Build Report – Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod
There is another Cannondale test bike due soon so we look back at a recent example of the US brand’s fine work. This is the build report of the 6,202g Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod.
Cannondale’s new SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod seemed like it should be pretty easy to build. It has standard brakes, an integrated headset and Dura-Ace mechanical with predominantly external cables… all are a recipe for a quick assembly.
There are a few curly elements to it like the BB30 and Hollowgram crankset but with the right tools and some experience it proved an simple process.
The predominantly external cables are a nice change when the majority of top bikes are free of visible steel wires. Consideration before installing the rear derailleur cable is paramount — leave the cranks off until the cable is mounted or else it will result in crank removal and fitting practice.
At first glance, the Cannondale seems to be an incredible vibrant red/orange that is set to turn heads. Look closer, and it seems as though the forks are a slightly different colour to the frame. The suspicion is that the forks’ base colour was black and that the base colour on the frame was white, which meant the fluoro red came up differently.
Dura-Ace mechanical works as well as ever. The Ksyrium Pro wheels are in the upper echelons of aluminium clinchers and the bars and stem are proven house-brand parts. A special mention must be made of the awesome Cannondale Hollowgram SiSL2 crankset which is about 120g lighter than Dura-Ace cranks.
This bike was reviewed in #RIDE71 (published December 2015).
Forks and headset
Cannondale is particularly proud of the new SuperSix fork. It’s a one-piece construction rather than the four-part bonding processes that was used on the superseded model. The result is a hyper-light fork (298g) that is incredibly stiff. Its fluid shape includes an integrated crown race which is common in road bikes with a carbon steerer as it improves stiffness and strength while reducing weight.
The improved fork also carries aesthetic benefits.
It is so slender that it is hard to believe it fits a 1-1/4” lower bearing at its crown.
This new fork is probably the most noticeable alteration to the SuperSix. The changes are subtle on every new element on this Cannondale, but it is the little things that do make the difference, and Cannondale’s engineers deserve praise for creating a product that many consider to be the ‘perfect’ bike.
Working with the cables
The frame is adaptable for both mechanical cables and wired electronic gears (and even wireless transmission).
If wanting to set it up for Shimano Di2, the main E-tube wire enters the frame at the top of the head tube next to the rear brake outer.
It’s super clean, enabling the wire to be fastened to the outer with shrink-wrap or similar.
It was nice to get a mechanical bike for this test because Cannondale has rethought its routing of the cables. The outers remain exposed on the down tube but the rear derailleur cable enters the frame before the BB and continues along the chainstay inside the frame. It exits through a derailleur hanger which is mechanical shifting-specific – there is a different one for electronic wiring.
The rear derailleur cable provided a bit of a surprise when installing.
It is guided into the down tube with removable hardware but has no guidance around the 30mm crank spindle. If one doesn’t chase the cable with a plastic sheath when removing, then the quickest way to replace it is to remove the crankset.
This may seem like a bit of a pain at first, but will save time later on.
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The rear brake configuration remains the same with the outer cable slipping into the head tube, the inner cable travelling through the top tube and out just below the seat clamp. It is extremely easy to route (especially without a seatpost) which is a testament to the internal frame finish.
One issue with this brake system is that the end of the outer’s casing on the front brake can crack when the bars are turned too vigorously.
There is no immediate performance detriment to this, but the steel sleeve under the white outer casing can corrode a little bit which stains the cable.
Black outers are often suggested on SuperSixes and/or a flexible brake noodle to slot into the frame to allow regular handlebar movement without damaging the cables.
The outer cable bends on both the rear derailleur and brake are very sharp. Nothing can be done about this but it has to be cut perfectly for ideal performance.
Too much cable will move the brake or put undue pressure on the derailleur. Not enough pressure will pull on the cables when actuated and detract from performance.
Cannondale allows little room for error but it is not a difficult aspect of bike building to have two or three tries at getting right.
All gear cable frame hardware is removable, making the SuperSix easily compatible with various gear ensembles. This is a new idea for Cannondale and despite the parts being plastic it seems to work well.
Bright orange and super light, this was a bike to remember…!
The new Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod has a number of subtle changes to the previous edition but one fairly obvious alteration is that it uses a 25.4mm seatpost, rather than the more commonplace 27.2mm.
This is said to increase comfort and the generous curve of the SAVE seatpost is supposed to do the same. Only a road test will reveal if it is a plusher ride.
– By RIDE Media