Prototype Cannondale endurance gravel racer road bike at Strade Bianche
Slam That Stem! Photo from

Cannondale pro team riders the top spots at this year’s Strade Bianche, a race named after the white gravel roads that make up a fair portion of its 190km length. Turns out they were also testing a new endurance road bike at the event, too, though winner Moreno Moser was reportedly on a production Super Six.

Spotted on Italian cycling site, the new bike is not just radically different looking than anything else in their current lineup, it’s fairly different from any other road bike on the market. Starting at the front, it gets internal cable routing and a massive headtube and downtube. Their current lineup of Super Six, Synapse and CAAD road bikes -even the Super X ‘cross bikes- run smaller tubes and external cable routing to keep things as simple and lightweight as possible, so this is quite a departure from their norm.

We spoke with Cannondale’s global marketing man Murray Washburn to see what the story is…

Prototype Cannondale endurance gravel racer road bike at Strade Bianche
Note the super smooth wrap around the seatpost. Photos:

The top pic shows a kink in the seatstays at the brake bridge. That, coupled with these dramatically shaped SAVE chainstays should offer a good bit of compliance. Going forward a bit is one of the more unique design features: A split seat tube that spreads pretty wide across the bottom bracket shell. Perhaps it’s for better mud clearance, or maybe they act as small leaf springs that work in conjunction with the flatten shape just above them to add further comfort to the ride.

Washburn told us:

“It’s a new platform that we’re working on and refining, but we’re not ready to talk about it publicly. (The pro racers) are really good and providing feedback, and if there was a way to test bikes in competition out of the public eye, we’d do it, but nothing quite tests the bikes like being raced. We’ve been working on this for quite a while now, and it’s getting close. We’ll definitely launch it, likely in Spring, probably as a 2014 model.”

Our guess is this is a more race-oriented offering compared to the Synapse, which shares the SAVE micro-suspension features but has a more upright riding position. The fork gets pretty thin at the bottom with much straighter legs.

Cannondale’s been showing plenty of prototype and upcoming products recently, like the SiSL2 cranks for mountain bikes and Lefty Super Max 26″ long travel fork.

Check out for more photos, one of which already shows a UCI Approval decal.


  1. The split seat tube down by the BB is an interesting design, especially considering every other frame manufacturer is basically turning that area into the biggest single mass of carbon possible with claims of improved stiffness.

  2. Hm, looks like they copied Trek’s Domane on the front end and downtube. Plus I don’t really see how that seattube will increase compliance and comfort?

  3. Orko Erfymoops – racist much? Last time I checked Cannondale is still doing their design in Connecticut. Also, work on your grammar.

    Editors – what exactly are you trying to achieve by approving such an enlightening comment?

  4. Funny one thinks the domane is being copied when the domane’s fork totally rips of the speed save fork that has been on the CAAD 10 and the supersix for years (rear facing dropouts). Despite my love for cannondale, this one is a bit ugly. Like the paint though

  5. Interesting that they did not move the rear brake down to the chainstays (see BMC and Trek) – frees up the design of the seat stays since they would not have to be strong enough to take on lateral load from the brake calipers. Since it is such a clean sheet frame design, I would have expected them to use every trick in the book. The bottom bracked does look cool though.
    Also, many other endurance bikes developed have a disk brakes version (see Specialized Roubaix) – i wonder if they will do a disk version of this one – would be nice 🙂

What do you think?