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Cannondale’s context for the new SuperX is that the sport of cyclocross is changing as it grows in popularity. Seasons have gotten longer, sometimes starting as early as late spring when courses are dry, dusty, and fast. Races are getting faster and more technical. Courses themselves have gotten more extreme, with features resembling downhill courses of the early 90’s.

In this third iteration of the Super X, Cannondale has created the cyclocross machine for the moment. The new geometry is geared around stability and traction from a handling standpoint, as well as control and comfort from the rider’s perspective. It is light-weight (claimed 1000g frame) and possesses massive tire clearance to boot. What is really exciting about this model is in how Cannondale, once again, bucks convention to accomplish everything. More on this, after the jump…

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From a clearance perspective, the model has over 11mm of space around 700x33c tires, allowing for a ton of mud clearance. If you are fat tire-inclined, the model fits a maximum 40c tire. What is impressive is that the frame configuration allows for these massive clearances with a minimal 422mm rear center.

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To accomplish this, Cannondale has employed its Asymmetric Integration (Ai) system from its off-road category (like the new Scapel), wherein it offsets the drivetrain outward 6mm. This means that wheels built for this model require special dishing (the rear axle remains 12x142mm) but the effect is an impressively tight rear end.

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But capability for large tires isn’t the only thing that facilitates rider comfort. The seat and chainstays are flattened and shaped to allow for greater comfort on the bike. The model also features a 25.4mm diameter seat post for a little more flex. Plus, to keep everything clean, tucked, and out of the way, the seat binder bolt is located under the top tube.

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In helping riders to better control the bike while riding, the cockpit is designed to sit higher and closer to the rider per size, allowing for greater movement and adaptability while on the course. Also, the whole geometry scheme has been re-approached with consistently graduating stack and reach, allowing for the riding experience to be more similar from size to size (something smaller riders, especially, will appreciate).

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The front center has been increased across the board in another crossover from their off-road product. Called “OutFront Steering Geometry”, you can expect to see it rolling out across other models in their road family soon, too.  This is intended to increase stability of the frame in technical scenarios while facilitating greater tire and toe clearance. It sounds like a win/win.

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Though the model comes 1x in all spec’s but allows for front derailleur compatibility, with all the necessary ports for wired and mechanical systems. (The bike shown, it is worth noting, is not representative of a final spec complete bike, but a test ride of one of Cannondale’s sales staff.)

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The SuperX is 12mm thru-axle front and rear and features flat mount brake interfacing, a technology Cannondale claims to have developed with brake manufacturers for their off-road product.

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The model comes in five complete flavors including Team, Ultegra, Force, Women’s Force, and 105 with fresh colorways across the board.

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The SuperX Team build features Zipp 303 tubular wheels (with Ai Offset rear spokes), Cannondale HollowGram Si crank, Force CX1 hydraulic disc drivetrain and braking system, as well as a Cannondale carbon cockpit. 

Availability and MSRP TBD.

Cannondale.com

44 COMMENTS

  1. Hopefully they are making more than just the Team level in Hi-Mod. Otherwise, I don’t see these selling too well with the 3K price increase from last year’s model for the zipps.

    That said – some of the tech looks really cool here. The offset drivetrain actually creates LESS dish than a typical 11 speed wheel needs, so that’s a bonus in my book. Not being able to borrow a wheel on the other hand.. not so bonus, as Specialized learned the hard way with SCS last year.

    Through Axles.. bah. We seriously do not need these on cross bikes, but whatever, the market seems to want them anyway, so C-dale needed to comply there.

  2. Using AI on a cross bike makes no sense to me. Road cranksets are already having chainline issues with the +2.5mm chainline from 135/142 rear ends. Is chainline on this bike is now +8.5mm? What is the QF on the crankset they are using?

  3. This looks very nice but the extra high standover, if I am reading it correctly, means much more likely to give the family jewels a good whack. Unusual rear wheel dish, not liking being locked into that despite whatever minimal gains may result.

    • CX bikes always have high standover, they have horizontal(ish) because in CX you throw bike bike over your shoulder to run up steps and steep mud sections.

      The rear wheel isn’t locked into anything, its re-dished a few mm, any wheel can be made to fit, possibly needing new drive side spokes, but literally any 700c wheel with a presumably 142mm hub can be made to fit.

    • I’m waiting for a 650B version of a bike like this. Room for fat tires, Cush, yet nimble. Like their Slate except made for ‘cross.

