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Cannondale Synapse 2 RL

7
£4,000.00

VERDICT:

7
10
Beautiful to ride with a great blend of speed and comfort, but the electronic aids aren't that special – and aren't for me
Excellent geometry layout
Comfortable
Reflective seatstays are a clever touch
Trainer adaptors as standard
Cable routing not as clean as some
Low end wheelset comparative to the frame
Weight: 
9,530g

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New for 2022 the latest Cannondale Synapse has seen some major changes over the previous model, not only in terms of frame shape and detailing but also with the inclusion of their integrated SmartSense system which including lights, speed sensors and even Garmin's Radar detection system on some models. At its heart though is still an excellent frameset that offers a great ride quality and loads of stiffness.

The ride is where the Synapse really shines. The ride quality is great yet it's a really firm bike too – no easy feat. Riding away from the house for the first time on the Synapse I was expecting a stiff, racer-esque trip around the lanes, and that is definitely what I got.

The common theme of oversizing for the head and down tubes hasn't been ignored for the Synapse, which means power transfer is great from the lower half of the frame, including the boxy bottom bracket junction where it accepts the large profile chainstays and wide, flat-section seat tube. Everything about the Synapse feels tight, and just right.

> Buy now: Cannondale Synapse 2 RL from Sigma Sports for £3999.00

The geometry isn't as aggressive as the race bikes in Cannondale's lineup, but I still found myself able to get into an aero and efficient position.

There's plenty of saddle-to-bar drop too, even with the tall (25mm spacer) Cannondale fits above the headset.

2022 Cannondale Synapse 2 RL - head tube.jpg

On this 56cm model Cannondale has managed to keep the wheelbase just below a metre, and it's noticeable in how nimble and lively the Synapse feels – especially in the bends or when accelerating hard. At 9.53kg it's no lightweight, but does an amazing job of ignoring that heft.

2022 Cannondale Synapse 2 RL - riding 5.jpg

The head and seat tube angles are steep enough to make the ride fun and efficient without ever making it a handful, and it's this that gives the Synapse such poise on the road.

A big section of the test period saw early morning frosts, and with that, main roads covered in salty residue which – let's be honest – is almost as slippery as the ice. Roundabouts and tight corners rely heavily on feedback as the front and rear tyres take turns to lose traction, but I felt so in tune with the Synapse that it was a lot less terrifying than it could have been. The directness of the frame means it's easy to control through small inputs in the steering, or small bodyweight shifts to control the rear end.

2022 Cannondale Synapse 2 RL - riding 2.jpg

On dry roads you can ride the Cannondale hard and fast. It deals well with off-camber technical bends without feeling flustered, and I wouldn't say it gives a lot away in terms of steering speed to more race orientated bikes.

It's not all pedal mashing and heavy braking into the bends though. The geometry allows you to sit just a little bit more upright than on a bike with a slammed front end, which reduces pressure on the lower back and wrists. That makes the Synapse an efficient mile muncher.

2022 Cannondale Synapse 2 RL - riding 7.jpg

It's also where the comfort of the frame comes into play. It's by no means a soft or even particularly shock-absorbing frame, especially not in a way that takes the emphasis off of stiffness. Cannondale has balanced things perfectly though, and it just takes the edge off of the roughness of the road.

If you want a comfortable race bike, this is it. It's a bike that won't embarrass you for the town sign sprint, or on the climbs, or even coming back down them. The Synapse is quite the package.

If you go for this model and can afford it, start saving for a set of light, deepish-section carbon wheels. It'll completely change the performance.

Frame and fork

The frame has 'flex zones' in the rear triangle, seat tube and seatpost, says Cannondale, and each frame size is tweaked for optimal stiffness versus compliance. Cannondale calls all this effort Proportional Response, though doesn't elaborate on exactly what it involves; most likely it's controlled by changes to the carbon fibre layup.

2022 Cannondale Synapse 2 RL - seat stays 2.jpg

It's not just the quality of the ride that is impressive though. It's also the small details. Cannondale says the Synapse bridges the gap between their race and gravel bikes, so you're getting clearance for 35mm tyres and neat little details such as threaded holes for a Bento box on the top tube and a third pair of bottle cage mounts underneath the down tube.

2022 Cannondale Synapse 2 RL - top tube.jpg

The SmartSense lights limit space for bags at the front and rear however, so it's not quite the load lugger it could be – more about that in a bit.

