Cannondale SuperSix Evo CX and SE


Takeaway meals: With the SuperSix Evo, Cannondale gives riders a choice. The platform comes in two flavors: cyclocross and gravel. The bikes share the same frame and fork, with Cannondale selecting components to best meet the riding needs of each discipline. The SE has wide tires and a 2X drivetrain for fast gravel driving or racing. The CX gets skinny and 1X studs for racing cyclocross. Choose the version that best suits your driving style and you will be impressed.

  • Separate cyclocross or gravel specific models
  • Exceptional maneuverability in steep terrain
  • Lots of mud / tire clearance
  • Ai offset makes it difficult to share the rear wheels with other bikes

    Price: $ 4,000 (CX) / $ 5,150 (SE)
    Weight: 18.5 lb (CX) / 19.5 lb (SE)

    SuperSix Evo CX review

    Cannondale SuperSix Evo CX

    Cannondale SuperSix Evo SE

    Same but different

    Cannondale’s previous cyclocross bike, the SuperX, was so good for so long that it pushed the brand into a corner. Cannondale could either keep making the same fantastic bike at the risk of making it look more and more old-fashioned, or change it up and potentially ruin a really good thing. Looking at the new SuperSix Evo CX and SE, you might assume Cannondale chose the latter, but place the geometric graphics side by side and you’d be hard pressed to spot the difference. It took me a while to find it, it’s the angle of the seat tube. On newer bikes it is around 1 degree of slack. Other than that it’s the same SuperX we know and love, although from a distance you might confuse it with the SuperSix Evo road bike.

    supersix evo
    All the small things. The Evo CX (left) and Evo SE (right) may appear to differ only in color, but the subtle differences in the parts allow each to excel at the task at hand.

    Trevor Raab

    Much of the overhaul was caused by the explosion of gravel racing, which the previous bike had been very successful at. While the raised aero tube shapes of the Evo road platform do not detract from the cyclocross performance of the bike, they will certainly help more significantly in gravel races, where riders often spend many miles battling the wind. alone or in small groups. The increased tire clearance – from 40mm to 45mm – could, again, be aimed at the gravel racing crowd while also resulting in increased mud clearance for cyclocross racers. It’s hard to make a bike that’s good at two different things, especially when those two things are as different as a 60 minute cross country race and a 200 mile gravel race. Winning both was something the previous Super X was no stranger to, and the new SuperSix Evo CX and SuperSix Evo SE only improve on that formula.

    On my way to my cyclocross training point, I had to remember that I was on a “cross bike”. It was intuitive and responsive in the same way I would expect a well-designed road bike to be. To understand what sets the Evo CX apart, you’ll need to push it to the pace of the race for a few laps. When sprinting out of bends, it responds immediately to pedal actuation, thanks to the short chainstay, which picks up from the Super X. As it crisscrosses the bends at high speed, it is remarkable how the before holds a line. Steering is smooth, precise and reliable without being jittery or prone to oversteer.

    supersix evo
    Knotty if you want to cross country and you will still have a lot of mud clearance.

    Trevor Raab

    supersix evo
    Even with 40mm wide Vittoria Terreno Dry tires you have plenty of clearance.

    Trevor Raab

    On steep and technical terrain, the bike shines even more. This is where the loose front and short reach of the Super X is felt. Other cross bikes put more weight on the front wheel, limiting your ability to shift your weight backwards, making steep descents maddening. The SuperSix Evo CX might not magically turn you into a downhill champion, but the combination of a shorter reach and lower bottom bracket can help you tackle steep descents more comfortably.

    supersix evo
    A single ring at the front for the CX

    Trevor Raab

    supersix evo
    Two platforms for the SE

    Trevor Raab

    Since the SuperSix Evo SE is Cannondale’s new gravel racing rig, I did a bit of mixed terrain riding on it. It is very well suited for riders looking for a riding experience similar to their road racing bikes, only with large tires. There are no bag mounts or fenders on the SuperSix Evo SE, and all compliance comes from tire pressure or rider skills. The things that make the Evo CX a great cyclocross bike also make the Evo SE a great “fast” gravel bike. It is effective under hard pedaling and rocket both uphill and downhill.

    It’s worth mentioning that the Evo SE and Evo CX are by no means “quiver killers”. These are bikes with spare tire clearance and the predecessor of which was used to win one of the most prestigious gravel races (Unbound Gravel) in 2018 as well as several national cyclocross championships. So if your gravel version is dirt road racing, this is probably the right bike for you; and if you ride cyclocross, this is the bike for you too.

    Choose between the two

    Determining which of the two versions of the new SuperSix Evo is right for you can be like a four-way haircut exercise. In theory, the SE construction is more ideally suited for gravel while the CX, as the name suggests, is for cyclocross. But the reality is, you can do both on either model with the right set of tires fitted. For example, while I did a lot of cyclocross races on the CX, I also did the Vermont Overland Gravel race on it. For the most part, the choice will come down to 1x vs 2x and electronics vs mechanics.

    Many riders prefer the simplicity and extra chain retention of the 1x drivetrain for gravel and cyclocross. While others find the higher range and smaller speed jumps of a 2x system to be superior. With the SuperSix Evo, you have the choice between the two with an additional caveat, mechanical or electrical. While the frameset is compatible with both types of shifting systems, riders looking for an electronic groupset will also be locked into a 2x setup. While those who prefer a mechanical transmission can only choose the 1x option.

    supersix evo
    Mechanical gear shifting on the CX

    Trevor Raab

    supersix evo
    SRAM Rival AXS wireless shifting on the SE

    Trevor Raab

    It is of course possible to change either bike from 1x to 2x and vice versa but this will require the purchase of additional parts and can be an expensive exchange. Price is probably the other main factor for riders choosing between these models. The SE with its 2x electronic transmission sells for $ 1,150 more than the CX.

    Drivers who want to focus primarily on the CX, a notoriously equipment-demanding discipline that often requires lots of wheel and tire sets, will likely be better served by the mechanical CX version. The extra money can be used for a second set of mud wheels and tires which will ultimately prove more useful to them than an electronic transmission. The cheaper CX will also likely appeal to budget riders looking for the same excellent ride as the SuperSix Evo but at 1 / 5th less than the priced SE version.

    But, if electronic gearshifting or a 2x drivetrain is a must for you, the SE will happily meet those needs.

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