After 11 years and two major iterations, the SuperSix EVO has taken on a new form. Gone are the slim, round tubes, with Cannondale finally conceding that truncated airfoil profiles are faster.
Cannondale, unsurprisingly, says the new EVO is better, so I took my 2017 EVO out for a ride, followed by the new bike. With equivalent tyre volume, wheels and build, it was a fair contest, but Cannondale is telling the truth.
The new EVO’s front-end is less aggressive than before. With no interfering headset top cap, a single 10mm spacer gave me a position equal to the old 56cm bike.
The slim carbon HollowGram SystemBar rests on the KNOT aluminium stem’s projecting front, its four fixing bolts permitting 8 degrees of tilt. Electronic wires and hydraulic hoses are hidden by a cover beneath the flat, wide stem and then pass through a tunnel in front of the steerer.
Perhaps the biggest visual changes are the dropped seatstays and integrated seatpost clamp, both designed to improve seated compliance. Every tube that faces the wind is a truncated airfoil, including the slim seatpost that measures 27mm from front to back and only 22mm wide. It’s hard to confirm, but I’m sure I could feel it moving laterally while pedalling.
Practical touches such as the Speed Release thru-axles for faster wheel swaps are interesting, and the included sensor attached to the front hub records speed, route and distance data autonomously. When connected via your phone to Cannondale’s app, it has even more functionality.
With 25mm tyres that measure 27mm on the agile HollowGram 35 carbon wheelset, there’s still heaps of clearance. Cannondale says the EVO accepts 30mm tyres, with 6mm clearance, but I’m sure it’ll take a little more.
As it is, the EVO feels completely docile at cruising speeds, relaxed and a little floaty over broken tarmac. But stamp down on the SRAM Force eTap AXS drivetrain and it kicks like a dragster.
With no gear wires, AXS gives an uncluttered look, although the rear mech is large. The improved lever shape and hoods are very comfortable and the shift paddles impossible to mistake.
Rear shifting is good, but the front mech often hesitates before shifting, apparently waiting for the ideal chainring position. It takes a little getting used to, and had me looking down more than once, but chain retention from the damped rear mech is very good.
The new EVO feels as composed at cruislng speeds as it does when descending at 40mph, seemingly creating more time for you to react. With a 73-degree head angle, it’s hardly lazy, but its new-found compliance helps it glide across even the worst roads better, making for a much more relaxing experience at all speeds.
With more grip, it’s at least as incisive as before, carving fast turns with ease and changing line mid-corner without getting flustered.
Prologo’s short Dimension saddle keeps you sat still and amplifies the feeling of precise control that comes from the bar, with small weight shifts fine-tuning the bike’s attitude.
Superb torsional stiffness and light wheels ensure the EVO climbs with great efficiency. On the flat or descents, the EVO just feels fast, as if it’s generating additional speed, and it certainly outruns the old model.
Sustaining that speed seems easier too, because my averages on a mixed route were noticeably faster. Cannondale claims the new EVO has 30 per cent less drag than the outgoing model, and that it can save you 30 watts at 30mph.
Definitely rapid, and undoubtedly more comfortable than before, with brilliant surface feedback, the wholesale changes redefine the EVO, and even though it took me time to adjust to, it is seriously impressive.
Cannondale SuperSix EVO Force eTap AXS geometry
- Seat angle: 73.9 degrees
- Head angle: 73 degrees
- Chainstay: 40.5cm
- Seat tube: 53cm
- Top tube: 56cm
- Wheelbase: 987mm
|Price||GBP £4800.00USD $6300.00|
|Available sizes||44, 48, 51, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62cm|
|Tyres||Vittoria Rubino Pro Bright Black 25mm|
|Stem||All-new HollowGram KNOT alloy|
|Shifter||SRAM Force eTap AXS|
|Seatpost||All-new HollowGram 27 SL KNOT carbon|
|Saddle||Prologo Dimension STN NDR|
|Rear derailleur||SRAM Force eTap AXS|
|Handlebar||HollowGram SystemBar SAVE, carbon|
|Bottom bracket||SRAM DUB PF30|
|Frame||All-new, Ballistec Carbon, SAVE, Speed Release thru axle|
|Fork||All-new, Ballistec Carbon, SAVE|
|Cranks||SRAM Force eTap AXS 48/35|
|Chain||SRAM Force eTap AXS|
|Cassette||SRAM Force eTap AXS 10-28 12-speed|
|Brakes||SRAM Force eTap AXS hydraulic disc, 160mm Centrelock rotors|
|Wheels||HollowGram 35, carbon clincher disc|