  4. Wow… These Pacific bikes at Walmart keep looking more and more like real bicycles.
    I’m assuming the old adage “Crack’n’fail” still applies to the Pacific Cannondales from Taiwan.
    They really left Bedford, PA in the lurch. It seems that motorcycles and ATVs weren’t their purview.

    • Given this bike is carbon the entire Bedford conversation is pretty much irrelevant, but as an owner of several final-generation US-made CAAD9 road and cross bikes as well as a Taiwanese CAAD10 and CAADX I’ve never had either crack or fail, despite what would be considered by most to be severe treatment. The Taiwanese bikes ride far better, though.

      • They didn’t grow up, they allowed poor management decisions, and a deluge of warranty claims nickle/dime them into bankruptcy. They’d still be producing in the USA if they had been able to get their s**t together. (And not decide to branch out in, quite possibly, the worst motorcycles and ATVs ever made) Seriously, who challenges Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, KTM, Gas Gas, Husky for a tiny market share in a cut-throat industry.
        At least the last remaining large US brands: Giant, Trek, Specialized, still keep their dollars in the USA. Cannondale has a tiny office in CT, but their parent company, Dorel, is Canadian based, so your dollars go north of the border.
        Don’t get me wrong, the Canadians make some great bikes, I have been an owner of a Miele, I have no issues with buying a brand that claims heritage to their home country and then represents them. I have a problem with a once American brand, still clinging to representing themselves as an American brand, with literally no actual ties to America.
        “Handmade in the USA” used to be slathered across their seatstays, now it’s just a bunch of idiotic marketing garbage.

        • “The remaining large US brands: Giant, Trek, Specialized, still keep their dollars in the USA.” ??

          Where Giant is a Taiwanese company, nearly all the Treks are manufactured overseas and Specialized is 49% owned by Merida, and made overseas…

          Nothing inherently wrong with overseas bikes, all that matters to a huge chunk of consumers just want a well made bike. By in large, most of the companies deliver that now, regardless of where they’re made..

          And there are some people who really still seek out the Cannondale motorcycles…

    • Get over Cannondale growing up like every other successful manufacturer and using a supply chain that keeps them profitable. Their bikes are well made and some of the best bang for your buck around. The CAAD 10, 12 are flat out nicer bikes than the ones made in PA every were.

  5. I think my brain is just dense, but am trying to understand the offset BB/CS situation. I run a std GXP crank with Stages and wheels manufacturing BB30 adapters (the slide in type). Does this mean I won’t be able to do so?

  6. Not sure why 422 mm RC/chainstay is considered “impressively tight”. That’s about normal for a new cx bike, and maybe around the correct length. If Canfield can cram 140mm of suspension, clearance for 2.5″ tires, all while using the same wheel and axle size as this, I’m pretty sure the rear end could be made quite a bit shorter. But it’s fair to ask if that would be a good thing on a CX bike.

    • 422mm is tight with the tire clearance that this bike has. While other bikes may have it, they are almost certainly running a lot less clearance. As MTB’s have a wider chainline and run smaller chainrings the design constraints on a given length chain stay are quite different. What may seem doable on one type of bike can be a challenge on another.

    • Just for comparison:
      TCX – 430 mm
      RLT9 – 435 mm

      Given the axle spacing and the tire clearance requirements, 422 mm is pretty short.

      Over on the road side they’re introducing disc-brake bikes with even shorter chainstay length, despite Shimano’s advice of at least 415 mm for its road disc brake systems. The 2017 TCR Advanced Disc lineup gets it down to 405 mm – no news yet as to whether this requires special rear wheel dishing (as with this SuperX) or being locked to a particular wheelset (as with Spez and its Tarmac Disc).

    • 422 with room for a 40mm.. 650bx47 might fit!!! I am sure a 650×42 will! Goonnna be a rad bike to have i the staple. Thanks Cannondale for finally updating one of the lightest cx bikes out there.

  7. What other brand has innovated as consistently as Cannonade for 30 years? Another impressive bike. I really like the good tire clearance.

    • Erm BB30? Yeah, way to innovate. As explained in the cxmagazine link – had they not opted for a narrow BB30 spec and plumped for a wider BB86/386Evo then they could’ve had the same (if not more) clearance with out having to resort to the re-dishing the rear wheel and increasing q-factor by 10mm. Someone at Cannondale must REALLY love BB30.

  8. Soo much wrong with this bike. Rode it at press camp. It’s a dumb down cx bike for rookies.

    It’s basically a mountain bike.

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