Introduced in 2016, this 3rd gen Cannondale SuperX cyclocross race bike took their System Integration concept to the next level. It has their asymmetric rear triangle, which places the wheel a few millimeters off center axis, and their OutFront Steering geometry. The goals were to offer ground ripping traction, sober stability, and tight handling. It succeeds most excellently on at least two of those, and the third ain’t too far behind.

Cannondale SuperX Details & Actual Weight

2018 Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike review and tech details

The SuperX uses a full carbon frame and fork with internal cable/hose routing for everything. Which introduces the only weird thing on this bike, more on that in a minute.

2018 Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike review and tech details

There’s massive tire clearance, front and rear, accommodating up to 700×40 with room to clear mud. It’s shown here with the stock Schwalbe X-One 700×33 tires. And that asymmetric rear end…

2018 Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike review and tech details

That asymmetric rear end means upgrading the wheels is a little trickier in that you’ll have to have them laced and dished specifically for this bike’s offset. Fortunately, the stock wheels leave nothing to be desired – save for perhaps a bit quicker engagement. While not as technical as mountain biking, cyclocross does have those moments when you want a very quick reaction from each pedal stroke. To be fair, though, the hub’s engagement speed is on par with the Specialized Roval wheels tested on the Crux and pretty much every other “road” hub you’ll find in CX. As for the carbon rims, they’re appropriately wide, easy to set up tubeless, and were stiff and accurate. So, unless you break something or need a backup set of wheels for the pits, the asymmetric design is kind of a non-issue.

Now, about that weird thing. The entry port for both rear shifting and rear brake enter as though they’re going to feed into the top tube. The rear shift cable for mechanical groups then runs through the top tube, around the seatpost, and into the seatstay. The problem is, the brake cable does not. It enters the frame then immediately (and awkwardly) bends down, forward, then back into the downtube. Considering this bike was designed from the outset as a disc brake bike, it’s odd that they didn’t just design the cable port directly into the downtube. (Side note: Di2 wiring follows the brake cable, then splits off to the driveside chainstay and pops out on the bottom of that tube. The Di2 battery sits inside the seatpost.)

2018 Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike review and tech details

This is my only design gripe about the bike. If this were my own bike, I’d move the brake hose over to the front shifter cable port on the driveside, which is on the downtube. That would also make it easier to fix the only functional gripe I had with the bike: hose rattle inside the downtube. Rough ground caused brake hose rattle to the point of distraction, which is not what you want in a race. Ever, really. But especially in a race. Eventually I was able to pull it tight enough to mostly silence this, but if it were my personal bike I’d pull the fork and cranks out and run hose insulation or zip ties along the length of the hose to silence it for good.

2018 Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike review and tech details

OK, one more small gripe. The seatpost wedge that tightens into place to secure your post is not fixed into the frame. Meaning, when you remove the seatpost, it can dislodge or even fall down into the seat tube. Not a huge deal, but still kind of a pain in the butt. I also found that I had to over tighten it to prevent slippage. If it sounds like I have a lot of complaints about this bike so far, that’s not really the case. Just a few issues, and all easy enough to remedy.

2018 Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike review and tech details

2018 Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike review and tech details

Now for the good stuff, which where the actual ride quality comes into play. This is the stuff you can’t tweak, so I’m glad they got it right. The shaped stays provide ample compliance, making the bike very comfortable over the rough stuff.

2018 Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike review and tech details

Combine this with their custom SAVE 25.4mm diameter seatpost that’s designed to flex and you have a platform that lets you plow through frozen ruts and clumpy grass without skipping a beat. Comfort during those sustained efforts helps keep your cadence steady, and helps maintain traction over the stutter bumps.

2018 Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike review and tech details

Driving that power to the rear wheel is their stiff, lightweight HollowGram Si cranks with one-piece SpideRing chainring. It comes with a 40-tooth ring paired to an 11-32 Shimano cassette, which proved to be a good ratio for racing.

2018 Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike review and tech details

2018 Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike review and tech details

The bottom bracket is big, relying on a wide PF30 setup, large downtube and chunky connections to the chainstays before those flatten out to create their flex point. This provides the stiffness for pro-level power transfer.

