Late February and with spring just around the corner a shiny new road bike is looking more and more appealing. I was kindly supplied a Cannondale SuperSix Evo Sram Red 22 Road Bike for the weekend and could not wait to test it over some grueling Kent roads, in a local sportive.
First impressions- this is one good-looking road bike. A bright and very eye-catching black and red colour scheme really gives this bike a pro feel, the bold white Cannondale logos and graphics give the bike a fast look and leave no doubt that you are riding one of their top of the range framesets.
Setting the bike up to my position took a mere 10 minutes as the relatively straight toptube and balanced geometry made things very simple. A 52 centimetre frame, with a 120 millimetre stem was perfect and it felt great as I jumped on it. The real test would be when I took it on the road!
Sunday morning came and I wheeled the bike out ready for a sunny ride in the Kent hills. Unfortunately it had been raining so this was going to be a real test of this bike’s handling and grip. Off we went and straight away I knew this bike meant business as it hurtled away like an excitable puppy. Even with slight pressure applied to the pedals this bike reacted instantly. Out of the saddle and into a headwind and I could already feel the stiff bottom bracket, how the power was getting delivered straight into the bike and not being wasted on the road.
Over some rough, potholed Kent roads and a road bike can often give you a jarring sensation on such terrain. Not the Cannondale SuperSix Evo though. Soaking up the road vibrations through the nicely shaped Cannondale own branded aluminium handlebars and stem to give me a velvet like ride.
This smooth ride was further complimented by the Mavic Kysrium Equipe S WTS Wheels, which felt stiff but also seemed to roll seamlessly along the rutted roads. They are also relatively light and felt like a tough, do it all set of wheels, just as competent on a sportive as for racing.
Onto the first serious hill and as the road ramped up I got out of the saddle and the bike rocketed away from under me. This same frame has been used by Peter Sagan, Ivan Basso and The Cannondale Professional Cycling Team to good effect in some of the world’s most demanding and mountainous races. This bike has been designed to climb and boy does it do a good job!
Ultra lightweight at less than 700 grams for the frame means this bike literally soars when the road tilts skywards, helped by the seriously svelte Sram Red 22 groupset.
Descending on such a light bike can often feel twitchy and unsure of itself especially in the wind, but this was not the case with the SuperSix Evo! It felt like it was on rails as I flung it around the twisty descents the bike evoking feelings of confidence but most importantly stable.
Although it was not raining, the roads were wet and grimy, a good test for the Mavic WTS 700x23c tyres. Pumped to 95psi they felt absolutely brilliant. Considering these are not specific winter tyres, I was really putting them to the test and they performed impeccably, gripping well, rolling fast and after 115 kilometres passing many people stranded at the side of the road, these tyres were still running strong, with no signs of cuts.
Up front and the Cannondale branded handlebar was a great shape for me, I especially liked the narrow tops ideal for climbing and the drops were just as comfortable when descending and cornering, leaving my wrists in a relaxed position.
Finished off with a Fizik Arione saddle in a matching red and white colour scheme, which was incredibly comfortable, supportive and due to the long profile was great for moving my position around depending if I was climbing, descending or on the flat.
The top of the range Sram Red 22 groupset has been added to this bike and worked beautifully. If the likes of Mark Cavendish use it to Tour de France glory, it must be good.
Shifting was smooth and I especially liked the ergonomically shaped levers, very comfortable when climbing out of the saddle and within easy reach when on the drops.
Sram Red brakes give plenty of feedback and a confident bite, after four hours of riding in atrocious conditions they still had just as much life and made me feel secure I was going to stop safely.
The compact 50/34 chainset added was a revelation. Perfect gearing for the flat roads and when hitting the very steep hills it meant I could shift down into the 34 ring and spin up them with ease, saving my legs and giving me plenty of gears to accelerate over the summit.
Over 2000 metres of climbing later, 115 kilometres and some seriously wet roads I rolled across the line to finish the sportive. Second place on the day, helped no doubt by the sensational Cannondale SuperSix Evo Red 22 that performed just how a high quality road bike should. Very stiff but still comfortable, effortlessly fast with the power feeling like it went directly into the pedals, handled like it was on rails and super lightweight making climbs, if not easy, a lot more manageable!
Want a new mid priced road bike for sportives, racing or just riding some nice long miles on this summer? Look no further than the Cannondale SuperSix Evo Red 22.
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