Cannondale’s SuperSix EVO should be familiar to many. Now in its third generation, since its 2008 launch, this has been one of the finest-handling race-orientated road bikes around.
Oh, and it also won our 2020 Road Bike of the Year title, so the 2021 model has a lot to live up to.
And Cannondale certainly talks up the qualities of its 2021 SuperSix EVO, describing it as a “light, smooth and ultra fast” bike built for “speed, agility and handling”, which covers most bases. Fortunately for Cannondale – and consumers like us – my testing largely confirmed Cannondale’s claims.
This SuperSix EVO has all the features you’d expect of a road bike at this price, from the mechanical Shimano Ultegra groupset – save for Cannondale’s own One chainset with FSA chainrings – and a raft of own-brand components, in this case complete with Cannondale’s HollowGram and quirky KNOT monikers.
Cannondale SuperSix EVO frame
Cannondale claims its all-new SuperSix EVO is not only the lightest disc-braked road frameset it has ever made but the new frame also features Cannondale’s own SAVE – Synapse Active Micro-Suspension – technology, which is designed to maximise compliance without sacrificing stiffness.
The 2021 frame inevitably features a lot of the design cues we’ve come to expect from today’s high-end race bikes. Cannondale says the frame’s truncated aerofoil frame tubes weigh the same as round tubes but with equal or greater stiffness, and they are also claimed to reduce aerodynamic drag by up to 30 per cent.
Cannondale goes on to say that this saves you 30w at 30mph (48.3kph) over the previous SuperSix EVO’s frame.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
The SuperSix EVO’s seatstays are radically dropped and Cannondale, as with the likes of Giant, has eschewed a round seatpost for its own dedicated narrow flat-backed HollowGram KNOT carbon post, which is designed to reduce vibrations and improve aerodynamics.
Both the frame and fork have Speed Release thru-axles, which seem to be something of a ‘thing’ this year. These were developed by Mavic and allow for quicker and cleaner wheel changes than a standard thru-axle because you don’t need to completely remove the grease-covered axle to change the wheel.
Cannondale SuperSix EVO geometry
The SuperSix EVO’s geometry marks out this Cannondale as a fast race bike, and its numbers have a lot in common with those of Giant’s equally popular TCR.
The frame angles on my 58cm frame are as near to the classic parallel 73 degrees as makes no difference – a steep 73-degree head angle and virtually as steep 72.9-degree seat angle.
These are paired with tight 408mm chainstays and a 1,005mm wheelbase. The trail figure is 58mm. Trail is the distance between the tyre’s contact patch on the road and the steering axis – a shorter trail means faster handling – and 58mm is short.
Cannondale SuperSix EVO kit
Cannondale has put a lot of thought into kitting out this SuperSix EVO. It’s a mechanical Ultegra setup with a deviation for Cannondale’s own One chainset with FSA 52/36 chainrings and a wide-ranging 11-32 cassette, which should see you up the toughest of climbs. The shifting is smooth, the braking controlled and powerful.
It’s predominantly Cannondale’s own components elsewhere, from the aerodynamic HollowGram carbon SystemBar and HollowGram KNOT stem to the carbon HollowGram wheels.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
The cockpit looks superb and helps to make the most of the SuperSix EVO’s internal cable routing.
The stem has a cradle design with no forward-facing clamp, which is an aerodynamic win, and the integrated out-front GPS mount contributes to the Cannondale’s smooth, clean lines.
The Cannondale HollowGram carbon 35 wheels are impressive and weigh less than 1,500g. They’re built around a 35mm deep carbon rim with a 25mm external width and a generous 19mm inner width that perfectly complements the SuperSix’s Vittoria’s Rubino Pro G+ 2.0 25mm tyres, which swell out to 27mm when inflated on the HollowGram rims.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
The tyres are good, and are certainly a big improvement over Vittoria’s original lower-end Rubino rubber, but they are still outshone by Vittoria’s racy Corsa tyres, which this Cannondale really deserves.
The Rubino is a tough tyre and here they feel just about quick enough but they’re flattered on the Cannondale by being wrapped around a light and aerodynamic wheelset.
I’d very much recommend upgrading to lighter, faster tyres down the line, which would elevate the SuperSix EVO’s performance even further.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
The SuperSix EVO’s front wheel has the addition of Cannondale’s own Wheel Sensor, which was developed in conjunction with Garmin.
The small sensor, which attaches to spokes near the hub, measures speed, time and distance, has on-board storage for up to 900 hours of information and runs off a CR2032 cell with a claimed battery life of a year. It works with Cannondale’s own app or any head unit compatible with BLE or ANT+.
To connect your bike to Cannondale’s app you simply spin the front wheel. This lets you register your bike for its warranty and also allows you to display just about every riding metric you can think of as well as a few others that are a bit more surprising.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
In addition to the likes of the usual ride distance, speed and calories you’ve consumed, you can dip into the amount of fuel you’ve saved by riding instead of driving, how much CO2 you’ve saved and receive ‘health’ reminders for your bike, so you’ve no more excuses for forgetting to lube and service it.
