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Cannondale revamps Synapse road bike with intelligent SmartSense tech for ‘reducing distractions and increasing awareness’

With its centralised system and single power source, 'SmartSense' features a lighting and traffic detection system, and comes fitted as standard on the new Synapse

Cannondale aims to make road cycling more inviting and efficient than before with the launch of the redesigned Synapse endurance bike and introduction of its SmartSense light and radar technology for “more visibility, better visibility, less pre-ride fiddling”. This sees a set of lights with a rear brake light function and Garmin's Varia Radar traffic detection system included in the package, that can be charged from a single power pack. 

> And we've already had a go! Read Stu’s first ride review of the new Synapse with SmartSense tech over here

SmartSense 

Before taking a look at the redesigned Synapse, let’s check out the interesting new technology Cannondale has specced on the endurance bike.

C22_Synapse_Smartsense_Barcelona_MG_8537

SmartSense is Cannondale’s new intelligent system of lights and radar that aims to reduce distractions and increase awareness to make road cycling more enjoyable for experienced riders and more inviting for new riders. It is a centralised system which uses a single power source to simplify recharging and to help ensure you don’t head off ill-equipped. 

C22_Synapse_Smartsense_Barcelona_K4A9647

Users will have access to a selection of settings via Cannondale’s app to customise their ride experience. “The settings are designed to provide enhanced awareness while also creating heightened visibility so the rider can more effectively see and be seen,” Cannondale says.

C22_Synapse_Smartsense_Barcelona_MG_9663

“Once desired customisations have been applied, a spin of the front wheel, outfitting with a Cannondale wheel sensor, initiates an ongoing chain of communication across all the available SmartSense touch points,” Cannondale explains.

The Garmin Varia Core Battery is used as a single power source to eliminate the need to charge multiple batteries. It has the added capability of being used as a USB-C charging source when it’s disconnected from the bike. 

C22_C12102U_Synapse_Crb_1_RLE_SGY_D6

It works with Lezyne’s Front and Rear Daytime Running lights. The front improves visibility for oncoming traffic, while the rear has an optional brake alert function. “Both lights can adjust brightness to accommodate limited or changing daylight, or signal oncoming rear traffic and hard braking,” Cannondale sums up. 

Then you’ve also got the Garmin Varia Radar which constantly scans for approaching traffic and can signal the speed, distance and number of cars through audible and visual alerts on the Cannondale app or the bike’s display unit. 

> Review: Garmin Varia RTL510

Synapse

Cannondale introduced the Synapse as its first carbon road frame 15 years ago and now the brand has revamped endurance platform and used it to showcase its new SmartSense technology.

> Review: Cannondale Synapse Disc Sora

C22_C12102U_Synapse_Crb_1_RLE_SGY_3Q

“This well-rounded road bike embodies the fusion of performance, comfort and versatility with the ability to tackle a variety of terrains,” Cannondale sums up. “It has a comfortable rider position, engineering that helps smooth the roads and now it has the added confidence and awareness of the SmartSense system.” 

This version provides the “smoothest Synapse ride yet”, Cannondale claims, and this is thanks to 8% increased compliance that’s been matched with a sporty, more upright riding position. 

C22_C12102U_Synapse_Crb_1_RLE_SGY_PD

“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,” Cannondale claims. 

> 17 of the best disc brake endurance bikes for 2021

The Synapse is also said to be speedier than its predecessor thanks to learnings applied from the Cannondale SystemSix, with subtle aerodynamic shaping of the frame and fork. 

> First Ride: Cannondale SystemSix

Cannondale’s 'Proportional Response' is the brand’s size-specific design for optimising the performance for all heights, and this has been applied to the Synapse. Cannondale says it adjusts the bike’s geometry, construction, stiffness and steering characteristics, based on rider size and their varying centre of gravity. 

C22_C12102U_Synapse_Crb_1_RLE_SGY_D1

The Synapse is equipped with the SAVE vibration-absorbing handlebars that are designed to offer the integrated looks of a one-piece bar/stem, with the modular adjustability of a two-piece design. 

It rolls on HollowGram 45 SL KNOT wheels which feature a wider 45mm deep profile and are claimed to maintain aerodynamic efficiency with big tyres.

C22_C12102U_Synapse_Crb_1_RLE_SGY_D3

The Synapse has clearance for up to 35mm tyres for use across light gravel. For those long days exploring off the beaten path, it also has mounts for top tube bags and two water bottles. 