2022 Cannondale Synapse 2 RL - head tube badge.jpg

The Synapse also takes full mudguards. Cannondale can supply a rear seatstay bridge to support fitting, and the fork mounts are internal on the inside of the legs. They'll require a bit of fettling with the stays to fit most other brands, but it's easily achievable. Fitting guards limits tyre size to 30mm, but that's no issue on a bike of this ilk.

Another cool thing is that Cannondale includes adaptors for indoor trainers. They screw into the thru-axle and will save you the £25-odd for separate adaptors for most brands of home trainer.

2022 Cannondale Synapse 2 RL - rear mech.jpg

The rear of the seatstays are covered in reflective paint. You'd barely notice in daylight, especially as the paint on this model flips between green and gold depending on the light anyway, but in the dark the extra shine can only be a good thing.

The hydraulic hosing for the brakes is diverted through the frame and fork, as is the cabling, both for the gears and the SmartSense. It's not as neat as some of the latest frames I have seen though, which pass them through the head tube for a complete smooth finish. Cannondale says it eases maintenance and bike building though, and I see their point.

2022 Cannondale Synapse 2 RL - stem 2.jpg

I haven't bought a complete bike in around fifteen years, instead building frames up from scratch, and some fully internal ones can be a faff – especially if they haven't been designed well or lack internal guides. And it's somehow worse still if you are paying someone else an hourly rate to do the work for you.

Elsewhere the home and shop mechanic will be happy to see a threaded BSA bottom bracket, especially on a bike that's capable of being an all-year-round machine, as this one is.

Geometry

The Synapse comes in six sizes: 48 through to 61, and that offers top tube lengths of 53.3cm up to 57.9cm. Like I said earlier, we have the 56cm which has an effective top tube length of 56.7cm, although it feels shorter than that by around 10mm or so.

2022 Cannondale Synapse 2 RL - front.jpg

The head tube length is 164mm while the stack and reach are 598mm and 387mm respectively. Angle wise the seat tube is 73°, while the head tube is set at 73.2° – steeper than most bikes of this sort of design. The chainstays are 415mm which, when added to everything else, gives an overall wheelbase of just 998mm.

2022 Cannondale Synapse 2 RL - rear.jpg

SmartSense

When I review bikes, the riding is the easy part. I get the miles in and avoid websites, instead talking to distributors/designers (and even our own extranet) for as long as I can so I'm not bombarded with information like prices, weight or marketing packs. That lets me make my mind up on the road. When I've finished the riding period, I can look at the stats and see if things weigh up.

Right from the start the SeeSense thing didn't work for me. The lights and Garmin Radar look clunky and aren't the usual type of products I'd use, but you're kind of locked into the whole 'user experience.'

2022 Cannondale Synapse 2 RL - rear light and smart sense sensor.jpg

In the presentation I received from Cannondale there is a bar chart from a 2020 app-base survey claiming that 46.67% of riders use lights all of the time, while 40% use them some of the time. So I can kind of see why Cannondale have gone down this route.

I use lights a fair amount as I spend a lot of time in urban areas or on busy A-roads; either I'm cutting my way through traffic, or I'm having it flow quickly past me. However, neither of these lights really helped with that.

2022 Cannondale Synapse 2 RL - saddle.jpg

The front only gives 350 lumens at full whack and features an cut off beam (to comply with German STVZO regs), whereas I prefer units like the Ravemen PR1600, which feature both dipped and full beams.

Anyway, 350 lumens isn't really enough to allow you to ride the Synapse at the kind of speed it's designed to do. So just add another light, I hear you say... fine, but the bracket then takes up bar space, especially if you're running a computer too.

2022 Cannondale Synapse 2 RL - smart sense battery unit 2.jpg

If you use your phone for recording rides, the included wheel sensor is a neat addition as it'll certainly save battery life – you won't need to use your GPS signal.

2022 Cannondale Synapse 2 RL - sensor.jpg

The rear is designed to sit around the Garmin Radar and, while not massively bright, it's clever. It changes brightness when cars are detected, and also works as a brake light. The Garmin Radar controlling it is a neat little trick. It gives you a visual guide of cars approaching from behind via a compatible Garmin device or the Cannondale app on your phone.

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It's not infallible though; if cars have been behind you for a while it loses them, so a shoulder check is still necessary and to be honest, if you ride in a primary position anyway, it's kind of a solution looking for a problem.

