Cannondale Synapse Road Bike
A name synonymous with endurance road cycling, the Cannondale Synapse road bike has won itself a place in the hearts of road cyclists worldwide, with its pinpoint handling and comfort-forward design leading to an exciting yet fatigue-free ride character.
Now in an all-new iteration, Cannondale has built on these qualities to deliver a previously unseen combination of performance, comfort and versatility, consolidating its position as a market-leading model suitable for the needs of almost all road cyclists.
From its avant-garde SmartSense technology to its supreme adaptability, this latest edition of the Synapse pulls no punches on the road, with its compelling ride quality and state of the art features delivering a cutting edge road cycling experience. Interested? Read on to discover more.
History of the Synapse
Approaching the limits of possibility, Cannondale bikes have led the charge on innovation within cycle design. Since its inception in 2005, the Synapse has played a vital role within the Cannondale product lineup, being the first full-carbon bike to be released by the brand.
This seminal model was the first to introduce the SAVE micro-suspension system to limit fatigue-inducing vibrations from reaching the rider, a theme that has remained within the lineup since.
Lauded amongst the sportive riding scene, the Synapse was a hit, with each revision taking a step closer to the model seen today. Lightweight, responsive and exceedingly comfortable, it excelled over longer distances, with these traits being refined and elevated for this latest edition.
Onto a winning formula, it could have been easy for Cannondale to rest on its laurels with the Synapse, yet almost every element has been redesigned to enhance the rider experience.
Headlining these improvements are an increased level of compliance to boost comfort, subtle aerodynamic profiling and the addition of the SmartSense system, which aims to change the way you perceive the world around you with its array of tech-rich features.
It may be easier to say what hasn’t changed, with the proven geometry and comfort-forward ethos being the only carryover from the previous model.
Wide tyre clearance of up to 35c blurs the lines between road and gravel, ensuring multi-surface performance without compromise, whilst more subtle changes such as the inclusion of a threaded bottom bracket and top tube accessory mounting points aid practicality.
A Finely Tuned Machine
It would be easy to think all these changes would come at a performance cost, but no. The new Synapse is faster, more comfortable and intelligent in every way, all whilst retaining its stellar handling, scant weight and doubling down on its practicality.
In short, Cannondale has kept everything for which the Synapse is celebrated and improved upon it.
- Subtle aerodynamic changes minimise wind resistance
- Clearance for up to 35mm tyres
- Enhanced frame compliance boosts comfort
- SmartSense features improve rider awareness and safety
- Threaded BSA bottom bracket for ease of maintenance
Who is the Synapse For?
The Synapse is for everyone. Fast yet comfortable, it splits the difference between the ultralight performance of a race bike and the versatility of a gravel model, delivering a perfect blend of speed, comfort and practicality that leaves it sought after by so many riders.
Adaptable in its nature, it is equally suitable for leisure cyclists seeking a fast and efficient road bike as it is to an athlete looking for all-around performance without compromising on pace. This provides an authentic experience on the tarmac that is near impossible to replicate.
Cannondale understands that there is no cookie-cutter answer to frame design, with every rider being unique. All cyclists are different, but why should any rider settle for anything less than perfect?
An intelligent approach to their products has seen Cannondale utilise their Proportional Response Construction for the Synapse, ensuring the same balanced ride character no matter what frame size you choose.
This reworked frameset picks up where the previous edition left off, continuing the story by evolving upon that proven blueprint, delivering comfort with a race-edge twist. The geometry is balanced and familiar, suitable for both aggressive or upright ride positions.
Although marketed within the endurance category, the ride is dynamic and responsive, offering an intoxicating combination of dialled handling and sublime ergonomics.
Comfort Without Compromise
Subtle aerodynamic details lend the Synapse a shared aesthetic with the brand’s showcase race models. The truncated tube profiles offer free speed without impacting the frame weight. The unique Proportional Response Construction carbon sees targeted stiffness, bolstering its power transfer whilst shielding the rider from micro-vibrations to limit fatigue over longer distances.
