This publish is concerning the Cannondale Tremendous Six EVO Hello-Mod SRAM Purple.
Or: why it is best to spend an outrageous amount of cash to get the bike you lust after.
Hello, my title is David, and I’ve a motorcycle drawback.
Over the past thirty years of being a bike owner, I’ve owned extra “good” bikes than I can depend. Once I was rising up, my father, a industrial photographer, had an indication in his workplace that mentioned, “the bitterness of poor high quality is remembered lengthy after the sweetness of low worth is forgotten.” This signal, which I feel was from Snap-On instruments, was a quote from founding father, and notable skinflint Ben Franklin. It was echoed by my grandfather, who grew up in the course of the despair, and mentioned to me, “for those who’re going to spend your cash on one thing, purchase one of the best factor you may, and also you’ll by no means have to purchase it once more.”
My first good bike was a heavy, metal 1970’s ladies’s=step-through Raleigh three-speed with Sturmey Archer hubs. It was good as a result of it was the bike that I used to be given by a buddy, which turned me right into a bike owner. I’ve additionally owned an ideal Spooky Mothership; an ideal Litespeed Basic modified with S+S couplings to grow to be a journey bike. I’ve additionally had a really perfect Calfee Dragonfly and a really perfect Cannondale Tremendous Six EVO from the earlier era of Tremendous Six.
That final bike tipped the scales at simply over 13 kilos when constructed up with a choice of light-weight components. Climbing a hill on a 13-pound bike is spectacular, however descending was all the time a bit sketchy with the rim brakes and skinny tubes. I’d journey my brakes the entire manner down a hill. The Calfee was additionally mild as a feather and scared the crap out of me on downhills with rutted shoulders.
My justification was that I spent all my free time on my bike, and I ought to get pleasure from it as a lot as potential. I by no means regretted my decisions.
Whereas I like the thought of disc brakes, vast tires, and aero tube units, the burden of right this moment’s street bikes simply appeared so out of line with the featherweight bikes I cherished a lot.
This yr, with used bike costs hovering due to COVID, I bought my older Tremendous Six and plunked cash down on the 2020 mannequin Cannondale Tremendous Six EVO with SRAM Drive. What I really wished, although, was the Tremendous Six EVO Hello-Mod with Purple, however with a worth above $10,000, it was too ridiculous.
It was an excellent bike, however I instantly regretted the acquisition. The bike felt nice, shifted completely, and regarded sizzling as hell. However coming from a 13-pound bicycle, the 18-pound weight of the Tremendous Six EVO drove me insane. I’d spend each journey fascinated with the bike that I had actually wished, and film all of the elements I’d swap out to make it lighter over time.
My native store, Piermont Bicycle Connection, has an excellent eBay program—convey something in, they usually’ll eBay it for retailer credit score. I had a ton of previous tenting, pictures, and electronics gear, and I acquired all of them in, in addition to a couple of bikes I now not was using. Earlier than I knew it, I used to be a couple of grand wanting the Tremendous Six EVO Hello-Mod worth. I had them promote my Tremendous Six EVO, and I walked out the door with the Tremendous Six EVO Hello-Mod.
And now I’ve one other good bike so as to add to the record. This EVO is super-light for a contemporary street bike and completely constructed up, even with Look Keo pedals, it’s solely 16.05 kilos.
Specs In A Nutshell
By nearly any sane measure, the Cannondale Tremendous Six EVO Hello-Mod is an absurdly costly bike. With a listing worth of $12,800, the bike is out of the attain of nearly all of cyclists. If it weren’t for the worth of my earlier Cannondale on eBay and a field of collectibles I discovered, it could be effectively out of my attain as effectively.
With a barely sparkly lavender paint job and a near-complete lack of logos, the bike doesn’t flip heads the way in which the white-and-black SRAM Drive model did, and that’s nice with me. I’ve by no means favored to telegraph the worth of my bikes, and I’ve even plastered stickers throughout my journey Litespeed, so it seems to be like a beater bike.