So, if the bike was mine, I'd be running brighter lights with longer burn times (with both lights on full I'd get about 2hrs 40mins from the Cannondale battery), and by running lights on the seatpost and top of the handlebar I could fit a bar bag and saddle pack for those longer rides.

Cannondale, please release a Synapse range – rather than just a single entry-level model – without the integration for those of us who don't want it!

Finishing kit

The 2 RL model we have here comes with a mechanical Ultegra groupset which works excellently. The shifting is spot on (as I have said many times before), and the braking really can't be faulted. It's powerful and progressive.

2022 Cannondale Synapse 2 RL - lever.jpg

Cannondale has opted for a 50/34t chainset mated to an 11-34t cassette, which gives a good spread of gears for this type of bike. You get a 1:1 ratio for the lowest climbing gear, while the 50/11T upper range will hit well over 40mph on the descents. Ultegra provides the rotors and calipers too, with 160mm front and rear discs.

2022 Cannondale Synapse 2 RL - rear disc brake.jpg

The compact alloy handlebar and stem, plus the 27.2mm diameter seatpost are Cannondale's own, meanwhile, and while it's all decent enough stuff it doesn't exactly scream '£4K bike.' For the saddle you get a Fizik Aliante Delta, which I found to be really comfortable.

Wheels and tyres

Fulcrum offers a numbered range of wheels for consumers, while selling OE (original equipment) versions to bike manufacturers with (frequently) '00' on the end to denote any differences. That places the Rapid Red 900 quite low down the pecking order; online you can pick them up for around £150, and that's not great on a £4k bike!

> road.cc’s Best Cycling Wheels of the Year 2020/21

At just shy of 2kg they are hardly sprightly, but they are tough, so they won't let you down. When it is dry and warm though, get yourself a set of wheels that are much lighter. That way you can really exploit the performance of the Synapse's frameset.

2022 Cannondale Synapse 2 RL - rim.jpg

Vittoria provides the tyres with their Rubino Pros, and again, these are are decent but don't really match the performance the Synapse can achieve.

Value

Giant's Advance Pro 2 has dropped £500 for 2022, now being priced at £3,499. I rode the cheaper Advanced Pro 3 last year and it had similar characteristics as the Synapse, being an endurance-style bike that likes to be ridden fast.

Okay, you aren't getting the lights and things of the Synapse, but the Advance 2 is around a kilo lighter, uses an Ultegra groupset and comes with 36mm-deep carbon fibre wheels. It is also compatible with Giant's RideSense Bluetooth/ANT+ sensors. The tyres are pretty 'meh' though.

For £2,500 you could go for a Scultura Endurance 6000. When I rode the more expensive 7000-e version I was very impressed – that particular version seems to have disappeared from the UK website just recently.

Still, the 6000 gives you a carbon frame, full Ultegra mechanical groupset and a Fulcrum Racing 700 wheelset. That gives leaves a lot of change for some lights and a Garmin Radar, should you want them.

Conclusion

Even though the enthusiasm takes a bit of a dip towards the end of this review, as a riding experience I love the Synapse. It's a beautiful bike to ride, and Cannondale's team has really balanced stiffness versus comfort well – it's almost the holy grail. If SmartSense is for you, then go for it. You will not be disappointed.

I'm not against technology or evolution – I think the Radar is brilliant – I just don't want it. This is a great bike to just get on and ride, so let's hope Cannondale delivers a Synapse without the frills.

Verdict

Beautiful to ride with a great blend of speed and comfort, but the electronic aids aren't that special – and aren't for me

road.cc test report

Make and model: Cannondale Synapse 2 RL

Size tested: 56cm

About the bike

List the components used to build up the bike.

