I was lucky enough to ride the all new, generation 4 Cannondale SuperSix – more specifically, the Hi-MOD 1, equipped with SRAM Red eTap AXS. For 2023, the SuperSix Hi-MOD 1 comes as standard with HollowGram 50 R-SL carbon wheels and the brand new SystemBar R-One, in collaboration with MOMODESIGN.
It was my first time trying the latest iteration, having been a huge fan of all other versions of the SuperSix EVO for many years. The new gen-4 has taken aerodynamic inspiration from Cannondale’s out and out aero-bike, the SystemSix, whilst keeping the heritage and aesthetics of the iconic SuperSix EVO. This blend of class-leading aerodynamics and lightweight engineering has truly been the birth of what I believe to be Cannondale’s fastest ever road bike.
To give the Hi-MOD 1 the best possible chance to prove itself, I decided to ride 100 miles, including up some of the most iconic climbs in the Peak District of Derbyshire and South Yorkshire. For total disclosure, this was my very first ride on the new SuperSix EVO but it was a total dream for the full six and a half hours in the saddle.
The route took us from Derby, north towards Sheffield via Wirksworth and Bakewell, climbing through Totley and Ringinglow before dropping West towards Ladybower Reservoir and back via Hathersage, Froggatt past Chatsworth House and home via Matlock and Belper, along the A6. All in all we rode 167km and ascended around 2500m – the perfect test for a bike which thrives on all terrains.
As soon as we rolled off my drive, the Cannondale felt noticeably ‘smooth’. In terms of bike performance, ‘smooth’ is somewhat intangible. However, for me it is that indescribable feeling, when a bike just feels right and a word I would use to describe every aspect of the new SuperSix. My current race bike is the Cannondale SystemSix, a bike which is no longer available to purchase and a bike I love and choose to ride for various reasons – mainly, speed. So for the new SuperSix to essentially replace the SystemSix, for me, it had big boots to fill.
Within the first few miles, I noticed pretty quickly that the SuperSix didn’t quite have that same, somewhat uncontrollable, rolling speed that the SystemSix possesses, but somehow it didn’t feel slower. It also struck me how much more comfortable the bike felt than it’s slightly more aerodynamic counterpart. So how could it not feel slower? Because riding the SuperSix felt totally effortless. Comfort on a race bike, is so much more important than people realise and despite having the stock 25mm Continental GP5000s on instead of the 28mms I usually run, the SuperSix glided across the tarmac. So whilst straight-line speed on perfectly surfaced descents wasn’t quite as high as the SystemSix, the speed at almost every other opportunity was on a par, or above.
I was so comfortable on the SuperSix throughout the whole entire ride, that even after 100 miles, I felt like I could have continued riding for hours more. This is certainly a sensation I have never felt before after 6 hours in the saddle! Again, for full disclosure I put my own saddle on the bike along with my pedals, but other than than saddle height, didn’t change a thing.
We climbed hills which I have ridden 10s of times and I PR’d quite a few, despite not really pressing too hard on the pedals which whilst unexpected, isn’t a huge shock given the historic climbing credentials of the SuperSix. What is a huge shock, is that I PR’d almost all of the fast, technical descents despite what I said above about the SuperSix not being as fast as the SystemSix. Work that one out. The SuperSix put a smile on my face and filled me with more confidence in the corners than I have ever had on a bike before. All of this, on my first ever ride on it, and with 25mm tyres.
That theme of never really needing to press too hard on the pedals continued throughout the ride. For the first few hours I genuinely thought we had a tailwind on every climb. It wasn’t until 70-80 miles in, on the way home, that I realised the SuperSix EVO was just floating over every lump and bump in the road, which is when I really started to fall in love with the Hi-MOD 1. Usually on a café ride, a coffee and some food is all I can think of after about an hour of riding, but I can honestly say I think I could have ridden the full 100 miles without stopping. I definitely would have bonked, but I was having so much fun that I didn’t really want to stop.
We stopped at Coleman’s Deli in Hathersage – a popular destination for cyclists and walkers in North Derbyshire. I parked the SuperSix Hi-MOD 1 outside the café and the attention it recieved was visible to see – with heads turning and people shifting in their seats to get a good look. I personally think this is the best looking paint job on a bike I have ever seen. (We sold one recently and it lived in my office before it was collected, to keep it off the shop floor, and so I could stare at it instead of doing work). It is understated, but classy and in typical Cannondale fashion – simplistically cool.
SRAM Red eTap AXS adds to the ‘cool factor’ and couldn’t match the paint any better. I run the same groupset on the SystemSix, with similar wheels and the difference in weight is approximately 750g. I weighed the 58cm SuperSix EVO HM1 at 7.7kg with Shimano Dura Ace pedals, Cannondale’s aero bottle cages and my Wahoo Elemnt Roam fitted.
The MOMODESIGN SystemBar R-One quickly grew on me too. Not just for it’s unique aesthetics but the way it dampened road buzz was noticeable and the control I felt whilst in the drops was sublime. All of this made me think how well designed, to work in perfect synchrony with the SuperSix these bars are. If I hadn’t already sold myself the idea of buying the complete bike, I would definitely consider purchasing these handlebars for my SystemSix. It’s worth noting you can actually swap the bar/stem to whatever size you want when ordering the SuperSix EVO HM 1, which is a huge selling point if you are like me and run narrower bars and/or a longer stem.
Riding home along the A6, I was effortlessly clipping along. Again, the comfort and subsequent power transfer I felt after all those miles was just incredible. It felt easy. This for me is the ultimate testament to the strengths of the SuperSix. It excelled in different scenarios and over varying terrains, more than any other bike I have ridden before.
Cannondale’s new SuperSix EVO is a masterstroke. I am still sat here questioning how a bike so aerodynamically optimised can feel so agile and nimble on steep gradients. It felt like I had been riding it for years, due to the confidence it gave me and the comfort I experienced over 6+ hours in the saddle. If you hadn’t already guessed, the new SuperSix EVO is top of my list of bikes I’d like to own. In fact, I would probably buy it in this exact specification (SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD 1), so you will likely see me cutting about Derbyshire on one, soon.
The question is though, is it the right bike for you? Historically, race bikes have not been for everyone, particularly, aero-bikes. But let me tell you, if you are considering a road bike which can climb & descend spectacularly well, is 100% up there with the fastest aero bikes in the world, and is comfortable enough for those long days out like mine, then look no further than the Cannondale SuperSix.
Available now from just £2,999 with Shimanoo 105 12 speed mechanical.
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