Cannondale Evo Super Six v. Giant TCR

February 17, 2016 § 42 Comments

The last time I got a new bike was July 2014 after the great bicycle falling off incident of October 2013 when many of us on the NPR jumped off our bicycles together in a big heap and broke each other and things. My Giant TCR had a cracked seat tube but I continued riding on it until Brent Garrigus at RIDE Cyclerly in Encinitas was working on it and noticed the crack.

Fortunately Giant warrantied this obviously defective frame that couldn’t withstand the normal wear and tear of bouncing along the asphalt at 40 mph on its seatpost. However, the replacement frame was identical to the 2012 model I’d been riding, so technically I’ve been riding the same frame for four years, which is a billion years in bicycle coffee shop smack talk time.

Yesterday I picked up my new Cannondale Evo Super Six, courtesy of Helen’s Cycles in Santa Monica, after having my trusty mechanic Boozy P. fine tune it. This morning on its inaugural ride it was humming along even with the fine-tuned rear brake pad dragging against the rim, which was easily adjusted but not by me.

So after 180 minutes on the Cannondale I’m thoroughly prepared to compare it in detail with the Giant TCR which I rode for four years and 40,000 miles.


  • Wife Handling

TCR: The TCR handled wife quite well. Offered at not much of a discount, it nonetheless escaped spousal ire by being associated with new team and a cash stash I had in an old sock.

Super Six: Terrible spousal handling characteristics. Delivery clumsily planned on Valentines Day, in tandem with thoughtlessly forgetting a spousal gift and trying to make up for it with leftovers from Rite-Aid’s card rack (“Dear Jesus Thank You for Our Heavenly Love,  To My Wife”), and a $25 Starbucks card. Came close to catastrophic failure; needs major redesign.

  • Bank Account Weight

TCR: Weighed in way over budget, but camouflaged with savings stuffed in old sock and timely purchase of a new Italian leather couch for Mrs. WM in lieu of son’s college tuition.

Super Six: Extremely light, so light that it was hardly noticed except for the aforementioned Valentines Day issue, which ended up in a nasty spat along the lines of “Happy Valentines Day for you onna new bike and I’m onna cheap coffee and ugly Jesus card.”

  • Wheelset Sleight of Hand

TCR: Superior wheelset swap-out while Ms. WM was out of the country, allowing replacement of shitty wheels with full carbon FastForward F-4 100% carbon clincher wheels and carbon FastForward tubular climbing wheels that are 100% carbon and full carbon. Unbeatable wheel swappiness.

Super Six: Requires lots of careful, technical work not found in the manual, for example, when planning to replace the perfectly good F-4’s, it is necessary to buy the new ones with behind-the-couch-cushion savings, then stick the old wheels in Boozy P.’s shop while waiting for them to sell, and being sure to never, ever, ever come home with an extra set of wheels. Tricky, can result in complete incompatibility and spousal relational failure.

  • PayPal Slush Fund Upgrades

TCR: Pretty good for saving a few blog subscription bucks and then secretly buying Ceramic Speed BB and jockey wheels without being caught or having to do “equivalent purchase” restitution in the form of nice restaurants or new granny underwear.

Super Six: Very poor PayPal application due to generally low balance in account. Unable to effectively hide major wheel purchases, resulting in borrowing from friends and promises to pay Jon D. for the new wheels next October.

  • 100% Carbon Full Carbon Composition

TCR: Drop-outs were not full carbon, so completely worthless POS frame and I’d never own another one. Thinking about class action.

Super Six: Full carbon 100% carbon everywhere, including full carbon drop-outs, carbon bolts, and carbon bar tape that is 100% carbon. Buy the bike for this reason alone.

  • Peloton Envy

TCR: No longer the shit because, fad.

Super Six: The new hot chick/sexy guy everyone wants to be around.

  • Shoe Rack Leanbility

TCR: Leaned pretty solidly against the shoe rack in our apartment without upsetting the clogs and ratty sneakers.

Super Six: Seems to take up less space, probably due to higher carbon content.


  • Performance Tool Requirements

TCR: Could pretty much fix anything with Old No. 72.


Super Six: Requires torque wrench and a new set of tools that I won’t be able to use, to go with the other ones I used to use until Smasher made them all pretty and put them in a box where they’ve been for the last fucking month because when I was younger I didn’t care if they were trashed but now I’m older and know the value of money and a clean tool (you read that right) and I’m afraid to touch them. However, Smasher did send me some purchase options, a $350 Snap-Off torque wrench set or a $40 Spin Doctor torque wrench set that was just as good, so I went with the more expensive one that I’d never use. “I like your style,” he said.

  • Wind Chatter Aerodynamics

TCR: Did a good job of muting unwanted spousal criticism because it came with Team SPY and she was distracted by the awesome kits.

Super Six: Terrible at breaking the wind resistance of angry Mrs. WM, whose tirades about that $25 Starbucks card and the Holy Jesus Loving Wife card are going to be a feature of the family landscape for a while.

  • Climbing

TCR: Too heavy to effectively scamper away up hills avoiding family troubles, life problems, and penury.

Super Six: Spry, quick as a gazelle, offers endless hours of escapism.

  • Kit Integration

TCR: Went pretty well with the SPY-Giant-Ride color scheme, which improved yearly.

Super Six: Same black-and-white pattern as TCR, but glossy black and goes great with Team Lizard Collector’s 2015 classic black kit. May not work as well with the 2015 Calvin and Hobbes design, but the jury hasn’t hung itself yet.

  • Conclusion

TCR: Best bike I’d ever ridden.

