Cannondale has launched a brand new SuperSix Evo, with a complete redesign of the original model first launched in 2011. The Evo has been a very successful bike and won all sorts of races, from stage races to bunch sprints; it's really been a good all-rounder. The new Evo, though, is lighter, stiffer, more compliant and gets some aerodynamic upgrades, according to Cannondale's claims.
The SuperSix Evo has long been a firm road.cc favourite, and one that has aged extremely well. Replacing it was never going to be an easy task, but Cannondale reckons it has managed to improve it while still retaining the core appeal of the Evo.
The US company told us at the worldwide launch in Austria that it sought to create a more balanced bike, and has enhanced front-end compliance while giving it some aerodynamic features, all while not sacrificing the stiffness or weight - the Evo has long been one of the lightest bikes in its class, despite its age.
Cannondale says that other manufacturers have a narrow focus when designing a road bike, which might be stiffness, weight or aerodynamics. Cannondale has aimed to provide a “balance of power" with the new bike, that is stiffer for better power transfer in sprints, smoother for better handling in corners, and more aero for flat stages.
Weight has always been an Evo trump card. Cannondale has actually slightly increased the frame weight, up to 777g, but the overall system weight (frame, fork, headset, seatpost) has been reduced by 67g, which it reckons is lighter than the main rivals from brands such as Specialized and Trek - the SuperSix Evo is claimed to be 9g lighter than the Emonda system weight.
There’s an all-new Speed Save fork which has a one-piece design with an in-moulded carbon fibre crown that reduces the fork weight to 280g, from the 320g previously. The fork blades have a new profile aimed at improving front-end compliance, which Cannondale claims is increased by 21%.
Also saving weight is the 25.4mm seatpost, borrowed from the Synapse, which reduces weight over the previous 27.2mm post. The skinnier post also provides more deflection for a smoother ride, with a claimed 36% more seated comfort.
Aerodynamics is increasingly informing every aspect of road bike and equipment design, and the Evo is no exception, but Cannondale has clearly been restrained, resisting the temptation to make it a true aero road bike.
So it's more aero, but it's very subtle. All the main frame tubes have a new Truncated Aero Profile (TAP). The position of the seatpost water bottle has been lowered, a move that contributes to a 6 watt drag reduction at 40km compared with the old Evo. The frontal surface area has been reduced with a narrower hour glass head tube.
Cannondale uses a similar BallisTec carbon fibre construction as in the previous SuperSix Evo, and uses a base structure of high strength fibres and high impact resins on the new Evo to provide the desired balance of weight, stiffness and compliance.
Along with the new full carbon fibre fork to reduce the frameset weight, Cannondale has developed a new one-piece rear stay assembly, with asymmetrically oversized chainstays and a new wider seat tube, made possible because of the use of a wider BB30a 73mm bottom bracket shell, as used on the Synapse.
Cannondale has also revised the layup of the carbon fibre around the bottom bracket, and created a leaf spring effect that provides more vertical deflection. Cannondale claims the bottom bracket is now 11% stiffer. The new head tube provides a 12% stiffness increase as well. Cannondale reckons this is optimum stiffness, any more and it’s too stiff and chattery and will compromise handling.
To avoid an increase in the Q-factor (distance between the pedals), Cannondale has developed its own Si chainset to have a narrower design to maintain the same Q-factor as the original bike.
Cannondale continues to use a size-specific construction with the new frame, as it did with the previous model (it just didn’t shout about it loudly enough) that sees tube shapes and wall thicknesses modified according to the frame size.
Oh and one change that will please a lot of people is the improved tyre clearance: the new Evo accepts 28mm tyres.
The new SuperSix Evo will be available in five builds. Sitting at the top of the range is the Black Inc model with a Dura-Ace mechanical and Enve 45 rims on Chris King hubs build. It’ll be light, very light, Cannondale claiming 5.8kg (12.79lb). No UK price yet, but in dollars it’s a mighty $12,790.
The SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Team comes with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon wheels and will weigh a claimed 6.3kg (12.89lb) and costs $10,660.
The SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Dura-Ace 1 is equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 mechanical and Mavic Ksyrium Pro wheels and Hollowgram SiSL2 chainset. It weighs a claimed 6.58kg (14.51lb) and costs $7,990.
The SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Dura-Ace 2 gets the same Dura-Ace 9000 mechanical but downgrades the wheels to Mavic Ksyrium Elites with Cannondale’s Hollowgram Si chainset. It weighs in at 6.58kg (14.51lb) and costs $5,330.
Finally, the SuperSix Evo Ultegra gets a Shimano Ultegra 6800 groupset with Mavic Ksyrium wheels and weighs 6.9kg (15.21lb) with a $4,260 price tag.
All models are expected to be available in September. We’ll update with UK prices once we get them.
We'll have more details, prices and first ride impressions on the new SuperSix Evo tomorrow, so be sure to tune back in then for more on Cannondale's latest bike.
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.