The SuperSix Evo has been Cannondale’s core road race bike for a while, and shows no sign of slowing down. Education First’s Alberto Bettiol won the 2019 Tour of Flanders on his rather more highly specced Evo. Although my test criteria doesn’t stretch to the heady heights of WorldTour machinery, the Evo’s abilities can be experienced for far less.
Based on the standard £1,799 SuperSix Evo 105, this bike gains Cannondale’s Hollowgram Si carbon clinchers insead of its usual aluminium Fulcrum Racing Sports. While you won’t find this exact combination on Cannondale’s website, it is available at individual dealer’s discretion while stocks last.
To offer the bike at this price the Hollowgram Si carbon wheelset is included as a £425, half price upgrade.
Cannondale’s own alloy bar. David Caudery/Immediate Media
Race performance is hugely influenced by wheels and tyres, and these 35mm tall carbon clinchers are 17mm wide internally, making for aerodynamic wheels that maintain low rotational mass with great agility.
This Evo has a Shimano 105 groupset, but also Cannondale’s lightweight Si crankset, with 52/36 FSA chainrings. The bar, stem and seatpost are all Cannondale’s own alloy items, and it’s topped with a Prologo saddle.
When the majority of road frames are semi-compact, it’s refreshing to climb aboard one with a horizontal top-tube and classic lines. Those lines do affect how the bike fits, though, with a shorter head-tube and less exposed seatpost than semi-compact designs.
If you want to race, the lower position made possible by a shorter head-tube is ideal; you may wish to swap the supplied 25mm tall headset top cap for a shorter one.
At the other end, the amount of exposed seatpost could be 50 percent less than other frame styles. Cannondale addresses this with its 25.4mm seatposts, the reduced diameter flexing readily over a shorter length.
Lightweight Si crankset. David Caudery/Immediate Media
The SuperSix Evo has always had brilliant ride quality, thanks to its heavily shaped SAVE stays and matching fork. Even with a stubby alloy seatpost, and almost overly padded saddle, it’s easy to settle in for the long haul.
The 25mm Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slick tyres measure 26mm, and with a little over 80psi inside, they’re supple and grippy, exuding cornering confidence.
With the advent of discs we brake less often on carbon rims, but the Hollowgram Si wheels scrub speed and stop quickly with consistent brake feel and no grabbing. Repeated firm, late braking gave reliable results and when accelerating with intent out of corners, the Evo felt far more eager to go again than my legs.
The gearing is ideal for modern competition and 105 is well up to going racing, with positive operation and great feel from the controls.
I like the fact that the Evo’s gear cables run externally beneath the down tube for ease of maintenance. Be sure to trim your rear brake outer casing to the correct length though because there’s a stop where it enters the head-tube on its way to the rear caliper, and overlong casing creates sprung back pressure on the handlebar.
Looking for a bargain of a first race bike? Get down to your Cannondale dealer. Russell Burton
The Evo’s composed ride feel masks its speed, and I was surprised to cover my test circuit quicker than usual without seemingly trying harder.
Highly capable in a sprint, it’s also an impressive climber in this spec, and feels assured on the descents, with predictably crisp handling.
Cannondale Supersix Evo 105 geometry (56cm)
Seat angle: 73.5 degrees
Head angle: 73.1 degrees
Seat tube: 57.6cm
Top tube: 56.1cm
Head tube: 15.5cm
Fork offset: 4cm
Bottom bracket drop: 7.1cm
Bottom bracket height: 26.9cm
Price without wheel upgrade: £1,800 / $1,900 / AU$3,399