There are two Tremendous Six EVO Hello-Mod iterations, one with SRAM Purple and one with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2. The Shimano model is a crew reproduction with pink and blue and a Rapha emblem, so the other aesthetic to the Purple model. Usually, I like Shimano’s shift lever performance barely greater than SRAM’s, however I really like them each, and with the Purple model, I get 12 cogs as an alternative of 11. (On the time of scripting this, the brand new Di2 has been introduced however shouldn’t be but within the lineup. With the worldwide half scarcity, it’s unlikely to return to bikes till 2022 on the earliest.)
The 12-speed cassette can work with the brand new SRAM Purple lengthy cage derailleur to go to a max of a 36T cog over the usual 34T on the common Purple setup. For the reason that lengthy cage wasn’t obtainable and I wished a bit extra vary for the big hills surrounding my home, so I opted for a third-party ceramic-bearing pulley system, which has labored remarkably effectively.
The EVO is provided with HollowGram 45 SL KNØT carbon wheels and the built-in SAVE SystemBar. I’ve a difficulty with flat prime bars which can be too deep as they have a tendency to press on my wrists, however the quantity of variability in hand place on the bars has left me wrist-pain-free to date.
In some unspecified time in the future, I’ll place SRAM blips remotes shifters on the underside of the bars close to the place the handlebar tape ends; as I spend a lot time on the flats on a journey, it could be nice to shift with out having to maneuver to the shift levers.
Turning to wheels, the hubs on the HollowGram 45 SL KNØT wheels are a lot quieter than these on the usual EVO mannequin, they usually’re fast to speed up and haven’t been problematic throughout crosswinds, and rode the bike in a downpour with gusts and didn’t really feel the deep rims performing like a sail.
The wheels are tubeless-ready, so I instantly swapped to a Schwalbe tubeless set, which offers a way more snug journey than the inventory tires and tubes. As with all tubeless setups, the shortage of an interior tube permits for varied pressures, permitting a rider to customise their journey.
The inventory saddle is a listed as a Fizik Tempo Argo R3 with Okay:ium rails, although mine got here with a Prologo super-light snub nostril saddle, which is unquestionably a good selection for racers choosing up this bike, however snub-nose saddles don’t give me lots of place decisions on a century.
After a couple of hundred miles on the saddle, I ended up switching it out with a Fizik Antares Versus EVO R1 saddle (one other ridiculously high-priced merchandise—a evaluate is coming quickly), a super-light 3D printed saddle (sure, you learn that proper) that’s tremendous snug and has a conventional longer nostril than the inventory saddle. On lengthy rides, the shortage of positions with a snub nostril saddle bothers me, and I choose to have a little bit of a saddle nostril to maneuver round to provide some aid to my sit bones. That mentioned, the inventory saddle is extremely snug and an ideal selection for those who’re racing.
With its distinctive form, the HollowGram seatpost is in no hazard of rotating, however for those who plan to regulate the peak, spend money on a torque wrench and a few carbon paste first. The bolt power is 6nm, and it’s very simple to overtighten the bolt and injury the publish and/or the body.
One in all my favourite touches is the shortage of seen cables. The EVO makes use of outsized spacers to create a channel to route cables. There are solely two brake cables with SRAM’s wi-fi shifters to route, they usually move into the body with out being seen.
Since massive tires are the brand new skinny tires, the EVO fashions are designed to take as much as a 30mm tire, although many individuals on-line have mentioned they will run as much as 34mm with out issues. This clearance makes for a variety of tire decisions and is among the causes I went with Schwalbe tubeless tires.
Watts Taking place!!
Cannondale claims the aero frameset ends in 30 watts saved over my earlier Cannondale EVO Tremendous-Six form. These financial savings are at 30 mph, a pace I’m unlikely to take care of on the flats anyhow, however the bike does really feel noticeably extra environment friendly than my earlier EVO at my regular speeds of 20-ish on the flats. On an area rail-to-trail that I frequently journey, I set a number of Strava private data for the segments I normally do.