CONNECTIVITY

Wheel Sensor

Cannondale Wheel Sensor

DRIVETRAIN

Bottom Bracket

Shimano R60 BSA

Chain

Shimano HG701, 11-speed

Crank

Shimano Ultegra, BSA, 50/34

Front Derailleur

Shimano Ultegra, braze-on

Rear Cogs

Shimano Ultegra HG800, 11-34, 11-speed

Rear Derailleur

Shimano Ultegra GS

Shifters

Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc, 11-speed

FRAMESET

Fork

Synapse Carbon, integrated crown race, Proportional Response size-specific design, 12x100mm thru-axle, thru-tube internal routing, hidden fender mounts

Frame

Synapse Carbon, SmartSense enabled, Proportional Response size-specific design, BSA threaded BB, flat mount brake, 12x142mm thru-axle, thru-tube internal cable routing with Switch Plate, removable fender bridge, hidden rack/fender mounts

Headset

Synapse Sealed Bearing, integrated, 1-1/4"-1-1/8"

WHEELS

Front Tire

Vittoria Rubino Pro Bright Black, 700 x 30c, reflective

Hubs

(F) Fulcrum Rapid Red 900, 12x100mm centerlock / (R) Fulcrum Rapid Red 900, 12x142mm centerlock

Rear Tire

Vittoria Rubino Pro Bright Black, 700 x 30c, reflective

Rims

Fulcrum Rapid Red 900

Spokes

Fulcrum, Stainless steel

Tire Size

30

Tires

Vittoria Rubino Pro Bright Black, 700 x 30c, reflective

Wheel Size

700c

BRAKES

Brake Levers

Shimano Ultegra hydraulic

Brakes

Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc, 160/160mm RT800 rotors

COMPONENTS

Grips

Fabric Knurl Bar Tape

Handlebar

Cannondale 2, 7050 alloy, Compact

Saddle

Fizik Aliante Delta, S-alloy rails

Seatpost

Cannondale 3 SmartSense, 6061 Alloy, 27.2 x 350mm (48-56), 400mm (58-61)

Stem

Cannondale 2, 6061 Alloy, 31.8, 7°

EXTRA

Extra 1

SmartSense with Lights and Radar, Trainer-compatible thru-axle

Tell us what the bike is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Cannondale says:

"With Synapse, comfort is built in. Discreet flex zones in the rear triangle, seat tube and seatpost absorb road chatter and bumps without adding weight or isolating you from the ride experience.

"Lightweight carbon construction. Subtle aerodynamic shaping of the frame and fork. Size-specific design for perfectly tuned stiffness. It all adds up to a machine that loves to fly.

"With a comfortably balanced riding position, confidence-inspiring handling, room for 35mm wide tires for cushion and grip, and plenty of gear/bottle mounts, Synapse is ready to rock on any road, anywhere.

"Ride assured, with increased visibility and enhanced awareness out on the road. Our SmartSense system of integrated lights and rear-facing radar makes it easy to ride smart."

In my view it's a great bike to ride, but I could do without the SmartSense.

Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options

There are six models in the range with this one sitting in the middle. The top end model is £9k and comes with deep section carbon wheels and a Dura Ace Di2 groupset. The cheapest model is the '4' with a Tiagra groupset and no SmartSense for £2,400.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
8/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

Very high quality and the flip painjob is cool. The reflective detail on the seatstays is a neat touch.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

The Synapse uses carbon fibre for both the frame and fork, although Cannondale doesn't go into huge detail about the specifics.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

While the Synapse is kind of an endurance bike, I'd say it sits somewhere between that and a race bike when compared to what most brands offer. It's aggressive without being overly so.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

Feels more racey than its stack and reach figures suggest.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Yes, surprisingly so for such a stiff bike.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

Definitely. Stiffness is great throughout.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Very much so. It's impressive considering its weight.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so was it a problem?

No.

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? Neutral with a little bit of edge to it.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

On the whole the Synapse is a very easy bike to live with, but if you want to let it go on a descent it responds well.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

I got on well with the Fizik saddle.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

None of the components showed any sign of flex.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?

The wide range of gears helps on the efficiency front.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
7/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
6/10

Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?

I love using Ultegra; it's a great balance of quality gear shifting and braking performance versus cost.

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for weight:
 
6/10
Rate the wheels for comfort:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels for value:
 
6/10

Tell us some more about the wheels.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels? If so what for?

Decent enough wheels, but not for a £4k bike.

Rate the tyres for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the tyres for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the tyres for weight:
 
6/10
Rate the tyres for comfort:
 
6/10
Rate the tyres for value:
 
5/10

Tell us some more about the tyres. Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the tyres? If so what for?

Like the wheels, they're decent enough but this kind of bike deserves so much more.

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
6/10

Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?

Basic componentry for the money, but it doesn't really detract from the ride.

