I've long been a fan of Cannondale bikes. I admired them for many years and eventually bought my very first back in the mid 2000s: a CAAD7 in what is possibly the most amazing paint job they have ever done. A clear layer of caramel apple red paint with Saeco stickers. I still regret selling that bike.
Since then I owned several Cannondales, including an original SystemSix with its carbon front triangle and triangle of triangle. It was the stiffest thing I had ever ridden up to that point. It seemed as if the aggression oozed from the frame, and the handling is still up there with some of my favorite bikes.
I've always seen Cannondale as a mark that leads the way. They were one of the first to embrace oversized alloy tubes, to the extent that a friend of this day is still known as Fatty ̵
So it's fair to say I was an avid Cannondale fan, but the deep rotten gratitude has lost much of the glory in recent years. Recent additions to the Cannondale roadway failed to wow me or stand out as they used to. Well, they had charged the fee in a few cases when it came to the road. They were one of the first out of the port for a comfort concert all day with Synapse, and they were early adopters of gravel / mixed surface riding with slate. But when it came to pure racing cycles, the SuperSix Evo line had its tweaks over the years, but in my eyes did not offer any groundbreaking or hugely innovative.
But with the new SystemSix – a name I'm happy to look back in the Cannondale catalog – everything changes. It is Cannondale's first drastically different look and better car bicycle in recent years. Gone are distinctive round shapes and silhouettes Cannondale is famous for. The brand new SystemSix is a sleek and highly constructed bike that has been taken for three years to come to fruition.
While Cannondale claims that the new SystemSix is not an aero bike, it's definitely a flying machine. It has the lines, details and data to back up it. The question is still: Why is Cannondale late for the aero game? Did they spend their time until they felt they could add something new to the market?
As with a lot of a fast bicycle coming out today, the term "The world's fastest production bicycle available today" was redone on the SystemSix launch. Yes, Cannondale has its white papers, graphs and analyzes to return all of this, but will come tomorrow, or the day after, I guarantee you we will hear the same claim from others.
So let's leave it as it is and dig into finer details. Let's also look at why Cannondale is reluctant to notice this on a run-down aero bike.
Reboot or remake?
The SystemSix name is appropriate this time. It is Cannondale's first route to a fully integrated package. We have seen "SI" (System Integrated) sprayed on Cannondale products for many years, but this is truly the brand's first top-to-tail bike where everything has been incorporated into the design and development phase. Cannondale claims that it is a six-point process process involving the frame, fork, posts, pole, post and wheel.
The highly sculptured frame certainly has an impact. As with any high-tech bike, it has been optimized and designed with both computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and wind tunnel testing. And the bike has all the design aspects you expect from a modern dragon bike. The forks are wide, they allow larger tires and cleaner airflow, plus the fork legs are asymmetric to accommodate tension from the disc brakes.
The fork flows into the hind leg and the roll down is exceptionally clean. A unique shape at the foot of the head tube forces the air flow from the back of the fork's shortened shape upwards and prevents it from interfering with the air flow at the headbone / fork wrist. It is just one of the distinctive features of the bike.
Rake is 55mm on 47cm and 51cm models and 45mm on the remaining sizes. Headtube angles range from 71.2º to 73º. In terms of handling, it all adds to a very classic feeling Cannondale, something I was pleased to see unchanged from the rest of the elite's way.
Droplet backblocks leaving the seat tube are nothing new. In fact, we have seen this on a lot of bicycles in recent years. The frame can house tires up to 30 mm wide, but the bike is fitted with 26 mm tires (actual width, more on this later). Dropouts are full carbon and contain Mavic-designed Speed Release shafts, saving weight (over regular thru axles), giving faster and easier wheel changes. The chain supports are thinner in the middle – as in Synapse – which will provide a more comfortable driving quality. Chainstays are 405mm above all seven frame sizes, from 47cm to 62cm.
Seatube and downtube are truncated in design, with a standard cutout on the back of the lower tube, allowing the wheel to fit nicely and tightly.
None of these features are everything we have not seen in any shape or shape before, but it's all very well done and from an aesthetic point of view, Cannondale has made it possible to create a coherent, clean and innovative bike. In a word it's smooth.
While the frame weight was not anything Cannondale shouted about the presentation, the new SystemSix is acceptable weighed for a bike with this design. The smallest 47cm frame says despite the scales at 894g, 56cm at 981g and 62cm at 1.085g. All weights are given without paint, which equals about 70 g, and small pieces, equivalent to another 65 g.
As we touched the map, the new SystemSix is disc-equipped, which almost feels like a given now for aerobic bicycles. How times have changed!
Full speed ahead (Aye aye captain!)
For its new integrated system, Cannondale has designated all components (rods, tails, posts and wheels) called "KNØT" as in shipping.  The proprietary bar, KNØT SystemBar, is truncated in shape, like much of the frame. Unlike some integrated bar / stem platforms, these carbon rods are actually adjustable in angle, offering 8º for the rider. I found SystemBar quite comfortable in a short time, but I would be interested to see if that comfort keeps on a longer day trip.
The little style of 30mm and shallow drop reminded me of FSA Compact posts, which can not be random, as the non-Hi-MOD SystemSix models come with Vision (FSA aero-tag) bars and rod as standard. A GPS mount is firmly attached to SystemBar and can be removed when not in use. The mounting area can also be covered with a grommet if you are running a sans computer. The bars come in 38, 40, 42 and 44 cm widths. As you might expect, all cables are internally routed. In fact, the entire bike's internal routing is extremely well done.
Matched to the bars is the KNØT trunk, entirely of aluminum. The bars are angled by the C-shaped base of the bar, a design that allows 8º of bar angle adjustment. At the bottom, a cover clicks once you have taken the cables quickly. Headphone distances have a split hinge design for easy operation and stamp height adjustment – so the latter without disconnecting the cables. Again, we have seen similar to other bikes already – for example, the last BMC TeamMachine or Giant Propel Disc.
The cockpit and the front end are undeniably rigid, but in the form of aesthetics, I found the stem a little on the bad side.
The cockpit lines extend tightly into the thigh. Here the front brake hose is internally directed, not through the headsets, but in front of a separate liner. This construction was decided for ease of operation and to limit cable tension under control. However, the small deviation is that the control is limited to 50º in both directions.
To test this I tried a tight circle circle on a narrow road, and the restriction took me off guard. It was a feeling like toe overlap. Tracking enthusiasts may also find it a niggle to overcome. However, in real-world riding, the 50º restriction should not be a problem.