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Used bike buyers guide: Cannondale SuperSix

By Micah Ling

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First launched in 2007, Cannondale’s SuperSix was built as a performance road bike. From the beginning, the SuperSix was an nimble, lightweight, stiff bike, made for long days of climbing paired with fast descending and cornering. The overall goal with this bike was efficiency.
Cannondale SuperSix on the road
Photo courtesy Cannondale.

What Cannondale SuperSix is right for you?

Because this bike has a 14-year history, you can find a model with pretty much anything you’re looking for. From Shimano 105 components, to Ultegra or Dura-Ace groupsets. Di2, Red eTap AXS. Rim brakes, disc brakes. There are also several women’s specific versions of the SuperSix. From entry-level models to the top-of-the-line Hi-Mod Dura-Ace Di2, there’s something for just about every road cyclist out there.

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History of the Cannondale SuperSix

From the start, Cannondale chose an oversized tapered head tube and matched it with an integrated fork for exceptional handling and stability at high speeds. The bottom bracket and chain stays were manufactured as one piece. This affords excellent power transfer when sprinting and climbing. It also had very thin hourglass-shaped seat stays, which help dampen road vibrations.

Over the past 14 years, the bike has undergone several changes, but always with the same goal in mind: fast, stiff, and smooth. This is a bike for the pros to win races on, and for the everyday rider to feel like a pro.

Currently, there are two versions of SuperSix: the more affordable SuperSix EVO, and the race-ready SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod (short for High Modulus, essentially top-shelf carbon fiber). The main difference between a standard and Hi-Mod frame is weight, with Hi-Mod frames weighing 100-200 grams less depending on the year and size.
Cannondale Supersix collage

SuperSix Timeline:

2008-2009: Cannondale introduced the 2008 SuperSix in late 2007, an aggressive, lightweight, stiff bike, made for all-day climbing and fast descending. The SuperSix, SuperSix Team, and SuperSix Ultimate all use high modulus carbon frames. In 2009, all SuperSix models were named “SuperSix Hi-Mod.”

2010-2011: The SuperSix frame was made stronger, lighter, and stiffer with a new carbon lay-up. The line-up was split into the standard SuperSix, which uses a lower modulus carbon frame, and the SuperSix Hi-Mod.

2012-2013: The new SuperSix EVO was born. Again, the carbon lay-up was tweaked to be lighter. At the time, the SuperSix EVO was the lightest production road frame available. EVO models have “BallisTec Hi-Mod Carbon” and introduced Cannondale’s “Speed SAVE micro-suspension” fork and rear triangle which flex to increase rider comfort. Non-EVO SuperSix models have lower modulus carbon.
Cannondale SpeedSave fork
Cannondale's Speed SAVE fork on a 2012 Supersix.

2014-2015: The SuperSix EVO with Speed SAVE micro-suspension took over from the standard SuperSix, which was discontinued. The new SuperSix EVO was available as a standard SuperSix EVO and a SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod. Cannondale also released the SuperSix EVO Black Inc. which has “BallisTec Nano carbon” to make it even lighter than the EVO Hi-Mod.

2016-2019: The SuperSix EVO got an aerodynamic overhaul using “Subtle TAP” (Truncated Aero Profile) tube shapes in the down tube, seat tube, seat stays and fork to reduce drag. A new SAVE 25.4mm seatpost offered more flex, improving comfort and compliance. The first SuperSix EVO available with disc brakes arrived in 2017. Disc models used a 12x100mm thru-axle front and 10-135mm QR rear axle. In 2019, disc models switched to a 12x142mm thru-axle in the rear.
Cannondale Supersix 2020 aero features
The aero features on the 2020 Supersix were dramatically apparent, especially the dropped seat stays.

2020+: SuperSix EVO received a complete redesign to further improve aerodynamics and comfort. New aero tube shapes made it 30% more aerodynamic than its predecessor. The rear end uses bump-absorbing dropped seat stays and has clearance for wide 30mm tires. The frame has convenient Speed Release thru-axles. The new SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod is the lightest, most aerodynamic disc brake frame Cannondale has made. Hi-Mod models only come with disc brakes.

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Different builds

No matter which iteration of this bike you choose, you’ll be getting a light, fast, smooth ride. Here are some of our favorites that have come through TPC’s inventory.

EVO Black Inc. - 2014

2014 Cannondale SuperSix Black Inc.
This bike stands out because it doesn’t stand out — appearance-wise. Black on black, it’s in stealth mode. Which is actually quite a difference considering how much white and red was seen in previous SuperSix models. This bike is almost comically light at 11 pounds. To achieve this feathery weight, Cannondale chose a Shimano Dura-Ace 11-speed mechanical groupset, rather than Di2. It comes with Enve carbon wheels and Chris King hubs, stem, handlebars, and seatpost.

Hi-Mod Dura-Ace 2 - 2016

2016 Cannondale SuperSix HiMod
With this new iteration of the Hi-Mod SuperSix, Cannondale focused attention on the front end. It made the seatpost and fork legs thinner and lowered the bottom bracket. Plus, everything got an aero overhaul.

Hi-Mod Ultegra Di2 - 2019

This model looks a lot like an aero bike, but the geometry is very similar to past models. Which is what makes it special. All the aerodynamics are in the tubes, but it’s still a smooth, comfortable ride that you can spend all day climbing and descending on.

Carbon Disc EVO Ultegra - 2020

2020 Cannondale SuperSix Evo
Sitting right in the middle of the SuperSix line-up this model uses the standard BallisTec carbon and weighs about 200g more than the Hi-Mod version. Cannondale claims its new aero improvements reduce drag by 30% and save 30 watts at 30mph compared to the previous model. It also has 30mm tire clearance, and a convenient Speed Release thru-axle design.

The Carbon Disc also comes in a women’s build — the Carbon Disc Women’s 105, with the same lightweight low-drag BallisTec carbon frameset.

EVO Hi-Mod 2021

Billed as Cannondale’s lightest, fastest road bike ever, this update features even more aerodynamic updates. The tubes are even thinner.. Another change is in the fork, with a flatter profile and SAVE vibration absorption technology to dampen road vibration.

Conclusion

If you had a flip book of SuperSix models, you’d see the entire frame get skinnier and skinnier. Both the EVO and Hi-Mod models have evolved to save you watts, making it one of the fastest, smoothest road machines out there.

If you want the classic round tubing (which is admittedly very attractive), opt for the models before 2020. If you’re interested in race-ready aerodynamics, you’ll want the 2020 and 2021 models. With so many iterations of this bike, from brakes to components to aerodynamic features, you can practically pick your own perfect version.

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