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Cannondale SuperSix EVO Carbon 105 review

Is the 105 version of our 2020 Bike of the Year another winner?

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £2,750.00 RRP | USD $4,299.00 | AUD $4,299.00
The EVO boasts perfect handling, aero efficiency and comfort – and, sadly, recent price hikes

Our review

A stunning ride that’s sadly now compromised on value
Pros: Sublime handling; beautiful yet rapid on-road feel
Cons: The mid-level specification suffers at this price
Skip to view product specifications

The SuperSix EVO is a glorious machine and last year the Ultegra version of the SuperSix EVO Carbon Disc took the overall crown in our 2020 Bike of the Year test.

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It’s the stuff of legend that began in 2011 when Cannondale took the Liquigas pro team’s bike back to the drawing board and employed the finest carbon fibre engineers to design a significantly lighter bike that also addressed comfort. That EVO established Cannondale as a leader in top-flight race machines.

The second-generation model in 2015 was even lighter and more comfortable again – it’s still the bike I regard as the benchmark in bike handling, weight and comfort.

Cannondale SuperSix EVO Carbon 105 frame

In 2020 came another winning update, radically different from the previous bike and one that brought aerodynamics into the mix in a major way.

Its kammtail tube profiles (where the airfoil is truncated, like the cross-section of an aircraft wing, to ‘cheat’ the air into acting like the tail is still there, avoiding a disruptive ‘wake’ and therefore reducing drag) come from a library of shapes that Cannondale’s aerodynamic engineering team compiled and evolved into the flowing form seen here.

So, while it may not have the classic diamond-shaped frame of old, it’s more efficient in aerodynamics and comfort.

Cannondale Supersix EVO 105 road bike has complete internal cable routing
The EVO routes all of its cables and hoses internally.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

Cannondale claims this EVO has 30 per cent less drag than the previous model. The EVO is offered in two frame versions: the high-price Hi-Mod chassis and this Ballistec carbon model, which weighs an impressive 999g for the frame and 436g for the fork.

Comfort-wise, the frame is brilliant. The slender dropped stays, sculpted seat tube and KNOT-shaped post provide a smoothness at the back end that’s perfect for the EVO’s ambitions.

It’s not as floaty as a Trek Domane or Specialized Roubaix, but like the Lapierre Xelius SL 5.0, also on test, it takes the edge off of rough roads with ease, and its running slimmer rubber than the other bikes I tested too.

The EVO fork is aero yet slender and has a slightly bowed-out profile. It means you get a similar level of smoothness up front as you do at the rear.

Cannondale SuperSix EVO Carbon 105 geometry

Smoothness is only one side of this stunning machine’s charms – the rest comes from its handling prowess.

The combination of classically race-bike-steep 73-degree head and 72.9-degree seat angles, plus a compact (for a 58cm frame) 1,005mm wheelbase, create a short 58mm trail figure for quick handling.

The EVO’s handling is the perfect balance between rapid response and stability. Combined with the frame that oozes stiffness in spades, you have a bike that feels responsive when you want to sprint, efficient on the climbs and superbly surefooted when you’re descending.

4448515456586062
Seat angle (degrees)74.374.374.373.773.772.972.572.1
Head angle (degrees)70.971.271.271.273737373
Chainstay (cm)40.840.840.840.840.840.840.840.8
Seat tube (cm)4043.847.751.553.655.857.960
Top tube (cm)51.25252.854.656.257.859.461.1
Head tube (cm)9.911.41315.316.418.820.923
Fork offset (cm)5.55.55.55.54.54.54.54.5
Trail (cm)65.85.85.85.85.85.85.8
Bottom bracket drop (cm)7.47.47.47.27.26.96.96.9
Bottom bracket height (cm)26.826.826.827.127.127.327.327.3
Wheelbase (mm)9799859941,0089921,0051,0161,028
Standover (cm)69.872.675.678.88083.18587
Stack (cm)50.451.953.455.457.459.461.463.4
Reach (cm)3737.437.838.43939.54040.6

Cannondale SuperSix EVO Carbon 105 kit

The alloy wheels are middleweight items from Maddux (designed by Cannondale), with simple cartridge bearing-equipped Formula hubs.

They’re paired with Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slick tyres, which I have found to be more compliant than the first-generation Zaffiros were. However, the EVO would certainly benefit from a faster set of boots, and you’d unleash a real beast with a better set of wheels too.

Cannondale has adopted the Speed Release axle, making switching a wheel a quick and clean operation.

This EVO comes with Shimano’s 105 groupset yet, in usual Cannondale style, it has replaced Shimano’s crankset with one of its own designs.

This doesn’t get the classy one-piece spider-ring of its flagship models, instead, a pair of standard FSA rings in a racy 52/36 pairing with an 11-30 cassette.

However, the chainset works just as smoothly as Shimano and the 105 here is as impressive as it is on the other 105 bikes I tested.

Cannondale SuperSix EVO Carbon 105 bottom line

The EVO 105 is a bike that’s significantly better than the sum of its parts. The issue Cannondale currently has is controlling its pricing.

When I started this test in late 2020, this bike was £2,400. Pressures on manufacturing costs along with a global shipping shortage have had an effect.

Furthermore, some of Cannondale’s ranges are assembled in Holland and are now subject to a European value-added tax if you’re based in the UK.

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For this EVO, it means what was a very competitively-priced bike now seems expensive.

How we tested

Spending up to three grand on a bike is a big deal, and there’s a huge range of performance bikes at this most competitive of price points. So we’ve picked four contenders that we think bring style and superbike levels of performance for under £3,000 and are worth your consideration.

All of the bikes were tested head-to-head on our local loops, climbs and descents.

Also on test

Product Specifications

Product

Price AUD $4299.00GBP £2750.00USD $4299.00
Weight 8.81kg (58cm)
Brand Cannondale

Features

Available sizes 44, 48, 51, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62cm
Headset Integrated 1 1/8-inch – 1 3/8-inch
Tyres Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slick 25
Stem Cannondale 3 6061 alloy
Shifter Shimano 105
Seatpost HollowGram 27 KNØT
Saddle Fizik Aliante R5
Rear derailleur Shimano 105
Handlebar Cannondale 3 6061 alloy
Bottom bracket Cannondale alloy PF30
Frame Ballistec carbon
Fork Ballistec carbon
Cranks Cannondale 1 52/36
Chain Shimano HG601
Cassette Shimano 105 11-30
Brakes Shimano 105 hydro
Wheels Cannondale RD 2.0 disc rims on Formula CL-712 and RXC-400 hubs