ThrillBike QuickLook: Cannondale Supersix Evo *RIM BRAKE*
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A couple years back I rode a disc-braked Cannondale Supersix Evo Hi-Mod Ultegra Di2 (whew) for a season. I liked it. It was light enough, stiff, snappy, looked cool. And yet, I didn't stick with it, and reverted back to my dented and dated but desired old CAAD12.
What's the point of this story?
Maybe I'm part of a dying breed, but rim-brakes still hold value and appeal to me. Lighter! Simpler! Easier to travel with! But offerings are starting to dwindle from larger bike brands. And unless you're willing to go boutique, the days of the race-ready yet affordable rim-braked bike are dying.
Which is why this Supersix Evo rim-braked zim-zam is so interesting. The model has been discontinued for 2022, and it's extremely unlikely that the next all-around race bike by Cannondale will feature a rim-brake variant. And so, the bike featured here is an interesting snapshot at a industry in transition. The veritable swan song of the rim-braked race bike. Let's take a gander.
This bike brought to you by @andrepaulham! His bike is far from stock, as it should be—this is a lovely, special build that just *works.*
First thing's first—the frame. The geometry and zim-zams here are precisely the same as the disc-braked Supersix Evo. This is the non Hi-Mod version, so is a touch heavier. Reported weight is just under 17lbs for a 56cm bike. Not bad considering this is largely a 105 build.
Dropped seatstays remain! I've always liked the stripey detail here (which are reflective, neat). The direct mount integration is quite nice. Note the aluminum seatpost (which it comes with). Andre has since upgraded to a carbon one (a very worthwhile upgrade—a touch disappointing to see the aluminum variant as stock).
The nice'n'simple looking fork is retained. Good to see that they didn't skimp on the "aero flush" foil thing. Routing isn't integrated in anyway, but allows for a lighter setup (the fancy integrated Hollowgram stem is cool looking, but heavy).
The Pro stem is a nice choice. Note the lil bumper thing up front (which, now that I think about it, I am unclear on purpose for this model). Allows for integrated setup if wanted? The rubber bumper is a bit fiddly, and doesn't seat quite correctly. From all reports I've read/seen, a small spacer is required below the stem. No slammed stems here, sadly.
Mavic Ksyrium Pro wheels are a good'n'light everyday choice for training and racing. Shimano 105 shifters/brakes get the job done while keeping costs down. There's a lot to like about this build. Meanwhile, the reign of GP5000s continues.
The Ultegra crank is a good upgrade over the stock so-so crank. A Hollowgram crank would have been A+ (and a good bit lighter), but of course I'd say that. Assioma powermeter keeps the aesthetic tidy (a cool power meter that I'm considering upgrading too).
Nice to see the optional "aero water bottle" mount make an appearance here. It probably does nothing, but I'll admit to resorting to it for fast segment attempts or crits. It's a fun feature. No opinion on these bottle cages, really!
Cockpit is simple and tidy. A handlebar upgrade might be in order.
Teggy deraileur looks to be an upgrade (maybe I'm wrong). Again, a nice little detail.
Conclusions? I really like this build, and it represents what I—personally—love about having a "long term bike relationship." The upgrades are thoughtful and reliable. There's a nice degree of simplicity here, but the bike is no doubt fast as hell, too.
This is a kind of weird, cool bike that definitely flew under the radar. Got one? Let me know how it is in the comments below.