The new Synapse is available with SmartSense tech from £3,200 up to £9,000, with a selection of radar, lights and electronic shifting denoted by R, L and E in the model name. Here's the spec breakdown:

Synapse 1 RLE: £9,000

  • Shimano Dura Ace
  • SmartSense with Lights and Radar

Synapse LTD RLE: £6,750

  • Shimano GRX Di2
  • SmartSense with Lights and Radar

Synapse 2 RLE: £5,800

  • Shimano Ultegra Di2
  • SmartSense with Lights and Radar

Synapse 2 RL: £4,000

  • Shimano Ultegra
  • SmartSense with Lights and Radar

Synapse 3 L: £3,200

  • Shimano 105
  • SmartSense with Lights

www.cannondale.com 

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39 comments

Avatar
JOHN5880 | 2 years ago
0 likes

It seems that the Garmin radar was unknown to Cannondale previously (nice job keeping up with your own industry and what customers are using...) and they thik they are being revolutionary bringing this tech to customers.

My issue is with the implementation and their perceived "integration" of the lights/radar/battery.  For a comparison, I have been using (for several years) a Garmin Varia rear radar/light along with a Garmin Varia front light (800 lumens).  There are no wires, each includes multiple standard mounts giving options for mounting location.  These integrate with my head unit and allow multiple light profiles including automatically coming on when starting a ride and adjusting to lighting conditions.  Yes, I have two batteries to charge, but they are also removable in 2 seconds, same as the single SmartSense battery.

So, what is better about the Cannondale system? 

  • It has 1 battery vs 2 (no idea where they're getting the count of 4 that they reference).

What's worse about the Cannondale system?

  • It adds wiring that is both aesthically unappealing (particularly the front budled cables) and adds multiple points of potential failure, while desirable technology is focused on removing wires.
  • It adds a separate battery back that is again aesthecally unappealing, in addition to having claimed run times roughly equivalent to my similarly sized units.  Why are the light and radar units the same size as those that house batteries if there is a separate battery?
  • It offers no choice or upgradability.  Can't get a higher spec bike without getting SmartSense, and can't choose lights/mounts/etc.  Forced into their single set of components.  Isn't designed to allow use of different light.  350 lumens is probably ok, but why do companies always feel they can decide for us better than we can decide for ourselves?
  • Battery replacement cost is equivalent to purchasing an entire light/radar setup separtely.
  • Requires proprietary app to make adjustments to the system.  Riders are already using Strave (or similar) to track their rides and nobody was asking for a Cannondale specific app to do such just so we can also adjust our lights.

Seems Cannondale should have simply offered an option to include a Garmin Varia package with rear radar/light and front light.  Standard Garmin stuff, tested for years, removable, upgradable, customizable, and doesn't add anything to the core bike itself.

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Lukeyg79 | 2 years ago
1 like

This shambles has been eating at me for days. Misreading what the punters want must have Cannondales new owners shaking their heads...

Riders want an evolution of arguably the best endurance bike on the market, and have been given a glorified commuter. Something like the offspring from a Synapse and Topstone topped off with gimmicky tech more suited to a Bad Boy. 
it could have just been an SE variant...
One would need to spend almost £6k to get a version with a basic carbon seatpost, which is fatter and inferior to that of the previous model, then held in place with an ugly clamp. So much for comfort on an endurance bike! Then there's the nice 'save' bars ruined by all those cables that other brands like Rose seem to hide with ease. 
No spider rings or hollowgram cranks despite the bb change? Where's the Cdale identity? No HM model to dream about? It's a staggering failure in todays market considering the brilliant updates to the Canyon Endurace. Buy the old model if you can find one.

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Secret_squirrel replied to Lukeyg79 | 2 years ago
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Indeed.  All they had to do to improve the old model was to put a Lefty on it!

(I'll get my coat)

ps : whilst I'm putting it on.  I used to love going into a big "roady" shop and asking them if they had any Topstones in.  The sales droids expressions would be priceless.  You know the kind - grudingly selling you Cannondales when they really want to sell you Bianchi etc.

pps Hello Swift Cycles - sorry for all the time wasting.  They were kinder gentler times.

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Captain Badger | 2 years ago
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The manner of presentation on the vid reminds me of Top Gear (when I last watched TG, which was probably in the 80s)

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fixit | 2 years ago
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oh God...

