CANNONDALE SYNAPSE DISC TIAGRA £999
The original Synapse in 2006 was one of the first bikes aimed at sportive riding and both the carbon and aluminium models have a reputation for balancing comfort, light weight and efficiency — and they’ve always had good looks on their side too.
As a pioneer of lightweight, oversized aluminium tubing, Cannondale knows how to get the best from this material. The 2018 Synapse incorporates technology originally used in its CAAD race frames such as Smartform, where tubing wall thickness can be manipulated very precisely in order to keep the frame as light as possible while remaining stiff. SAVE stands for Synapse Active Vibration Elimination and is Cannondale’s way of engineering compliance into key areas.
The Synapse frame is fully winter ready with mudguard eyes and rack mounts. It will accommodate 32mm tyres and comes with 28s.
The fork is carbon bladed with a tapered steerer. For more consistent handling across the sizes — and to avoid toe overlap in the smaller ones — the fork has a rake of 60mm for the two smallest sizes and 50mm for the rest. All Synapse forks — and therefore all Synapse bikes — are disc specific: Cannondale’s belief in discs is such that the Synapse is not available as a rim-brake bike any more.
At the competitive £1K price point, it’s always going to be mechanical rather than hydraulic disc brakes; the Synapse in this spec uses a twin-piston Promax caliper to avoid rotor rub, operated by the Tiagra shifters.
Also featuring in the Tiagra-specced model is an FSA Omega compact crankset driving a 11-34t 10-speed cassette, meaning there’s a 1:1 ratio to bail you out on the steepest bits.
The finishing kit is Cannondale’s own-brand C4 equipment and the saddle is an own-branded Stage Ergo.