The SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod is the US company’s flagship race bike and was completely updated for 2016, the first time since the original Evo was launched way back in 2011. Aside from the paint and some of the equipment, this is the same frame as being raced by the Cannondale-Drapac pro squad in the Tour de France.
There are five models in the Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod range, and this Dura-Ace specced model costing £3,999 is the third-tier offering. Before we hit the road, here's a first look at the key details of this new bike.
While from a distance the new bike looks very similar to the previous model, up close there are in fact a lot of changes. It’s a case of refinement rather than a major overhaul, a sign that the original Evo was a very good product and hard to improve upon.
Changes then are conservative: Cannondale has refined the tube shapes with an aerodynamic down tube (but not aero in the way a Venge or Aeroad down tube is) and there’s an all-new fork and 25.4mm seatpost, borrowed from the Synapse endurance bike. These are changes that Cannondale says improves the frameset stiffness, lowers the weight and increases ride comfort.
Those changes lead Cannondale to talk about a better “balance of power” with better stiffness for sprinting, smoother for handling in the corners, and more aero for flat stages. The frame weight has actually gone up a bit, 777g, but the system weight (frame, fork, headset, seatpost) has dropped 67g, and Cannondale claims the frameset is lighter than its rivals from Specialized and Trek.
The fork is all-new, and much skinnier in appearance, and has dropped weight from 320g to 280g, as well as apparently improving front-end compliance by a massive 21%. The new 25.4mm seatpost (previously 27.2mm) also leads to more seated ride comfort, as much as 36% improved according to the company’s claims. The old Evo was hardly an uncomfortable bike so it’ll be interesting to see how these changes work on the road.
Aerodynamics is increasingly leading the design of new bicycle products, and Cannondale hasn’t ignored the challenge of reducing drag. It’s not as radical as some aero bikes, but the Truncated Aero Profile down tube and lower positioning of the water bottle is said to provide as much as a 6-watt drag reduction at 40kph compared to the old Evo. It’s also reduced the shape of the head tube to reduce the frontal surface area.
Under the paint work is a revised Ballistic carbon fibre layup, with in particular a new layup around the bottom bracket and one-piece rear triangle that is claimed to provide more vertical deflection from the skinny chainstays. There’s also a new wider BB30a bottom bracket, which is wider on the non-driveside and allows for asymmetrically oversized chainstays and a new wider seat tube. To prevent an increase in the Q-factor (the distance between the pedals) Cannondale has developed its own chainset to maintain the same Q-factor as the original Evo.
The model we’ve got in for test costs £3,999 and that gets you a Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 mechanical groupset and Cannondale’s own, and very lightweight, HollowGram SiSL2 chainset with a BB30a bottom bracket, which is slightly wider on the non-drive side than a regular BB30. 10 arm OPI SpideRing chainrings are fitted in a 52/36 configuration, paired with an 11-28 cassette.
Most modern race bikes have cables routed internally, but the Evo Hi-Mod sticks with external gear cable routing, with just the rear brake cable hidden inside the top tube. While the aesthetics might not be as pleasing to the eye, maintenance is a lot easier for the pro and amateur mechanic.
Rolling stock is a pair of Mavic Ksyrium Pro wheels, a 1,475g wheelset which for 2016 features a slightly wider rim profile which makes a better platform for the Mavic branded 25mm tyres. The wheels will accept 28mm tyres and there’s space in the frame and fork for those tyres, so if you wanted to boost ride comfort fitting wider tyres would be an option.
Cannondale has picked an Arione R3 saddle with K:ium rails and matching bar tape from the Fizik range to complement its own-brand Escape Hanger Carbon handlebar and aluminium stem. The seatpost is also made by Cannondale and is constructed from carbon fibre, and measures 350mm so plenty of height adjustment if you need it.
Don't tell the UCI, but this bike weighs just 6.4kg (14.1lb).
The Evo is available in seven sizes, and the bike pictured is a 56cm. Geometry for this update bike is unchanged from the previous model, which is a good thing because the geometry was one of the great aspects of the Evo. Numbers are typically racy, with a 567mm stack and 393mm reach, 73.1-degree head angle, 405mm chainstays and 989mm wheelbase, and a 155mm head tube.
The Evo is up against some stiff competition and if you do have £4k to spend on a race-ready road bike, your choices are almost unlimited. It’s hard to ignore Canyon at this price, and the £3,599 Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 makes a strong argument for your cash, with impressive bang for buck. The TCR Advanced Pro 0 is a stalwart of Giant’s bike range, and in this updated guise is even better than before.
More at www.cannondale.com, and a full review is coming soon.
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.