The SuperSix Evo has been around for a few years now, in which time is has become a bit of a classic and has won plenty of professional races along the way. For 2014 Cannondale has made owning its race-ready bike even more affordable, offering a Shimano 105/Tiagra build for £1,699.
Cannondale has dropped the old SuperSix, first launched way back in 2006, and extended its successor, the SuperSix Evo, to the price points once occupied by the old SuperSix. Launched in 2011, the SuperSix Evo represented the US company’s lightest road bike at launch with a host of changes aimed at making it lighter, stiffer and more aero.
Compared to the SuperSix Evo regularly raced by Peter Sagan and Strava Hero Ted King, the Evo here comes out of the same mould and even uses the same Ballistec carbon fibre, but forgoes the expensive hi-mod fibres of the more expensive Evo and instead uses intermediate-modulus stuff. This results in slightly heavier frame, but Cannondale still claim a sub-950g frame weight. The lightest Evo incarnation is about 695g. There is one subtle difference - the cable routing is external. The more expensive Evo has the rear brake routed through the top tube. Aside from that changes the frame carries the same identifying features.
It’s not an aero frame in the purest sense of the word, but Cannondale still worked on increasing the aero efficiency of the frame when it developed this frame. The frontal surface area is kept to a minimum with a 1 1/4in lower bearing in the tapered head tube, thinner fork blades and a slim down tube. The main tubes are also very straight, you don’t find many superfluous curves or shaping on this frame. The top tube is pleasingly horizontal, with just a smidgen of slope.
The frame is constructed in three sections. The head tube, top tube and down tube made as one piece, which are then bonded to the seat tube and bottom bracket - made as one part - and seatstays and chainstays - also made as one section. The top tube is a wide fat shape, slimming in the middle and creates an unusual junction with the skinny seat post, which accommodates a 27.2mm seatpost. The down tube is round throughout its entire length. The seat stays are really slim, Cannondale claim they’re able to soften impacts from the road.
The geometry is the same as the pricier Evo frames. This 56cm has 73.5 degree seat and tube angles, a 15.5cm head tube, 99cm wheelbase and 55.8cm stack and 39.5cm reach.
Cannondale offer two 105 builds, this is the cheaper of the two and it makes a few concessions to get under £1,700. The Shimano 105 groupset is partnered with Tiagra brake calipers and a FSA Gossamer compact 50/34 chainset. Shimano’s R501 wheels are wrapped with Schwalbe Lugano 23mm tyres.
Finishing kit, by which we mean handlebar, stem, saddle and seatpost, is all Cannondale C3 branded. It’s the company’s own branded kit, and it’s all perfectly good looking kit. The weight? That is 8.5kg (18.95 lb) on the road.cc Scales of Truth.
This is clearly a competitive price point, with a lot of choices. Really, you are spoilt for choice. Cannondale has trickled down a pro-level race-ready frame at a great entry-level price, it’s an ideal choice for racing or, even, sportives.
Comparisons then. Sticking with carbon, you could get a Specialized Tarmac SL4, a similar trickle down race-ready bike, for £1,600 with a similar build kit, or the Trek Domane 4.0 for a little less at £1,500 with a mainly Tiagra build. Or a Giant TCR Advanced with a complete Shimano 105 groupset for a little more cash at £1,899.
Watch out for the full review soon. More at www.cannondale.com
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.