Cycling Weekly - - Focus On Women’s Bikes -

om­pletely re­designed for 2018, the Can­non­dale Synapse Car­bon Disc Women’s Ultegra saves over 200g on the pre­vi­ous award-win­ning model, mak­ing it one of the light­est disc brake en­durance bikes on the mar­ket.

At the heart of the Synapse is the Bal­lis­tec car­bon frame. Bal­lis­tec is Can­non­dale’s pro­pri­etary method of cre­at­ing a high-strength, high-stiff­ness car­bon. It’s com­posed of ul­tra­strong fi­bres, akin to mil­i­tary bal­lis­tic ar­mour­ing — hence the name — and al­lows Can­non­dale to en­gi­neer stiff­ness where it’s most needed.

How­ever, Can­non­dale knows stiff­ness alone doesn’t cre­ate a great en­durance race bike. In or­der to cre­ate a smooth ride on rough road sur­faces the Synapse in­cor­po­rates a de­sign fea­ture called SAVE (Synapse Ac­tive Vi­bra­tion Elim­i­na­tion), act­ing like a mi­cro-sus­pen­sion sys­tem in ar­eas of the frame and fork.

The frame­set re­vamp also sees ge­om­e­try sharp­ened up to make the bike feel more racier than the pre­vi­ous model, with­out sac­ri­fic­ing the com­fort that long days in the sad­dle re­quire, while in­creased tyre clear­ance now al­lows for up to 32mm tyres, or 28mm if tak­ing ad­van­tage of the hid­den mud­guard mounts. In fact, it’s this ex­tra tyre space that makes the bike in­cred­i­bly ver­sa­tile, al­low­ing you to pop on a pair of gravel tyres, or even a set of knob­blies and hit the trails.

The Synapse is a 12mm bolt-thru disc-spe­cific range, fea­tur­ing rad­i­cal asym­me­try in the frame and forks to cope with the loads of disc brakes on the non-drive­side, with the fork leg and chain­stays over­sized to cope with disc-brake forces.

Equipped with the new R8000 se­ries Shi­mano Ultegra Hy­draulic disc brakes, matched with the much-re­spected Can­non­dale Si cranks with com­pact FSA chain­rings, and, on this model, bombproof Mavic Ak­sium wheels, there’s a lot to like on this racy en­durance bike.

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