- The US bicycle manufacturer Cannondale on Monday debuted the SystemSix, which it claims is the world’s fastest road-race bike.
- It’s rolling out just in time for professional cycling’s preeminent race, the Tour de France, which begins Saturday.
- The American Tour team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale will ride the SystemSix during the three-week event.
- The hyper-aero bike is a direct rival to the Trek Madone, the Specialized Venge, the Canyon Aeroad, and others.
The American bicycle manufacturer Cannondale on Monday launched its first aero road bike, the SystemSix, which it claims is “absolutely the lowest-drag, most efficient, all-around fastest UCI-legal road bike on the market today.”
The Connecticut-based company bases its claim on extensive testing using computational fluid dynamics, wind-tunnel data, and a “constant feedback loop.”
“SystemSix is the result of a ground-up design where each element is optimized in pursuit of speed,” Nathan Barry, a Cannondale design engineer, said. “Aerodynamic drag is the single greatest resistive force that riders have to overcome, so it is important to everyone, not just racers. SystemSix delivers more speed, to more riders, more of the time.”
Photos provided to Business Insider show a stealth-looking aero frameset and cockpit, deep-profile HollowGram wheels, disc brakes, and Shimano’s Di2 electronic groupset.
The bike, as pictured, will retail in the US for $11,000. Other versions with different builds will sell for less, starting with the SystemSix Ultegra at $4,000.
The name SystemSix comes from Cannondale’s six-point approach to integrated design in the frame, fork, wheels, seatpost, handlebar, and stem. The result, the company says, is a bike that’s the fastest not just in the wind tunnel but everywhere on the road. (Stay tuned for a review.)
With the SystemSix, Cannondale seriously ups its game in the road-race category. It will now compete directly against the Trek Madone, the Specialized Venge, the Canyon Aeroad, and others. Till now, Cannondale’s main race bike had been the SuperSix EVO, an excellent climber and all-rounder that nonetheless lacks the finer aero qualities of the SystemSix. So consumers looking for a new aero bike will now have another to consider.
“The SystemSix is super fast – a noticeable difference from any other bike I’ve ridden,” Taylor Phinney, the Tour-bound American rider on the EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale team, said in a statement provided to Business Insider. “For a rider my size [6-foot-5, 187 pounds] the stiffness of the frame is awesome. The first race I did with this bike where I really felt a difference was Scheldeprijs, fighting for echelons.
“And it just feels like you’re almost cheating which is a beautiful feeling,” Phinney said. “It’s a rocket ship, and I’m really stoked I’m on this technology moving forward.”
Teammate and compatriot Alex Howes added: “The SystemSix is, hands down, the fastest bike I’ve ever ridden. In races I feel like I’m cheating. It’s an absolute weapon. The stiffness while sprinting is next level, yet it handles just as well as the SuperSix Evo. Cannondale nailed it.”
See more photos below, along with select slides from the related deck that Cannondale provided to Business Insider; it explains how the company came to claim that the SystemSix is the fastest road bike in the professional peloton.
Following are select slides from the SystemSix deck that Cannondale provided to Business Insider.