When I set out to get a new road bike for this year, I was between the Synapse Carbon 4 and building a custom SuperSix. It sounds like a no brainer, but it was an agonizing decision! My past two road bikes were Synapse Carbons, and it was hard to give up what I knew would be good. Nevertheless, I built the SuperSix and I’m not looking back!
With my SuperSix, I wanted to build it as a midrange bike, not too crazy or expensive but still exotic. I knew I wanted SRAM components, but I went with the base model Rival (which is not base level at all!).
Originally I built up Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels running Hutchinson tubeless tires. I really liked those wheels but I especially loved the tubeless tires. I just upgraded my wheelset to Zipp 404 Special Edition clinchers. There is definitely a ride quality and handling difference between road tubeless and traditional tube tires. I miss the tubeless ride, plus the peace of mind that comes with the less likely chance of a flat. I do like the Zipps though, they feel so much faster and stiffer.
Here’s the build kit I currently have
- Frame/Fork: 2009 Cannondale SuperSix Hi-Mod 56cm
- Shifters, derailleurs, brakes: 2009 SRAM Rival
- Cassette: SRAM 1070 11-28T
- Chain: SRAM PC-1090R
- Crankset: Cannondale Hollowgram SL 172.5mm 50/34T
- Bottom bracket: Cannondale Steel BB30 bearings
- Pedals: Speedplay Zero chromoly team green
- Wheelset: Zipp 404 Special Edition clincher
- Skewers: Salsa Flip-Offs black w/ stainless rods
- Tires: Schwalbe Ultremo R 23c w/ white stripes
- Handlebar: Easton EC70 Ergo
- Bar Tape: Fizik Microtex green w/ Fizik bar gel underneath
- Stem: FSA OS-115 white 90mm
- Seatpost: FSA K-Force Lite 32mm setback
- Saddle: Fizik Antares (testing to see if it is better than the Aliante XM I have)
- Cables/Housing: Jagwire Hyper green
- Indispensible addons: Garmin Edge 705 Deluxe, Cannondale GT40 black bottle cages, Fizik ICS seat bag, Knog Frog green rear light, huge InfiniteCycles.com sticker (its all about aerodynamics, right?)
- Weight as pictured: 16.51 pounds
After riding more on the road bike this year than any year before, I’ve come to a few conclusions.
- I love Cannondale’s bikes. It will take something very compelling to get me to ride something else.
- Road tubeless tires are worth everything despite the limited acceptance among wheel manufacturers.
- The Cannondale Hollowgram SI BB30 crankset is the best crankset. Ever. Stiff, lightest, BB30. Cannondale invented BB30 and now that other manufacturers are allowed to use it this year, we will see performance increases from everyone that uses it.
- Running a compact crankset with an 11-28 cassette is the most versatile setup for climbing AND speed. Its not the fastest (read biggest gear), but the most versatile.
- If a little carbon is good, then a lot must be better. Your list of relatively inexpensive upgrades to your current road bike should include a carbon handlebar and seatpost.
- I liked the Aliante saddle I had for years, but I’m trying this Antares and I love it. If you like something you have, but have an opportunity to try an alternative, try it. You might be surprised what you really like. We have demo saddles available from Fizik for you to try.
- Stiffness = efficiency = speed. Performance parts really perform better. Its not always about weight.
Want a $10 gift certificate? Write a How I Roll post like this and when it is published, you’ll get a $10 gift certificate to Infinite Cycles. Email us with questions or for details.