Cannondale puts discs on SuperSix EVO, launches new Optimo alloy bikes

American brand reworks SuperX and CAADX cyclocross bikes for 2017

For 2017, Cannondale has added a hydraulic disc option for its top-end road race SuperSix EVO, completely redesigned its cyclocross offerings, and launched a new entry-level alloy road bike called the Optimo built with lessons learnt from the award-winning CAAD12.

BikeRadar sat down with Cannondale’s global road product manager David Devine to get the skinny on what’s new for 2017.

EVO finally gets a disc option

While it might seem Cannondale is a bit behind the curve with discs on the EVO, Devine argues that Cannondale got into the road disc game years back.

“We actually adopted discs early, starting with the CAAD10 disc back in 2014, alongside Synapse disc and then in 2015 the CAAD12 disc,” Devin said. “We wanted the added advantages of discs for EVO, that being control and consistency, but we couldn’t compromise what the EVO is.” He added that low weight, stiffness and comfort are key targets for the EVO bikes.

“We had to make sure the EVO disc rode how an EVO should, so that meant completely new designs and molds for every part of the frame and fork. One of our key objectives was to get an EVO disc that’s comfortably below the UCI’s 6.8kg limit.”

The small bridge on the EVO Disc is there to add stiffness and is a completely different shape to the bridge found on the rim brake model
The small bridge on the EVO Disc is there to add stiffness and is a completely different shape to the bridge found on the rim brake model

So what is the difference when it comes to the scales? Well, the disc model weighs 829g (56cm) for the frame and 360g for the fork, and when you take the system weight (with the dedicated 25.4mm post and SiSL crank) it’s a penalty of just 120g.

Devine and his team also looked to other components for the EVO disc, leading to them developing their own wheelset, which will feature on plenty of models. The new carbon tubeless ready wheelset called Hollowgram features a carbon rim with an approved-by-Stan’s inner rim profile, with dimensions of 35mm deep, 26mm outer max width and a wide 19mm internal spread.

The frame now features plenty of clearance for 28mm tyres too. Higher-spec wheels feature a higher-grade hub built in collaboration with DT Swiss and based on its highly regarded 240 hub set.

The standard Hollowgram wheelset tips the scales at an impressive 1,400g a pair.

The SuperSix EVO Disc geometry is the same as the rim-brake EVO, even down to the 405mm chainstays. We asked Devine if he had to use a dedicated crank like Cérvelo or a redesigned freehub as Specialized did with the original S-Works Tarmac Disc. He replied, “No – because we designed our own chainrings for the Si cranks, these feature less aggressive ramps and pins and that, with the BB30a bottom bracket, meant we got approval from Shimano and SRAM and the shifting performance isn’t affected at all.”

The EVO's wide BB30a bottom bracket
The EVO's wide BB30a bottom bracket

Unlike most of the EVO’s competition, Cannondale only adopted the 12mm thru-axle standard on the front; the rear has remained a standard quick release.

“We are always looking at system weights – as we ride complete bikes it makes more sense,” Devine said. “After researching current wheel systems we found that rear thru-axle hubs are generally significantly heavier because of the need for larger bearing. We also spoke to our team mechanics and did plenty of testing, and found that even with a disc wheel, rear changes are still faster with a standard quick release.”

CAAD numbering ditched for new entry-level Optimo

For its latest entry-level alloy road bikes, Cannondale has dropped the CAAD nomenclature. The new frame is called Optimo, built with multi-butted 6061 alloy tubes. The higher-grade CAAD12, which remains in the line, uses 6069 alloy with a much more obsessive approach to butting.

“With the Optimo we set out to really shake up entry-level road bikes, so we applied the same computing and modeling technology as the CAAD12, so unlike most aluminium frames this has no crimps, dents or afterworking on the tubes,” Devin said. “All of the tubes are formed exactly how they’ll finally be used.”

The Optimo is an impressive looking bike. It is visibly closer to the CAAD12 than the outgoing, lower-end CAAD8, with similarly flattened seat stays and sculpted chainstays.

Cannondale's new entry level Optimo borrows plenty of tech from the award winning CAAD12
Cannondale's new entry level Optimo borrows plenty of tech from the award winning CAAD12

Unlike the old CAAD8, the Optimo’s geometry is based around the race-biased shape of the CAAD12.

“We already have the endurance-biased Synapse priced right down to entry level, so we wanted something to appeal to the aspiring racer, or the racer looking for an inexpensive training bike, so we’ve included fender mounts on both the rim and disc versions of the Optimo,” Devine said.

Like the EVO, Synapse and CAAD12, the Optimo has also switched to a 25.4mm diameter seatpost for the extra comfort that it brings.