Super Six: Best bike I’ve ever ridden.



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§ 42 Responses to Cannondale Evo Super Six v. Giant TCR

  • sorta_TX_racer says:

    My first carbon bike was purchased on my wife’s birthday. I had gone to the shop to buy a pair of socks.

    Still married!

  • JF says:

    Fascinating! 😉

  • Minnesota Expat says:

    I lurv my EVO. Salivated for months in 2014 over a $5,000 EVO Ultegra in team colors at the LBS. To prep the battlefield, I showed Ms. MnEx the sexy pictures of a hunky Peter Sagan riding a sexy EVO and she agreed, “Nice legs!”. I think she meant nice bike.

    But my conscience (and a looming college tuition bill) prevailed at the LBS and I brought home a $2,400 EVO 5. Ms. MnEx takes one quick look in the garage and says, “So that’s what a $5,000 bike looks like? Nice. You deserve it.” And goes back inside. Not another word.


    • fsethd says:

      Better to ask forgiveness and get divorced when it’s denied.

      • Minnesota Expat says:

        Exactly. Try to do the right thing and Ms MnEx didn’t even know I’d saved $2,500. So after the fact, I figured she wouldn’t mind a $2,000 upgraded carbon fiber wheelset made of 100% real carbon. Wrong. 20-years and I still can’t get this marriage thing right!

  • Joe C says:

    Snuck home my first carbon Giant. While sitting at dinner, my youngest son says “so when’d you get the carbon bike in your truck?”. I looked at him (since I thought he was better trained), looked at the wife, looked back at him, realized I had gone too long without answering, looked at the wife, and she said “yeah, so when DID you get the new carbon bike?”. Awkward dinner.

  • shano92107 says:

    I’ve been rolling the TCR for about 3 years and it show no sign of resistance to breaking wind. I’m keeping the TCR

  • Pink Pant-her says:


    I have employed several stealth replacement strategies over the years only to have them all backfire.

    With my first wife, I just bought Bianchi’s. I really didn’t like the bikes but I was assured that every year the company would come out with a new bike but keep the same color! That smooth talking, quick thinking, sales guy down at Sprint Bike, Shoe & Refrigerator Repair (true name of my now defunct local shop. I guess only selling one color of bikes wasn’t the best strategy for either one of us.

    With my second wife I explained to her in great detail the limited life span of carbon fiber bicycle frames due to the tremendous forces applied by a cyclist (she suggested I lose weight) and thats why the color of my bikes kept changing. But thanks to the generous “Crash Replacement” trade in program, it was practically free (unless you count the countless upgrades and non compatible parts).

    Now, with wife number three, I have really done myself in. Every time I turn around there is a new carbon fiber bike in the garage. The catch is that they are always in pretty new colors. And, when she returns from one of her “shop rides” she leans it right against my old, worn out but perfectly fine “Vintage” steel bike, you know, just like one I hid from the first wife.

  • East Coast baby seal says:

    But does it have that new bike smell?

  • Brian in VA says:

    I’ve got nothing. You guys are all professionals.

  • miniwatts says:

    Christmas a few years back, I surprised Frank with a new bike and he got me a bike light 😛

  • dan says:

    Keep them coming. I am taking notes as I am assuming these are all true stories (except for the ones that aren’t)

  • Sausage™ says:

  • alexbarnes says:

    I’ve found you can more easily justify upgrades to your current bike than a complete bike replacement.

    That said, we’re currently locked in disagreement about whether upgrading to 100% carbon full carbon frame, bars and wheels should be classified as an upgrade or a new bike.

    • Brian in VA says:

      As long as there are original parts, I’d call it an upgrade.

      “Look at what I just put under my saddle, which is the only remaining part!”

      • fsethd says:

        Very good point. “I haven’t replaced this bolt!” always makes them happy, especially when you forget the anniversary but remember the new bike purchase.

      • alexbarnes says:

        Excellent. This is just the confirmation I needed. There are still a few un-replaced parts from the original bike.

    • fsethd says:

      Remember that marriage is a holy war, and the bicycle is but one club in her arsenal of winning weapons.

    • Winemaker says:

      I like the logic, except my first wife knew, and had all the phone numbers of, the equipment sponsors, so she just sweet talked her little pair o lips off and a pile of SWAG miraculously arrived whenever I desperately needed it. Then I got slower and older and the sponsorship frigging just stopped! Then I quit.

  • Albie Lakes says:

    Wait, tawt you rode 32H Open pros on $15 Vittorias!?!?

    And free speed carbon wheelz, my friend? I must have missed your 50th birthday.

    Happy Belated!

  • dangerstu says:

    ‘Holy Jesus Loving Wife card’ seldom in matrimonial conflict has so much laughter been owed to so few.

  • MQ says:

    Stoked I am not the only one with the secret “sock” stash. One day my stash too will be filled. I am just waiting for you to win at least one of the two cases you are working for him…Press on my friend

  • jorgensen says:

    Golden Week is coming. That is your chance at redemption.
    No Love Hotel booking unless it is not too far from Meiji Shrine

  • Barry says:

    I involuntarily laughed out-loud at ‘ol number 72. Well played.

  • Helicomatic says:

    Currently laying the groundwork for a new bike with a kitchen remodel. It isn’t $6k of granite. It is $6k of granite which can be redeemed for. $1k coupon redeemable for full carbon carbon things. Maybe. If I play my cards right.

    Need many full granite granites with stainless stainless.

    • fsethd says:

      Hahaha!! Gitcher stainless granite with 100% igneous full basalt granite here! With extra stainless that is unstained.

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