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ajft | 2 years ago
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How many years life or charge/discharge cycles do they expect to get out of these batteries?  Way too many times I'm finding that "rechargeable" devices are only lasting 12-24months before the effective life of them from fully charged is too short to be useful on a long ride, with a headlight I can replace it, with a custom battery, do Cannondale expect people to buy a new bike?

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HoarseMann replied to ajft | 2 years ago
4 likes

If they've designed it properly, the case should be bolted together so it can be easily opened to expose the standard 18650 cells sitting in holders and they can simply be replaced with new ones.

The reality is the case is probably ultrasonically welded shut, the batteries tag-welded together and all sealed up in silicone goo.

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OnYerBike replied to ajft | 2 years ago
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I assume Cannondale will be selling the battery pack as a spare - not only for when the existing one reaches the end of its life, but given the runtime on maximum brightness is only two hours, I can imagine people wanting to take a spare with them for longer rides. Certainly looks far more replaceable than some ebike batteries that are integrated into the frame and do look genuinely impossible to replace without buying a whole new bike. 

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Gossa replied to OnYerBike | 2 years ago
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OnYerBike wrote:

I assume Cannondale will be selling the battery pack as a spare - not only for when the existing one reaches the end of its life, but given the runtime on maximum brightness is only two hours, I can imagine people wanting to take a spare with them for longer rides. Certainly looks far more replaceable than some ebike batteries that are integrated into the frame and do look genuinely impossible to replace without buying a whole new bike. 

Hi OnYerBike, battery on full power is between 3-3.5hrs with everything on full tilt on the StVZO lightset (non flashing). If you set these lights so that the front comes on in low light, you will have the rear on constantly but the front will come on if it gets dark or if you go through a tunnel, and then you should be good for at least double that run time. Batteries are available at £170 if needed. Thanks

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Gossa replied to ajft | 2 years ago
0 likes
ajft wrote:

How many years life or charge/discharge cycles do they expect to get out of these batteries?  Way too many times I'm finding that "rechargeable" devices are only lasting 12-24months before the effective life of them from fully charged is too short to be useful on a long ride, with a headlight I can replace it, with a custom battery, do Cannondale expect people to buy a new bike?

Good question, its a Garmin made Varia Core 19.4wh battery. It has a two year warranty and spares will be available for £170 but i would expect like most Garmin products that it should last much longer than 2 years. Thanks.

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Sriracha replied to ajft | 2 years ago
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ajft wrote:

Way too many times I'm finding that "rechargeable" devices are only lasting 12-24months before the effective life of them from fully charged is too short to be useful on a long ride

My Dyson hoover lasted about 4 years before the batteries are shot. Other devices that get more use not so long. I'm watching to see what happens with electric cars!

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Captain Badger replied to Sriracha | 2 years ago
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Sriracha wrote:

.....My Dyson hoover lasted about 4 years before the batteries are shot. Other devices that get more use not so long. I'm watching to see what happens with electric cars!

Tell us your secret, do! I find Dyson batteries are doing well to last 12months - their hardware is good but the batteries/management system are criminally bad, especially considering the upfront cost of their platform.

For comparison, my DeWalt Li batteries for tools have lasted 10y+ with no discernable degradation. - still going strong

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Sriracha replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
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OK, off topic, but I think you have a point. The Dyson tends to live most of its life plugged into the charge lead, so it sits there for days at a time pushed up at 100%. I guess that kills batteries, I'm told 80-20 is a better regime. So yeah - crap battery management from Dyson. Maybe they should charge to 80% and disconnect from the charge voltage, with maybe a boost button you'd press to get it to 100% if you're planning a big clean.

Does make me want to wait and see with electric cars (and bikes), I see my mate's car plugged in every evening, just like my Dyson ... that's going to be expensive to replace the battery.

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Dicklexic | 2 years ago
2 likes

6 years ago my Synapse was £2500 with mechanical Ultegra and hydro discs. It came with fairly uninspiring (and somehwat heavy) wheels, but I still felt was reasonable value. I replaced them with much better wheels for under £400. Now we are at £4k for a broadly similar spec (again with very heavy wheels) plus some lights, battery and radar that frankly I would rather choose myself, or not have at all. I would rather have a 'basic' version that came without the 'integrated tech' insread of being locked in to those devices. I was also hoping that there would be a stem and bars with hidden cables/hoses on the new Synapse, but sadly not.

Yikes the bike prices really have gone crazy the past couple of years!

