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CAAD12 with BB30a or Supersix Evo with BB30

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CAAD12 with BB30a or Supersix Evo with BB30

Old 09-21-18, 11:55 AM
  #1  
Robert A
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CAAD12 with BB30a or Supersix Evo with BB30

I'm considering a CAAD12 or a Supersix Evo, both with Ultegra. I recently learned that the Evo has a BB30 bottom bracket while the CAAD has a BB30a. In the long-run, how much does the "a" in BB30a really matter? I'm an average rider.

Thanks,
Robert
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Old 09-21-18, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
I'm considering a CAAD12 or a Supersix Evo, both with Ultegra. I recently learned that the Evo has a BB30 bottom bracket while the CAAD has a BB30a. In the long-run, how much does the "a" in BB30a really matter? I'm an average rider.

Thanks,
Robert
Between those two bikes, the difference between BB30 vs BB30a wouldn't even be on the list of my concerns - It's a 5mm width difference. In theory, yeah, I guess having the bearings a little further apart might make things more stable, but I don't know that would be detectable by your average user. In the more practical terms of crankset compatibility, it means that some BB30 cranksets won't be long enough to fit in a BB30a frame, but it shouldn't be a problem when it come to adapting the BB to fit many of the most popular cranksets out there, most notably the other formats that use 30mm spindles and the 24mm Shimanos.
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Old 09-21-18, 12:28 PM
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Does having just the BB30 open up more options when it comes to upgrading the crank in the future?

Also, it's worth noting that the CAAD12 comes with the Hollogram crank and OPI Spidering while the Evo comes with solid cranks and FSI chainrings. How much does this change the equation?

Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Between those two bikes, the difference between BB30 vs BB30a wouldn't even be on the list of my concerns - It's a 5mm width difference. In theory, yeah, I guess having the bearings a little further apart might make things more stable, but I don't know that would be detectable by your average user. In the more practical terms of crankset compatibility, it means that some BB30 cranksets won't be long enough to fit in a BB30a frame, but it shouldn't be a problem when it come to adapting the BB to fit many of the most popular cranksets out there, most notably the other formats that use 30mm spindles and the 24mm Shimanos.
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Old 09-21-18, 12:39 PM
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Does one come in red? Red bikes are always faster.
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Old 09-21-18, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
Does having just the BB30 open up more options when it comes to upgrading the crank in the future?
In theory, but only in that it'll give you a handful more of BB30 crankset options. Are there any to-die-for BB30 cranksets out there that don't have an equivalent (or better) in a BB30a-compatible format? Can't think of any.

Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
Also, it's worth noting that the CAAD12 comes with the Hollogram crank and OPI Spidering while the Evo comes with solid cranks and FSI chainrings. How much does this change the equation?
Not really moving the needle for me. Some people really love the look of the Spidering, but it doesn't do much for me. That and the fact that it's a $250 consumable leaves me feeling rather 'meh.'

Again, when comparing a CAAD and a SS Evo, this would be way down the list. I'm not kidding when I say that available colorways would be higher on the list that the BB difference.
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Old 09-21-18, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
I'm considering a CAAD12 or a Supersix Evo, both with Ultegra. I recently learned that the Evo has a BB30 bottom bracket while the CAAD has a BB30a. In the long-run, how much does the "a" in BB30a really matter? I'm an average rider.

Thanks,
Robert
The big differences in those bikes are frame material and $500 (MSRP). The other stuff is negligible and can be changed.
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Old 09-21-18, 04:31 PM
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From what I see the main idea of BB30 is to provide a shorter spindle. That allows a narrower Q factor (limited by chainstay clearance), or alternatively the crank arms have to angle out to achieve a more standard Q factor. If that provides any real advantage over HT II I don't know. Once you start moving away from original BB30/PF30 you need a longer spindle so you are getting closer to HT II (except with a 30 mm diameter of course).