There is also a disc brake version of the Optimo. Unlike the rim bike’s frame, which gets a standard threaded bottom bracket, the disc frame goes to a BB30, as the wider shell helps the chainline, enabling Cannondale to keep the chainstay length shorter. Both bikes comes with 25mm clinchers with wiggle room for something bigger and/or fenders.

The disc frame weighs a claimed 1,370g. Pricing wasn’t yet set but its expected to run inline with current CAAD8 models.

Cyclocross revolution

For the ’cross racers, Cannondale reworked the Super-X and CAADX with the same geometry.

“Courses are getting both more technical and faster and so we needed a bike that would suit that,” Devine said. “We came up with the new progressive geometry. While other brands have gone longer on top running shorter stems and slacker head angles, they can suffer at slower speeds from wheel flop where the front end wants to fall during tighter turns. Our answer was to combine a 71-degree head angle with a fork with 55mm offset and a trail of 63mm — longer than most — that way you get great control over bumps and roots but still have plenty of speed in the steering.”

The new SuperX team, is as good as the cross range gets, with new progressive geometry, SRAM Force 1, Zipp 303 tubulars and a €6599 price tag (US,UK, Aus price TBC)
The new SuperX team, is as good as the cross range gets, with new progressive geometry, SRAM Force 1, Zipp 303 tubulars and a €6599 price tag (US,UK, Aus price TBC)

The flagship Super-X carbon frame has been on a diet; at just 1,000g it’s one of the lightest around. It combines 12mm thru-axles at both ends with a unique rear triangle configuration.

The chainstays are massively asymmetric; the driveside stay features a much more radical shape offsetting the drivetrain by 6mm (a design borrowed from Cannondale’s cross-country mountain bikes). This means the rear wheel is re-dished so runs a much more even spoke tension between both drive and non-drive side.

The shift cable and hydraulic routing is internal. Tyre clearance is increased to 40mm, and the seatpost has, as is to be expected, switched to Cannondale’s preferred 25.4mm.

At the seat tube/top tube/seatstay junction it looks incredibly clean, with no obvious seat clamp on show.

The seat clamp is hidden on the underside of the top and seat tube junctions
The seat clamp is hidden on the underside of the top and seat tube junctions

“We’ve designed a wedge clam that sits forward and inside of the post, and so there aren’t any issues with adjustment or maintenance we set the clamp bolt at a 45-degree angle so its easy to access with even a large T-bar hex key,’ Devine said.

The CAADX mirrors the Super-X’s geometry, and the tubing was developed in line with CAAD12 and Optimo. Unlike the Super-X it gets a conventional seat clamp (though still 25.4) and external cable routing. For a wider appeal the CAADX gets rack and fender mounts so it should continue to be a commuter-cum-weekend-warrior’s go-to.

The new EVO range – All prices TBC

SuperSix EVO Tiagra

SuperSix EVO Carbon Tiagra
SuperSix EVO Carbon Tiagra

  • Frame: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon, Di2 Compatible, SPEED SAVE, PressFit BB30

  • Fork: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon, 100 x 12mm thru-axle
  • Wheels: Alex RD 2.0
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Lugano 25c
  • Cranks: FSA Omega, 52/36
  • Gears: Shimano Tiagra 52/36, 11-28
  • Brakes: Shimano RS685
  • Bars: Cannondale C3
  • Stem: Cannondale C3
  • Post: Cannondale C3
  • Saddle: Cannondale Stage Ergo

SuperSix EVO 105

SuperSix EVO 105 - BBQ
SuperSix EVO 105 - BBQ

  • Frame: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon, Di2 Compatible, SPEED SAVE, PressFit BB30

  • Fork: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon
  • Wheels: Mavic Aksium WTS
  • Tyres: Mavic 25c
  • Cranks: Cannondale Si, BB30a, FSA rings, 52/36
  • Gears: Shimano 105 52/36, 11-28
  • Brakes: Shimano 105
  • Bars: Cannondale C3
  • Stem: Cannondale C3
  • Post: Cannondale C3
  • Saddle: ProLogo Kappa

SuperSix EVO Disc 105 Women’s

Women's SuperSix EVO 105 Carbon Disc
Women's SuperSix EVO 105 Carbon Disc

  • Frame: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon, Di2 Compatible, SPEED SAVE, PressFit BB30

  • Fork: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon, 100 x 12mm thru-axle
  • Wheels: RD2.0 disc
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Lugano 25c
  • Cranks: Cannondale Si, 50/34
  • Gears: Shimano 105 50/34, 11-28
  • Brakes: Shimano RS505
  • Bars: Cannondale C3
  • Stem: Cannondale C3
  • Post: Cannondale C3
  • Saddle: Selle Royal Seta S1

SuperSix EVO Ultegra

SuperSix EVO Carbon Ultegra
SuperSix EVO Carbon Ultegra

  • Frame: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon, Di2 Compatible, SPEED SAVE, PressFit BB30