A dropped seatstay design cushions the ride, providing balanced compliance that damps reverberations from the road surface. Each frame size features a unique layup for peak performance, ensuring a shared ride quality across the range.
A Masterclass in Versatility
With its unique one bike for all riders approach, the new Synapse is what you make of it. It features clearance for up to 35c tyres, a number that rivals or exceeds that of many gravel-specific models, allowing for unsurpassed levels of compliance and traction across a multitude of surfaces.
Mudguard compatibility is a given, with the frame including designated eyelets for ease of mounting - no fumbling around with clip-on guards required.
One Bike to Rule Them All
There is enough clearance available for mudguards to be used with a 30c tyre, so no need to sacrifice comfort in the pursuit of convenience. The standard seatpost clamp is a refreshing sight, discarding the need for a complex wedge system, and a turbo trainer-compatible rear thru-axle comes included.
Home Mechanics Rejoice
For many, the move from press-fit to a threaded BSA bottom bracket will be music to the ears. Although the previously used BB30a system had its merits, a traditional threaded setup brings practicality, allowing for simple home replacements when the time comes to refresh.
This theme is endured throughout the frame’s feature list, with tube-in-tube internal routing offering fool-proof cable swaps and a modular downtube SwitchPlate system for ease of installation and maintenance.
One of the most compelling additions to the new Synapse is the SmartSense system. Far more than a set of lights, the SmartSense system aims to keep your rides free from worry, amplifying awareness and working intelligently to enhance the cycling experience.
A key benefit of this technology is that it keeps your eyes on the road, not over your shoulder, enhancing your safety and hazard perception.
As your co-pilot, this system is a second set of eyes and ears, helping you see what you can’t whilst automatically adjusting to your speed and surroundings to keep you visible to other road users.
Foresite Front Light
The units themselves are of high quality, with the front Foresite light being the product of a collaboration with industry heavy-hitters Leyzne. Known for their unwavering attention to detail, it features a premium aluminium construction and a broad beam pattern, maximising visibility to the traffic around you.
The light itself produces 350 lumens of brightness, sits neatly underneath the handlebar, and alongside the rear light features an ambient light sensor to adapt to changing light conditions.
- Made in collaboration with Leyzne
- High-quality aluminium body
- Broad beam pattern maximises visibility
- An ambient light sensor automatically toggles the lights on/off when required
- Maximum 350 lumens
Hindsite Rear Light
The rear Hindsite light and integrated sensor are born from a collaboration with Garmin, utilising technology found on their Varia radar system and adapting it for SmartSense. Far more than just a rear light, this system detects approaching vehicles up to 140m away, notifying the rider of the hazard with an audio and visual alert.
The light will also get brighter as a vehicle approaches and features a Brake Alert function to signal to other road users that you are decelerating. Optionally, this can be used in conjunction with a Garmin Varia display, select cycle computers, or your mobile phone through the use of the accompanying Cannondale application.
- Made in collaboration with Garmin
- Offers an audio/visual prompt when traffic approaches
- Radar effective up to 140m
- Brake Alert function senses changes in speed
- Can be used in conjunction with a Garmin Varia/most cycle computers/Cannondale App
- Compatible with saddlebags, when using aftermarket adapters
- Maximum 35 lumens
The SmartSense Powerpack Battery
Nestled into a dedicated downtube recess is the SmartSense Powerpack, which integrates neatly to the frame via a quick-release smart cradle. As the hub for the SmartSense system, it provides power to the lights and radar without the inconvenience of charging multiple devices. It is easily removable for charging indoors and has a recharge time of just three hours.
Cannondale App and SmartSense
The SmartSense system is directly compatible with the Cannondale app, allowing over-air firmware updates and light configuration adjustments. With just a tap, you can choose you preferred combination of light and radar activation modes and even see a real-time light and radar status on the Ride Screen, helping you ride in confidence, even on fast road networks.