Featured User Review: Cannondale SystemSix
Price: $1650.00 at ebay
Overall Rating: 5 of 5
Value Rating: 5 of 5
Dura Ace shifters and derailleurs, Cannondale carbon brakes, Ksyrium Equipe wheels, FSA SL-K cranks, ControlTech carbon post and bars and aluminum stem. Various saddles. Speedplay pedals.
Bike is actually an ’08 – they don’t seem to have that choice in the drop-down.
I would characterize myself as a reasonably aggressive recreational rider, with typical rides between 25 and 70 miles (it’s taken me a while to find the right saddle, or that 70 would be over 100). I’m 6’1″ and about 210 pounds, and with a 36″ inseam ride a 58cm frame.
As a heavier and relatively strong rider, I prefer a stiff frame and according to tests I’ve seen, this frame seems to have one of the stiffer bottom bracket / rear triangle combinations out there. Qualitatively, I’ve found it to be extremely responsive and it feels very efficient, whether cruising in the drops or jumping on it up a climb or just for the sake of accelerating. The geometry is very stable descending at 40 – 50MPH, and the steering is very precise. I have found it to be “accurate” rather than “jumpy” and have had no negative issues with it.
With my build-up it weighs about 17.5 pounds (with pedals), which is not ultra-light – but I have heavy wheels, and I’m sure I could find grams if I cared to (500 in the wheels, for example, probably 50 in the saddle, 50-100 if I went crazy and got titanium pedals etc.). At 210, though, an extra pound off the bike won’t make a difference for me.
I’ve put maybe 600 or 700 miles on this bike since purchase over a variety of surfaces, and I’ve enjoyed every mile immensely, except those into a frustrating wind. I actually have found it to be very comfortable over longer rides, with little numbness or buzzing – although road quality makes a difference, and this is a stiff frame. However, it does seem to have decent vertical compliance and the hits I’ve taken have been well-absorbed by the frame; more so than I would have expected, actually. This doesn’t seem compromise the thrust in any way, so there’s some trick there – possibly the seat stay shape.
Prior to buying this bike, I rode a friend’s Merlin for about 100 miles and while it was a nice, damp ride – you could feel it wind-up under power, and the geometry didn’t suit me. It felt more Cadillac than Corvette, if you take my meaning.
I would strongly recommend this frame if you prefer a responsive, stiff chassis and like to go fast more than you care about image. If you like to dawdle along, prefer a more relaxed ride etc. this isn’t the frame for you. If you want to show-out with the coolest paint or fanciest brand, again this probably won’t do it for you either.
Net recommendation: get one if you can.
Stiff, feels very fast, great steering, light enough, climbs well, descends well, unassuming looks, overall very high performance and obviously impeccable build quality.
Not a cruiser – this thing is for flying, despite performance lacks cachet of the fancy Italian stuff, function-first design, uninspiring graphics, although the paint is nice.
Similar Products Used:
Merlin something or other
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