We tested Cannondale's SuperSix 5 late last year and were impressed. The SuperSix 6 comes in £200 cheaper due to a few spec differences – most obviously, from the model names at least, the choice of groupset.
You may consider SRAM Apex a step down from Shimano 105, but on the scales it’s very close and we think most riders will get more mileage and climbing ability from SRAM’s wide-range WiFli setup.
Matching a 50/34-tooth chainset to a 28t rear cassette blesses the SuperSix 6 Apex with the ascending setup of a mountain goat. It also has a wheelset at a similar level to its more expensive brother, and in our opinion gets the better brakeset.
Climb aboard the SuperSix, set off and you get an instant feeling of efficiency. It’s prompt to accelerate and direction changes are sharp – very sharp. Unlike most bikes around the £1,500-£2,000 mark it makes no concessions to comfort, with standard race bike geometry – parallel 73 degree angles, low head tube and a short wheelbase.
The SuperSix has the pro rider’s needs etched into its DNA. If you’re interested in comfort above anything else then you’ll need to look elsewhere. That’s not to say it's stubbornly uncomfortable – we love the way it rides both up and downhill, and it’s nicely mannered over coarse roads.
At £1,799 the SuperSix 6 Apex, like the 105 model, loses out on a few specification points. But this chassis is so good that you’ll really want, and need, to start upgrading it as soon as you can. That said, it's ideal as the first step into the world of superbike ownership.
This bike was tested as part of Cycling Plus magazine’s 2012 Bike Of The Year feature – read the full results in issue 260, on sale Friday 2 March.