Five days before the start of the Tour de France 2021, Cannondale has finally unveiled the brand new SystemSix road bike.
After 11 years of hibernation, the developers of Cannondale have given the name SystemSix its technical sophistication. The emphasis is clearly on efficiency. The new SystemSix is equipped with some brand new Cannondale technologies, including a power meter, an integrated cockpit and an aerodynamic frame.
But enough of the words, let’s go straight to 10 facts you should know about the new Cannondale SystemSix.
Just in Time
After years of stoic procrastination, in which Cannondale watched his competitors yawning at the finish sprint, the cards in the race for pole position are now being shuffled again with the SystemSix. Thanks to a whole series of technical innovations that have proven themselves with the Slice and SuperSlice bikes, the SystemSix actually seems to be the winner, at least the specifications read in this direction.
The Six Systems of the Cannondale SystemSix
The name says it all. The SystemSix is designed around six optimized systems, all of which are only good for one thing: to improve efficiency and aerodynamics. These include the frame, the fork, the seat post, the stem, the handlebars and the wheels. The complete bike, if you look at it very closely. Every component was put to the test and closely examined. Then it was filed until the properties finally showed the desired efficiency. According to Cannondale, the complete work should now be “the fastest road bike in the world”.
The bottom line is that the improvements will save 17 watts at 30km/h, 100 watts at 60km/h downhill and up to 14 watts at 6% gradient compared to a SuperSix EVO.
Working on the entire system to perfect the energy balance, Cannondale now announces that it is building the most efficient road bike in the world that meets UCI specifications. This claim is supported by CFD (computational fluid dynamics) analysis, wind tunnel tests and of course extensive test drives.
A really bold statement indeed, but when the 50-page cover letter that went to the press when the SystemSix was released doesn’t report any nonsense, Cannondale seems to have hit the nail on the head with his claim.
Stiffness and Response Characteristics
The Six system is based on the SuperSix EVO in terms of the stiffness of the head tube and bottom bracket. The feeling and the response should resemble a traditional racing bike, but with the aerodynamics of an aero racing bike. The geometry is rather elongated with a deep posture. Cannondale explains, however, that thanks to the adjustable cockpit and headset, the bike can be adapted to any rider, whether for competitions or daily training. With two different forks to choose from – 45mm or 55mm, depending on the frame size – Cannondale achieves a uniform handling and riding feel regardless of the frame size.
…but it also offers comfort!
Cannondale has taken up the challenge of putting an end once and for all to the accusation that only the very tough of the road bike can stand it. The SystemSix should, therefore, be as flexible as Cannondale’s classic lightweight racing bike, the SuperSix EVO.
The bike owes this property to the Hi-MOD carbon construction in several layers, which absorbs vibrations and compensates for unevenness. In addition, the frame allows driving wider wheels, 26mm actual width to be accurate. The higher air volume, which the new KNØT 64 wheels allow, makes it possible to drive with less pressure on the tire. This increases driving comfort considerably.
Unique: Frames and Forks
At the heart of the SystemSix are the brand new frame and fork with innovative features. Cut (i.e. with flat sides) and thus aerodynamic tubes, internal cables, the Di2 circuit, an extra wide fork crown and a burr on the down tube are all intended to improve the efficiency of the SystemSix. Low seat stays, a profiled seat tube and asymmetrical chainstays work together to bring the power transmission into harmony with the aerodynamics.
There will be two different frame versions. The two Hi models use more expensive and lighter carbon fibers, the two cheaper models are made of BallisTec Carbon. In addition, the Hi models come with a semi-integrated cockpit (more information in the next item).
KNØT = Speed
On the SystemSix Hi-MOD you will find a whole range of aerodynamically optimized components, named after KNØT, a unit of measurement that measures speed. These include:
- 64mm wide wheels especially for use with disc brakes, for 26mm wide tires with HED aerodynamic profiles, with a rim width of 21mm (inside) or 32mm (outside) and a weight of 1642 grams per pair.
- the SystemBar, a handlebar that combines all the advantages of an integrated handlebar and stem with an adjustable cockpit. The new handlebar tapers 30mm down to the drops so that the 42cm handlebar on the top link effectively measures 40mm. With 8° tilt adjustment, the KNØT SystemBar handlebar has optimal aerodynamic characteristics, regardless of how the components are positioned. The SystemBar is available in four different widths: 44cm, 42cm, 40cm, and 38cm.
- all pipes run through the stem, which was specially designed for the KNØT SystemBar handlebar. The KNØT stem is available in five different lengths, from 80mm to 120mm.
- the seat tube also reduces air resistance
Weight suitable for cCompetition
Thanks to the Hi-Mod carbon technology, the SystemSix should weigh only 981 grams (without attachments and color) according to Cannondale with a frame size of 56 cm. That’s about 250 grams more than the super light SuperSix EVO, but with the extra material needed to build an aerodynamic frame, we’re still amazed.
Disc Brakes only
As is the case with more and more modern racing bikes, Cannondale builds the SystemSix exclusively for disc brakes. This step was necessary because only disc brakes provide improved brake control and allow the wider wheels (Cannondale explains the SystemSix will withstand 30c tires front and rear) with the perfect aerodynamics of frame and fork. The SystemSix will be available with electronic and mechanical circuitry. Hi-MOD models have a Power2Max NG Eco power meter as standard, it will be activated after payment of an additional usage fee to Power2Max.
Pricing and Availability
The Cannondale SystemSix will be in stores worldwide from September 2021. The prices depend on the equipment details and will be between 3599$ for the cheapest models up to 10499$ for the top-class bikes.
Some of the SystemSix models:
SystemSix Hi-MOD Dura Ace Di2
SystemSix Hi-MOD Ultegra Di2
ystemSix Hi-MOD Ultegra Di2 (Women)
SystemSix Dura Ace
More information on the Cannondale web site