  • Fork: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon
  • Wheels: Mavic Aksium WTS
  • Tyres: Mavic Yksion 25c
  • Cranks: Cannondale Si, BB30a, FSA rings, 52/36
  • Gears: Shimano Ultegra 52/36, 11-28
  • Brakes: Shimano Ultegra
  • Bars: Cannondale C3
  • Stem: Cannondale C3
  • Post: Cannondale C3
  • Saddle: ProLogo Kappa

SuperSix EVO Disc Ultegra

SuperSix EVO Carbon Ultegra Disc
SuperSix EVO Carbon Ultegra Disc

  • Frame: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon, Di2 Compatible, SPEED SAVE, PressFit BB30

  • Fork: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon, 100 x 12mm thru-axle
  • Wheels: Mavic Aksium disc WTS
  • Tyres: Mavic Yksion 25c
  • Cranks: Cannondale Si, 52/36
  • Gears: Shimano Ultegra 52/36, 11-28
  • Brakes: Shimano RS685
  • Bars: Cannondale C2
  • Stem: Cannondale C2
  • Post: Cannondale C3
  • Saddle: ProLogo Kappa
  • Frame:New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon, Di2 Compatible, SPEED SAVE, PressFit BB30

  • Fork: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon
  • Wheels: Mavic Aksium WTS
  • Tyres: Mavic Yksion 25c
  • Cranks: Cannondale Si, BB30a, FSA rings, 50/34
  • Gears: Shimano Ultegra 50/34, 11-28
  • Brakes: Shimano Ultegra
  • Bars: Cannondale C3 womens
  • Stem: Cannondale C3
  • Post: Cannondale C3
  • Saddle: Selle Royal Seta S1 women's

SuperSix EVO Disc RED

SuperSix EVO Carbon Red Disc
SuperSix EVO Carbon Red Disc

  • Frame: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon, Di2 Compatible, SPEED SAVE, PressFit BB30

  • Fork: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon, 100 x 12mm thru-axle
  • Wheels: Mavic Aksium disc WTS
  • Tyres: Mavic Yksion 25c
  • Cranks: FSA SL-K light, 52/36
  • Gears: SRAM RED HRD 52/36, 11-28
  • Brakes: SRAM RED
  • Bars: Cannondale C2
  • Stem: Cannondale C2
  • Post: Cannondale C2 carbon
  • Saddle: FiZIk Arione R7

SuperSix EVO Ultegra Di2

SuperSix EVO Carbon Ultegra Di2: SuperSix EVO Carbon Ultegra Di2
SuperSix EVO Carbon Ultegra Di2: SuperSix EVO Carbon Ultegra Di2

  • Frame: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon, Di2 Compatible, SPEED SAVE, PressFit BB30

  • Fork: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon
  • Wheels: Mavic Aksium WTS
  • Tyres: Mavic Yksion 25c
  • Cranks: Cannondale Si, BB30a, FSA rings, 52/36
  • Gears: Shimano Ultegra Di2 52/36, 11-28
  • Brakes: Shimano Ultegra
  • Bars: Cannondale C3
  • Stem: Cannondale C3
  • Post: Cannondale C2 carbon
  • Saddle: FiZik Arione R7

SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod Ultegra

SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Ultegra
SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Ultegra

  • Frame: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Hi-Mod Carbon, Di2 Compatible, SPEED SAVE, PressFit BB30

  • Fork: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon
  • Wheels: Cannondale Hollowgram Si carbon clincher
  • Tyres: Schwalbe One 25c
  • Cranks: Cannondale Si, BB30a, FSA rings, 52/36
  • Gears: Shimano Ultegra 52/36, 11-28
  • Brakes: Shimano Ultegra
  • Bars: Cannondale C1
  • Stem: Cannondale C1 Ultralight
  • Post: Cannondale Save carbon
  • Saddle: FiZik Arione R5

SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod Disc Ultegra

SuperSIX EVO Hi-MOD Disc Ultegra
SuperSIX EVO Hi-MOD Disc Ultegra

  • Frame: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Hi-Mod Carbon, Di2 Compatible, SPEED SAVE, PressFit BB30

  • Fork: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon, 100x12mm thru-axle
  • Wheels: Mavic Aksium Disc WTS
  • Tyres: Mavic Yksion Elite 25c
  • Cranks: Cannondale Si, BB30a, FSA rings, 52/36
  • Gears: Shimano Ultegra 52/36, 11-28
  • Brakes: Shimano R685
  • Bars: Cannondale C1
  • Stem: Cannondale C2
  • Post: Cannondale C2 carbon
  • Saddle: FiZik Arione R5

SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod Disc Ultegra Di2

SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Disc Ultegra Di2
SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Disc Ultegra Di2
  • Frame: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Hi-Mod Carbon, Di2 Compatible, SPEED SAVE, PressFit BB30

