Recently, and without much fanfare, Cannondale unveiled a new version of its cyclocross race bike, the SuperX, with a build kit tailored to the demands of gravel racing.
- Cannondale SuperX Ultegra review
- Horse for the Course: Specialized CruX for the Dirty Kanza 200
- Defining the gravel race bike
Cannondale SuperX SE highlights
- Same frame as the standard SuperX
- Wider tires
- Wider-range gearing
- Pricing is set at $3,999 (UK and Australian pricing to be announced)
- Available now
The SuperX SE shares the same full carbon frameset as the other members of the SuperX line with several key component changes that make it better suited to long rides on rough roads.
The standard UCI-approved 33mm-wide tires have been replaced with 37mm-wide WTB Riddlers. Rim width is also wider, thanks to WTB’s i23 rims, which, as you may have inferred, have an internal width of 23mm. The maximum tire clearance for the SuperX frameset is approximately 40mm, depending on rim width.
Another nod to this bike’s intent is the wide-range 1x gearing. The SuperX SE has a 40t chainring mounted to the Cannondale Hollowgram Si crankset and a Force X1 group with an 11-42t cassette. (Cannondale’s other 1x11 cyclocross builds use 11-32t cassettes.)
Some of you may already note that Cannondale already has a multi-purpose / gravel bike in the Slate. In fact, “retired” pro road racer Ted King piloted the Slate to victory at last year’s Dirty Kanza 200.
So what lead to the development of this Special Edition SuperX?
“We’ve seen success with Slate and it’s still an important bike for us, but there are other riders out there who value a more traditional road experience knowing that increased capability is just a few part swaps away,” said James LaLonde, Cannondale's global marketing manager.
“Part of the appeal of bikes in the ‘New Road’ or ‘All Road’ category is the lack of boundaries, traditions or concrete definitions. It’s such an amorphous thing that riders get to self-create their own definitions of what it means and how it’s supposed to be done – the reason why I feel most of us were attracted to bikes in the first place. There’s an element of individuality, expression and discovery that we [Cannondale] feel is important to honor and support, hence the introduction of the SuperX SE,” he added.
While the SuperX is not a purpose-built gravel frame, its long front center, slack head tube angle, low bottom bracket and massive tire clearance make it well suited to gravel racing.
It’s a cyclocross bike capable of more than hour-long efforts in the same way that the previous generation of the Specialized CruX became a favorite with many gravel racers, which lead Specialized to develop “EVO” gravel builds for it.
The SuperX SE appears to be the first in what could be a line of Special Edition models with components intended to expand the range of more traditional road bikes.
The SuperX SE is available now and retails for $3,999.
Visit www.cannondale.com for more information.