While waiting for my bike on order, my LBS and local Cannondale rep reached out to ask if I was interested in putting in some demo miles on an Ultegra Di2 Hi-Mod. Of course I said yes! Here is the bike - sorry for the poor photo, but you all know what this bike looks like by now!
While I only have 2 rides and 130 miles on the bike so far, here are my initial observations. We removed the stock crankset and swapped on my 175mm SISL2 cranks with P2Max NG and Rotor Q-Rings, so it pedals just like my EVO. We also swapped on a Shimano Stealth Pro saddle, which is what I ride on the road. I wanted to test ride the bike as close to how I will have it configured as possible, and keep as much as possible consistent from my EVO so that I could really attribute changes to the bike *system* and not just something like a change in crank length or oval to round rings.
: It feels like a road bike. I mean that in a good way. Coming from an EVO Hi-Mod, the bike feels different but not not signficantly so. The front end is crazy stiff - at least it feels that way to me. If you like to sprint, you will love this bike. It's hard to tell whether real or placebo effect, but the bike really seems to come alive at high speeds and is super responsive to sprinting and hard efforts. Maybe it's the math and the cubic effect of aero gains, but you really feel you're gliding at high speed/effort when others are at their limit. There is no getting away from the weight penalty - this bike as pictured above weights 8.27kg or 18.23 pounds. That's with pedals, bottle cages and the Garmin mount. Mine will be lighter because DA rather than Ultegra but still a good deal more than my EVO. And since so much is integrated, there aren't a lot of places to drop weight. But I still know this bike will be faster almost all the time.
: I have yet to see a real-life SystemSix spec'd with the Vittoria Rubino Speed 23s - all of them, including this bike, have been shipped with Continental GP4000SIIs in 25c. NBD to me, as I will run Schwalbe Pro Ones tubeless when I get my bike. I suspect not too many SystemSix owners will care either, since the GP4000SIIs are such great overall tires. But worth noting that it's change. I was also expecting that this 56cm bike would come with a 100mm stem based on an early post from Damon, but I measure the stem at 110mm:
This is just fine with me, and in fact the exact right stem length for my fit, so if a change has been made to 110mm stems for the 56cm bikes, I couldn't be happier!
I didn't measure the angle, but the Garmin mount pitches the computer screen up a bit, rather than completely level. While I imagine most riders angle their computer screen, I would love the option for a mount that places the computer screen level. This is a pretty minor point of course.
The bike came with 2 (Cannondale) bottle cages on it, but there is a very cool feature where you can drop the DT cage just above the BB/DT/ST junction if you are only running one bottle. The DT is quite chunky down there, and definitely looks like it would shield the bottle really well. If you are racing crits, ride shorter distances or just don't need to drink a lot on rides (at least between refill opportunities), the single DT bottle option could be the way to go.
: Super nice, again hard to tease our their performance within the overall system, but they sure don't seem to slow the bike down. Dual drain holes - my mechanic was impressed by this! Haha. The relatively wide internal width makes for a great ride and handling, and while I haven't yet taken the bike down any >70kph descents in gusty crosswinds, the rim profile and my time on the bike so far has me cautiously optimistic on that front.
Looking forward to some more miles on this speed machine!