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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok gang here it is, the first ride review of the new yet to be released Cannondale System Six, For those that don't already know what the system six is it is C'Dale's newest high end race bike. Different from the Six13 in that the whole front end is carbon fiber, and that the tubes are HUGE. Similar to the Six13 in that the rear triangle is still their CAAD rear end.

So I got a call on Sat from the GM of my LBS...he says you will never guess what we are getting next week...so ok tell me...a demo Cannondale System Six in your size...want to ride it. Well hell yea I want to ride it so I had him pencil me in for today Wed as I knew my father would be coming into town and we would be riding. So over lunch I go and pick it up and it is just a cool looking bike. The photos don't really do it justice and I much prefer the carbon and polished look of the demo I have over the red and carbon look of the demo cyclingnews photoed...personal thing I know but I love the look of the naked AL. The only thing I don't really like on this beast is the stem...man that thing is ugly. So I notice right off the bat that it has a huge hideous black dork disk on it and ask if they will take it off...I get a no...then I ask if I can take it off...they say no again...so don't blame me for that monstrosity. :mad:

Anyway the bike is equipped with DA, Cannondale's SI cranks in std 53/39 double, Cannondale's new CF brakes, Mavic Ksyrium ES wheels, Arione saddle and USE Alien CF seat post. As built I was told the price of admission would be $4800. With my Ultegra SPD-SLs and a crappy steel cage the bike weighed in at 16.8 lbs.

A little bit about me: I am 32 yrs old, 220 lbs, and a fairly serious recreational rider...I did 3700 miles in 2005 so not a huge number but not just sitting at a coffee shop either. I am in this for the exercise and the hobby. My roadie is a 2006 Specialized Roubaix Comp made over with Campy Record. I wont even dream of racing until I loose another 30-40 lbs.

So on to the ride. My father shows up and we suit up for the ride, with the first turn of the cranks I can tell this bad boy is stiff stiff stiff. I am a big fan of the Cannondale SI crank system, it is lighter and stiffer than the DA cranks and looks nice to boot. The FSA rings shift flawlessly. Anyway as I said the thing is stiff and efficient...but it isn't abusive in fact it is a pretty nice ride. Today we rode a 40 mile loop with a bunch of short steep climbs and very little flat (hmm sound like most rides in PA). I was a bit worried about picking as flat a ride as I could because this bike has more gear on it than my Roubaix which has a 50/36 on the front and 13-26 on the back (the Six is std double up front and 12-25 in the back). There was no need, I powered over every rise, many of them in the big ring...this is something I don't normally do. The bike tracks like an arrow and reacts you your input lightning fast...but at the same time it is stable...I was able to ride long distances no handed with ease. The new C'Dale CF brakes seemed to perform about as well as anything I have ridden (Ultegra and Record), I was never at a loss for power but there were also no long fast descents...short and fast yes. Modulation of the brakes seemed good, on par with what you would expect from a $4800 bike. I was flying this day...I will take some credit for being on good form but the bike just wants to go fast as well. We did this loop in an avg of 17 mph which was 1.2 mph faster than we did the same ride 2 weeks ago. Also 3 miles from home my father got a stomach cramp so the last 3 miles we were crawling which I am sure had an impact on our avg speed. In the end I was fresher and we had done the ride much faster.

Not the bike's fault but riding DA for 40 miles hammered home that I prefer Campy...that is the one thing I would change for sure on this bike if it were mine...no Campy offering in the US though but they will be offering SRAM's new Force group.

In the end my conclusion is that if you are looking for a high end race bike you are a fool to not ride the System Six...it will be among the top of any group of race bikes you want to put together.

Feel free to ask any questions...here are the photos. Enjoy




 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
brianmcg said:
Lose the spoke protector.
You read this line right?

So I notice right off the bat that it has a huge hideous black dork disk on it and ask if they will take it off...I get a no...then I ask if I can take it off...they say no again...so don't blame me for that monstrosity. :mad:
If it were my bike to keep the first thing that would have come off is the dork disk quickly followed by the stem caps and nuts. :thumbsup:
 

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awwww horseapples!!
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Grasschopper said:
You read this line right?



