Cannondale SuperSix EVO
Introducing Cannondale's latest Road Bike
Any new Cannondale SuperSix has pretty big boots to fill. The SuperSix moniker has been a key part of Cannondale’s performance oriented elite road bike range for many years, but with road bike technology changing rapidly the new SuperSix EVO has a number of key improvements over the outgoing model. It now gets pretty close to the aerodynamic figures of the SystemSix, and isn’t far off the comfort and compliance of the Synapse. Drawing design cues and technology from both, the new SuperSix EVO could well be the Goldilocks in Cannondale’s road bike range.
The geometry of the SuperSix EVO also puts it squarely between the aggressive SystemSix and the more relaxed Synapse, with reach and stack measurements splitting the two. This makes it very versatile in terms of performance, fit and rider style, all whilst not losing its core lightweight DNA. As such, Cannondale is calling the new SuperSix “the fastest light bike”.
Visually the 2020 SuperSix is very different from the 2019 bike, with aero tubes, frame shape and integration being the main changes. Whilst not as radical as the SystemSix, the SuperSix still uses tubes which have clearly been shaped in the wind tunnel and are heavily influenced by aerodynamics, with plenty of smooth curves and Kamm tails.
However, the key point here is that these developments have not been made at the expense of weight, with the frame still being impressively light thanks to the use of a blend of T800, T700 and MR70 carbon fibres in the layup. The Hi-Mod Disc frame weighs 866 grams in a size 56cm, just 37 grams more than the outgoing model for some massive aero gains. Furthermore, that tiny weight gain has been entirely offset by the weight saving achieved with the new seatpost and binder.
The seatstays now meet the seat tube well below the top, giving the rear end better stiffness and also greater compliance, as the seat tube itself now has more latitude for flexing to take the sting out of the road. There are aerodynamic gains to be made by dropping the stays lower down out of the wind too.
Key to the evolution of the SuperSix is Cannondale’s reliance on System Integration. By developing specific components alongside their frames they have been able to make big gains in terms of the aerodynamics whilst still ensuring that function, ride quality and low weight are maintained.
All the Hi-Mod SuperSix EVO models use the HollowGram KNØT stem and SAVE handlebar, which combine the advantages of a one-piece bar/stem combination with the adjustability of a more traditional two-part setup. Both the stem and bar can be changed independently to ensure a perfect fit, and it allows for totally internal cabling on electronic shifting models for a super clean aesthetic, whilst also benefitting the drag numbers too. This cockpit integration alone delivers a nine watt saving at 48kph versus a regular round bar option.
The top models in the range use the tubeless ready HollowGram KNØT 45 carbon wheelset which was developed specifically for the SuperSix. The 21mm internal width means that the rim actually sits wider than most tyres, which Cannondale claim helps any disrupted air to reattach itself and cause less drag. The frame has been engineered to leave plenty of space for 30mm wide tyres (rim brake models may be limited by caliper size), which coupled with the dropped seatstays, would make the SuperSix an extremely comfortable long-distance machine, perfect for the rather indifferent quality of most UK roads.
According to Cannondale, all these holistic developments have made a huge and measurable difference, with the SuperSix EVO now 30 watts faster than the previous model at 48kph. For most normal riders that is probably an improvement of more than 10%, and who wouldn’t love to be using 10% less energy when out riding? The fact that Cannondale has achieved this without adding weight and on a range that is now predominantly disc braked is even more impressive. With 12 SuperSix EVO models in the range spanning Shimano and SRAM, mechanical and electronic, rim and disc, the new range is most definitely worthy to continue the SuperSix dynasty.