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  1. #1
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    Specialized Tarmac SL4 Pro vs. Cannondale Supersix EVO

    Currently considering these two bikes, both in their SRAM Red configurations. Price is nearly equal. Any opinions on which is the better frame? Type of riding is primarily long solo rides at altitude/elevation (Colorado, west of the Continental Divide, Independence Pass, etc.). As far as components go, the EVO is a complete Red bike, with the Specialized downgrading to Force brakes. How do the Specialized FACT carbon cranks compare to the Red cranks on the EVO? Another difference is the wheelsets. I tend to prefer the Mavic Ksyrium Elite over the Roval Fusee SL25, as I perceive them as more durable. Is this a correct assumption? Considering that I will probably pick up a lighter set of wheels down the road, I would keep the supplied wheels as a backup/training wheelset and/or to use with my cross bike.

    I plan to test ride both in the next day, but I will have to travel a ways to do so. Just want to have as much info going in.



    Last edited by sovereign; 09-07-11 at 03:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Neither one is a bad bike. The one that fits you the best and has the feel you like is the one to get.

    I have a Red crank and a Lighting. Specialized licensed the Lightning patents for their crank. From what I can tell, their version fixes the problems with the Lightning design. Plus, it's made by people who actually care about product quality. I like the Specialized cranks but I would not pick a bike based on the cranks unless everything else including dealer attention was equal.

  3. #3
    I like beans eippo1's Avatar
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    These are both top level bikes that can be configured to fit exactly the same and will have very small differences in ride. Go off of components or color. It really won't matter much.
    You got it buddy: the large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

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  4. #4
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    So you're going to buy a $9k bike and put $400 wheels on it?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ********** View Post
    So you're going to buy a $9k bike and put $400 wheels on it?
    Which $9k bike and $400 wheels are you referring to?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sovereign View Post
    Which $9k bike and $400 wheels are you referring to?
    Nevermind, $6000 bike that comes with $400 wheels =D

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ********** View Post
    Nevermind, $6000 bike that comes with $400 wheels =D
    I can find either bike for less than $5k. I see the Ksyrium Elites go for @ $600. Specialized prices the Fusee SL25s at $670.00.

    And what does "=D" mean?
    Last edited by sovereign; 09-07-11 at 04:34 PM.

  8. #8
    King Hoternot bianchi10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sovereign View Post
    And what does "=D" mean?
    thats a smiley face! lol

    I would go with the specialized SL4 pro. why? Mainly because it is my dream bike... I love everything about it.

    The cannondale evo is a fantastic choice as well. But the thing I dont like about the evo is it looks like a $1300 caad10. Not that there is anything wrong with a caad10, but if I spend over 10k on a bike, I want to have a bike that looks special as well as perform amazingly. I know that anyone that knows anything about bikes will know it is not an everyday caad once they see the supersix evo on the side, but if you were just riding by me I would think it was simply a nice looking caad.

    asthetically speaking I think the Evo frame is plain and boring, nothing special to really grab your eye other than the fact that it is an evo. the SL4 has a sexy new age kind of frame that grabs your attention. So this comes down to personal choice. I wouldn't say no to either one, but it comes down to which bike really grabs you. your gonna get a mix of answers here as I'm sure you already knew.

    Thats my opinion anyway, but in the end its whatever fits you best and feels most comfortable.

    which bike are you leaning towards as of now?
    Last edited by bianchi10; 09-07-11 at 06:22 PM.

  9. #9
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    Tarmac, only cause it looks better IMO lol

  10. #10
    King Hoternot bianchi10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perp View Post
    Tarmac, only cause it looks better IMO lol
    its not your opinion, its FACT! lol

  11. #11
    Senior Member Munk69's Avatar
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    Evo.
    Right!

  12. #12
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    The Evo is my dream bike as well and will be a good compliment to my CAAD10 (and Evo 10 LOL). Nothing wrong with the SL4 either as I am pretty sure that both will be good bikes for the price you are willing to pay. I just think the Evo has cleaner and classic lines and more simple to look at. But then again I like stealthy bikes so the Evo fits the bill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bianchi10 View Post
    thats a smiley face! lol

    I would go with the specialized SL4 pro. why? Mainly because it is my dream bike... I love everything about it.

    The cannondale evo is a fantastic choice as well. But the thing I dont like about the evo is it looks like a $1300 caad10. Not that there is anything wrong with a caad10, but if I spend over 10k on a bike, I want to have a bike that looks special as well as perform amazingly. I know that anyone that knows anything about bikes will know it is not an everyday caad once they see the supersix evo on the side, but if you were just riding by me I would think it was simply a nice looking caad.

    asthetically speaking I think the Evo frame is plain and boring, nothing special to really grab your eye other than the fact that it is an evo. the SL4 has a sexy new age kind of frame that grabs your attention. So this comes down to personal choice. I wouldn't say no to either one, but it comes down to which bike really grabs you. your gonna get a mix of answers here as I'm sure you already knew.

    Thats my opinion anyway, but in the end its whatever fits you best and feels most comfortable.

    which bike are you leaning towards as of now?
    It is a toss up at this point, based on the frame choices. As far as the complete bikes go, I prefer the Evo for the inclusion of Red brakes and the Mavic wheels. I suppose the crank selection is a wash, though I actually like the idea of the mid-compact for the mountains. If I go with the Evo and Red cranks I will probably go compact for up here and if I desire to switch them out down the road (Hollowgrams?) they will be easier to sell off. I will be switching the wheels out as well, and it just seems like the Mavics will either be easier to sell or more durable to use on my Swisscross if I keep them. The Rovals just seem like a heavy, but not durable, road wheel. My brother has a Tarmac and his Roval Star E5s have cracked at every spoke hole in the rear. Specialized is warrantying them, though.