If it were my bike to keep the first thing that would have come off is the dork disk quickly followed by the stem caps and nuts. :thumbsup:

I am sorry, but we are concerned with the wrong thing here.... This a $4800 bike with HOUSE BRAND BRAKES!! If I am putting down that much for a bike (not including apporpriate other bits like pedals, comp, cages) I don't want to see anything house brand with in 10 miles of the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
awesometown said:
I am sorry, but we are concerned with the wrong thing here.... This a $4800 bike with HOUSE BRAND BRAKES!! If I am putting down that much for a bike (not including apporpriate other bits like pedals, comp, cages) I don't want to see anything house brand with in 10 miles of the bike.
Well I dont' know if I agree with you there. The crank and BB is house branded too and they are pretty much one of the best systems out there. The front brake weighed in at 166g with all hardware attached including pads and the mounting bolt which is SS rather than Ti or AL. Not light but not heavy either (assumes 332g per pair actual with hardware). The function was also good and I am a heavier rider so I can test the limits of a set of brakes.

Stem is house brand too...but it looks hedious. It is plenty stiff though and I am sure a standard stem would look silly on the bike (1 1/8" stem will work on this bike BTW). Top end Treks have Bontrager wheels, bars, stems, seat posts and saddles that is Trek's house brand. Top end Specialized bikes come with Specialized branded stems and bars and seat posts and saddles. The truth is some house branded stuff is top notch.

Edit: And I will also clarify this as I pretty much confirmed it. The Cannondale branded brakes are pretty clearly Tektro R750 brakes
 

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awwww horseapples!!
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Grasschopper said:
Well I dont' know if I agree with you there. The crank and BB is house branded too and they are pretty much one of the best systems out there. The front brake weighed in at 166g with all hardware attached including pads and the mounting bolt which is SS rather than Ti or AL. Not light but not heavy either (assumes 332g per pair actual with hardware). The function was also good and I am a heavier rider so I can test the limits of a set of brakes.

Stem is house brand too...but it looks hedious. It is plenty stiff though and I am sure a standard stem would look silly on the bike (1 1/8" stem will work on this bike BTW). Top end Treks have Bontrager wheels, bars, stems, seat posts and saddles that is Trek's house brand. Top end Specialized bikes come with Specialized branded stems and bars and seat posts and saddles. The truth is some house branded stuff is top notch.
I don't see the reasoning behind most of that, its a good system but I don't really see anything to the point of calling it "one of the systems." And I will again make the same point I don't want anything but the highest quality parts when I pay $4800 for a bike, I don't know if you are new to cycling or not but when I think high end tektro is not the first thing that comes to mind. When I want a pair of shiny alloy v-brakes for my next hybrid I will cal them.

Yes SOME house branded stuff is "top notch." Alot of the bontrager stuff is very nice, but thats because the companies that make it for them are some of the best. There is a difference between getting a pair of bontrager wheels with hubs made by dt swiss vs. getting a high end bike with generic house brand/relabeled parts on it. Totally unexceptable for the money.

This is something that most companies do to same themselves money.
 

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pinoy thunder
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$3000??

Where are you from? From what I can tell, this bike has top notch components except for the calipers. I'm not saying that it's worth $4800, but puh-lease..
 

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awesometown said:
I am sorry, but we are concerned with the wrong thing here.... This a $4800 bike with HOUSE BRAND BRAKES!! If I am putting down that much for a bike (not including apporpriate other bits like pedals, comp, cages) I don't want to see anything house brand with in 10 miles of the bike.
....and yet you're not complaining about the "housebrand" cranks that also come with it?
The tester spoke on the stellar performance of the brakes in comparison to his experiences with Dura Ace and Campy Record so I would think that Cannondale knows
enough about high end bikes and the appropriate components that should be attached
to them.
 

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I guess with a few changes in components (stem, pedals, brakes, seat) you might be able to get it down under 16 lbs. I think I read somewhere that the frame weighs more than their high end AL frames - anyone know for sure? Its a nice looking bike, but not my style.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ipaul said:
Nice bike. Couple of questions that you may or may not know. Is the Six13 being replaced by this bike? Is the frame sizing the same as the current bikes? Are odd sizes offered?