The app also links to technical manuals and maintenance procedures relevant to your bike, such as how to bleed the hydraulic brake hoses.
You can also register more than one bike, log your cycling achievements and goals, and the app also has an X-ray function – in reality an augmented reality screen that shows what’s going on underneath the skin of your bike, things such as the internal cable routing.
You can use the app as a standalone ride log – it can log and save 30 days of riding – or in conjunction with Strava.
Cannondale SuperSix Evo ride impressions
The SuperSix EVO’s racy geometry and its technological and component highlights – of which there are many – are only part of the story. What really makes this bike so compelling is the sheer quality of every aspect of its ride.
The handling is simply sublime. The SuperSix EVO responds quickly to your steering inputs and your shifting bodyweight without a moment of hesitation or a murmur of complaint.
I found myself attacking every descent and railing every corner with the enthusiasm of Evel Knievel (Google him if you’re under 40), safe in the knowledge that if I had to make a last-minute correction for a pothole, branch or suicidal rabbit, the Cannondale would have my back and respond instantly.
It is also an unfailingly enthusiastic and willing climber, an impressive sprinter and it flows over coarse surfaces with confidence.
The 2021 cockpit is an improvement over that of the 2020 model, and that upgrade to the aerodynamic KNOT stem and matching aero KNOT SystemBar also goes some way to justify the price increase over last year’s model.
The SuperSix EVO’s D-shaped KNOT carbon seatpost and ProLogo Nago S saddle are a good match for the front end when it comes to comfort, too.
The overall picture for the third-generation SuperSix EVO is that Cannondale has not only made improvements over the 2020 model, which is an achievement in itself, but the new model also combines superb frame stiffness, consistent rock-solid handling and compliance exactly where it’s needed.
This is the most comfortable SuperSix EVO to date and I firmly believe it sets the standard for ride quality in a race-ready bike, edging out even Giant’s TCR when it comes to comfort.
Cannondale SuperSix Evo bottom line
In its 2021 Cannondale SuperSix EVO, Cannondale has taken everything that made its predecessors such successful machines and elevated it still further.
The SuperSix EVO’s handling, ride quality and responses are as good as I’ve found on any bike in the decades I’ve been testing road bikes.
Yes, I’d recommend upgrading the tyres later on to really let the ride shine, and the SuperSix EVO’s value for money may have suffered in these economically challenged times – but this year that’s true for pretty much all brands at all sorts of price points.
In an ideal world this would be discounted to around £3,500, which is about what it would have retailed at in pre-pandemic times.
But all things considered, this year’s SuperSix EVO is just as much a star in 2021 as it was in 2020, even if it now faces tougher competition than ever.
It is a bike that has got better with age, one that offers you the genuine superbike experience without having to stump up the usual five figures.
And not forgetting Muc-Off, for its help keeping the bikes washed and lubed throughout testing.
Road Bike of the Year 2021 contenders
Thirty-two of the best bikes ridden and rated…
- ARC8 Escapee
- Basso Venta 105 Disc
- BMC Roadmachine TWO
- BMC Teammachine SLR TWO
- Boardman ADV 8.9
- Boardman ADV 9.0
- Boardman SLR 8.9 105
- Boardman SLR 9.4 AXS (winner)
- Cannondale SuperSix EVO
- Cannondale Topstone Lefty 1
- Cervélo Caledonia-5
- Cinelli King Zydeco
- Genesis CDA 30
- Giant Contend AR 3
- Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1
- Giant TCR Advanced SL 0 Disc
- Lapierre Xelius SL 5.0
- Orbea Avant H60-D
- Orbea Orca M20
- Pearson Off Grid
- Planet X London Road SRAM Apex 1 Disc
- Ribble CGR Ti Pro
- Ribble Endurance 725 Base
- Ribble Endurance Ti Disc
- Rondo HVRT CF1
- Sensa Giulia GF
- Specialized Roubaix Sport
- Specialized S-Works Aethos
- Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7
- Trek Domane AL 5
- Van Rysel EDR AF
- Vitus Zenium Tiagra
Weight: 8.2 kg / 18.0 lbs - Bike and frame weights may vary in final production.Is the SuperSix Evo a climbing bike? ›
The Cannondale SuperSix EVO, a legendary lightweight WorldTour contender.Is Cannondale SuperSix EVO Carbon? ›
The SuperSix EVO is a glorious machine and last year the Ultegra version of the SuperSix EVO Carbon Disc took the overall crown in our 2020 Bike of the Year test.
