Sunday, March 6, 2016

Cannondale SuperX for Gravel

I have about 400 miles on the new bike now, and I will admit a high end cyclocross bike is probably not the ideal gravel bike. I mean most bike companies are coming out with bikes designed for gravel roads and long distances. 

The Cannondale SuperX Himod had everything I wanted though, light weight, tire, 1x, disc brakes, and skewers. Everyone is going to thru axle now which makes my current wheels incompatible with those bikes. Someday I will have to switch to thru axle but not for awhile after this thing.

First off everyone says how stiff cross bikes are, that is simply not true with this bike. It is super smooth. The tiny seat stays flex over square edge bumps really nicely. When I first got the bike I thought my tire pressure was too low, but that was not the case.

Under hard acceleration the bike feels like it leaps with each pedal stroke. I don't know if this feeling is caused by the light weight or the efficient drive train or what, but it really feels like I get more horsepower to the ground than with other bikes.

Speaking of weight the 56cm version that I got came in at 16.9 lbs without pedals and with tubes. I have since put on tubeless gravel tires and a frame bag packed with stuff. I am still under 24 lbs with enough food and water for 100 miles, a jacket, tools, extra tube, pump, lights, and garmin.

I don't like that Cannondale put a short cage derailluer on the bike, this limits the size of cassette I can run. It comes equipped with a 11-28 cassette and a 40 tooth chainring, which is fine for just about everything but I am sure 200 miles into Trans Iowa I will be wishing for an easier gear. I am hoping I can sneak a 11-32 cassette in there without any issues.

Another issue is that tire clearance in the rear is limited. It looks like a 35mm is the largest I can get back there, but up front I have a 40mm and plenty of clearance.

This is a 33mm rear and you can see its tight, but a skinny 35mm should fit.

I have ridden this bike on everything from road to single track, and I am consistently impressed with how well it performs.

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