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Velophaart_95 replied to Dicklexic | 2 years ago
1 like

Yes, I'm similar; I was after the Ultegra version - and just before I pulled the trigger to order, I decided to get the 105, and use the saved money to get a set of decent wheels instead. That was £1,900, it's now £3,200 for a 105......and you get rubbish wheels, and tyres.

I already have decent lights, etc I don't need this extra tech.....

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wycombewheeler | 2 years ago
3 likes

Is over £3000 for an endurance/sportive bike with shimano 105 where the industry is at now?

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EddyBerckx | 2 years ago
1 like

So you can't have a saddlebag and if you use a tool bottle then you are limited to one water bottle...seems like you gain some practicality and lose some other?

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ejocs replied to EddyBerckx | 2 years ago
3 likes

There are mounts under the down tube, so you could keep your tools there.

But in any event, yeah, Cannondale makes a lot of very strange choices here. Why a 350 lumen max light on a so-called endurance bike? Why isn't there a battery compartment integrated into the down tube, Specialized SWAT-style? Why make the battery a selling point and then give it such a crappy range? Why on earth is there a £9,000 version of this not-quite-endurance, not-quite-a-commuter bike?

On the other hand, I do applaud the effort, weak as it was in this particular case, to take proper functionality into account. Hopefully it will catch on and we'll see some improvements in this realm.

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Blackthorne replied to ejocs | 2 years ago
2 likes

2hrs and 45 mins of range.  So a brick bolted to the bike to give you range anxiety and a bunch of fiddly apps to maintain (until they stop releasing updates to it). Cannondale had an opportunity to bring hub dynamos to the masses! I can see this appeal to some but not for me. Still thankful that cannondale are still taking innovative risks. 
- having an exposed battery was a great call, an internal battery sounds nice and clean in theory but think about it, how practical for daily charging and battery replacement?

- previous generation synapse was a classic. Sinewy organic lines and split seat tube made the outgoing model one of the best looking bikes ever (I own a 2016 model). New one loses design continuity in favor of homogeneity with the rest of their model range. Sad to see their entire range now following a cold and homogenous dropped seatstay aesthetic. 

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Gossa replied to Blackthorne | 2 years ago
1 like
Blackthorne wrote:

2hrs and 45 mins of range.  So a brick bolted to the bike to give you range anxiety and a bunch of fiddly apps to maintain (until they stop releasing updates to it). Cannondale had an opportunity to bring hub dynamos to the masses! I can see this appeal to some but not for me. Still thankful that cannondale are still taking innovative risks. 
- having an exposed battery was a great call, an internal battery sounds nice and clean in theory but think about it, how practical for daily charging and battery replacement?

- previous generation synapse was a classic. Sinewy organic lines and split seat tube made the outgoing model one of the best looking bikes ever (I own a 2016 model). New one loses design continuity in favor of homogeneity with the rest of their model range. Sad to see their entire range now following a cold and homogenous dropped seatstay aesthetic. 

Glad you like your 2016 Synapse Blackthorne, they are gorgeous bikes and this new one wont be for everyone. Remember there is still a global shortage of bikes even with the price increases the industry is facing so the supply wont meet the demand. I love the look and i like dropped stays but i do see its getting harder to tell brands apart. The battery is much smaller and lighter in the flesh at 179grams and 140x40x20, i wouldn't call it a brick at all and if you were concerned about range, a small charger and USB C cable in your bag will allow you to top it up at the coffee/lunch stop. Thanks for the feedback though, all noted. Clive@cannondale

Avatar
Gossa replied to ejocs | 2 years ago
3 likes
ejocs wrote:

There are mounts under the down tube, so you could keep your tools there.

But in any event, yeah, Cannondale makes a lot of very strange choices here.

Why a 350 lumen max light on a so-called endurance bike? Why isn't there a battery compartment integrated into the down tube, Specialized SWAT-style? Why make the battery a selling point and then give it such a crappy range? Why on earth is there a £9,000 version of this not-quite-endurance, not-quite-a-commuter bike?

On the other hand, I do applaud the effort, weak as it was in this particular case, to take proper functionality into account. Hopefully it will catch on and we'll see some improvements in this realm.

See image for the actual light output on an unlit country road. As you can see, this light is very impressive for the stated output. If the battery was more integrated into the frame, it would not be as quick and easy to remove which was one of the goals. With bottles fitted the battery is fairly hidden. The range is dependent on use, 3 hrs is minimum with everyone on full tilt, it can go up to 20 hrs.