A race bike delivering sublime performance and a weight to keep racers drooling and all wrapped up in a package comfortable enough to be classed as an endurance specialist. The Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Disc Ultegra Di2 is the real deal.Where are Cannondale SuperSix Evo made? ›
It's strong. SuperSix Evo frames are made primarily of the same “BallisTec” carbon as the Jekyll and Flash. The fabric is made in Japan for military applications requiring extreme toughness.Is Cannondale Hi-Mod worth it? ›
The Cannondale Supersix Evo Ultega Di2 Hi-Mod is a triumph. If you're looking for one bike to do pretty much everything, it is absolutely the bike to do it (incredibly, some folks are running it with 32s, so if you're bold enough, it ticks the gravel box as well).What is the lightest road bike in the world? ›
The world's lightest production road bike is the AX Lightness VIAL Evo Ultra which comes in at a claimed 9.7 pounds for the total bike. AX components actually feature on the lightest custom build, as we mentioned above.What kind of bike is best for climbing hills? ›
Mountain bikes have lower gears than road bikes so you can ride up steeper terrain. Two frequently used terms are “full suspension,” meaning a bike has both front and rear suspension, and “hardtail,” meaning a bike has only a suspension fork.What type of bike is the lightest? ›
The Waterloo, Wisconsin, company says it is the lightest bike it's ever made and the lightest production road bike in the world. The 56cm Émonda SLR 9 frame weighs 640 grams (1.41 pounds). Trek said the bike, with the build above but in size 56cm, weighs 13.4 pounds. It will retail in the US for $11,000.Is the SuperSix Evo Aero? ›
> Review: Cannondale SuperSix Evo Carbon Disc 105 2021
“The answer was bringing the EVO platform (one of the lightest aero road race bikes in the world) to CX,” Cannondale explains.
The Cannondale SuperSix Evo is a race bike that offers bucket loads of compliance. It's a bike that will suit riders who want to feel fast, without having to funnel themselves into an overly aggressive fit or sacrificing long distance comfort.How much does a Cannondale SuperSix Evo 105 weight? ›
Weight: 8.5 kg / 18.7 lbs - Bike and frame weights may vary in final production.What does Evo mean in bikes? ›
Shop Talk: What Evo Means - YouTubeAre Cannondale road bikes good? ›
Yes, Cannondale bikes are worth the money, even though they tend to be priced higher compared to other popular brands. The models from this brand usually feature high-tech solutions such as CAAD and BallisTec frames, Lefty and Kingpin suspension systems, SmartForm aluminum, SAVE micro-suspension, and more.Which is the best CAAD? ›
The CAAD10 frame/fork is 132 grams lighter than the CAAD9. My $0.02: of the CAADs I've ridden, the CAAD10 is the best pure racer, the CAAD9 is the best all-arounder.What is HI MOD in Cannondale? ›
Cannondale Hi-MOD Carbon. Cannondale's premium high-strength, high-stiffness carbon construction. A sophisticated blend of high-strength and high-stiffness fibers yields a frame that's extremely light, lively and durable.What is BallisTec carbon? ›
BallisTec is Cannondale's proprietary method of high-strength, high-stiffness carbon construction. It is the ideal blend of the most advanced materials in the world combined with the most advanced carbon engineering and design. The results speak for themselves.What is the lightest Tour de France bike? ›
In the Tour de France bike weight history, the lightest one is 6.8kg, which is not an exciting answer. The minimum weight rule was implemented in 2000, when bikes could not be as light as they can be today.Are titanium bikes lighter than carbon? ›
Carbon fiber frames are lighter than titanium frames. In fact, carbon fiber is the lightest material used to build bicycle frames today. A lighter bike climbs and accelerates faster and maneuvers more easily because you move less mass around while you ride.How much did Lance Armstrong's bike weigh? ›
Armstrong's, now-voided, first Tour de France victory in 1999 was on a carbon fiber Trek 5500. The 5500 frame was still comparatively heavy by modern standards, weighing around 3.85 lbs.
The 7-speed bike is made for flat ground terrain and you can conquer good amount of incline. The 7-speed bike is great all-around bike. It has low enough gear to go up a pretty steep incline and also has a high gear to go pretty fast.What type of bike is best for rail trails? ›
Mountain bikes, hybrids, comfort bikes, all will work great. In fact, because rail-trail grades tend not to exceed three percent (the maximum a train can climb), 10 or 12 gears are plenty. If your area is hilly, however, riding a one-speed cruiser may be a struggle.How do you shift gears uphill on a bike? ›
How to Ride up Hills on a Bicycle – How to Shift a Bicycle with GearsDoes the weight of a bike matter? ›
Additional weight increases inertia and wheel inertia matters a lot in cycling because the rider has to overcome it to accelerate. Heavier wheels require more energy to overcome this inertia. Many riders, even novices, can feel the difference when riding lighter wheels.How heavy is a Cannondale? ›
Weight: 8.2 kg / 18.1 lbs - Bike and frame weights may vary in final production.How much do Cannondale bikes weigh? ›