Cannondale Si chainset review
Cannondale’s highly innovative Si Hollowgram chainset has been around for years, but has mainly been available only on Cannondale’s own top-level bikes with very little aftermarket availability. Now thanks to the cycling industry’s widespread adoption of BB30 – another Cannondale innovation – the American company is making the design available to all.
Highs: Weight, performance and value
Lows: BB30 only
Cannondale’s range-topping SiSL2 has a sub-500g weight, but its prohibitive price limits its appeal. This new Si model forgoes the SiSL2’s CNC clamshell construction in favour of a patented 3D forging process, which allows it be lighter than the previous Si chainset without compromising its stiffness. It comes as a complete package with a pair of FSA chainrings (50/34) and a BB30 bottom bracket. It’s pleasingly simple to install too, requiring a single 10mm Allen key, with all the spacers laser etched to show which side they go – so fitting’s a doddle even without the instructions.
The chainset’s low mass – just 611g – is matched by admirable stiffness, while the quality bearings ensure that it turns smoothly. The FSA rings are the same CNC machined units you’ll find on the last generation K-Force Light – before it adopted its new integrated four-arm system – and the tooth and ramp profiles offer fast, accurate shifting even under load.
If you are looking to upgrade your chainset, this is a cheaper option than either the SiSL2 or FSA’s K-Force, and it’s 25g lighter and costs 50 quid less than Shimano’s excellent Dura-Ace chainset – or even more once you factor in a bottom bracket. You can also upgrade the Si’s rings once they’ve worn out with Cannondale’s Spridering, which would shed even more weight.
True, not everyone will want a chainset bearing the Cannondale name, but then you would be missing out on a technically brilliant chainset purely for the sake of a laser-etched logo, which would be a great shame.