What do you get when you combine fastest and smoothest? A new Cannondale SystemSix from Huckleberry Bikes! Yes. Cannondale has finally unleashed it’s first new road bike model in years: the SystemSix. The hype on this bike is that it is the fastest bike ever designed. And as the world’s smoothest Cannondale Dealer, we feel obliged to offer to you the world’s fastest bike. So here it is.
I want to start by saying that this bike does exist and we are seeing it in action right now at the Tour de France. But — caveat alert — the rest of us amateurs will have to wait a bit to get our hands on it. Technically, for consumers in the US, you will have to pre-order this bike if you want to get one of the first few that will be available. We are seeing models trickle in over the next several months, with some sizes and models already sold out until December. If you want to know more about how to get your hands on one of these and when yours will be available, call us. If you want to pre-order one right now, you can do that here.
Let’s talk about the tech on this bike. It is designed around a rim design that Cannondale licensed from HED. Cannondale calls it Knot64. It is an extra-wide rim — something like 20mm internal and 32mm external. Combined with a Vittoria Rubino Pro tire at 23mm width (which inflates to 26mm on this rim), the wheelset is exceptional at reducing drag. You can thank the existence of some exceptional disc brakes for road bikes these days to give us the ability to have such a wheelset. Also note that you can fit larger tires on this bike if you desire — up to 28mm — so you are not stuck with 23mm tires even though that is claimed to be the most aerodynamic size on this bike.
Here’s what Cannondale says the bike can do:
• Climbs faster on anything up to about a 6% grade.
It’s commonly assumed that aero road bikes don’t climb as well as a standard road bike. It’s true. But the SystemSix has cut that difference down to a point that it hardly matters. Only on the steeper climbs does the SystemSix not quite keep up — anything over 6%.
• Wins by over four bike lengths in a 200m, 60 km/h (37 mph) sprint.
• Saves you over 50 watts when you’re off the front at 48 km/h (30 mph), and up to 30 watts when you’re in the draft.
• Requires just a 200 watt recovery effort to maintain 60 km/h (37 mph) on a 5% descent, instead of the over 300 watt threshold effort needed on other bikes.
• Uses 10% less power to cruise at a mellow 30 km/h (18 mph), saving your strength for later.
I’m going to group those four bullets point into one idea for you — this bike saves watts. The biggest savings comes on the descents. If you are going really really fast downhill, you can keep up 37 mph with 100 less watts then you’d need on a standard road bike. That sounds like a pretty incredible savings on your power output.
Speaking of power, a note on the power meter — some of the higher-end models of this bike come with a built-in power meter. The power meter is not activated when you purchase the bike. In order to use it, you have to activate it for $500 with the manufacturer.
The cockpit on this bike is also worth mentioning. It is, in fact, a two-piece cockpit with handlebars and stem. There is room for fit adjustment built into this system, so don’t expect to have to purchase a new cockpit in order to get fit properly.
As usual, Cannondale separates the models by the type of carbon that the frame is made out of. Like their SuperSix Evo platform, these bikes are made with either hi-mod or standard carbon fiber. The hi-mod versions are lighter weight, although I do not know by how much. I do believe, however, that the highest-end system six weighs in at around 17lbs, but don’t quote me on that!
All in all, it looks like we’ve got a pretty cool new road bike from Cannondale. Although it is kind of odd that at a time when the “gravel” bike has become the rage, several manufacturer’s have released new “aero” road bike models. In fact, I believe that Cannondale, Specialized, Trek, and BMC all released the details of their new aero bikes on the exact same day. I’d say it is a testament to the flexibility that road hydro disc brakes have given to this industry. We can build bikes around wheel/tire sizes without being restricted by rim brakes, and that’s what we are seeing push the envelope now.
We’d love to get some of y’all on one of these bikes, so check in with us or just pre-order one now!
Here are the models:
SystemSix Hi-Mod Carbon Dura-Ace Di2. $11,000
SystemSix Hi-Mod Carbon Ultegra Di2. $7,500
SystemSix Women’s Hi-Mod Carbon Ultegra Di2. $7,500
SystemSix Carbon Dura-Ace. $6,000
SystemSix Carbon Ultegra. $4,000