There's a £9K version as plenty of people like a high end bike? We've always done a high end version of Synapse, even Black INC versions and you are right, this is not commuter, or endurance, or gravel, its a very versatile road bike. Appreciate your comments and feedback. Clive@cannondale

Avatar
ejocs replied to Gossa | 2 years ago
1 like

Hey Clive, thanks for joining the conversation.

Gossa wrote:

See image for the actual light output on an unlit country road. As you can see, this light is very impressive for the stated output.

Thanks for the pic. I agree that lumen numbers alone are overrated, especially for shaped beams that use the limited lumens they produce more efficiently, but I'm still (pleasantly) surprised that 350lm lights up the road that much, even with a shaped beam. My comment was also based in part on other reviewers (not on this site) who claim to have used the light and say it's insufficient for the kind of riding you illustrate in your pic; not sure the reason for the disparity there.

Gossa wrote:

 If the battery was more integrated into the frame, it would not be as quick and easy to remove which was one of the goals.

Wouldn't matter if the range were better  3

Less cheekily: If you're going to integrate it, then really integrate it. We can already strap/bolt battery packs to our frames, so what's the point of this?

Gossa wrote:

The range is dependent on use, 3 hrs is minimum with everyone on full tilt, it can go up to 20 hrs.

Right, so I'd be curious to see a more detailed breakdown on that. 3 hours isn't much, so how much functionality do I lose by increasing the run time? Can I safely commute all week, for example, or ride for fun all night/weekend, without supplementing power? 

Gossa wrote:

There's a £9K version as plenty of people like a high end bike?

No doubt. I don't begrudge anyone for buying an expensive bike (a fine hypocrite I'd be), nor manufacturers for making them available, and I do understand the current supply issues. What I object to is the normalization of sky-high prices for rather pedestrian bikes--which, I'm sorry to say, I still find this to be.

More generally, I think a lot of the pushback is based on the fact that this integrated power/lighting system seems to be a key marketing feature, but it just feels very underwhelming/gimmicky/rushed/first-gen/bodgy, which it really shouldn't for technologies that are so mature. I for one welcome advances in power/lighting integration for bicycles, but this bike doesn't seem to represent any.

Avatar
Gossa replied to ejocs | 2 years ago
2 likes
ejocs wrote:

Hey Clive, thanks for joining the conversation.

Gossa wrote:

See image for the actual light output on an unlit country road. As you can see, this light is very impressive for the stated output.

Thanks for the pic. I agree that lumen numbers alone are overrated, especially for shaped beams that use the limited lumens they produce more efficiently, but I'm still (pleasantly) surprised that 350lm lights up the road that much, even with a shaped beam. My comment was also based in part on other reviewers (not on this site) who claim to have used the light and say it's insufficient for the kind of riding you illustrate in your pic; not sure the reason for the disparity there.

Gossa wrote:

 If the battery was more integrated into the frame, it would not be as quick and easy to remove which was one of the goals.

Wouldn't matter if the range were better  3

Less cheekily: If you're going to integrate it, then really integrate it. We can already strap/bolt battery packs to our frames, so what's the point of this?

Gossa wrote:

The range is dependent on use, 3 hrs is minimum with everyone on full tilt, it can go up to 20 hrs.

Right, so I'd be curious to see a more detailed breakdown on that. 3 hours isn't much, so how much functionality do I lose by increasing the run time? Can I safely commute all week, for example, or ride for fun all night/weekend, without supplementing power? 

Gossa wrote:

There's a £9K version as plenty of people like a high end bike?

No doubt. I don't begrudge anyone for buying an expensive bike (a fine hypocrite I'd be), nor manufacturers for making them available, and I do understand the current supply issues. What I object to is the normalization of sky-high prices for rather pedestrian bikes--which, I'm sorry to say, I still find this to be.

More generally, I think a lot of the pushback is based on the fact that this integrated power/lighting system seems to be a key marketing feature, but it just feels very underwhelming/gimmicky/rushed/first-gen/bodgy, which it really shouldn't for technologies that are so mature. I for one welcome advances in power/lighting integration for bicycles, but this bike doesn't seem to represent any.

Great questions! I'll answer as best I can.

