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Today Cannondale has revealed two new performance-focused bikes that supersede its popular SuperX cyclocross and SuperX SE gravel offerings.
Named the SuperSix Evo CX and SuperSix Evo SE, the new bikes blend the aerodynamic tube shapes, stiffness profile, and low weight of the road-going SuperSix Evo with the geometry and off-road racing purpose of the SuperX.
Cannondale will continue to offer its various Topstone bikes for more adventure-style gravel riding, while the new SuperSix Evo CX and Evo SE are all about performance in cyclocross and gravel respectively. Yep, the names of these new bikes are confusing, but here’s the breakdown.
Two bikes, one frameset
Much like the outgoing SuperX and SuperX SE, the new Supersix Evo CX and Evo SE share a matching full carbon frameset with the only differences found in the covering paint and components bolted onto them. The Evo CX is equipped and UCI-ready for cyclocross racing, while the Evo SE gets a vastly wider gearing range, wider rims, and 700×40 mm tyres in anticipation of gravel. But while these two models may start off as fairly different bikes, you can always customise them to meet the individual needs of the differing disciplines.
The frames now feature truncated airfoil aerodynamic tube profiles closely matched to those used on the SuperSix Evo road bike. And according to Cannondale, the new off-road-going frame is nearly as fast the pre-existing road-focussed version, too. Cannondale isn’t making any exact claims about what the new tube profiles will mean, but it’s safe to assume they’ll count for something compared to the oversized round shapes of the SuperX. And with the recently revised UCI rules, you can now legally use an approved cyclocross frame for road events if you so choose.
Unlike the road-focused SuperSix Evo, the new Evo CX and Evo SE don’t hide the cables through the handlebar, stem or headset – rather they stick with a more traditional exposed cable path via a modular down tube port. This is no doubt a win for easy maintenance and position changes.
Compared to the SuperX, the new frameset is not only aero, but is said to be stiffer at the bottom bracket and more comfortable in the saddle (thanks mostly to Cannondale’s Hollowgram 27 SL seatpost). According to David Devine, Cannondale’s Senior Product Director, the new SuperSix Evo CX/SE frames weigh approximately the same as the previous SuperX, with the roughly 1,000 g (56 cm) frame being a little lighter. The 400 g (ish) fork is a few grams heavier due to an increase in lateral stiffness.
That Hollowgram 27 SL seatpost is identical to the D-shaped number used in the SuperSix Evo road bikes and is designed to aid in ride comfort. Cannondale offers the post in 0 and 15 mm offsets, and there’s an alloy version of the post, too. The frame is not compatible with dropper seatposts.
The geometry is matched to the SuperX which had rather progressive numbers when it was last updated. This includes Cannondale’s OutFront concept which matches a subtly slacker head angle (71º) with a huge 55 mm fork rake. Here, all except the smallest 46 cm frame size offer a consistent 62 mm trail figure. It’s worth noting though that Cannondale hasn’t gone down the increasingly popular path of adjustable geometry – something I’m more than fine with.
At the back of the frame, you’ll find an impressively short 422 mm chainstay length. What’s most impressive is that Cannondale has matched that short length with clearance for 700×45 mm rubber and the ability to run a 2x crank. It’s an impressive combination, but Cannondale has only achieved it by sticking with the same proprietary Ai offset concept as found on the SuperX.
That Ai offset concept is something we covered in depth in our SuperX SE review, but simply it aims to give more clearance between the chainrings and chainstay by moving the drivetrain outward by 6 mm. The rim then needs to be offset over the standard 142×12 mm hub to keep things centred. In theory, it’s not too different to Boost on mountain bikes, newer SRAM Wide, or Shimano GRX, but this method does mean you can’t simply switch disc brake road and gravel wheels between other bikes.
The Ai design also means Cannondale has kept its 83 mm-wide PF30 bottom bracket shell. Thankfully such a system is no longer as limited on crank options as it once was. For example, the Evo SE comes equipped with a SRAM Rival DUB 46/33T crankset.
Other frame features include the use of Speed Release thru-axles in an effort to offer faster wheel changes. A removable front derailleur braze-on mount also features. What you won’t find are any provisions for fenders, bento bags, or similar. According to Devine, “this one is stripped down, straight forward and without additional mounts. Our Topstone models are designed for riders looking to mount and carry larger items while they race.”
Just two spec options
For now, Cannondale is only offering a single spec option for the SuperSix Evo CX and a single option for the SuperSix Evo SE. A frameset may be available in the future but there’s no word on when that will be or at what price.
Priced at US$5,000 / £4,600 / AU$6,000, the Evo SE offers a SRAM Rival AXS wireless 2×12 groupset, DT Swiss CR-1600 Spline tubeless-ready wheels, Vittoria Terreno Dry 700×40 mm tyres and Cannondale’s own cockpit. This model will be available in either “Cool Mint” or “Meteor Gray” colours.
Spending US$4,000 / £3,800 / AU$5,600 will get you the Evo CX with a spec list that reads like it’s 2016. There’s a SRAM Force 1 drivetrain with an 11-speed 11-36T cassette in the back (but the provided derailleur will happily handle a 11-42T combo). The wheels are a combination of DT Swiss R470 rims with Formula hubs. This model may not scream wow, but the “Purple Haze” paint does.
A review is on the way
Cannondale has named this bike to make you believe it’s a tweaked geometry and wider tyred version of its SuperSix Evo road bike. Personally, I find this new naming incredibly confusing as this bike looks to still retain plenty of what made the SuperX so great. And while the name may now be the same, the partly exposed cable routing, tyre clearance, progressive geometry, and Ai rear end make this quite a different machine to the company’s all-around roadster.
James Huang recently took delivery of the new SuperSix Evo CX and will be testing the bike as part of an upcoming Field Test. Stay tuned for that full review.