The line between cyclocross bike and gravel bike has always been blurry, but with Cannondale’s latest off-road, drop handlebar bike it’s decided one bike really can tackle both disciplines… albeit with a few component swaps.
The SuperSix EVO CX (£3,800 / €4,199 / $4,000) is designed to be a pure cyclocross racer, while the SuperSix EVO SE is more of a gravel race bike (£4,600 / €4,699 / $5,000).
Both bikes are built around the same new SuperSix EVO CX carbon frameset. Inspired by the road-going SuperSix EVO, the SuperSix EVO CX has aero-optimised tube shapes, racy geometry and big tyre clearances.
Beyond paint jobs and pricing then, the differences between the two bikes are down to component specification, with each bike optimised for its respective discipline.
Cannondale SuperSix EVO CX frameset details
The Cannondale SuperSix EVO CX frameset is a brand-new, aero-optimised, carbon cyclocross and gravel frameset from the American brand.
Compared to its more avant-garde gravel siblings, like the Topstone Carbon Lefty, the SuperSix EVO CX frameset is a much simpler affair. There’s no single-bladed suspension fork or seatstay pivot here.
As the SuperSix name suggests, it borrows much more from the SuperSix EVO Carbon Disc – Cannondale’s all-round road racing bike. This looks to be more of a road racer with beefed-up tyre clearances than a mountain bike with drop handlebars.
This isn’t a bike explicitly for bikepacking, either, because there are no mounting points for panniers or mudguards. That said, it’s entirely possible to press a cyclocross bike into bikepacking service with some creative luggage choices.
Cannondale SuperSix EVO CX geometry
In terms of geometry, the chainstays on the SuperSix EVO CX are kept relatively short at 42.2cm on all sizes, and the seat tube angles sit around the 73 degrees mark. So far, so racy.
It is worth noting, though, Cannondale achieves those short chainstays by using it’s Ai offset spacing at the rear of the bike, as it did on its previous cyclocross bike, the SuperX. This involves offsetting the rear wheel hub and drivetrain by 6mm to the right, and dishing the rear wheel differently.
Cannondale says this allows for “super short chainstays without any of the usual compromises, and a rear wheel that is dramatically stiffer and stronger”. But it also means you can only use rear wheels which have this Ai offset spacing in the SuperSix EVO CX frameset, which could limit upgradability.
Cannondale has tweaked things to make the SuperSix EVO CX frameset more off-road friendly, though, particularly at the front end.
The head-tube angle, for example, sits at a more relaxed 71 degrees and trail (the horizontal distance between the front tyre’s contact patch and where the steering axis meets the ground) is up to 6.2cm on all but the smallest frame size (which gets a 70-degree head-tube angle and 6.9cm of trail).
Both of these things should lead to a slower, calmer steering response compared to the road-going SuperSix EVO.
There are five frame sizes in the range, starting with a 46cm frame and going up to a 58cm at the other end of the sizing spectrum.
|Seat tube length (cm)||44.9||48.8||52.4||54.6||56.6||58.9|
|Top tube horizontal (cm)||50.7||52.4||53.7||55.5||56.8||58.6|
|Head tube angle||70||71||71||71||71||71|
|Seat tube angle||73.9||73.1||73.1||72.7||72.7||72.3|
|Head tube length (cm)||9.3||11||13.2||15.3||17.5||19.6|
|Front centre (cm)||59||59.3||60.7||62.1||63.5||64.8|
|Chainstay length (cm)||42.2||42.2||42.2||42.2||42.2||42.2|
|Bottom bracket drop (cm)||7||7||6.9||6.9||6.8||6.8|
|Bottom bracket height (cm)||28||28||28.1||28.1||28.2||28.2|
|Fork rake (cm)||5.5||5.5||5.5||5.5||5.5||5.5|
As for tyre clearance, the SuperSix EVO CX frameset gets clearance for tyres up to 700×45mm, which should be enough for all but the beefiest gravel tyres.
As you’d expect, the SuperSix EVO CX frameset is built around hydraulic disc brakes.
The SuperSix EVO CX also uses more traditional semi-internal cable routing, as well as a standard, non-integrated handlebar and stem arrangement (as opposed to the KNOT aero cockpits found on the SuperSix EVO road bike and SystemSix aero bikes).
Last but not least (and perhaps to the chagrin of some home mechanics), the SuperSix EVO CX frameset gets a PressFit30 bottom bracket.
Cannondale SuperSix EVO SE build details
The SuperSix EVO SE is a dedicated gravel race bike.
Using the SuperSix EVO CX frameset as a base, the SuperSix EVO SE gets a SRAM Rival eTap AXS drivetrain and 700×40mm Vittoria Terreno Dry TNT tubeless gravel tyres (with the frameset having clearance for up to 700×45mm tyres, as already mentioned).
The drivetrain is a 2× affair, featuring a SRAM Rival DUB X-Range crankset with 46/33-tooth chainrings up front, and a 12-speed, 10-36-tooth cassette at the rear.
The SuperSix EVO SE gets 160mm SRAM Paceline disc brake rotors front and rear, while the finishing kit is by Cannondale.
There are two paint job options, cool mint and meteor gray, and the complete bike costs £4,600 / €4,699 / $5,000.