Cannondale Si chainset review£349.99

More affordable version of the SiSL2

BikeRadar score4/5

Cannondale’s highly innovative Si Hollowgram chainset has been around for years, but has mainly been available only on Cannondale’s own top-level bikes with very little aftermarket availability. Now thanks to the cycling industry’s widespread adoption of BB30 – another Cannondale innovation – the American company is making the design available to all.

    Cannondale’s range-topping SiSL2 has a sub-500g weight, but its prohibitive price limits its appeal. This new Si model forgoes the SiSL2’s CNC clamshell construction in favour of a patented 3D forging process, which allows it be lighter than the previous Si chainset without compromising its stiffness. It comes as a complete package with a pair of FSA chainrings (50/34) and a BB30 bottom bracket. It’s pleasingly simple to install too, requiring a single 10mm Allen key, with all the spacers laser etched to show which side they go – so fitting’s a doddle even without the instructions.

    The chainset’s low mass – just 611g – is matched by admirable stiffness, while the quality bearings ensure that it turns smoothly. The FSA rings are the same CNC machined units you’ll find on the last generation K-Force Light – before it adopted its new integrated four-arm system – and the tooth and ramp profiles offer fast, accurate shifting even under load.

    If you are looking to upgrade your chainset, this is a cheaper option than either the SiSL2 or FSA’s K-Force, and it’s 25g lighter and costs 50 quid less than Shimano’s excellent Dura-Ace chainset – or even more once you factor in a bottom bracket. You can also upgrade the Si’s rings once they’ve worn out with Cannondale’s Spridering, which would shed even more weight.

    True, not everyone will want a chainset bearing the Cannondale name, but then you would be missing out on a technically brilliant chainset purely for the sake of a laser-etched logo, which would be a great shame.

    This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

    Warren Rossiter

    Senior Technical Editor
    Approaching two decades of testing bikes, Warren can be found on a daily basis riding and exploring the road and off roads of Wiltshire's Salisbury Plain in the UK. That's when he's not travelling the world to test the latest kit, components and bikes.
    • Age: 44
    • Height: 188cm / 6'2''
    • Weight: 92kg / 203lb
    • Waist: 86cm / 34in
    • Chest: 112cm / 44in
    • Discipline: Road
    • Preferred Terrain: Big, fast descents and rough surfaces like cobbles or strada bianca
    • Current Bikes: Decade Tripster ATR, Dedacciai Temarario, Cannondale Synapse, BMC Granfondo Disc Di2, Genesis Day One CX, Parlee Z Zero Custom, Storck Scenario Comp Custom, DMR Trailstar, Bianchi Pista, Cube SUV 29er e-bike
    • Dream Bike: Bianchi Oltre Disc, Bianchi Specialissima, Cannondale Slate, Buffalo Bike
    • Beer of Choice: Brew Dog Punk IPA
    • Location: Wiltshire, UK

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