Cannondale’s reinvention of the SuperSix EVO for 2020, one of the most beloved race bikes of modern times, was a seriously risky undertaking – but it’s paid off.
The third-generation SuperSix EVO is a brilliantly well-rounded bike: lightweight, comfortable and now with aero tweaks. That’s why it’s our Road Bike of the Year.
Against stiff competition from a variety of race, aero, endurance and gravel bikes, this is the bike that stood out above all others at the end of our six month Bike of the Year test, impressing through the winter on our home roads and on the mountains of Gran Canaria.
Bike of the Year 2020
The Cannondale SuperSix EVO Carbon Disc Ultegra is part of our annual Bike of the Year test and our Road Bike of the Year winner.
Head to our Bike of the Year hub for the full list of winners, categories and shortlisted bikes, as well as the latest reviews – or read our behind-the-scenes feature on how we tested Bike of the Year 2020.
The round tubes of the previous-generation SuperSix gave it a classic, timeless look among today’s aero bikes, but Cannondale has overhauled the frame for the 2020 bike. In come Kammtail aero profiles and dropped seatstays, along with clearance for 30mm tyres and a slimline, D-shaped seatpost to improve comfort.
Where does that leave the new SuperSix EVO? Well, the unifying factor between the original SuperSix of 2008 and this, the third-generation EVO, is handling.
Cannondale’s combination of 73-degree head and 72.9-degree seat angles, a short 1,005mm wheelbase, 58mm trail on the lightweight fork and stiff chassis forges a bike that handles like a race thoroughbred should.
Cannondale SuperSix EVO Carbon Disc Ultegra frame details
The EVO comes in two versions: the ultra-light Hi-Mod found on the top-of-the-range EVO and the BallisTec carbon chassis found here.
The frame’s still very light at 999g and the fork is too at 436g, compared to the Hi-Mod’s 866g and 389g for frame and fork, respectively. It shares the same lightweight 162.4g carbon seatpost.
Upfront is Cannondale’s alloy two-series stem and bar. David Caudery / Immediate Media
Cannondale claims that the new EVO chassis has 30 per cent less drag than the previous generation round-tubed EVO, thanks mainly to the Kammtail tubing borrowed from Cannondale’s SystemSix aero thoroughbred.
Compared to a straight-up aero road bike, the EVO’s tube sizes are much smaller – and the Kammtails are much blunter – because although aerodynamics are important, it needs to balance that with lightness.
The groupset on our Bike of the Year model is a mix of mechanical Ultegra and Cannondale’s Si 1 chainset. If your budget is a little tighter than what’s on offer here, we also recently reviewed (and rated highly) the slightly more affordable SuperSix EVO Carbon Disc 105.
Back to the bike in question, and the Si chainset is essentially a pair of FSA rings mounted to a four-arm spider. The cranks are amply stiff and shift speed is equal to an Ultegra chainset.
A cleverly designed space to allow cable routing down through the front of the steerer tube. David Caudery / Immediate Media
Upfront is Cannondale’s alloy two-series stem and bar. The bar’s a great semi-compact drop shape and is wrapped with quality tape for long-day comfort.
The stem spacers mimic the aero shape of the top-end EVO’s KNOT stem. However, because it’s a standard stem, there’s a cleverly designed space to allow cable routing down through the front of the steerer tube.
That said, it’s not as clean as the dedicated aero-combo of the KNOT stem and carbon Hollowgram bar, but you can upgrade these down the line.
Out back, a D-shaped carbon seatpost provides plenty of comfort. David Caudery / Immediate Media
The wheels are as impressive as the frame. Cannondale’s Hollowgram 35s are built around a tubeless-ready, 35mm-deep carbon rim that’s 25mm wide externally with a generous 19mm inner width that perfectly matches the 25c tyres.
They tip the scales at 1,500g, and it’d be hard to find lighter at this price, and it shows because they pick up speed so quickly.
Vittoria’s Rubino Pro G+2.0 all-weather tyres are the second generation to use graphene and are much better than the first.
Vittoria’s Rubino Pro G+2.0 all-weather tyres are the second generation to use graphene. David Caudery / Immediate Media
The front wheel features Cannondale’s own speed sensor that taps into its own app or Strava. The app displays distance, speed and calories consumed, plus how much fuel you’ve saved and C02 emission reduction. One final neat touch: the EVO uses Speed Release axles.
These 12mm axles are ingenious because they don’t need to be fully removed, making refitting or switching a wheel both a quick and clean option.
It’s impressive, especially when it’s loaded with a 52/36 chainset. David Caudery / Immediate Media
Cannondale SuperSix EVO Carbon Disc Ultegra ride impressions
The EVO’s rigidity under power and svelte wheels make it a star climber. It’s impressive, especially when it’s loaded with a 52/36 chainset, albeit the wide 11-32 cassette offsets most of the bigger front-end gearing.
It descends superbly, although I’d prefer Ice Tech rotors over Shimano’s noise-prone RT54 rotors. At least Cannondale opted for 160mm rotors on my 58cm test bike.
Cannondale opted for 160mm RT54 rotors on my 58cm test bike. David Caudery / Immediate Media
Out back, the D-shaped carbon seatpost is topped by Prologo’s Nago RS saddle, contributing to this being the most comfortable EVO to date.
Cannondale’s EVO has always impressed, since the first-edition’s round-tubed framework. It’s arguably one of the all-time greats of bike design. The third-generation EVO mirrors the lightness and handling acuity of the original, while adding an aerodynamic edge.
The D-shaped carbon seatpost is topped by Prologo’s Nago RS saddle. David Caudery / Immediate Media
The third-generation EVO is a bike that combines everything that’s great about a truly legendary race bike – brilliant responsiveness and sublime handling – with the kind of on-road feel and comfort that would have been more than acceptable on a dedicated sportive/endurance bike just a few years ago.
Cannondale SuperSix EVO Carbon Disc Ultegra bottom line
Aesthetically, it might not stand out in the crowd – there are many similarities with the Focus Izalco Max Disc and Specialized Tarmac – but that matters not one bit when it rides like this.
The SuperSix EVO Carbon Disc Ultegra is also one of the least-expensive models in this year’s Bike of the Year line-up (which focuses on bikes between £2,500 and £4,000), even though it performs as well, if not better, than bikes with an extra grand on their price tag, making it even more deserving of lofty praise.
It’s also the epitome of a bike that exceeds the sum of its parts.
Cannondale SuperSix EVO Carbon Disc Ultegra geometry
Seat angle: 72.9 degrees
Head angle: 73 degrees
Seat tube: 55.8cm
Top tube: 57.8cm
Head tube: 18.8cm
Bottom bracket drop: 6.9cm
Bottom bracket height: 27.3cm
With thanks to…
BikeRadar would like to thank 100%, Q36.5, Lazer, Garmin and Facom for their support during our Bike of the Year test.