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes

Would you consider buying the bike? No, due to the lights and so on being included in the price

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

How does the price compare to that of similar bikes in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

I think it's on the pricey side even when you include the electronics.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
4/10

Use this box to explain your overall score

As a roadie I love this bike. It's such a great machine to ride, especially as I move away from my competitive years, and while I don't want to shun advancement and technology, the Synapse's integration doesn't really bring anything extra to the experience for me. If you've read the review and think it ticks all of the boxes, though, then go for it.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for road.cc, off-road.cc and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

Add new comment

18 comments

Avatar
Steel | 1 year ago
0 likes

Very nice bike, sounds like a good balance of ride features. Except, remove the lighting, electronic box, radar, etc, features I don't want foisted on me, I don't ride in the dark. I will fit my own small bright daylight running light, and Garmin rear radar I already have, just as effective but lighter. Then reduce the price accordingly, and the Synapse then becomes attractive to me.

Avatar
Prosper0 | 2 years ago
3 likes

I got very excited for 10 seconds thinking that Cannondale had made the ultimate carbon long distance audax machine with integrated dynamo and clever integrated electronics. Nope, they just bolted average lights and a battery pack on the frame. Sad. 

Avatar
wycombewheeler replied to Prosper0 | 2 years ago
2 likes

Prosper0 wrote:

I got very excited for 10 seconds thinking that Cannondale had made the ultimate carbon long distance audax machine with integrated dynamo and clever integrated electronics. Nope, they just bolted average lights and a battery pack on the frame. Sad. 

Indeed, such a strange choice to intergate lights into the bike, and then use a battery rather than dynamo.

Although maybe a dynamo hub would require them to up their wheel spec. As people will not want to pay extra for dynamo hub, if the wheelset isn't what they want.

Avatar
jaspersdog | 2 years ago
1 like

I like the Cannondale brand, and their attempts to go their own way on design. Although it's not for me, I can see the logic behind this idea, but the implementation just seems really clumsy and dated. It actually doesn't look intergrated at all, ironically it looks like an aftermarket bodge. A box plonked on the downtube when motors are now routinely so well hidden this seems crude by comparison. A good idea terribly executed from an aesthetic point of view. 

Avatar
quiff replied to jaspersdog | 2 years ago
0 likes

Stu Kerton wrote:

Right from the start the SeeSense thing didn't work for me. 

 

Think that should read "SmartSense". Have to agree though - while I like the idea of integrating lights, this looks clunky. And if I wanted a light system that was specific to the bike, I'd also prefer a dynamo. Guess I'm not the target market.      

[EDIT: Sorry jaspersdog, not actually meant to be a reply to you]

Avatar
captain_slog | 2 years ago
0 likes

To my eyes the frame looks lovely. The weight becomes more reasonable when you bear in mind that a wheel upgrade could easily save half a kilo and the SmartSense must add at least that much again.

Avatar
wycombewheeler replied to captain_slog | 2 years ago
1 like

captain_slog wrote:

To my eyes the frame looks lovely. The weight becomes more reasonable when you bear in mind that a wheel upgrade could easily save half a kilo and the SmartSense must add at least that much again.

£4000 and we're talking about needing a wheel upgrade, the weight could also have been saved by using a dynamo hub instead of a battery.

Avatar
Velophaart_95 | 2 years ago
0 likes

I've had the two previous versions, I won't be buying this. It's nowhere near as good looking as the others, probably due to the dropped seatstays. The added tech should be optional, and as usual they've supplied the heavy, durable wheels, even on an Ultegra bike, and with Rubino tyres. Really? They can't even provide Corsas? 

£4,000 for this - not for me.....

Avatar
Blackthorne replied to Velophaart_95 | 2 years ago
1 like

I have the 2014 version and it still looks amazing to this day thanks to all the little quirks and details and organic curves. I've been dreading them subjecting the new synapse to the new design order as we've seen their road and mtb model lineup sucked clean of personality and slowly conformed into a dropped seatstay borefest. Their new product designer is a one trick pony putting out cold soulless homogenous unoriginal creatively bankrupt designs and apparently the product manager was more interested in co-branding than the actual user experience. To think they could have so easily cornered the market by bringing simple, lightweight dynamo technology to the masses. Damn shame cause I had my finger on the buy button hoping they would not screw up such an iconic model. Looking elsewhere. 