The frame itself is made with their BallisTec carbon, which is used on their pro-level enduro mountain bikes, too. I suspect it’ll hold up to years of race-level abuse.

2018 Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike review and tech details

The top model pairs Shimano R785 Di2 hydro levers with an XTR Di2 rear derailleur and RS805 hydraulic brake calipers grabbing 160mm rotors front and rear. I’m of mixed feelings on Di2 here. It’s awesome hearing that beep when you reach the end of the cassette, so you know when you’re at the limit without having to glance down. And they shifting is flawless and less susceptible to crud. Another upside, for me anyway, is that Di2 hydro levers have better finger clearance between them and the bar, than Shimano’s mechanical shifting/hydro braking levers. But with winter gloves, it was sometimes tough to hit the right part of the shift paddles, particularly in high stress sprints or uphill grunts.

2018 Cannonadale SuperX Di2 cyclocross bike actual weight

Actual weight for the size 58 with tubes in the tires is 17lb 15oz (8.13kg).

As reviewed, the SuperX Di2 retails for $4,999. It ships with Schwalbe X-One tires, but I reviewed it with the Vittoria Terreno Dry tires. Not shown, it also comes with a removable integrated out-front Garmin mount that sticks directly out of the stem’s faceplate, and they say they’ll have a Wahoo-compatible insert for it shortly. All other models use SRAM 1x builds, complete bikes start at $2,999.

Cannondale SuperX Ride Review

2018 Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike review

Everything below should be read knowing that Cannondale pro rider Stephen Hyde raced this bike to back to back national championship wins. I am no Stephen Hyde. And I will never pedal this bike as hard or as fast as him. But I can handle a bike, and it’s in the technical and rolling courses where I make up my time…and where I could tell what the SuperX was capable of.

2018 Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike review

Handling reminded me of the new Scalpel. It’s different. Not in a bad way, but it takes some getting used to, and a slight adjustment to your riding style.

It holds a straight line really well… until it dives into a turn. I wouldn’t exactly say the wheel flops into a tight turn, but that’s kind of the feeling when transitioning from a speedy straightaway or sweeper into a tight turn. It takes a little coercion to break off of it’s original line. This is mostly explained by the geometry:

2018 Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike geometry chart

This year, I reviewed three race-oriented cyclocross bikes back to back to back. The first was the Sage PDXCX, followed by the Specialized Crux, then the SuperX. In order, they went from one end of the handling spectrum to the other. The Sage had the tallest BB and shortest Trail, hence the snappiest handling at the expense of high speed stability. The Crux sat in the middle, and the SuperX has the longest trail and was by a good margin the most stable. In order, each bike’s Trail figures are 55mm, 59mm and 62mm. Of course, that’s only one number, but the Cannondale also has the lowest BB (59mm drop) and the longest front-center (635mm). Put it all together and this is a bike that really, really likes to hold its line.

2018 Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike review

Which is a great thing on wide open, fast courses or those with loose surfaces like deep gravel and sand. Or snow and slush. The course shown in the pics above had long downhill sections of such gravel and sand, and I wasn’t surprised to see another guy on a SuperX at the front of the pack with me on this course (I finished third, he was right in front or behind me…can’t remember).

2018 Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike review

The front end of the bike is in charge of the handling. The rear has other duties, namely rider comfort and traction. Cannondale wanted the bike to power through such surfaces, and rip up the short power climbs that make up cyclocross courses. So they used their Ai rear end to keep the chainstays very short. They’re only 0.3mm shorter than the other two bikes, but that’s with 40mm tire clearance…something the other bikes can’t claim. Which is why the SuperX comes in an SE version that’s billed as their gravel race bike, and my hunch is it excels as such.

The comfort comes from their flattened chainstays, shapely seatstays (and the carbon layup inside them) and their intentionally flexing SAVE seatpost. Those three provide noticeable bump absorption and vibration reduction, which helps conserve rider energy and improve control. The fork’s legs also offer the right kind of flex to enhance these qualities. As a package, it’s a very comfortable bike that can be raced hard and fast. Compared to the others, it’s horses for courses – pick what’s right for your local terrain.

I’d sum the Cannondale SuperX up as a light, capable race bike that excels on fast courses and could easily double as your year-round gravel bike.