    So, I have recently test ridden a 2011 Supersix Hi-Mod 2 at the LBS. I was blown away! My last high end road bike was a late 90s Merlin Extra Light. The Supersix is in another stratosphere by comparison. But, the discount is not enough to justify going with the non-Evo frame, so I want to try that out first. But, I am skeptical as to how the Evo is so stiff, strong (destructive test results), and light, with such small tubes? I have seen one in person and I actually like how it looks. The BB area is actually a refreshing change to see compared to the massive things they have become recently. So, has the carbon technology really come full circle to where the BB area can be made this small (again) and maintain stiffness? The reviews seem to say so. Anyways, the SL4 is a proven, awesome looking frame built on the recent design trends of the past few years. The Evo is a revolutionary design yet... not confirmed??? Are the Liquigas riders still riding last years Supersix.

  14. #14
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Liquigas is using the EVO. Vincenzo Nabali was somewhat lukewarm about the EVO. Apparently Nabili thought the EVO didn't feel as fast.

    The Cdale Engineers said that the Micro suspension design was making the bike feel less lively to Nabili, but was actually faster.

    I'm curious whether the microsuspension actually improves the ride quality.

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/articl...six-evo-30367/
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  15. #15
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    To compare comparable frames you'd need to really look at Sworks Tarmac versus the Evo. IMO the Sworks is really overpriced. My point is that you are riding the best frame in the Cannondale line for about the same price as the frame below the best one in the Specialized line.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    Liquigas is using the EVO. Vincenzo Nabali was somewhat lukewarm about the EVO. Apparently Nabili thought the EVO didn't feel as fast.

    The Cdale Engineers said that the Micro suspension design was making the bike feel less lively to Nabili, but was actually faster.

    I'm curious whether the microsuspension actually improves the ride quality.

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/articl...six-evo-30367/
    Thanks. I have read that and just about everything I can find on the net about the Evo. Even translated an Italian forum's multipage discussion about it. They are gushing all over the thing. Not many forum rider reviews in the US though, that I have seen. There is one guy selling his on roadbikereview: (http://forums.roadbikereview.com/can...o2-260287.html). He is not forthcoming at all about why, though. I don't have enough posts there to PM him. Not my size anyway, just curious what he does not like. He has numerous Cannonales listed in his sig, so it is not like it is the "wrong size"...

  17. #17
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    Liquigas is using the EVO. Vincenzo Nabali was somewhat lukewarm about the EVO. Apparently Nabili thought the EVO didn't feel as fast.

    The Cdale Engineers said that the Micro suspension design was making the bike feel less lively to Nabili, but was actually faster.

    I'm curious whether the microsuspension actually improves the ride quality.

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/articl...six-evo-30367/
    Wow. Imagine that Nibali is using a titanium front derailleur. Apparently he did not read the research that was put forth by the Bikeforums Think Tank on titanium front derailleurs.

    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
    Bret Stephens, WSJ

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadwarrior View Post
    To compare comparable frames you'd need to really look at Sworks Tarmac versus the Evo. IMO the Sworks is really overpriced. My point is that you are riding the best frame in the Cannondale line for about the same price as the frame below the best one in the Specialized line.
    Yes! Thanks for pointing that out as well. An S-works is well out of my range.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Munk69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadwarrior View Post
    Wow. Imagine that Nibali is using a titanium front derailleur. Apparently he did not read the research that was put forth by the Bikeforums Think Tank on titanium front derailleurs.

    lolzzz!
    Right!

  20. #20
    Two-Wheeled Aficionado ColinL's Avatar
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    My answer is neither.

    I would get a Venge Red Mid-Compact Pro.

  21. #21
    Senior Member topflightpro's Avatar
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    The two frames have pretty different geometries - IIRC, Specialized runs longer top tubes and headtubes compared to Cannondale.

    This is probably the most relevant thing to consider when comparing the two frames.

    Otherwise, you're really splitting hairs.

  22. #22
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    Same advice I'd give anyone in your situation: buy the one that gets you most excited to ride it.

    Too many people put a ton of weight on the nuances of a road bike; your crank and wheel question as a perfect example. The reality is, those nuances don't count for much. Both can be configured to fit the same way, both have pretty much the same components (you won't be able to flex either crankset and their weights will be similar), and unless you're a weight weenie, you're not really going to notice the difference in a couple hundred grams. A pro might be racing for a team that has him ride an Evo one week, and a Tarmac the next week, or vice versa, without any complaints.

    Personally, I ride a Tarmac. I love it. It gets me motivated to go out and ride, even in the wee hours of the morning and cold days in the fall/spring. But I've been beaten up hills, down hills, on flats, in corners, etc. by riders on Cannondales. I've also beaten riders on Cannondales in the exact same scenarios. Go for a test ride and go with your gut.

  23. #23
    Senior Member WHOOOSSHHH...'s Avatar
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    Forget both of them and unless your scared of going to fast, get this one...in black...


  24. #24
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    I've got a little over 300 miles on my new Sl4 Pro SRAM & let me tell you...this is one hell of a bike.
    12 Specialized Tarmac SL4 Pro w/ SRAM Red
    12 All-City Mr. Pink w/ SRAM White (Apex)

  25. #25
    Every day is a good day! Looneytuna's Avatar
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    I am on a S-works SL3 after swapping last year from a S-works SL2.. both with campy record11 and zipp 404 tubies...

    I am ready for a new frame now.. the Venge was too stiff..
    I heard the SL4 is stiffer and lighter than the SL3... but is it too stiff like the Venge or just a little stiffer than the SL3?
    thanks..

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