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Old 09-22-18, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by scott967 View Post
From what I see the main idea of BB30 is to provide a shorter spindle. That allows a narrower Q factor (limited by chainstay clearance), or alternatively the crank arms have to angle out to achieve a more standard Q factor. If that provides any real advantage over HT II I don't know. Once you start moving away from original BB30/PF30 you need a longer spindle so you are getting closer to HT II (except with a 30 mm diameter of course).

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It can be an advantage for riders like myself who pedal a bit toed out and prefer a narrower Q (shoes close to crank arm). Less compromises required for cleat angle and pedal spindle length while maintaining decent ankle clearance. Hollowgram cranks have given me the best fit I've had since older DA 7700. The first crankset I've ever owned that don't have rub marks on them (3 seasons on one set).

Last edited by Voodoo76; 09-22-18 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 09-22-18, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76 View Post
It can be an advantage for riders like myself who pedal a bit toed out and prefer a narrower Q (shoes close to crank arm). Less compromises required for cleat angle and pedal spindle length while maintaining decent ankle clearance. Hollowgram cranks have given me the best fit I've had since older DA 7700. The first crankset I've ever owned that don't have rub marks on them (3 seasons on one set).
A lot of good advice in this thread and will add my comments. I pedal slightly toe out and have always preferred long spindle cranks like Shimano and Campagnolo.
I just don't see Q -factor in this context as having a huge influence for simple reason the crank arm has to clear the rear chain stay.

I have always been a bit reticent to buy into to the Q-factor preference debate based upon pedal style.

What I find are fit issues that promote outlier pedal stroke dynamics....more extreme toe out or more toe in. The way a person walks down the street doesn't necessarily correlate with toe point direction on the bike during the pedal stroke.

As it turns out, toe point and any relationship with Q-factor can be based upon shoe varus as well...or lack thereof. Many of course don't focus much on the root cause of their pedal stroke geometry and chalk it up to their personal anatomy.Not so. For example extreme foot varus affects knee tracking and foot toe point. Riders that ride bow legged i.e. knee farther from the top tube on the bike aren't necessarily bow legged by nature. Its their fit to the bike i.e. foot varus. Pedal stroke is affect by the three points of contact to the bike in 3 dimensions.

OP to put a finer point on your question...generally most riders, certainly that I know and have fitted can ride either shortest spindle i.e. 68mm wide BB30 AND 86.5mm wide shell cranks ergo Shimano long spindle 24mm spindle dia cranks just fine without issue.
Perhaps there is no greater testament to the plethora of wide shell BB's out there that require a long spindle crankset. If Q-factor were a broader issue for the vast majority of riders including the hundred's of thousands of Shimano crankset owners, there wouldn't be the demand.

Choice of bike in your case should be your preference for the entire bike and not the BB as others have stated. BB30a is sadly a gimmick. It can be argued that BB30 isn't great but its one of the best press fit solutions out there due to the tightest tolerances of the machined bores. BB30a is effectively the same but with 5mm wider shell and many will run a longer spindle crank either Shimano or long spindle version of BB30 offered by many suppliers even Campy.

What I suggest is pick the bike you like best...really comes mostly down to material and cost.

There is a great article on the web in fact comparing the two bikes. Many love the Al CAAD12. I know I would be happy on either bike and honestly the reason why I don't ride either is more about the geometry which is a bit aggressive for this aging rider. I prefer Cannondale's endurance geometry or endurance geometry in general not only due to age by I am a longer inseam rider. I will say I love modern Al bikes almost as much as carbon. Almost a jump ball. I like the lively feel of a finely engineered late model Al bike. Love carbon for its lightness and stiffness in the right places for the perfect feeling of flex over the road and under power. For me in the Cannondale family it would either be the Al or carbon Synapse and I am sure I would be happy on either. Cannondale, Trek and Specialized make great Al road bikes.

Last edited by Campag4life; 09-22-18 at 12:12 PM.
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