This article compares the differences between the Cannondale SuperSix Evo and Cervelo R5.
The comparison covers the model lineups, specifications, and retail pricing. It compares the carbon fiber technology (Cannondale BallisTec vs ) and frameset technologies on each bike.
The objective is to provide you with a clearer understanding of Cannondale SuperSix Evo vs Cervelo R5 before making the purchasing decision.
|Cannondale SuperSix Evo||Cervelo R5|
|Type of bike||Lightweight, all-rounder||Lightweight, all-rounder|
|Frame material||BallisTec LAB71 carbon|
BallisTec Hi-Mod carbon
|Frame sizes||44, 48, 51, 54, 56, 58, 61||48, 51, 54, 56, 58, 61|
|Groupset||Shimano, SRAM (12-speed)||Shimano, SRAM (12-speed)|
|Brakes||Hydraulic disc||Hydraulic disc|
|Price (USD)||$4,500 to $15,000||$9,000 to $13,000|
Cannondale SuperSix Evo
The Cannondale SuperSix EVO is an all-rounder race bike.
For years, the Cannondale SuperSix EVO been known for being light, fast, and stiff on the climbs. At one point, many weight weenies were building sub-6kg bikes with the Cannondale SuperSix EVO.
In 2023, Cannondale launched the ultra-premium LAB71 version featuring their latest Series 0 (LAB71) carbon, taking over from the Hi-MOD version as the top-of-the-line offering. Three carbon grades are now used for the SuperSix EVO; BallisTec LAB71, BallisTec Hi-MOD, and BallisTec.
All Cannondale SuperSix EVO models are now electronic shifting and disc brake only. The flagship LAB71 models are equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 only.
|Model||Frame material||Groupset||Wheelset||Retail price (USD)|
|Cannondale SuperSix EVO LAB71||LAB71 (Series 0) carbon||Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)||HollowGram R-SL 50||$15,000|
|Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD 1||Hi-MOD carbon||SRAM Red eTap AXS||HollowGram R-SL 50||$13,050|
|Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD 2||Hi-MOD carbon||Shimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)||HollowGram R-SL 50||$8,300|
|Cannondale SuperSix EVO 1||Carbon||SRAM Force eTap AXS||HollowGram R-S 50||$6,500|
|Cannondale SuperSix EVO 2||Carbon||Shimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)||HollowGram R 45||$5,500|
|Cannondale SuperSix EVO 3||Carbon||Shimano 105 Di2 (R7100)||DT Swiss R470||$4,500|
Cannondale SuperSix Evo vs others
The Cervélo R5 is an all-rounder road race bike. The Cervélo R5 sits at the top with the best components and is ridden by Jonas Vingegaard to win the 2022 and 2023 Tour de France.
Cervélo R5 and R-Series (discontinued in 2022) share the same carbon fiber material. Cervélo calls the carbon tubing design, the Squoval Max, a reference to the combination of Square and Oval tube shapes to achieve a balance between weight, stiffness, and aerodynamic benefits according to their CFD analysis.
The Cervélo R5 is disc-only with an integrated cockpit. It’s also available in a frameset only.
|Model||Frame material||Groupset||Wheelset||Retail price (USD)|
|Cervelo R5||Carbon||Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)||Reserve 34/37||$13,000|
|Cervelo R5||Carbon||SRAM Red eTap AXS||Reserve 34/37||$13,000|
|Cervelo R5||Carbon||Shimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)||Reserve 34/37||$9,000|
|Cervelo R5||Carbon||SRAM Force eTap AXS||Reserve 34/37||$9,000|
Cannondale vs Cervelo carbon fiber
Cannondale BallisTec Carbon
Cannondale BallisTec is a proprietary carbon fiber construction technique used to manufacture Cannondale bicycle frames.
The BallisTec carbon technology utilizes advanced engineering and construction methods to create frames that balance strength, stiffness, and weight. It involves the precise layering and placement of carbon fiber sheets, which are impregnated with epoxy resin and then molded under high pressure and temperature.
The BallisTec carbon is available in three grades.
- BallisTec LAB71 is Cannondale’s latest advancement in carbon construction. Also known as the Series 0 carbon, LAB71 is designed to be the lightest and most advanced, taking over from the Hi-MOD carbon. LAB71 frameset delivers exceptional performance, weight reduction, and overall ride quality.
- BallisTec Hi-MOD stands for High-Modulus, which refers to using high-modulus carbon fibers in the frame. This results in a stiffer and lighter structure, providing enhanced power transfer and a more responsive ride feel. Hi-MOD carbon frames are designed for riders who prioritize performance, stiffness, and weight savings.
- BallisTec is the standard carbon in Cannondale’s frames, which offers a balance of weight, stiffness, and durability at more affordable prices.
Cervelo doesn’t publicly release information about the types of carbon fiber used on their road bikes.
From my observation of the current Cervelo bikes lineups, there are at least two carbon fiber grades used.
- Highest grade. Cervelo R5 and S5 could be using the highest carbon fiber grade of all the models. These are pure race bikes used by the pros and would likely have the best carbon fiber available at Cervelo.
- Mid-grade. Cervelo Caledonia and Soloist could be using a mid-level carbon and heavier fiber grade of all the models. These are endurance bikes that prioritize comfort over stiffness. So it’s not a surprise to see a lower-grade carbon fiber being used here.
Frameset technologies and innovations
Cannondale SuperSix Evo and Cervelo R5 framesets incorporate advanced technologies to enhance their bikes’ performance and ride characteristics.
Here’s an overview of the technologies used in each bike model.
Cannondale Supersix EVO
|BallisTec carbon construction||A proprietary manufacturing technology that uses meticulously woven carbon fiber material to create strong and lightweight bike frames. The goal is to maximize the stiffness-to-weight ratio, providing riders with a responsive and efficient ride experience.|
Available in three grades; BallisTec LAB71, BallisTec Hi-MOD, and BallisTec.
|Delta steerer||A unique steerer tube design for seamless cable integration to, reduce frontal area and drag.|
|Bottle integration||Integrated bottle cages and bottles designed for improved aerodynamics and streamlining.|
Unlike other road bike brands, there is minimal information about the technologies used in the Cervélo R5 frameset. The most obvious, and talked-about feature is the Squoval tube shapes.
Squoval stands for square-oval tube shapes. They are a unique design feature that combines the benefits of both square and oval tubes to produce frames that are stiff, light, and aero.
According to Cervélo, the seat tube doesn’t undergo much stress compared to the down and top tubes. Hence, the Cervélo engineers designed a smaller, thinner, and lighter seat tube. On the other hand, the down and top tubes are beefed up to be stiff, and strong while using as little material as possible. This led to the square-oval design seen on the R5.
Bernard Lu has 7+ years of experience working in a bicycle shop, overseeing the retail and workshop operations. He’s a qualified bicycle mechanic who understands a cyclist’s needs and speaks the same cycling lingo.
If you meet him at the cafe, he will happily talk to you for hours about all the intricacies of bikes and cycling tech. Just buy him a coffee next time you see him.