Avatar
Surreyrider replied to Blackthorne | 2 years ago
1 like

I have the 2014 Synapse and still love it - a fantastic bike all round. 
But Cannondale seemed to have turned a Classic-winning bike and sportive favourite into an expensive drop bar commuter bike that doesn't look integrated - the brick on the down tube is reminiscent of old school Di2.  
The other so-called integrated tech - lights and Varia - tie you into kit you may not want and can't transfer. 
Please tell me Cannondale that you're bringing out a Hi Mod version without all the (unwanted) extras and heavy weight

Avatar
Simon E replied to Velophaart_95 | 2 years ago
1 like

I was thinking about this issue of underwhelming wheels on expensive models and think that there may be a couple of factors.

Firstly, there's the fact that more and more people want to upgrade their wheels, so even if they spec a £400 wheelset may still be seen as inadequate.

Secondly, it keeps (or should keep) the price down and is only the same as the other big brands have been doing for ages.

Thirdly, there is the fact that Cannondale don't know who will ride this bike, either from new or later. These tough hoops will take a pummelling from particularly heavy riders or those that give their equipment a hard time and don't maintain it, and will stand up to any additional load that is carried through UK potholes or some semi-dirt track in the back of beyond. All brands will want to play it safe on this front as they really don't need the bad publicity that a slew of "my £4k bike's fancy new wheels buckled on the second ride" stories posted online would provide.

Similarly with tyres, if they spec race-ready tyres like Corsas then they will get complaints that the tyres wore out quickly or are prone to punctures. Upgrading tyres is a bit of a no-brainer for those who know and want it while many people will just ride the OE tyres until they need a new set.

And if half a kilo is that big a deal then the owner can leave that packet of biscuits on the supermarket shelf and decline those extra beers at the weekend.

As for the tech, well tech is where it's at now - you're denounced as a Luddite/cave-dweller/boring old fart if you don't have GPS, powermeter

Avatar
OnYerBike replied to Simon E | 2 years ago
2 likes

Maybe I'm just out of touch, but are the sort of people likely to be interested in a bike like this not likely to be "in the know" anyway? It comes across as a bike for "cyclists" (people for whom cycling is a main hobby). I don't think many people would drop £4k on a commuter/town bike unless it was an e-bike or a fashion statement, and I don't think this bike is blingey enough to be the latter.

And yes tech on bikes is completely normal - but this bike doesn't have a GPS or power meter included (even on the top end model, as far as I can tell) and the issue is less "there is tech" and more "the way the tech is included isn't very helpful".

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Surreyrider replied to OnYerBike | 2 years ago
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If they'd truly wanted to include practical tech, Cannondale should have gone with a safety camera system that is unobtrusive, pictures number plates clearly and has decent battery life. 

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Simon E replied to OnYerBike | 2 years ago
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OnYerBike wrote:

the issue is less "there is tech" and more "the way the tech is included isn't very helpful".

I agree. I didn't finish my post properly but I think someone at Cannondale have looked at the growing desire for electronic gadgets and decided that what customers didn't have (not the same as what customers want or need) is proprietary lights and movement sensors.

I could understand fitting theft-resistant lights on an urban commuter but not a £4k bike that's only a small - albiet weighty - step below a full road race bike. I will be very surprised if they shift many of these at current prices.

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Rich_cb | 2 years ago
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I'll be amazed if this isn't one of the biggest flops in recent history.

It's just so bad you have to wonder who on earth gave it the go ahead.

The irony is that the exact same features on a commuter or city bike would have been brilliant.

On an endurance bike they're laughable.

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ejocs replied to Rich_cb | 2 years ago
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A marketing rep for Cannondale is on the record saying something to the effect of: "The bike market is so tight right now that we can sell whatever garbage we want for as ridiculous a price as we want, and we'll still sell out overnight."* Sadly, he's probably right.

*He didn't put it quite that cynically, of course, but in the context of the conversation that was the takeaway.

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Rich_cb replied to ejocs | 2 years ago
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I get that, I bet he wasn't far off with his cynicism either, I'm sure a lot of people are looking at brands and models they wouldn't consider in normal times but this thing is just an abomination.

Surely nobody is that desperate for a £4000 bike that they'd accept this many compromises?

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Supersonic55 | 2 years ago
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The paint and frame looks nice, but the rest, oh dear. A mess of cables, its heavy and a lot of so so tech, if you can afford a £4k bike you can probably do better/own/want more than a 300 lumen front light. So I'll give this one a miss, which is a shame as I had high hopes for the new synapse.

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