Climbing, the bike is noticeably stiffer than the last-gen EVO and far stiffer than the Calfee I had earlier than that. Even with the customized tubing of the Calfee, my always-heavier-than-I’d-like physique generates lots of torque.
As an individual in his early fifties, I’m not as spry as once I was in my 20’s, so I can use each watt I can get. My age is one more reason I acquired this bike: sooner or later, I’ll be a kind of 70-year-old guys using very slowly, and I determine that I ought to get probably the most out of my using whereas I can.
I took a number of years off of biking because of a foot harm, so my climbing isn’t what it was once, and the comparatively low weight of the EVO Hello-MOD makes up for it (although I do miss my 13lb bike on longer climbs). The bike is so environment friendly that I’ve solely as soon as used the 36T cog, and I’m contemplating going again to the 34T simply to have smaller spacing between the 2 largest cogs.
Whereas my climbing isn’t as much as what it was in years passed by, I’m nonetheless in a position to kick out quick speeds on the flats (a very good quantity of that’s the aero tubing and stiffness) and climb so successfully that I’ve solely as soon as used the bigger 36T ring, to grind out a multi-mile climb.
When descending, my concern of pace has disappeared. Disc brakes present such an improved stopping energy that I’m assured I can come to a cease in an emergency, and the massive tires take in a lot of the street chatter and bumps which can be so widespread on the roads round my home.
On a latest journey with mates I hit about 45 mph tucking myself down low on the hoods and getting as aero as my physique will permit. My earlier descending pace data had been nearer to twenty, as I’d journey the brakes on the pothole-strewn roads close to my home, all the time fearing I wouldn’t have the ability to cease or swerve round an impediment. The larger tires assist right here too as a motorcycle with 32mm tires is much more pothole-forgiving than one with 20mm tires.
I did need to have the brakes bled as their contact level was extremely near the bars. Throughout a panic cease, my shift levers had been solely away from the bars by a couple of millimeters. This isn’t an issue with the bike or the shifters, however extra of a reminder to all the time verify your brakes when shopping for a brand new bike.
The very best bike is one that you simply hardly discover—it ought to be stiff when it’s worthwhile to dash, it ought to be compliant sufficient to make a protracted journey snug, shifting ought to occur with out hesitation, steering ought to be responsive, and braking must be each highly effective and versatile.
The Cannondale Tremendous Six EVO Hello-MOD is all of this stuff. Whether or not I’m doing a brief, quick journey or a century, the bike disappears beneath me. Even my beloved last-generation EVO didn’t appear as invisible. The closest I’ve come to a motorcycle this excellent was my customized Calfee, although the underside bracket wasn’t almost as stiff as right this moment’s outsized BBs.
Swapping to tubeless tires is a should, although, because the decrease potential tire pressures make for a way more snug journey, and the aforementioned pothole-eating.
Energy Metering and Tech
For the reason that EVO is provided with SRAM AXS elements, it’s suitable with SRAM’s Quarq bolt-on crank energy meter. Simple to put in, simple to make use of, the Quarq energy meter is sadly additionally almost as heavy as the entire bike body, although comparatively inexpensive. At about 1.4 kilos, it’s lots of weight to strap onto a super-light bike, primarily because it solely actually measures one facet and estimates the second facet. At about $500, it’s nonetheless inside the vary of the aspiring crit racer or multi-day competitor, and it’s low cost sufficient that the weekend warrior (particularly a weekend warrior that simply dropped greater than $10000 on a motorcycle) can actually afford it.
Another choice for power-meter followers is Garmin’s Rally energy meter pedals. Whereas the entry-level set is far more costly than the crank-based choice, the RK100 is available in at round $650, and the high-end RK200 pedals at $1099. The RK200 pedals are a claimed 326 grams, which makes them half the burden of the Quarq, and because you want pedals anyhow, they’re solely about 145 grams heavier than the lightest Look pedals you may set up, the Carbon Blade Ceramic.
The Rally pedals additionally present detailed info on pedal dynamics and cadence, displaying appropriate cleat placement, standing vs. sitting energy, and far more.
