A few years ago, I rode a 2018 SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod that I loved dearly. But around that time, I started asking myself if I really needed a road bike. I had been completely seduced by gravel riding and searching for more comfort and versatility. I dumped my SuperSix for a something with fat tires and relaxed geometry.
I was happy — for a while. Gravel bikes are great if you want one bike to handle everything. But I ended up missing my road bike. There is this pure feeling of speed that only a road bike can give you. To feel it once again, I decided to nab an all-new, redesigned 2020 Cannondale SuperSix Evo.
After six months and over 1,000 miles, I've gotten to know the new SuperSix pretty well. Compared to the previous version, it's faster, more compliant, and more versatile than ever.
SuperSix Evo pros
- Noticeable aerodynamic improvements
- Great comfort on rough roads, especially in the saddle
- Stealth branding
- 30mm tire clearance
- Convenient Speed Release thru-axle design
- Stock carbon wheels that are tubeless-ready
- Stable and confidence-inspiring when going really fast downhill
- Stiff and efficient feeling when going uphill
SuperSix Evo cons
- The stock tires are narrow and not tubeless
- The hidden seatpost wedge can sometimes creak
- The stock Cannondale 1 cranks are heavier and not as attractive as the higher-end Hollowgram cranks
- Sweat likes to pool on the flat portion of the top tube
SuperSix Evo pricing, spec, weight, and sizing
The new SuperSix I rode isn't the fancy Hi-Mod version, which makes the bike more affordable. Instead, it's the more modest Carbon Disc Ultegra model, sitting smack in the middle of the SuperSix line-up. It uses the standard BallisTec carbon and weighs about 200g more than the Hi-Mod version. Hi-Mod is great if you want the best of the best, but the majority of riders probably won't notice the difference.
The Carbon Disc Ultegra model is outfitted with Shimano's Ultegra R8000 mechanical group with hydraulic disc brakes, rolling on Cannondale’s house-brand Hollowgram 35 carbon wheels. This configuration retails for $4,200. Fully built with pedals, cages, and accessories my bike came in at 18lbs 7oz (it's under 18lbs when naked) so it’s light, but not amazingly light.
A Hi-Mod frame plus lighter wheels, cranks, and cockpit components could shave off significant weight, but again, I don’t think it’s noticeable enough to obsess over. I’ve kept the bike essentially stock and I loved its light and nimble feel out on the road. The frame's excellent stiffness helped compensate for any extra weight when I went climbing.
At 5’8, I’m riding a 54cm frame with the stem slammed. There are a few centimeters of saddle to bar drop, but it’s still a comfortable position for a race bike. If I wanted a lower, more aggressive position, I’d probably size down to 51cm and run a longer stem. If on the other hand, you want a more upright position, Cannondale’s endurance bike, the Synapse, would be a great alternative.
SuperSix Evo performance
With the new generation of SuperSix Evo, there are two key things to know. First, the classic diamond shape of the old SuperSix Evo is gone. Today's frame features dropped seat stays and tubes that use a more modern truncated airfoil shape. I know some people are going to be sad about the change. I certainly was. The bike doesn’t look bad. But the previous SuperSix had a classic, round-tubed aesthetic that’s getting rarer with modern bikes. The SuperSix now looks very similar to competitors like the BMC Teammachine and Specialized Tarmac.
I do appreciate the new, understated branding, though. Unlike its past designs, Cannondale didn’t feel the need to plaster its name in big white letters on every tube. This low-key, all-black aesthetic is more discrete and feels more grown-up.
What’s the upside to the new design? The new SuperSix is more aero. Much more aero. if you want numbers, Cannondale claims the new shape reduces drag by 30% and saves 30 watts at 30mph compared to the previous model. That’s a pretty significant improvement. All-rounder race bikes in general are getting aerodynamic, and the SuperSix has had to adapt to stay competitive.
Has it worked? I’m generally skeptical when people get a new bike and say they suddenly set new Strava PRs because of it. But then it actually happened to me. I set PRs on local descents and flat road segments that I haven’t ridden since I owned my 2018 SuperSix Evo. I was a bit fitter three years ago so it’s easy for me to believe that the improved aerodynamics were a big factor. Obviously, that’s not scientific, but when riding the new bike it really does feel faster than the previous version.
The second key point is that the new SuperSix is more comfortable than ever. The old one wasn’t bad, but Cannondale has revised the SAVE seat stays and introduced a new integrated seatpost binder that increases compliance by 18%. Not only that, but the frame has clearance for big, 30mm tires. After eyeballing the chain stays and fork, and checking it out with some calipers, I think you can get away with 32mm tires, just know that Cannondale doesn’t officially recommend it. For the majority of my test period, I used 28mm tires and was still really impressed by how smooth and compliant the bike felt, especially on rough road surfaces.
This brings me back to the little gravel interlude I had between my two SuperSixs. I still have my gravel bike, and I still use it for rough, loose gravel and singletrack. But for everything else, all of the crumbly pavement and dirt roads I ride on a daily basis, I find myself often choosing to ride the SuperSix. It’s still a road racing bike, and it’s ultra fast on pavement. But thanks to the comfort and bigger tires, I can enjoy that speed more on my daily rides and on a wider variety of roads. Right now, in a stable that includes an endurance bike and a gravel bike, the SuperSix might be the bike I ride the most, which is a surprise.
What would I change?
In the mid-range Carbon Disc Ultegra trim, there’s not much I’d upgrade. Shimano Ultegra mechanical shifts great, as expected. This model comes with a normal bar and stem instead of the integrated Hollowgram SAVE SystemBar cockpit, which is easier to work on as a home mechanic.
I would love a 0mm setback seatpost instead of the stock 20mm setback to get my preferred riding position. If you need a straight post, you might have to do some digging because I didn’t have much luck finding one online. And the hidden seatpost binder developed a creak early in my test. That’s not unique to this bike. Pretty much every bike I’ve ever had with a hidden seatpost wedge has creaked. Clean it, regrease it (or use carbon paste), torque it, and you’re good to go.
I’ve always been a fan of Cannondale’s Hollowgram cranksets. They’re attractive, stiff, and lightweight. The budget Cannondale 1 cranks on the Carbon Disc Ultegra model are heavier and not as pretty. They function perfectly fine, but if I ever felt the itch to upgrade them in the future, Hollowgrams would be my first choice.
The Hollowgram 35 carbon wheels feel stiff and snappy, plus they’re tubeless-ready. The Speed Release axle design is super convenient for quickly and easily removing the wheels. The one thing I’d suggest is switching to your preferred tires and going tubeless sooner rather than later. It comes with 25mm Vittoria tires that are tubed. I ride some nasty roads and flatted constantly on the stock tires. I’m a big believer in tubeless, even for road bikes. Tubeless 28-30mm tires would most likely suit the majority of riders apart from serious racers.
Overall, the new Cannondale Supersix Evo is faster and more comfortable than its predecessor. It’s a serious race bike that has won grand tour stages, so I know it won’t hold me back when chasing PRs or racing. But thanks to the improved comfort, it’s capable of so much more. It doesn’t beat me up on dirt, on ultra-long rides, or when I just want to ride every day. I’ve been comparing it a lot to my new turbo 4-door sports car. It’s just as fast and just as fun as my old two-seater convertible. But it’s way more practical and easier to live with, so you can enjoy the feeling of speed more days of the week.
See the 2020 SuperSix Evo in action last summer during our ambitious Tour de Freds ride.
What do you think? Is the SuperSix Evo the road racing bike for you? Let us know in the comments!