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New Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod Aims to Replicate Original Bike with Disc Braking Benefits.
Cannondale just dropped the new SuperX cross platform and with the resin barely dry on that bike, it just released its second bike of the week, the new SuperSix Hi-Mod Disc. We spent a few hours with Cannondale today, learning abut the bike and going for a 2hour ride on the new bike around Kitzbühel, Austria. If you know the roads around Kitzbühel, you know that means we climbed.
RELATED: Read about the new SuperX here
The goal with the disc EVO was simple for Cannondale, retain the ride quality of the SuperSix Hi-Mod EVO it launched last year, just add the power modulation and all-weather performance of disc braking. Easier said than done. The new EVO rim bike could easily be built at 13lbs and had a big dose of Cannondale’s legendary ride quality with plenty of power transfer. You can read our launch feature on that bike here.
With discs adding significant weight to a platform, how could Cannondale do this? They started by making what they feel is the lightest disc road frame and fork available – 829grams and 360grams. When you start adding other Cannondale ‘system’ components like HollowGram cranks, SpiderRings, its new 25.4mm seat post standard and new HollowGram disc wheels the whole package gets very light. With tubulars the bike could easily fall below the UCI limit. We’d estimate our 58cm test bike with Ultegra Di2 was well under 16lbs. It certainly felt that light on the climbs.
To retain the original EVO’s ride quality and stiffness Cannondale opened entirely new molds, these bike’s are not simply EVO’s with discs slapped on them to fill a niche in the market. These are EVO’s made for the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team to race when the UCI finally gives them the go ahead. While the molds and lay up schedule may be new, the bike’s tube shapes and final geometry are essentially identical to the 2016 SuperSix EVO. For all those details, check out our launch feature on that bike.
Cannondale uses flat mount disc brakes, and like the new SuperX, they look so clean and stop so well we can’t help but think post mounts should be put out to pasture. The bike uses a 12mm through axle up front but kept 135mm QR’s out back. This was to save weight and with direct feedback from the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team.
Both Phil Gaimon and Toms Skujins from Cannondale Pro Cycling joined us on our first ride so the question quickly turned to what they thought about discs in the pro peloton. Gaimon told us it was a rainy winter in Gerona that convinced him discs were the way forward. He tested the new EVO Hi-Mod disc there and on the wet, slick streets it was a no brainer.
“In a rainy stage, 1000% I want a disc bike. In the dry, if you give us better brakes we’ll just go faster.” said Phil.
Toms spoke of the great modulation disc brakes provide and how they will help the pro peloton descend faster, if not more safely. Modulation and feel is something Cannondale is very concerned with and has chosen metallic brake pads as the best option for lever feel and power.
With disc comes the desire for mixed surfaces and the new SuperSix EVO maxes out at 28mm tires officially, but they know riders will push this limit and on a narrow rim a 30mm will likely fit.
Based on our ride, 2500’ of elevation during a two hour loop, first impressions are very good. The SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod is perhaps the best example of Grand Tour ride quality and lively acceleration ever translated to disc. So it climbs like the original EVO, but on the descents, the confidence is multiplied massively. Discs stops so quickly, so progressively, high speed feels less dramatic. You are inspired to let gravity take hold and just roll knowing if the corner ahead wraps up quickly, you can safely scrub your speed and make it through. The new HollowGram SI carbon clinchers deserve an assist here, keeping the entire platform planted and on line. In short Cannondale did a masterful job of mitigating disc brake negatives, letting the positives of disc brakes shine even brighter.
The Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod we tested today was a Shimano Ultegra Di2 build with HollowGram Cranks and SpiderRings, Cannondale C2 alloy stem, C1 Ultralight carbon bars and C2 carbon seat post. HollowGram SI carbon clinchers with Schwalbe Pro ONE tubeless tires and a FIZIK Arione saddle. $6200 More. cannondale.com
Cannondale has given all the SuperSix EVOs new paint this year, both for rim and disc brake bikes. It is also making a disc version of the slightly heavier and lower modulus EVO (non- Hi-Mod) that will let you get your foot in the disc door with Shimano 105 for $2800.
Look for more details on other specs as they become available.