Cannondale SuperSix Review
The Cannondale SuperSix range of road bikes is back and better than ever in 2012, with a range of component setups and price points designed to appeal to a wide audience. Here is a look the bikes offered in this Grand Tour-winning family. Prices range from £1,800 for the SuperSix 6 Apex to £3,600 for the Ultegra Di2 but more of that later.
SuperSix 6 Apex
With a full carbon BB30 frame and fork, this Cannondale SuperSix model is light and agile, with enough strength to back up its nimbleness so that you always feel confident during training and racing.
Cannondale has worked hard to make this range particularly stiff, as evidenced by the oversized BB area and the integration of asymmetric chain stays, working together to help you deliver all that power to the wheels without wasting an ounce of effort.
The SRAM APEX groupset is onboard to deliver smooth gear changes and good stopping power, while the Shimano RS10 wheels combine with Schwalbe Lugano tyres to keep a consistent level of quality across the bike.
This is the entry-level bike in the SuperSix range and as such, the Apex is priced at £1,800. In our view, this is a fair price for this bike. Others worth considering at this price point include the Specialized Tarmac Elite, Specialized Roubaix Elite, Bianchi Sempre Veloce or one of several others.
SuperSix 5 105
Following in the footsteps of its sibling, this Cannondale SuperSix iteration features a wealth of components from the Shimano 105 range, hardly surprising given it’s name. You get the full carbon frame and fork arrangement for a feather-light construction and impeccable power transfer setup, while the drive train is all from Shimano’s 105 catalogue of equipment. This is a lovely bike to ride and at £2,000 is just £200 more than the Apex.
One of the benefits of picking this particular range of bikes is that you can benefit from the integration of hourglass seat stays. True to the name, these intriguingly shaped components allow for greater long distance comfort because they are specifically designed to soak up the bumps and rumble generated by imperfect tarmac surfaces, oh shock horror, did I say imperfect roads, shame on me. If you are going to be spending hour after gruelling hour in the saddle, then this kind of feature will help to keep up your energy levels and morale. Trust me, I know.
SuperSix 3 Ultegra
A number of components have been switched out to make this Cannondale SuperSix model feel special, so the carbon frame is paired with Shimano Ultegra kit (these Cannondale boys need help naming their models) and matched with rims from the Mavic Ksyrium range and Schwalbe Durano S tyres, yum yum.
The result is that performance and power transfer are taken to the next level. It also means that this bike is lighter than its stable mates, giving you much less weight to lug around with you and helping you improve personal bests and beat your way to the front of the pack in competitive situations. But at what price did you say? Mmm, well, the Ultegra is £2,900.
The carbon headset and seat post work well in this setup, while the comfort levels afforded on the other models are also present and correct here, so you need not worry about the quality of the riding experience from the point of view of your posterior.
SuperSix Ultegra Di2
There are even more carbon components found onboard this SuperSix model than any of its contemporaries. In fact the full carbon frame has been specifically modified for this model so that it can work seamlessly with the various Shimano Ultegra Di2 elements that are jockeying for position all over the place.
Some riders who switch over to a carbon framed bike from an alloy alternative express surprise that this kind of setup dampens the liveliness typically associated with road racing cycles. However, with excellent lateral stiffness that has defined the range, the Ultegra Di2 edition is more than cut out for high stakes races and sessions for anyone who wants to get plenty of feedback from their bike without also compromising its lightness.
You want to stay in touch with the road without feeling like it is wearing you down and hampering your ability to perform to the best of your potential. It is this careful balance which the Cannondale SuperSix range manages to achieve admirably.
If you can afford it, I’d recommend the Ultegra Di2 over the Ultegra but at £3,600 it is another £700, just don’t tell your other half.