  • Fork: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon, 100x12mm thru-axle
  • Wheels: Cannondale Hollowgram Si carbon clincher
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless 25c
  • Cranks: Cannondale Si, BB30a, FSA rings, 52/36
  • Gears: Shimano Ultegra Di2 52/36, 11-28
  • Brakes: Shimano R785
  • Bars: Cannondale C1
  • Stem: Cannondale C2
  • Post: Cannondale C2 carbon
  • Saddle: FiZik Arione R5

SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod Disc Ultegra Di2 Women's

Women's SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Ultegra Di2 Disc
Women's SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Ultegra Di2 Disc

  • Frame: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Hi-Mod Carbon, Di2 Compatible, SPEED SAVE, PressFit BB30

  • Fork: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon, 100x12mm thru-axle
  • Wheels: Cannondale Hollowgram Si carbon clincher
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless 25c
  • Cranks: Cannondale Si, BB30a, FSA rings, 50/34
  • Gears: Shimano Ultegra Di2 50/34, 11-28
  • Brakes: Shimano R785
  • Bars: Cannondale C2 women’s
  • Stem: Cannondale C2
  • Post: Cannondale C2 carbon
  • Saddle: FiZik Arione Donna

SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod Dura-Ace 1

SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Dura-Ace 1
SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Dura-Ace 1

  • Frame: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Hi-Mod Carbon, Di2 Compatible, SPEED SAVE, PressFit BB30

  • Fork: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon
  • Wheels: Mavic Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL

  • Tyres: Mavic Yksion Pro SSC GripLink (F) / PowerLink (RR), folding, 700x25c
  • Cranks: Cannondale SiSL2, BB30a, FSA rings, 52/36
  • Gears: Shimano Dura-Ace 52/36, 11-28
  • Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Bars: Cannondale C1
  • Stem: Cannondale C1 Ultralight
  • Post: Cannondale Save carbon
  • Saddle: FiZik Arione R3

SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod Dura-Ace 2

SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Dura-Ace 2
SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Dura-Ace 2

  • Frame: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Hi-Mod Carbon, Di2 Compatible, SPEED SAVE, PressFit BB30

  • Fork: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon
  • Wheels: Cannondale Hollowgram Si carbon clincher
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless 25c
  • Cranks: Cannondale Si, BB30a, FSA rings, 52/36
  • Gears: Shimano Dura-Ace 52/36, 11-28
  • Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Bars: Cannondale C1
  • Stem: Cannondale C1 Ultralight
  • Post: Cannondale Save carbon
  • Saddle: FiZik Arione R5

SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod SRAM Red eTap

SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Red eTap
SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Red eTap

  • Frame: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Hi-Mod Carbon, Di2 Compatible, SPEED SAVE, PressFit BB30

  • Fork: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon
  • Wheels: Cannondale Hollowgram Si carbon clincher
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless 25c
  • Cranks: SRAM Red, 52/36
  • Gears: SRAM Red eTAp 52/36, 11-28
  • Brakes: SRAM Red
  • Bars: Cannondale C1
  • Stem: Cannondale C1 Ultralight
  • Post: Cannondale Save carbon
  • Saddle: FiZik Arione R3

SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod Black Inc.

  • Frame: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Hi-Mod Carbon, Di2 Compatible, SPEED SAVE, PressFit BB30

  • Fork: New SuperSix EVO, BallisTec Carbon
  • Wheels: NVE Carbon Smart SES 4.5 Clincher on Chris King hubs
  • Tyres: Schwalbe ONE Clincher
  • Cranks: Cannondale SiSL2, BB30a, FSA rings, 52/36
  • Gears: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 52/36, 11-28
  • Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Bars: ENVE Carbon Smart SES

  • Stem: ENVE Carbon

  • Post: ENVE Carbon
  • Saddle: FiZik Arione 00
Warren Rossiter

Senior Technical Editor
Approaching two decades of testing bikes, Warren can be found on a daily basis riding and exploring the road and off roads of Wiltshire's Salisbury Plain in the UK. That's when he's not travelling the world to test the latest kit, components and bikes.
  • Discipline: Road
  • Preferred Terrain: Big, fast descents and rough surfaces like cobbles or strada bianca
  • Current Bikes: Decade Tripster ATR, Dedacciai Temarario, Cannondale Synapse, BMC Granfondo Disc Di2, Genesis Day One CX, Parlee Z Zero Custom, Storck Scenario Comp Custom, DMR Trailstar, Bianchi Pista, Cube SUV 29er e-bike
  • Dream Bike: Bianchi Oltre Disc, Bianchi Specialissima, Cannondale Slate, Buffalo Bike
  • Beer of Choice: Brew Dog Punk IPA
  • Location: Wiltshire, UK

Related Articles

Back to top