Cannondale’s 2012 road and cyclocross line up includes a few redesigned models and some new bits and pieces to go on the frames.
The flagship is their SuperSix EVO road bike, a souped up version of their SuperSix that gets lighter while retaining all the stiffness. The SuperSix EVO Ultimate, above, is the lightest of the light and gets handpicked carbon tubes, pulling the lightest from the batches, along with a bare frame and very top-shelf parts to come in at just 11lbs 3oz (56, I think).
So, what separates the EVO model from the regular SuperSix? What else is new from Cannondale? Make the jump and see, there’s plenty of bikes for common folks, too…
A lab in Germany tests weights and stiffness independently, normalizing for frame size, headset type and derailleur mounts then develops a figure. For the SuperSix EVO, they came up with 695g. That makes it the lightest mass production bike so far. It also measured with the highest stiffness to weight ratio of any bike they’ve tested. (142.3n/degree/kg if you’re counting)
Cannondale kept the same BB stiffness as the regular SuperSix but increased headtube stiffness 13%. What makes those figures exciting (besides the phenomenally low weight) is that the tubes and stays are all thinner in diameter than the regular SuperSix.
Headtube is 1.125 to 1.25 tapered (white bike is regular SuperSix, black is EVO for all comparison photos)…
Seatstays are straight and thinner (versus the hourglass profile)…
Seat tube gets ovalized at the BB, and the downtube is thinner. On top of all that, the layup was optimized using the knowledge gained making the Flash hardtails. The front triangle is continuous fiber HM monocoque construction to form the top-, head- and downtube as one piece. The seat- and chainstays are molded as one piece, which includes the dropout. This let’s them make the chainstays hollow further back, which they say saves about 17g per side compared to designs that have bonded in dropouts. Each side has its own left and right mold, and they’re all size specific. Cannondale offers eight sizes (48-63), so that’s a lot of molds. And they test each size through all of their different impact, load and stress tests.
While the lab test’s “normalized” weight says it’s 695g, in reality, they range from about 730g (ultimate) to 810g for the Team because of the paint. The Ultimate gets hand picked tubes during construction, and they choose the lightest, getting in at the 730g average.
The SAVE stays and fork provide better frame compliance. Cannondale’s road product manager Henning Schroeder says that “suspension” is built on the same philosophy as F1 cars in that it’s for traction rather than comfort, and it works whether you’re seated or standing. When the rider is seated, the seat tube has a bit of forward flex built in to keep them a bit more comfy, but the frame’s intentional vertical deflection is -sing it with me- all about performance.
Synapse gets new seatstays that are a bit straighter with a smaller dropout to save a bit of weight and look sleeker. The fork goes with the CAAD10 style design with a bit more curve forward and downward facing, smaller dropouts that give it some of the SAVE features.
Seat post gets a new design that morphs from the frame’s tear drop shape to a round shape that provides more compliance, and there are two layups available: stiff and flexy. It’s a cut to fit design with 15mm of height adjustment at the seat clamp and 5mm of adjustment at the seatmast. They’ll offer 0mm and 25mm offset toppers.
Frame weight on HM models is 1000g (claimed). All frames except the Sora build get BB30, and there’s an Apex build with SRAM’s WiFli wide range gearing and compact cranksets. All models get 25c tires and 3.5mm gel tape, ensuring that this is their cobble-ready bike.
New CAAD 8 is completelty redesigned to better mimic the CAAD10. It has a new double sided derailleur hanger, thinline straight seatstays with SAVE elements built in. It gets some of the same tube butting and shaping, too, including the toptube-to-seatstay flowing lines. The frame is BB30 for the Tiagra and 105 level, but keeps standard BB for the Sora build. Headtube is straight 1-1/8″ with alloy steerer/carbon legged fork. Frame weight is 1370g for a 56 (claimed).
Introduced last year as their premium cyclocross bike, the Super-X (reviewed here) was only available in a hi-mod carbon iteration. For 2012, there’s a new Super-X standard Modulus frame. It adds about 200g to the frame, putting it at 1200g (claimed). The fork is about 60g heavier at 550g. Geometry is exactly the same, they use the same molds for both. $3,099 for Ultegra and $2,599 for Rival.
The CAAD-X is now BB30 all the way across the line and the lowest level bike gets the new 10-speed Shimano Tiagra group.