In different phrases, if you’d like energy metering on this bike (or any bike), skip the SRAM answer and go together with the Garmin pedals.
The EVO additionally has a built-in pace sensor on the entrance wheel, which communicates with any bike pc. It’s a very good choice for these occasions when GOS drops, and you continue to need to see your pace. As of this writing, there’s a bug with the Hammerhead Karoo 2, the place having this sensor energetic sometimes ends in a studying of zero MPH. Nonetheless, we’ve reported that to the builders.
I’m undecided why the pace sensor is on the entrance wheel–had it been mounted to the again wheel, it could be a lot simpler to trace indoor coach rides, however it’s additionally not troublesome to get a third-party wheel sensor and mount it on the rear wheel.
The EVO fashions discuss on to a Cannondale app, although it’s primarily simply to trace rides. Anybody utilizing a motorcycle pc with a Strava or different coaching account has higher metrics from these instruments. Nonetheless, it’s good to have a pc constructed into the telephone, as many individuals use their telephones as their major pc lately.
SRAM AXS bikes additionally discuss to the SRAM app, which permits for tweaking of the shifter performance. I wish to have my proper shifter shifting to a neater gear as an alternative of a tougher one, as I don’t race, so I’m extra prone to need to dump gears to climb a hill than quickly shift for a dash. The app additionally permits you to set the cassette to compensate when shifting the massive ring by performing a single or double cassette shit when altering the rings, stopping the terrible spin-wobble that comes as you go from the massive ring to the small ring and end up spinning with out offering a lot torque.
Talking of connectivity, the Cannondale comes with an built-in Garmin mount in-built, which places the pc in the proper place forward of the bars with no need to clamp something to the bike.
I’ve mounted the Garmin 830, the Garmin 1030 Plus (which I reviewed) and the Hammerhead Karoo 2, they usually all match solidly, and lack any shake or instability, and once more, no must attempt to mount a pc to flared handlebars.
The Cannondale Tremendous Six EVO Hello-MOD is simply too costly a motorcycle for almost all of riders. It falls shortly into the class of “bike porn,” and there’s a considerable diminishing return between the non-Hello-Mod mannequin and the Hello-Mod. No bicycle ought to value as a lot as a used automotive, however it is a dream bike for the proper buyer.
I needed to dump years of motorcycle gear (together with my gravel bike—undecided what I’ll do that fall), many collectibles, and plenty of electronics to get this bike. Youthful me would have been nice using the non-Hello-MOD model, however after years of being off the bike because of an harm, the Cannondale Tremendous Six EVO Hello-MOD is an absolute deal with, and it’s reignited my ardour for using lengthy and using quick.
In the event you’re a racer on the lookout for the final word aggressive edge that also is inside the UCI weight limits, this bike is value each penny. In the event you’re a hardcore weight-weenie prepared to spend prime greenback for one of the best trade-off between efficiency and weight, this bike is for you.
For anybody else, the Hello-MOD is probably going overkill, and also you’d be higher off getting the usual EVO with a cheaper components group. Even Rival AXS lately shifts in addition to Purple does, and Shimano Ultegra is as correct and quick as Dura-Ace.
Certainly, although, this bike would be the normal towards which different bikes are judged. The bike’s light-weight and its trade-off between stiffness and compliance, so it received’t beat you up on a century, and it’ll make you’re feeling like Cavendish on a town-line dash. I foresee many bike evaluate articles together with phrases like “whereas not as mild as Cannondale’s Tremendous Six EVO Hello-MOD…”
In the event you’re a buyer of this bike, you already know who you might be, and it is best to get this bike, as it is going to be top-of-the-line investments in biking you can make. It’s out of the vary of most riders, and for a very good purpose. This bike is designed to be as a lot a showpiece for Cannondale (and for house owners of the bike) as it’s to be a performer.
Years from now, the pendulum of motorcycle design could swing once more, heading again to lighter and extra conventional tubes, however whereas aero and disc brakes are the usual, the Cannondale Tremendous Six EVO Hello-MOD could be one of the best bike ever constructed.