  1. Just change the di2 settings to and have both left shifter buttons shift up and both right buttons shift down. Gloves or not, works great.

    • Yep, it works great, both with 1X and 2X systems, with the latter using Synchro Shift for the front derailleur. No matter how rough the terrain is or how thick your handwear, it’s easy to shift.

  2. Only the rear hub is offset from the centerline, not the whole wheel. The wheels are co-planar as with any other bicycle (except a swing bike of course). I know it wasn’t intentional, but someone might misunderstand with the wording used.

  3. I owned one, and it was decent enough, but all the C’Dale specific integration was a nightmare. Giant stupid headtube, stupid rear wheel dish, a skinny seatpost that cracked because of the wedge(which I also had to over-tighten to keep from slipping, and was told to by C’Dale), and PF30A. C’Dale really needs to step back from all their “advances,” it’s no surprise they’re struggling like they’re.

  4. A note on geometry: according to the chart you provided, the Cannondale has 70-69mm of BB drop (not 59 as you had asserted) which is nearly the same as the Crux (71-67mm). Otherwise all the other geo numbers work out correctly.

  5. Requiring racers to re-dish their spare wheels is stupid. For mechanical groups, having full-housing cables pass through the top tube will create more drag. Their cable management for this bike in general is bone-headed. If anyone ever converted to cable brakes, admittedly rare, the drag on the rear brake would mean that bike couldn’t even function. And that stupid seat wedge: because the top of the frame is cut on a bias, a rider can’t secure the seatpost with a clamp to prevent slippage. This bike made me cranky.

    • Wouldn’t surprise me my 2015 Super Six Evo has drop outs that are out of alignment so I get tire rub with 23mm tires. Cannondale has declined warranty twice on the frame despite being the original owner and working with my dealer. Any lurkers from Cannondale care to comment on if you’re actually providing warranty service?

        • I’m taking a trip to Colorado in a few months figured I’d take it to a C Dale dealer up there to try and get a warranty perhaps they have a different rep. Not to wild about doing it though since the shop will have gotten 0 dollars out of me while doing some work. I really wish consumers could handle warranty issues directly with the manufacturer as is the case with Orbea and almost all wheel mfgs

      • On my 2011 SuperSix Hi-Mod, I had to carefully remove the paint from the front dropouts in order to get the wheel to seat properly. I removed it from both inner flats and from the axle contact points. Since doing that it’s been great. While you shouldn’t have to do this with any bike – let alone a high-end race frame – the minor inconvenience was worth it for a superb-handling bike.

      • My friend has one of these and loves it over the previous model disc ones. His front wheel is not offset. I think it might be a funky photo or this bikes wheel is f*ed up lol.

  6. Cool bike- too bad the AI bottom bracket and rear wheel is a deal breaker.
    This kills the possibility of easy wheels swaps and many powermeters-

  7. I’ve got 4 sets of race tubulars, a tubeless set for gravel/single track, and a regular wheelset with road tires on it. Plus, now my B bike also has to be a new cannondale. The assymetric wheel dish isn’t “kind of a non-issue” it’s an absolute deal breaker.

    • In theory. Problematic seat clamps don’t always respond as expected to the standard procedures. Paste only helps if the surface is too smooth, doesn’t help all that much if tolerances are bad, ends up acting more like a lubricant IME

    • Same experience here. My girlfriend picked up an ex-pro SuperEx Team and the binder squeaked like hell when you tightened it. A little grease and it was smooth as silk. Carbon paste on the post holds it fine, but in fairness, she’s tiny and doesn’t generally have seatpost slippage issues.

      I built her a set of clinchers to train on and compensating for the the AI in the rear was no big deal.

      FWIW, she loves the way it handles and says it’s much more maneuverable than her Ibis Hakkalugi.

    • This. I’m 200lbs and ride hard, and I don’t have any seatpost slip issues or need for over-torquing. That said… I wish it had compatibility for a dropper. The tiny seatpost is stupid and limiting.

  8. Cannondale warranty has steered me away from buying future products. Also, all the old PD, marketing and sales people have left. They were great leaders and they left for a reason. I’m not knocking any of the current people in these positions… except the warranty policy makers. Cannondale USA seems like they are hurting (like Raleigh, FSA, Fuji, Specialized).

What do you think?