Cannondale’s new SuperSix EVOs are fast bikes for gravel and cyclocross racing

Twin version of the same platform aims to provide race-winning performance when applied to either gravel or cyclocross

If the SuperSix EVO was formerly associated with going fast on-road, Cannondale is now hoping people will make the same association when it comes to off-road disciplines. To this end, it’s just launched cyclocross and gravel-specific models bearing the famous SuperSix EVO name.

Representing an update of its cyclocross bike and a radically faster alternative to its more adventure-focused Topstone, the SuperSix EVO SE and SuperSix EVO CX bikes bring aggressive geometry and aerodynamics to bear on the American firm’s off-road offering.

Betting on the fact gravel riders interested in racing rather than roving and cyclocross competitors can find a lot to agree on, each bike is a single platform built up to fit either niche. Much to the consternation of people that remember a time when a cyclocross bike wasn’t quite kosher if it had two sets of bottle cage mounts, both bikes share the same frame and extract similar benefits from it.

Based around short chainstays for explosive acceleration and handling that sees shoulder to shoulder cornering as much as an opportunity as a hazard, both machines share more in common with tarmac-based racing bikes than ponderous bikepacking designs. Matched to a slacker head angle, this shared geometry also aims to strike a balance between speed and terror when it comes to technical terrain.

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While its blending of categories might provoke much gnashing of teeth in some quarters, Cannondale’s merging of gravel and cyclocross relies upon a reasonably obvious synergy between both groups. Namely, that while gravel riders want wide tyres, cyclocross riders want narrower ones, but need plenty of mud clearance on either side.
This the SuperSix EVO delivers, with clearance for tyres up to 45mm; the result being plenty of volume for gravel or massive clearance when used with cyclocross race-legal 33c tyres.

Suiting it to both the dusty trails of America’s high plains or the claggy mud of the Low Countries, whether used off-road or fitted with slicker tyres, Cannondale also claim the off-road SuperSix is roughly as aerodynamically efficient as its road-going forebear. Familiar to fans of its existing road bike, the platform’s distinctive dropped seat stays and flat angles also carry over.

Related: Best gravel bikes

Already teased at Unbound Gravel in Kansas and getting a general release just in time for the cyclocross season, in the UK, the gravel SE will cost £4,600 while the CX clocks in at £3,800.

SuperSix EVO SE

Sporting an electronic 12-speed SRAM Rival eTap AXS groupset, twin 46/33t crankset, and 10-36t cassette, the gravel-going SE is clearly pursuing a policy of maximum efficiency. Rolling on mid-section DT Swiss CR-1600 Spline carbon wheels, despite being fitted with Vittoria Terreno Dry TNT 40c tyres, it still manages to look quite a lot like a regular racing bike.

Shop SuperSix EVO SE

Arriving in either Cool Mint or Meteor Gray, of the two bikes, its gearing means there’s also no reason to assume that with a switch of tyres it couldn’t outperform many a sportive bike on-road too. A fact helped by its unusually tall largest gear and regular road-style bars and finishing kit, it seems designed not to hang around wherever you use it.

SuperSix EVO CX

Either through respect for its mud-spattered calling or in deference to the potential need to run a fleet of two matching bikes, the EVO CX sticks to a more budget and maintenance-friendly mechanical groupset. With a single chainring giving simplified gearing, and removing another component for mud to accumulate atop, it arrives with UCI compliant Terreno Mix TNT 33c tubeless tyres.

ShopSuperSix EVO CX

Otherwise, the finishing kit is remarkably similar to the SE. Of course, with a few pairs of tyres, either bike could do a pretty complete impression not only of the other but also the road going SuperSix too.

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