Cannondale SuperSix EVO
CANNONDALE SUPERSIX EVO HI-MOD DISC
The SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Disc marks Cannondale’s first foray into producing a disc-equipped top-tier racing bike, and with this ride, it has delivered in spades. The company’s aluminum CAAD series has featured disc brakes for more than a year, and now Cannondale has targeted the high-end market, offering disc models on both the EVO Hi-MOD and EVO carbon frames. Pedal magazine tested out an Ultegra-6800mechanical-equipped SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Disc, which is the same platform that the WorldTour team Cannondale-Drapac has been training on this season.
Construction with high-modulus carbon fibre results in a very light, stiff frameset, and Cannondale suggests that the addition of flat-mount brakes adds less than 150g, providing enhanced braking at a minimal weight penalty.
Unlike other major players, Cannondale does not produce specific aero and non-aero road lines. Instead, the SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Disc takes on the roll of an all-around road-racing bike. The addition of disc brakes further increases the new line’s versatility, allowing for better braking and larger tire clearance. Cannondale has optimized the SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Disc in the wind tunnel, using what it calls TAP (Truncated Aero Profile) tube shapes in the downtube, seat-tube, seatstays and fork to reduce drag, but without compromising weight, stiffness and compliance often associated with aero-profile tubes.
The ride looks sleek, and rolls and accelerates quickly when you push on the pedals. The stock Mavic Aksium Disc wheelset would be my first upgrade as it will add some rolling weight to this otherwise very light bike. The wheels connect to the frame and fork using a 100x12mm thru-axle up front and a 135x9mm QR in the back. The added stiffness of the thru-axle in the front reduces rotor rub and brake pull when braking hard at speed.
Our test bike was outfitted with Shimano 11-speed mechanical Ultegra 6800 derailleurs, chain and cassette, Shimano RS685 hydraulic shifters and Shimano BR806 hydraulic flat-mount brakes. The RS685 shifters seem a bit bulky, but the hydraulic braking provides great modulation and confidence. Cannondale has paired the Shimano drivetrain with its own HollowGram Si BB30a crankset, which uses a one-piece SpideRing. The 52/36T ring combo is machined out of a single piece of material, increasing stiffness. Shifting is incredibly smooth and precise between the big and little ring, even under power, and the integration between crankset and the SuperSix BB30a frame results in a ride that feels like it is surging forward with each pedal stroke.
Other components on the bike include Cannondale’s C1 Ultralight Alloy handlebar and stem, the latter being compatible with the brand’s own integrated outfront Garmin mount, further demonstrating Cannondale’s commitment to creating an integrated platform. The 25.4mm Cannondale SAVE carbon seatpost keeps things light and provides some added comfort.
The SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Disc Ultegra is a race bike through and through.
It is nimble and flies across the tarmac with ease. The aero profiling of the tubing makes for a fast ride, but the bike still handles great in crosswinds, and the ride quality inspires confidence when diving into bends. The use of disc brakes aids in this, and while it is questionable as to whether top-flight bicycles really need them, in this case, they complement an already high-performance machine.
While the bike is certainly designed for road riding, the disc brakes and ample tire clearance mean that the SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Disc can keep up when the road turns to gravel. While the handling is a little sharp for extensive gravel grinding, the main takeaway from this bike is its race-savvy pedigree and fantastic versatility on a wide array of terrain.
Cannondale has targeted the high-end market, offering disc models on both the EVO Hi-MOD and EVO carbon frames.