I have been on the Cannondale EVO HI-MOD for about 8 months or so now. A lot of you have been asking how it rides and how it compares to my previous bike the Cervelo R3. Well for starters, I was really excited to finally get to ride the EVO. After years of reading reviews and seeing it ranked at the top of the list of various cycling publications I knew there had to be something to it. I also noticed that Ben (owner of the The Bike Route) who is known to ride a few different bikes every now and then kept returning to the EVO. So, I’ll just come out and say it. I REALLY like this bike. Boom! End of review. I kid… The EVO is probably the most well rounded road bike I have ridden. When I say well rounded I mean all those things that you want in a high end bicycle. “Having your cake and eating it to.” The bike rides so smooth and is exceptionally stiff. The stiff part I don’t necessarily feel while riding because it is so smooth. I sort of trust the testing and information from trusted publications like this Velonews article. The gist is, the frame is light at 750g and has one of the highest stiffness to weight ratios out there. What I can confirm is that when I stomp on the pedals while climbing the bike is a dart and I love that sensation. I only wish my body matched the level of equipment I’m riding these days. From head to toe this bike is on another level. You read all the time about carbon fiber this and carbon fiber that. Vibration dampening blah-blah-blah. Enter EVO. I finally get it. Thank you Cannondale.
Whether you are exploding up a short punchy climb, dropping from the sky on a white knuckle descent or diving into that sketchy corner at the local crit. This bike has you covered. It is incredibly balanced. Please note: I did not test its wheelie riding capabilities because that is already well documented thanks to Peter Sagan. Who won a couple races on the EVO. Plus I really stink at wheelies.
SPEED SAVE Micro-Suspension. Subtle flex zones built into the chainstays, seatstays and seattube allow the rear wheel to track the ground, improving speed, handling and comfort. Tuned to work with the SPEED SAVE Fork. Like I said this bike rides so smooth. Whether it’s because of Micro-Suspension or not I don’t know.
Dura-Ace shifting is once again at the top of its game. Remember those years when Shimano took a step back and DA shifting was clunky and not reliable? Say no more. It’s back to buttery smooth goodness, with a light flick of the index finger, precise quiet shifting. The guys at the shop say it has a lot to do with DA cables & housing. They also say Ultegra is just as good (something to consider).
DA brakes are plenty powerful for this 160 lb rider. I think DA brakes are the best in terms of feel & power.
The Cannondale HollowGram Si crankset is one of my favorites items that Cannondale makes. Ultralight and ultra stiff. If it came with spider rings (another awesome product from C-dale) the crankset would weigh in at something like 580 grams. Again stiffness to weight ratio is top shelf. Please note: this bike came with Shimano RS81 C24 wheels. Not the super rad Mavic wheels you see in these photos.
Like I mentioned earlier, from head to toe this bike feels complete and rides in all situations like a top tear carbon bicycle should. The one thing you will notice right off the bat is how smooth it rides. What’s that you say? Carbon bikes are supposed to be smooth. Right? Yeah, but just because the material is carbon doesn’t guarantee great ride quality. So how does it compare to the Cervelo R3? Well both bikes have very similar characteristics. If I had to choose between the two for say a 100 miler I’d go with the EVO. It is really on another level compared to every carbon frame bicycle I have had a chance to ride over the years. Couple that with its lab tested stiffness and bike handling and you have a dream machine. The ONE thing that I think could be improved about the EVO is more aerodynamic qualities. Aero is everything these days or at least that’s what the bike industry is pushing. Numbers from wind tunnel testing are pretty convincing. That is where the R3 has an advantage. Of course if you look at race results you could not say that aero road bikes are winning the war. A subject for another day. For more information or to test ride one for yourself go see the guys & gals at The Bike Route.
Fork: SuperSix EVO, SPEED SAVE, BallisTec Hi-MOD full Carbon, 1-1/8″ to 1-1/4″ steerer
Crank: Cannondale HollowGram Si, BB30, FSA Chainrings, 52/36
Shifters: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000
Cog Set: Shimano Ultegra 6800, 11-28, 11-speed
Chain: Shimano HG700, 11-speed
Front Derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000
Wheelset: Shimano RS81 C24
Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000
Handlebar: Cannondale C1 Ultralight, 2014 Alloy, Compact
Stem: Cannondale C1 Ultralight, 2014 Alloy, 31.8, 6 deg.
Headset: SuperSix EVO, 1-1/4″ lower bearing, 25mm carbon top cap, 5mm hidden top cap
Brake Levers: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000
Saddle: Fi’zi:k Arione, w/ Mg Rails
Seat Post: Cannondale C1 Ultralight, 2014 Alloy, 27.2x300mm
Weight: 14.9lbs (as pictured at the top of this review)