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Cannondale 2018 road and cyclo-cross bikes: your essential guide

Fancy a Cannondale for your next road or cyclo-cross bike? Chances are they’ve got you covered…

For the next installment of RCUK’s 2018 bike guides, it’s over to Cannondale. Creators of the some of the most desirable bikes in the industry, including the latest version of the popular Synapse endurance bike, the American manufacturer also enjoyed something of a bumper year of coverage – for better and worse – on the racing scene through 2017.

On the one hand, Rigoberto Uran rediscovered his GC form at the Tour de France with second overall and a stage win, while the Cannondale-Drapac team also scored top tens at the Giro and Vuelta through Davide Formolo and Michael Woods respectively. On the other, the team faced an uncertain future in the summer and came close to folding until EF Education First stepped in as a sponsor for 2018. The bikes and riders have steadfastly performed on the road throughout though, evidenced by those GC performances, as well as three individual stage victories on the WorldTour to break a win-less streak stretching back to the 2015 Giro d’Italia.

Cannondale’s 2018 range includes the Synapse endurance bike, SuperSix Evo race bike and SuperX ‘cross bike

The range begins with the SuperSix Evo and SuperSix Evo Disc lightweight race bikes, which cut a traditional profile thanks to the long straight toptube and thin tubing used extensively throughout. Interestingly, there is no out-and-out aero bike in the Cannondale range, although the SuperSix did receive a design tweak a couple of years ago to smooth the edges and add at least a little wind-cheating ability

Next is Cannondale’s highly-regarded endurance road bike, the Synapse, which was overhauled in 2017. The latest version of the Synapse is disc-only, as is the way these days with long-distance machines, but the range is fortified with two carbon rim brake bikes based around the previous frame, as well as four disc-equipped alloy machines.

Cannondale’s major launch ahead of the 2018 model year saw the Synapse endurance bike revamped

If alloy is your frame material of choice in a race bike, then the American brand has this area well and truly covered with the CAAD12 in six guises, split down the middle with three rim brake and three disc brake models. Additionally, there’s also the race-ready carbon SuperX cyclo-cross bike and an alloy CX bike in the form of the CAADX. However, it’s worth noting at this point that the Cannondale Slate gravel bike won’t be available through UK retailers in 2018.

Let’s get stuck in, then, starting with the flagship race bike, the SuperSix Evo, which can be built to suit a very wide range of budgets.


Cannondale SuperSix Evo and SuperSix Evo Disc

As we’ve mentioned, unlike many big bike brands, Cannondale don’t offer an out-and-out aero road bike and instead opt for the lightweight SuperSix Evo, which is something of a climbing all-rounder.

The bikes are available in rim and disc brake formats, with framesets made using a standard ‘BallisTec’ carbon, or a special high-modulus layup which reduces weight to a claimed 777g, while also apparently increasing stiffness.

Cannondale’s SuperSix Evo is the American firm’s lightweight climbing machine and this Hi-Mod Black Inc. version is the top-spec machine

That’s the name of the game with the SuperSix – stiffness-to-weight ratio – but, as we’ve already touched upon, the latest version of the frame did recent an update to bring it into line with other bikes of its ilk with subtle truncated aero tweaks to the tubing. Other features include Cannondale’s ‘SAVE’ technology in the stays and fork, designed to boost compliance, and an asymmetric BB30A bottom bracket that joins to a flared seattube.

The disc version pays a small weight penalty of 52g, but as we found out for the 2017 RCUK100, it rides very similarly to the rim brake version.

The range tops out with Black Inc. editions of the Hi-Mod framesets in both rim and disc brake formats (£9,499.99 and £10,999.99 respectively), making use of every trick bit of kit available, including Enve wheelsets and full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupsets. If those price tags seem a little steep, then the Hi-Mod range starts at £4,999.99 and £5,999.99 for rim and disc brakes respectively.

Otherwise, the ‘standard’ carbon bikes start at £2,699.99 for the SuperSix Evo Disc with Shimano Ultegra, while the rim brake line-up goes as low as a £1,799.99 model with Shimano 105.

For an even sleeker look, the SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod is available with SRAM Red eTap

Cannondale SuperSix Evo 2018 bikes

Cannondale SuperSix Evo Disc Black Inc. (Shimano Dura-Ace Di2) – £10,999.99
Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Disc Team (Shimano Dura-Ace Di2) – £8,499.99
Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Disc Dura-Ace – £4,999.99
Cannondale SuperSix Evo Disc Ultegra – £2,699.99

The Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Disc Team 2018 sits second in the disc-equipped line-up

Cannondale SuperSix Evo Black Inc. (Shimano Dura-Ace Di2) – £9,499.99
Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Red eTap – £5,999.99
Cannondale SuperSix Evo Red eTap – £4,799.99
Cannondale SuperSix Evo Dura-Ace – £3,699.99
Cannondale SuperSix Evo Ultegra Di2 – £3,199.99
Cannondale SuperSix Evo Ultegra – £2,099.99
Cannondale SuperSix Evo 105 – £1,799.99

Cannondale Synapse

The Synapse has been freshly updated for 2018 and in its refreshed format now comes only shod with disc brakes. It’s lighter and stiffer, too, with a claimed frame weight that comes in under the magic 1kg mark (950g), while tyre clearance has been increased to 32mm (there are mudguard mounts, too).

The frame boasts a more relaxed ‘endurance race’ geometry than the SuperSix, with taller headtube as a result, but it’s still a machine designed to be able to mix it in the heat of a race or gran fondo.

