99) is your most affordable option, with an aluminium frame, carbon fork and a groupset comprising an FSA Vero chainset and Shimano Claris shifters and mechs. 

- 19 of the best 2017 sportive bikes

Cannondale Slate

The most interesting new bike launched in the last few years, the Slate is built around 650b wheels with 42mm tyres and a Lefty suspension fork providing 30mm of bump-absorbing travel. The Slate is the company’s response to the growing adventure bike market. It's designed to be fast on the road but tough enough to tackle dirt paths, gravel tracks and off-road trails.

- First ride review: Cannondale Slate

What Cannondale has produced is an aluminium frame that borrows some tricks from the new CAAD12, with Flat Mount disc tabs, BB30A bottom bracket and fully internal cable and hose routeing. It rolls on 650b rims (slightly smaller than road bike 700c rims) with large volume 42mm tyres, which bring the outside measurement up to that of a 22mm tyre on a 700c rim. The idea is that you benefit from the bigger tyre, with an increased contact patch for more grip, plus extra cushioning for tackling bumpy terrain.

- Is 650b the future for road bikes? road.cc investigates

Another reason for going with this wheel size is that it has allowed Cannondale to keep the chainstay length short, so it has retained the desired road bike feel and handling. Stick a big tyre on a 700c rim and you need to lengthen the chainstays to make space for the wider and taller tyres, and that impacts the handling.

Supporting the front is a Lefty Oliver suspension fork. Cannondale has been speccing its mountain bikes with a Lefty suspension fork for over 10 years, and it has adapted the technology to the road. The fork produces just 30mm of suspension, the idea being to allow you to tackle rougher terrain in more comfort than you can on a bike with a rigid fork.

SLATE 105.jpg

SLATE 105.jpg

You have a choice of four models, three with the Lefty suspension fork and a fourth with a rigid Lefty fork. The cheapest is the Slate 105 (£2,699.99), with a Shimano 105 11-speed groupset, Cannondale Si BB30A chainset, Cannondale Slate 42mm tyres and Cannondale C3 finishing kit.

SLATE ULTEGRA.jpg

SLATE ULTEGRA.jpg

Middle of the range is the Slate Ultegra (£ 2,999.99) with, yes you guessed it, a Shimano Ultegra drivetrain and Shimano’s R685 hydraulic disc brakes.

SLATE FORCE CX1.jpg

SLATE FORCE CX1.jpg

At the top is the Slate Force CX1 (£3,199.99), with SRAM’s CX1 single ring drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes. It’s using the wide-range 10-42t cassette combined with a 44t chainring. Finishing kit is upgraded to Cannondale C1 Ultralight parts.

Slate Apex .jpg

Slate Apex .jpg

To make Slate ownership a little more affordable, Cannondale has introduced the Slate Apex (£1,699.99) which drops the expensive Lefty Oliver suspension fork for a rigid fork. It’s still a unique one-legged design, something Cannondale has been doing for many years, and a SRAM Apex 1x11 groupset provides the gearing and hydraulic brakes. 

Cannondale Touring

Cannondale got back into touring bikes last year with the introduction of the Touring range. There are three models to choose from and each is based around a smartformed 6061 aluminium frame with SAVE tube profiles designed to impart the Touring with a little more comfort. Frames are disc-specific and ready for mudguards and racks with loads of eyelets. 

Touring 2 .jpg

Touring 2 .jpg

The Touring 2 (£1,099.99) we’ve actually tested on road.cc but it now comes with the addition of a rear rack, so you just need to add your own panniers and an adventure awaits you. A Shimano Sora drivetrain is combined with Promax mechanical disc brakes. 

- Review: Cannondale Touring 2 adventure bike

Touring 1 .jpg

Touring 1 .jpg

Another two hundred pounds gets you the Touring 1 (£1,299.99), with the same frame and fork and a lighter Shimano Tiagra groupset with SRAM BB7 mechanical disc brakes. 

- Why your next bike should be a touring bike

Touring Ultimate .jpg

Touring Ultimate .jpg

Topping out the range is the Touring Ultimate (£2,299.99). Again, it’s the same frame as used throughout this range but you get an 11-speed Shimano Ultegra groupset with RS785 hydraulic disc brakes and tough Schwalbe Marathon Plus SmartGuard tyres. 

So that, ladies and gentleman, is the Cannondale road bike range, from pro-tested race bikes to endurance bikes, adventure and touring bikes, something for all tastes and riding styles.

Which one would will you choose?

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

11 comments

Avatar
missionsystem [46 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

That eTap SuperSix looks almost the same as my 2016 CAAD12 Ultegra. I wonder if the boss would notice the difference  ...

Avatar
JimD666 [64 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes
missionsystem wrote:

That eTap SuperSix looks almost the same as my 2016 CAAD12 Ultegra. I wonder if the boss would notice the difference  ...

Probably notice the bike sized hole in the bank balance first...

Avatar
missionsystem [46 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

[/quote] Probably notice the bike sized hole in the bank balance first...[/quote]

Oh yeah - forgot that. No shoes for the kids or food on the table might raise suspicions. Might give it a go anyhow...

Avatar
JimD666 [64 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
missionsystem wrote:

Probably notice the bike sized hole in the bank balance first...[/quote]

Oh yeah - forgot that. No shoes for the kids or food on the table might raise suspicions. Might give it a go anyhow...

[/quote]

Food's over rated and there's always ebay for the kids.......

Avatar
sunnyape [32 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

2017 range? These are all bikes from 2016 and have been available for more than 12 months.

Avatar
David Arthur @d... [825 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

sunnyape wrote:

2017 range? These are all bikes from 2016 and have been available for more than 12 months.

 

Cannondale launched its 2017 range, as most bike manufacturers did, towards the end of 2016 but that doesn't mean all the bikes were actually available at launch. There are also similarities between the 2017 and 2016 models, which I guess explains your comment

Avatar
J90 [421 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
JimD666 wrote:
missionsystem wrote:

That eTap SuperSix looks almost the same as my 2016 CAAD12 Ultegra. I wonder if the boss would notice the difference  ...

Probably notice the bike sized hole in the bank balance first...

Well don't use the joint account.

Avatar
TempleOrion [5 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Must admit I only had a  quick skim of this but are there no IGH (alfine, pinion etc) bikes in the range any more?

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet [1566 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

£1100 for a Sora equipped tourer. Good grief.

Where's Caadx gone?

Avatar
alansmurphy [1186 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
JimD666 wrote:
missionsystem wrote:

Probably notice the bike sized hole in the bank balance first...

Oh yeah - forgot that. No shoes for the kids or food on the table might raise suspicions. Might give it a go anyhow...

[/quote] Food's over rated and there's always ebay for the kids.......[/quote]

 

Would you put them on buy it now or let the auction run?

Avatar
missionsystem [46 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
alansmurphy wrote:

Would you put them on buy it now or let the auction run?

I'm no expert but I think it's all about harvesting the organs... Buy It Now fits the business model best I reckon.