I love my Caad 7.
Well to be honest my bike shop had very little info on the bike other than an MSRP list and what we have all read on the web. They did say that Cannondale has said the Six13 will remain in the line for 07. Can't answer the sizing questions as I haven't seen the geometry charts.

To some of the other posters. IMO this bike ranks right up there with the top end offerings from it's competitors such as Trek, and Specialized in terms of value. Personally I don't think ANY of the bikes which currently retail in this range are worth what the price tag says and I much prefer to spec my own bike. Take my bike for instance, it is an 06 Roubaic but I took all of the Shimano garbage off of it and it is now Record equipped which a hand built set of tubulars. This is how I spec the bike but no one else on the planet would probably spec it exactly the same. IMO high end bikes should all be custom speced...if I was going to get this bike I would try to get a frame set with the cranks from there I would build it pretty much as I have my Roubaix. I am sure some love their DA so maybe the stock bike offers some value...I think $1100 for a 1550g wheel set is just foolish...I would never spec those wheels, they are for coffee shop posers IMO.

Get off the brakes...you may have reservations about the Tektro name but if you could get your bloated head around the name you would realize that these brakes work every bit as well as other high end brakes. I tested them without prejudice and for me they modulate and have equal braking power as good as anything out there...if you need more brake than this you are either well over 250 lbs or simply a total snob. Just because your brakes cost more doesn't mean they function better...get off your high horse.

Want to reduce the weight of this bike? First thing I would do is dump the wheels for some 1200g tubulars...save yourself a pound right there...then the brakes as they aren't light...even Tektro has them speced heavier than their high end AL brake. Saddle might be another area to lighten the bike but IMO you should go with something comfortable. The USE post is light but hard to adjust...I might actually add weight to the bike there and go with a Masterpiece or if you are a weight weenie then go with an Extralight or something. Could loose some weight in the bars I would guess (they are a FSA CF bar) as well as in the stem...but honestly ANY stem is going to look odd with that huge front end. I would guess taking 2 lbs off this bike wouldn't be a challenge...hell that weight included the dork disk and the valve caps and bolts...there is are few grams right there.
 

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i think that bike is completely hot. i'm so glad that cannondale stuck with their aluminum rear ends--cdale knows how to do aluminum.

it's a good bike, tektro or not. dont get caught up in branding....if they are good working brakes (which the reviewer stated they were--and this is tested by a 200lb person who rides regularly. if he says they are good, then they are good.).

i am glad that they also stuck with their raw aluminum look....that is by far the best color scheme i've seen!
 

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Most people would rather have DA brakes and a DA crank and a FSA115 stem on that bike - as I have on the '06 613. As I can prodeal c-dales, if I end up w/ this ride, I'll get rid of the stock crank, brakes, and stem before I even ride it. (need a longer crank than they make). House brand stuff is impossible to sell if you want to swap it out [upgrade] - or you have to give it away...

Saying the C-dale crank is stiffer than DA (may be true by a percent or two) but is total marketing hype for god's sake. How many races did Petacchi & Boonen win over the past 2 yrs on a standard BB Record crank? Saying that anyone can 'feel' the difference between that and a DA crank is total BS - they can feel it in their head. This K wheelset is crazy stiff which affects the ride as much as anything folks.

Grass - um, if you just pop off the cassette you can get rid of the spoke protector in like 2 seconds...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The Carlster said:
Grass - um, if you just pop off the cassette you can get rid of the spoke protector in like 2 seconds...
Yea I know...but then I would either have to trust the the LBS set the bike up right or also double check the RD limit adjustment as well as put it back on when I was done because the LBS said to not take it off there. Remember this is not my bike, it is a demo.

As you can see I don't run a dd on my personal bike:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
jm3 said:
I thought this was well known, but maybe not. Removing the discs voids the Mavic warranty.
Are you serious? Then why don't they make something more astheticly pleasing...I suppose so that everyone removes it and voids the warranty.

Add this to the list of reasons I wont buy Mavic products. :D
 
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