The latest version of the Synapse is available with disc brakes only

The 2018 iteration of the well-regarded Synapse endurance bike is disc-brake only though the new frame still comes in under the 1kg mark

This is the bike in which Cannondale’s comfort-enhancing SAVE technology comes into its own, featuring prominently in the fork, frame and seatpost. SAVE essentially refers to how Cannondale’s engineers have shaped the tubes to offer more compliance over rough roads without losing all-important ride feel.

Again, the range is topped by a Hi-Mod framset, with three premium builds available from £4,999.99. The standard BallisTec carbon framed bikes start from £2,199.99 with a Shimano 105 groupset.

If you’re after a bargain, however, two older-generation rim brake carbon bikes remain (with Shimano 105 or Tiagra groupsets), as well as four alloy-framed disc brake bikes. Prices start from £1,349.99 and £849.99 respectively.

The Synapse features a more relaxed geometry than the SuperSix Evo, but is still designed to offer a racy ride and plenty of stiffness

Cannondale Synapse 2018 bikes

Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Disc Dura-Ace Di2 – £7,799.99
Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Disc Red eTap – £6,499.99
Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Disc Dura-Ace – £4,999.99
Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc Red eTap – £4,999.99
Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc Dura-Ace – £3,999.99
Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc Ultegra Di2 – £3,799.99
Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc Ultegra SE – £3,249.99
Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc Ultegra – £2,699.99
Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc 105 – £2,199.99

Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 – £1,599.99
Cannondale Synapse Carbon Tiagra – £1,399.99

Cannondale Synapse Alloy Disc 105 SE – £1,299.99
Cannondale Synapse Alloy Disc 105 – £1,199.99
Cannondale Synapse Alloy Disc Tiagra – £999.99
Cannondale Synapse Alloy Disc Sora – £849.99

Cannondale CAAD12 and CAAD12 Disc

The CAAD12 took over from the CAAD10 – itself rated as one of the best aluminium bikes around – last year, and took the DNA of that bike and the collective experience of Cannondale’s engineers to produce this, the latest iteration of the CAAD species.

It’s an alloy race bike, so boasts the same aggressive-yet-accessible geometry of the SuperSix Evo carbon bike, formed from premium 6069-grade aluminium tubing for optimal stiffness and low weight.

In fact, the frame comes in at a claimed 1,089g – as we remarked during our RCUK 100 review, that is incredibly impressive for an alloy frame and why many privateer racers opt for aluminium when putting together a build.

The Cannondale CAAD12 is seriously light for a disc-ready alloy frame

The CAAD12 frameset is available for discs or rim brakes, with three models apiece. You can enter the fray at £1,099.99 for a Shimano Tiagra-equipped rim brake bike, or go all in and adopt disc brakes with a full Shimano Dura-Ace build for £3,499.99.

Three disc and three rim builds are available in the UK in 2018, including this Shimano Ultegra-dressed version (£1,899.99)

Cannondale CAAD12 and CAAD12 Disc 2018 bikes

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc Dura-Ace – £3,499.99
Cannondale CAAD12 Disc Ultegra – £2,199.99
Cannondale CAAD12 Disc 105 – £1,699.99

Cannondale CAAD12 Ultegra – £1,899.99
Cannondale CAAD12 105 – £1,399.99
Cannondale CAAD12 Tiagra – £1,099.99

Cannondale SuperX

The SuperX is the American brand’s race cyclo-cross bike, and features at the heart of its carbon frame a geometry specially designed for CX racing.

That means shortened chainstays, hinting at good responsiveness and power transfer, as well as a slackened headtube angle for more reliable handling at the front end. Comfort is also a priority, with a rear triangle designed to offer a plusher ride.

The SuperX is Cannondale’s dedicated ‘cross race bike

Cannondale recognises that 1x drivetrains are popular in CX racing right now, so have designed the frame with a removable front derailleur mount to keep its looks svelte, while internal cable routing keeps cables out the way of mud and grime.

All the bikes come prepared with 1x drivetrains, including a race-ready Shimano XT Di2 and 105 mix bike for £4,299.99. The other three bikes in the range hand over to SRAM’s 1x drivetrain prowess, with two models featuring Force and one with Apex starting from £2,499.99.

Cannondale SuperX 2018 bikes

Cannondale SuperX Di2 (Shimano XT Di2/105) – £4,299.99
Cannondale SuperX Force 1 SE – £3,249.99
Cannondale SuperX Force 1 – £2,999.99
Cannondale SuperX Apex 1 – £2,499.99

Cannondale CAADX

Cannondale also make the CAADX, an alloy CX bike that mirrors the considered geometry of the carbon flagship race bike, but forms it using aluminium tubing. There’s still a carbon fork up front, though.

The CAADX mirrors the geometry of the SuperX, but is alloy rather than carbon

The CAADX also features integrated mudguard and rack mounts, making it very much a utilitarian all-road bike as well as being capable of tearing up CX courses. While cyclo-cross races are limited to 33mm tyres, you can run up to 37mm rubber on the CAADX for added traction and comfort on tougher terrain.

There are four models available, like the carbon SuperX, but this time the drivetrain duties are handed over to Shimano with double-chainring groupsets. Topping the range is an Ultegra-equipped bike with a 46-36t chainset for £1,699.99, while you’ll also find two 105-specced bikes. A Shimano Tiagra-shod machine provides the foundation for the range at £999.99.

Cannondale CAADX 2018 bikes

Shimano CAADX Ultegra – £1,699.99
Shimano CAADX 105 SE – £1,299.99
Shimano CAADX 105 – £1,199.99
Shimano CAADX Tiagra – £999.99

Website: Cannondale

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