Cannondale’s context for the new SuperX is that the sport of cyclocross is changing as it grows in popularity. Seasons have gotten longer, sometimes starting as early as late spring when courses are dry, dusty, and fast. Races are getting faster and more technical. Courses themselves have gotten more extreme, with features resembling downhill courses of the early 90’s.
In this third iteration of the Super X, Cannondale has created the cyclocross machine for the moment. The new geometry is geared around stability and traction from a handling standpoint, as well as control and comfort from the rider’s perspective. It is light-weight (claimed 1000g frame) and possesses massive tire clearance to boot. What is really exciting about this model is in how Cannondale, once again, bucks convention to accomplish everything. More on this, after the jump…
From a clearance perspective, the model has over 11mm of space around 700x33c tires, allowing for a ton of mud clearance. If you are fat tire-inclined, the model fits a maximum 40c tire. What is impressive is that the frame configuration allows for these massive clearances with a minimal 422mm rear center.
To accomplish this, Cannondale has employed its Asymmetric Integration (Ai) system from its off-road category (like the new Scapel), wherein it offsets the drivetrain outward 6mm. This means that wheels built for this model require special dishing (the rear axle remains 12x142mm) but the effect is an impressively tight rear end.
But capability for large tires isn’t the only thing that facilitates rider comfort. The seat and chainstays are flattened and shaped to allow for greater comfort on the bike. The model also features a 25.4mm diameter seat post for a little more flex. Plus, to keep everything clean, tucked, and out of the way, the seat binder bolt is located under the top tube.
In helping riders to better control the bike while riding, the cockpit is designed to sit higher and closer to the rider per size, allowing for greater movement and adaptability while on the course. Also, the whole geometry scheme has been re-approached with consistently graduating stack and reach, allowing for the riding experience to be more similar from size to size (something smaller riders, especially, will appreciate).
The front center has been increased across the board in another crossover from their off-road product. Called “OutFront Steering Geometry”, you can expect to see it rolling out across other models in their road family soon, too. This is intended to increase stability of the frame in technical scenarios while facilitating greater tire and toe clearance. It sounds like a win/win.
Though the model comes 1x in all spec’s but allows for front derailleur compatibility, with all the necessary ports for wired and mechanical systems. (The bike shown, it is worth noting, is not representative of a final spec complete bike, but a test ride of one of Cannondale’s sales staff.)
The SuperX is 12mm thru-axle front and rear and features flat mount brake interfacing, a technology Cannondale claims to have developed with brake manufacturers for their off-road product.
The model comes in five complete flavors including Team, Ultegra, Force, Women’s Force, and 105 with fresh colorways across the board.
The SuperX Team build features Zipp 303 tubular wheels (with Ai Offset rear spokes), Cannondale HollowGram Si crank, Force CX1 hydraulic disc drivetrain and braking system, as well as a Cannondale carbon cockpit.
Availability and MSRP TBD.