Cannondale Super Six Ultegra Di2 2012 tested

Cannondale Super Six Ultegra Di2

I rented this from Free Motion in Gran Canaria for a week as it was cheaper than bringing my own Canyon Ultimate AL 8.0.

The carbon frame is super stiff and still very comfortable even though I kept the Fizik Arionne saddle and didn’t change it for my own (which I had with me, just in case)  The geometry is stable and really fast in the corners, of which there are an awful lot in Gran Canaria!.  This combined with the super Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels gives a really fast and stable ride.

Shimano Ultegra Di2:

I wanted to try Shimano’s Di2 as there has been a lot of excitement around it.  My rented bike was ‘out of the box’ and brand new.  On first day I had a problem with the lowest gear: it either wouldn’t stay in the gear or it got stuck in it and wouldn’t change up to a faster one.  As we were testing a Cannondale Claymore 2 on Tuesday for a bit of MTB downhill, I left it with Free Motion to get fixed.  I suspect that the low end stop screw was just a little too tight causing either the gear to fail to engage properly or when the motor really pushed against it, to clamp the derailleur.  Anyway it was fixed on Tuesday evening and worked perfectly for the rest of the week.  Although equipped with compact chainrings the cassette still only had 25 teeth for the bottom gear which I found hard work when the gradient went above 9% for more than a short climb.  I am used to a 27 tooth bottom gear and would have preferred to have had this option (not available from Free Motion as they don’t keep different cassettes in stock)

I enjoyed the Di2 especially for the front changer which moves with the rear making all 10 gears available on  both chain rings.  Changing gear is super easy with just 2 buttons on the brake levers, one for up and one for down, placed as on a conventional changer from Shimano.  The advantages are most noticeable when standing on the pedals for a sprint or on a steep rise, you can change effortlessly with just a tap of the finger (1 tap is 1 gear so tap 3 times to change 3 gears etc)

Stefan rode the Cannondale Super Six Evo with Sram Red.  That is about 1kg lighter and the Red shifters are super ‘klicky’ with very positive actuation.

I wouldn’t buy the Ultegra Di2 but I can very well understand why it is becoming very popular.


A quick mention for Free Motion:

Super organisation with competent and friendly staff, they have a very large choice of bikes (both MTB and road bikes) to rent at reasonable prices.  It is nearly cheaper to rent a top bike than to bring your own and you don’t have the risk of flight damage etc.  I strongly recommend them!

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