Review by BikeRadar
The Cannondale SuperSix Evo 5 105 is "A true thoroughbred and proven race machine at a great price"
The original hi-mod SuperSix Evo was, hands down, our favorite super bike of recent years. It was an intoxicating blend of light weight, quick handling and stability, backed up with a remarkably smooth ride for such a highly focused pro-level race machine.
Now the Evo technology has trickled down to a more accessible price.
•HIGHS: Smooth, stable, agile an outstandingly good all-round race bike
•LOWS: No Di2 upgrade path, front end may be a bit low for some
Cannondale has managed to get the Cannondale SuperSix Evo 5 105 to this price by using a less-expensive carbon fiber, and by routing the rear brake cable externally rather than internally. This only adds a few grams to the frame weight, but it considerably reduces manufacturing and assembly time. It’s a clever way to reduce costs, and doesn’t hamper the bike's performance in any way. It makes servicing easier too.
Aside from gaining some grams, everything we love about the hi-mod Evo is present here. That just goes to show that carbon-fiber frames aren’t just about material – they are also about configuration, and the carbon experts at Cannondale have got it spot on here.
The rear end simply smooths out roads, thanks to the twisting and flattening chainstays and the slender, kinked seatstays. The slender-legged fork has much the same effect up front; this bike rolls like silk, floating across scarred, coarse tarmac with ease.
The Cannondale SuperSix Evo 5 105 flies up hills and races back down. Its measured smoothness makes it a climber's friend – even out-of-the-saddle stomps up steep inclines can’t faze this remarkable frame and, despite its slender proportions, we couldn’t sense any twist or give. On the downslopes, the bikes it turns in with perfect agility and it’s capable of holding the tightest, fastest cornering lines.
We’re glad to see that Cannondale has kept to Shimano 105, the crankset being the only omission from the groupset (Shimano don’t make a BB30 chainset to match Cannondale's invention). The cassette has a gran fondo-friendly gearing of 50/34 and 12-27.
Shimano's new RS11 wheels are among the best of their kind, and are a significant improvement over the R500s that are often found in this price range. The RS11s feature aero-profiled 30mm deep rims and if their predecessors, the RS10s, are anything to go by, these should prove tough and hard-wearing.
We were impressed with the preformance of the Schwalbe Lugano tires too, especially in the wet. They offer decent cornering grip in all conditions. For 23c tires they have ample flex to help the ride's smoothness.
The Cannondale SuperSix Evo is chameleon-like in nature. It can be both a smooth-riding sportive speedster and a rapid accelerator that can cope with rough surfaces one minute and sprint attacks the next.
The downside? Well this frame isn’t Di2 or EPS compatible, and it never will be, because its routing is all external. The only other thing we can think of is that because it’s very much race-derived ride, the front end is very low. You could stack up spacers at the steerer tube, but we’d rather get low and fast to enjoy the Evo for what it is; a modern classic and a racer's dream machine.
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