Cannondale have unveiled the latest iteration of the SuperSix EVO, and true to its name it's very much an evolution of their ever-popular lightweight road model.
The SuperSix has a lot to live up to, the original model rapidly became a favourite, managing to capture that elusive blend of performance and "feel", with a hard to describe but easy to recognise combination of crisp handling and smooth ride.
We're really excited by this new model. Traditionally ultra-light bikes were one trick ponies, great for climbing but less effective on the flat. Cannondale have been a major force in changing this with the original SuperSix, which has proven well-rounded and capable enough to be a superb choice not just for pure climbers but for high-performance riding on any roads.
The new bike features more aerodynamic tube shapes, usually a recipe for higher weight, yet it manages to come in ever so slightly lighter than the previous generation. This is a win/win - greater aero efficiency with no weight penalty is brilliant news for a lightweight bike. Still just as good at climbing and now faster on the flatter roads.
Cannondale say they've also been able to build in more vertical compliance for a smoother ride, whilst keeping the frame as a whole just as stiff and efficient for power delivery.
As always Cannondale are the masters of making a frame comfortable for long days in the saddle without any flashy suspension gimmicks. Instead they refer to their SAVE system as "micro suspension" and it's all about building shock absorbency into the frame itself via carefully considered carbon layup and tube shapes.
2020 brings a newly engineered SAVE seatpost in their classic skinny diameter, which together with the dropped seat stays provides a degree of natural flex that we've found to be remarkably efficient at reducing road buzz and absorbing bumps.
Tyre clearance is also increased - no surprise there! - with the disc brake models now accepting up to 30mm wide tyres (28mm on the rim brake models).
The only area where we're a little disappointed is the integrated power meter. From the Ultegra-level builds up all the range come with a pre-installed power2max NG Eco power meter in the crankset. But this requires activation (for a fee) if you want to take advantage of it.
Cannondale claim that this enables them to keep costs down, whilst giving an easy upgrade path for those who want/need power measurement. That's certainly fair, but with the likes of Specialized providing built-in "no strings attached" power measurement as standard on S-Works bikes it would be nice to see Cannondale providing "ready to run" power meters on their flagship builds at least.
That one minor niggle aside (and it's not going to matter to everyone) this looks to be a fantastic update to the SuperSix EVO range, keeping the best of its signature characteristics whilst improving pretty much every aspect of the bike.
The cockpit has been tidied up, with the same "through the headtube" cable routing as the SystemSix. This allows hydraulic disc brake lines and electronic shifting cables to be completely hidden.
The bar and stem have also been designed to work as an integrated pair, all in the name of reducing drag.
There's also revised geometry, in keeping with the current trend towards less extreme performance riding positions, as seen with the likes of Trek's "H1.5" gometry. This is something we're glad to see, as it has proven to allow a more efficient position for the majority of our customers.
Cannondale say that the revised geometry "provides a better fit for more riders, with a slightly taller stack and shorter reach".
Bespoke's Head Bike Fit Technician, Dan, agrees:
As a bike fitter I'm pleased to see that the geometry of the new Supersix is slightly more relaxed than the outgoing model.
This new geometry will fit a broader range of riders, opening up the SuperSix as an option for cyclists who want true race bike performance but without the super aggressive geometry.
And for riders who want a more aggressive position, through good bike fit we are often able to achieve a more efficient, sustainable race position via a taller/shorter cockpit. So, good news all-round for fitters and riders alike!
The SuperSix EVO is available in a wide range of builds, with the top of the range models using Cannondale's Hi-MOD carbon fibre to provide an added degree of ride comfort and lightness.
They've also included some "women's" models, but for us this is a bit of a red herring. The frame geometry is the same, the only differences are in the contact points (saddle shape, bar width). As bike fit specialists we tailor every bike we sell to suit the individual rider. Even on an "off the peg" bike we'll swap any contact points like-for-like at no extra charge to ensure the perfect fit. So really any of the range are suitable for any gender, no artificial limitations required.
The SuperSix EVO 2020 range is available to pre-order now. We already have full geometry details in our database, so if you're tempted by one of the new models get in touch and we can arrange a bike fit to establish sizing (or if you have had a bike fit with us recently we can use your existing data).
Look out for Barry's ride review, coming soon to the blog, and of course we'll be doing a photo gallery as soon as we have a bike in-store. Meanwhile, if you have any questions, just give us a shout.
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