Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cannondale Supersix Evo - 1st impressions

Yes I know - I make fun of roadies ... they wear too much white, put funny hats under their helmets, and get upset when they hit bumps on the road ... so it is ironic that I should be posting a quick review of my new road bike!

Given that most of my training week is spent on the road bike, I thought it about time I updated my "training" bike. Yep - this is the bike to be used for lots of hill repeats, bakery bunch groveling ... and importantly commuter chasing on the way home after a full blown training session else where.

The weapon of choice is the Cannondale Supersix Evo Team ... a bike worthy of the Cannondale Liquigas team, so it should be up to scratch for my purposes.

Out of the box, the bike is just outright awesome. Full SRAM Red components, Mavic Cosmic Carbone wheels, lots of FSA K-Force carbon bits, and some FI'ZI:K bits too.

In true Cannondale style, the SRAM Red components are actually lime green - which coupled with all the other little anodized green bits make for an eye catching bike indeed.

The only thing I have added to this bike is the new SRAM Quarq Powermeter which fits directly into the native Hollowgram cranks. It simply replaces the default spindle, and off you go. This means that you can still run the awesome Hollowgram cranks, and you have the lightest power meter setup you can get.

And for those who are wondering, yes, the cranks make a huge difference. Having been playing around with the MTB Quarq on my Cannondale Flash 29er, I had to swap off the Hollowgrams for the MTB Quarq SRAM X0 cranks. Going back to the Hollowgrams, you immediately notice the difference in stiffness and power transfer. Not only are the Hollogram cranks light, but they are super stiff. The SRAM X0 and even to some degree the SRAM RED & XX cranks feel soggy compared to the Holllowgrams.

On a side note, it was great to see the new Quarq just easily slot in and work out of the box. The numbers it has given for my first ride match well with the Quarq on my old road bike - so that is really exciting. It is always a worry introducing a new power meter, and knowing that the magic numbers might be "apples and oranges" ... so when it gives the right looking magic numbers it is happy times.

Back to the rest of the bike ...

After just the first shake down ride, it is immediately apparent how well that rear end flex in the Supersix Evo's works. Canberra roads are pretty crap gravel wise, and I was impressed that I could remain seated in a lot of rough sections and keep pedaling. On other bikes you would need to be lifting your butt off the seat to get through these crap sections.

The ride is very smooth, and you really can keep the power down through crappy sections of road.

The stiffness in the cranks and bottom bracket area is noticeable. You can feel a solid power transfer underneath the pedals. This also allows for quick accelerations and being able to really punch out quick climbs.

The wheels felt smooth and consistent, and despite their profile were quite quiet and unaffected by cross winds. I look forward to really spinning these up on some long flats to see how they go.

The SRAM Red components (as always) are awesome. Quick, precise shifting - even under load. Quick to tune as well.

So yeah, that is my initial impressions - a fricken awesome bike!

Now I just have to wait for the next 3 weekends of MTB races to be over so I can take this puppy out to Bakery Bunch :)

A big thanks to Al from CSG for getting be hooked up with this bike!

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