Weaknesses: It does all things well, but it is not as aero as a full aero bike (which are heavier), or as comfy as a more upright bike like a Synapse or as light as the lightest bikes (which are more expensive).
This is a review of the 2013 EVO Hi Mod 1 with the SISL 2 crank and Dura Ace 9000. I swapped out a few parts like the wheelset, bars and saddle from stock. Sub 14 pound weight with no accessories, but with pedals.
I have ridden a Cannondale Six Carbon for 4 years, that is the basis for my comparison. The Six Carbon is really underrated, it won a bike of the year in a couple countries, it is a super value and is a great bike.
Where to start? The SISL2 crank is a revelation of lightness and flex-free-ness. It has a narrower Q Factor (pedal to pedal width) than the SLK light, and that is noticeable. The new D/A 9K is awesome, too. Super light feel, super positive feedback esp considering the tiny movements, and the brakes are totally confidence inspiring.
One way I like to get a feel for a bike is to see how it responds to a sudden increase in power while you are already underway. All bikes kind of coil up then release your input when you do this, heck I think your body does, too. It feels like you compress your pedals, your shoes, your joints, the chain, whatever, then they all uncompress and give you your power back. The old cliche of your power going directly to your rear wheels is kind of hype. There is loss in any system.
But the EVO takes your power input and releases it so quickly that you are encouraged to throw in a little extra whenever you have it because so little goes to waste. Without realizing it, I kind of adapt to a bike's efficiency. If I know that a little burst of power will not get me much in return, I do not bother with it. With the EVO it is nearly always worth it. Put in that little extra to push your speed up an extra 1 or 2 mph and it is does not take much to hold it there. I find myself in the big ring a lot more often than I used to. Partly because it is so much easier to shift in and out of the big ring when I need to. I think the reduced flex of the SISL2 rings improves shifting, too. This is a bike that begs to climb AND to sprint. Tool along all day on the flats and it will beg you to quit messing around and do a time trial. The lively feel and response to power input actually tire me out, kind of like playing with a puppy. You eventually have to say "that is all I have for now, boy," then come back and play hard when you have the energy again later.
The Six Carbon had great ride comfort and the ride of the EVO is about the same, I notice no big difference. But that is really huge given lighter weight and increased efficiency are usually at the expense of either a punishing stiff ride or a noodly bike. Not with the EVO. Finally.
Overall a great bike, but at current prices, I don't know about the value. Cannondale has non-hi-mod EVOs this year, they may be the sleeper value in the bike world, the EVO red looks like a good deal. The Super Six Ultegra looks like the equivalent of my Six Carbon Ultegra for 2013 and that looks pretty sweet, too. But you just cant call a $7500+ bike a good deal no matter how nice it is.
Similar Products Used: Cannondale Six Carbon, Cannondale Synapse, Cannondale Six13.
Bike Setup: Stock (DA/9000, SISL2 crank - suh weet!), I installed my old A/C Sprint 350 wheelset, FSA K Wing bar, Fizik Arione saddle, shorter Syntace stem, and non setback Orgin 8 Ultim8 seatpost.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: May 8, 2012
Strengths: I shopped for several months in the Canadian market before landing once again with Cannondale. MSRP $6999 at my LBS. for that price the componenents and frame engineering could not be matched in my mind. This bike had everything including less weight than the typical competitors at that price point. The day I picked her up we weighed her stock on the scale with shimano ultegra pedals (circa 2008). 15.43 lbs out of the box complete (no water bottle cages). Without pedals the UCI would have sanctioned her! The ride? Amazing. Having come off a 2001 Cannondale CAAD 5 frame for a decade i was astounded at how smooth this bike was. Another poster mentioned "floaty". I know exactly what he's talking about. Very very stiff with no hint of flex. Stable at 70km/hr going down. In short, now I know what those who are paid to ride experience except for 2500 dollar wheels of course. I can only imagine the 2012 EVO is even more nimble.
Weaknesses: Paint schemes limited but the white is nice looking.
Cannondale knows what they are doing. Really comfortable ride despite the agressive geometry (as compared to the Synapse)
Weaknesses: None yet. Some people would say cost but its a top flite race machine. That doesnt come cheap. You can pay a lot more. A lot of people are upset that theyre not made in USA anymore. All I can say is that each year the bike has got better regardless of where it is made. And really please just accept that the TAiwanese do know what they are doing when it comes to carbon. Even the big Italians trust them to make most everything but their very top models.
2010 Hi Mod 1. Got the bike without wheels. Have been using Dura ace CL 50 and 24 clinchers on it. Looks heaps better than in pictures. The bike has improved everything. Excellent climbing bike, excellent cornering and decending at speed. Great acceleration on the flat and incredibly fast up to speed decending. Holds any line you like and super smooth. It also smooths out big hits nicely, while having a more lively road feel than my previous EMC2. Its a really smooth ride though, like a bit floaty. It seems like those things contradict each other but somehow it has all of those properties in the ride. My average speed has increased a few K's an hour overnight and hills are just a lot easier or quicker, pick one. My sprint( not the greatest) has improved too, very stable when out of the saddle and no flex. you can hear each leg putting the power down. I guess most of this is coming from the massive BB and head tube. Massive downtube looks pretty cool. I think its 6.5 cm wide. Hollowgram cranks are great looking and seem stiff enough. Easily the best bike i have ever ridden but should be as its best frame ive ever owned.
Strengths: Acceleration of the System Six, ride of the 2009 Super six. Great looking in matte black. With mediocre component 16.66 pounds.
Not a Supersix 1, but HiMod frame. After only doing around 1 mile Im in love this thing. You could say I was satisfied with my 09 Supersix. The ride was good. But it never matched my love for my System. The 2010 Super has the acceleration I loved about my System and it also has a very smooth ride. I have yet to test the handling But in Matte Black the bike is so sexy.
Strengths: You name it! This bike is (probably)better than what you currently own.
Weaknesses: Nothing if you know what you're doing on a bike. Not for the timid or new cyclist.
I have over 20 yrs experience. Had been riding Six 13 with Fulcrum wheels and Campy Groupo. This new 2010 Cannondale is a dream machine: fast, responsive, comfortable, light. The Dura Ace 7900 group set is smooth and exact. Bottom bracket power transfer - you feel the difference. No question, all things equal, this is the fastest and perhaps most comfortable (and yes, very stiff - and at 6' 2" & 190 lbs, I know what flex is) bike I have every ridden. I'm a good decender and close gaps on the flats with a zeal for speed with little fear. I went down a very familiar but technical 10% avg grade, 6 mile decent and this bike accelerated so fast out of the switchbacks that I had to stop mid-way down - just to relax my nerves! (I felt like a rookie)I was so stressed and rode the brakes so much - and I pride myself on never having to change brake pads! I've only been riding this bike two months, about 1,200 miles, and getting really comfortable with throwing the bike into tight turns - it handles. This machine accelerates extremely quickly, (I've got the complete setup - no changes - ie. Mavic wheels). This is a lot of bike - a lot of machine. If you are an agressive rider on the flats, going up or going down, this is your machine. Otherwise, why buy a Porsche and never drive over 50 mph? This is probably too much bike for the weekend warrior or novice. But if you know what you're doing and are more of Porsche driver vs a Mustang guy (I was going to say Pinto) - this is a nice bike. And I got a great club price at $4,000. The only bike I would take over this is the P. Dogma. But since no one pays me to ride, I'll never pay $10k+ for a bike!