Cycling Weekly - - Focus On Winter -

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.

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