Appreciate your comments on the light output, I haven't seen any media comments on the lights not being powerful enough, and they are really the only people that have ridden it, please feel free to drop me a DM if you have, i'd appreciate the opportunity to view it. However, there's a tsunami of people that haven't even seen the bike in the flesh stating that 350 lumens isn't possibly enough light, despite me posting pics of the actual output. the lights have to strike a balance between power drain and output and we worked very hard with Leyzne to come up with what we feel is a good balance and we certainly feel that you could ride confidently in the dark with these lights.

I completely get the fact that the battery isn't 'hidden' in the frame but we really wanted people to be able to remove it in seconds, but also there is not a lot of space under the cradle, just enough for the cables and hoses really so this again, feels like a good balance but we're talking aesthetics, therefore subject to peoples personal preferences.

There are two versions of the lights, an StVZO (German standard) and the International version. Main difference is the StVZO ones have a lower wider beam and cannot flash and a 25 lumen rear light. International version is a standard beam pattern, allows plenty of flashing options and has an 85 lumen rear light. Both fronts are 350 lumens. Initially bikes in the UK are coming from the Dutch production line so are StVZO but the UK will eventually get the International standard and we will also offer International lights separately (£45 rear, £69 front).

Benefit of the International lights is run time as the flashing modes obviously use much less power than constant so you'll easily get 5-6 hrs with the lights on flashing. For the StVZO lights, if you run the front off but toggle the 'on in low light' setting, you'll have the lights when you mainly need them (in tunnels and when it gets darker) but extend the battery time to 6 hrs plus. if you run the StVZO lights on constant, then yes you're going to get about 3hrs. One journalist that has never used StVZO lights fed back that he really liked the low wide beam pattern.

Bottom line, you'll get anywhere between 3-20hrs depending on what lights you have and your settings.

Unfortunately high prices are normal, we can't change that but I can tell you our profit margin is the same as it was pre covid. There are so many factors affecting cost for all brands, raw material shortages and rising costs, labour costs, shipping costs that are all well documented. The bike industry went from $2.5K to ship a container to over £20K and its not come down a lot since. Bike factories are struggling to keep workers now brands like Tesla are opening shiny new car factories in Asia.

This is not a pedestrian bike though, it's a fast modern performance road bike and i'd like you to try it and see if you get the chance.  We will have these to demo at events this year and shops are getting stock this week. The best bike in the range for me is the LTD, £6750 for GRX Di2, Knot45SL wheels, carbon bars and post and is well over two grand off the Dura Ace bike for quite similar performance. However it is still 7 big ones and I know that is a lot of cash.

I'd suggest you check it out if it interests you, if not we all know there are many good bikes out there. No-one in our office had ever use Garmin Radar before this but most now do (on Synapse and other bikes) and most say its a great feature and something that they now couldn't ride without. When it's taken away you definitely feel less aware of whats going on.

If I can give you any more info please just ask and again, thanks for the great questions eloquently put across. Debate is good and we're certainly logging all the feedback but it also feels a little like 2017 when disc brakes were coming through and many were up in arms and calling them the 'devils spinning blades of death'!...now most people couldn't ride without them. I think you will see more integrated technology on bikes in the coming years.

Cheers, Clive

 

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ejocs replied to Gossa | 2 years ago
0 likes
Gossa wrote:

I haven't seen any media comments on the lights not being powerful enough, and they are really the only people that have ridden it, please feel free to drop me a DM if you have, i'd appreciate the opportunity to view it.

Here's one (you can google the source):

"[T]he lack of power (maximum output is 350 lumens) meant a more cautious approach when riding in full darkness on unlit single-car-width lanes."

I recall reading another as well but don't remember where.

Gossa wrote:

There are two versions of the lights, an StVZO (German standard) and the International version.

It's a shame that the StVZO version will have such a limited release, as the shaped beam of that version is the best thing about this whole system. Sounds like the international version will fail on both ends: A 350lm round beam will be insufficient for serious night righting, but it will still be strong/unfocused enough to bother other road users. Super.

Gossa wrote:

our profit margin is the same as it was pre covid

I can't speak to that, but I do know that I just (during covid) built up a no-compromises* bike for far less than £9K, and there's not a single component on the Synapse that is objectively better than the components I used--indeed, many of my components are more boutique and arguably nicer than what's on the Synapse (subject to personal taste, etc.) I don't doubt that the Synapse is a nice bike; I'm sure it rides beautifully. But I maintain that it (and bikes like it) contributes to the normalization of sky-high prices for rather pedestrian bikes.

