This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
He might be the first Canadian to win a Grand Tour – the 2012 Giro d'Italia – but Ryder Hesjedal got his start in cross country mountain biking. While riding for Gary Fisher, the year before turning to the pro peloton in 2005, he was the first pro to race a 29er.
Hesjedal's knowledge of tech endures from his MTB days – as evidenced by a bike with a few special touches and a weight that's spot on the UCI limit – though his ride arguably remains most (in)famous for the false and hilarious claims of 'bike doping' at the 2014 Vuelta a España, where after crashing, his bike continued to spin circles.
With Garmin-Sharp and Cannondale combining forces for 2015, Hesjedal has traded in his Cervelos of the past few years for a Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod.
The SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod is a true superbike, and seems to score close to perfect every time we review one thanks to its near perfect balance of low weight, high stiffness and ride quality.
It's long and low for Hesjedal
Standing at 187cm (6ft 2in) tall, Hesjedal's frame dimensions and fit are certainly at the extreme end of the peloton. Much of this is down to a relatively tiny 56cm frame size mated with a slammed 140mm and -17 degree stem. Helping make up the saddle height is a long FSA carbon seatpost with 25mm setback, something that should offer plenty of flex for day-long comfort.
"Former mountain biker Adam Hansen and I are definitely competing for the most saddle to bar drop – mine is roughly 18cm, but I think he still wins," Hesjedal told BikeRadar during the Tour Down Under.
Special 180mm long Cannondale SI cranks make an appearance for the former Grand Tour winner
As a GT winner, the 34 year old has a little more say in his component selection than most, as shown by Cannondale now producing its forged HollowGram crankset in a 180mm length option that meets Hesjedal's preference. Combined with Cannondale's OPI (One Piece Integration) chainring configuration, this BB30 crankset is one of the lightest and stiffest options on the market.
The lack of a power meter is fairly uncommon during racing these days, but we were told that Hesjedal uses an SRM when training.
In another rare sight at this level, Hesjedal uses Shimano's Dura-Ace mechanical shifting over the more common Di2. The mechanics must love that the SuperSix Evo continues with external gear cable routing for simple servicing.
This extra padded saddle is more commonly used in triathlon
A carbon-railed triathlon version of the Fizik Arione is Hesjedal's saddle of choice, something he's apparently gone for since 2008. This saddle features a heavily padded nose, and is likely a preference from the Canadian's days of mountain biking where it's normal to shift forward on steep climbs.
Keeping the ride rolling are a pair of ultralight 40mm deep Mavic Cosmic Carbon Ultimate tubular wheels. These are relabelled as 'Service Course', which we're told is standard team-issue, and are also used for neutral service.
Wrapping those hoops are a pair of Mavic Yksion GripLink 23c tubulars, with a grip pattern on the rear that looks a lot like that of Veloflex's Carbon tubs.
Where most of the WorldTour bikes usually weigh somewhere around 7-7.2kg's, Hesjedal's is spot on the UCI weight limit of 6.8kg. It's a surprising figure given Hesjedal's height, however, the lack of a power meter and the mechanical shifting are major contributing factors to this minimal weight. As Hesjedal told us "There's no point not having the bike at the limit".
Beyond the saddle choice and long 180mm cranks, we asked Hesjedal if there's anything else he insists on, to which he replied with a very relaxed manner: "Looks good, looks fast – rides fast".
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