(*I did use GRX 800 mechanical, because that's what I most preferred based on what was available at the time. If I'd waited longer, I would have gone with 12-speed Di2, but even at Dura-Ace level the whole bike would have still come in far under £9K.)

Gossa wrote:

it also feels a little like 2017 when disc brakes were coming through and many were up in arms and calling them the 'devils spinning blades of death'!...now most people couldn't ride without them

I think this really illustrates where Cannondale has gone wrong with their messaging here. You seem to think that SmartSense is genuinely revolutionary and hard to grasp, like disc brakes or electronic shifting when they were new, when in reality it's just a hodgepodge of components held together by some hand-waving and marketing pablum about "integration".

I applaud the use of StVZO lights and wish that style of light were more widespread, but they exist totally independent of SmartSense, and SmartSense doesn't make use of them in any way that is new or better. Likewise with Varia (I'm less sold on its usefulness at all, but I admit I haven't tried it). Add in the bodgy integration with an exposed battery pack and wires, a battery range that is far less than what I get from my current lighting setup, the spectre of being trapped in a proprietary lighting and power ecosystem, plus a phone app that I'd much rather not have to use to manage my lights--frankly, it feels like Cannondale thinks we're idiots and is trying to sell us yokels a liter of snake oil.

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Gossa replied to ejocs | 2 years ago
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The image below is of the international light and not the StVZO light, as you can see it produces a light intensity and beam shape to easily light up a country lane. I cant see where your quote is from as there's no link or reference. I have however read far more positive comments about the front light power from most of the media.  The StVZO light beam really is a benefit for riders who dont want to dazzle other road users but  the downside is that the front light can only be on constant so the battery run times will be reduced, unless like I said previously, you run it on the 'come on in low light' setting.

There is a switch on the front light, you dont need to use the app to operate the system.

I dont know what bike you've built so cant comment but BMC, Trek, Specialized, all of thier bikes are either more expensive or lower specced than the Dura Ace bike. The Specialized is £500 more, the Trek a whopping £11,100 and the BMC an eye watering £11,900 for similar spec (without SmartSense). Sure there are also others that will be cheaper, Ribble, Canyon etc. Availaibility will once again be more of a factor than price for people wanting a new bike this year.

If this bike isn't lighting your fire then that is fine, not every bike that comes out is going to appeal to everyone. 

SmartSense offers the benefits of integrated radar, integrated lighting that will suit MOST riders, powered by a single battery with a range that will suit MOST riding conditions and made by trusted partners to a high quality. 

Again, appreciate the feedback even from people who feel its not for them.

 

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Surreyrider replied to ejocs | 2 years ago
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Pretty much what I said in the comments section of the 1st ride review. It's a (non)sense bike. Someone called Gossa, who presumably works for Cannondale, kept coming back to me defending it. I own a Synapse and I would take any model of the current generation over this split personality version (sold as endurance, is more a commuter bike but has aero touches).

UODATE: I notice Gossa is active here too. He/she is going to have a very big headache after answering all the criticism some time around Christmas. 

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Gossa replied to EddyBerckx | 2 years ago
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EddyBerckx wrote:

So you can't have a saddlebag and if you use a tool bottle then you are limited to one water bottle...seems like you gain some practicality and lose some other?

There are bag mounts on the toptube and three sets of water bottle bosses so you should be able to get whatever you want on there, even a saddlebag (and barbag). The lights fit on gopro style mounts so you can just use extenders to move the lights up or down to suit. Thanks for the feedback, Clive@cannondale

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sammutd88 | 2 years ago
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This isn't tech that people want. The bottom bracket change is terrific, as is the seat post diameter change to standard, then they go and ruin the bike with a dirty big battery. I mean FFS. I reckon most would prefer a clean frame and lights/radar with their own battery. Especially considering how poor the battery time is anyway. Stupid yanks. 

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vthejk | 2 years ago
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Re: integrated battery units - great idea, but I wonder how this might complete with the dynamo-equipped road bikes already out there. Something like the Fairlight Strael with full dynamo routing probably comes in at somewhere around that £3,200 (haven't done the exact Math, sorry!) for the cheapest model. With a dynamo you're not just removing the need to recharge multiple lights seperately, but to recharge at all - the more attractive option, surely?

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OnYerBike replied to vthejk | 2 years ago
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Don't need to do much maths - the full dynamo routing is available on any build for an extra £350. The cheapest fully built Strael is £2,499 and so with the dynamo lights (but no other upgrades) it could be yours for £2,849. 

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