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Cannondale Synapse Range Review

Cannondale Synapse Review

  • Price Range: £454.99 - From £5,099.99
  • Discipline: Endurance Road Racing
  • Usage: Road riding and racing
  • Versatile road performance
  • Huge range of models
  • Carbon forks on all models
  • Alloy models top out at Shimano 105
  • Not many colour options
  • No hydraulic disc brakes on alloy models

Updated: 24th April 2017


An endurance racer in spirit and ability, the Cannondale Synapse delivers comfort in spades to clock out the miles day after day. It is designed to be ridden and raced over long distances, and the range consists of alloy, carbon and Hi-Mod carbon frames in unisex and women’s models. The Synapse is a lightweight racer that can take on rougher surfaces with its SAVE PLUS technology and Synapse Endurance Race Geometry (SERG).

From 2x8 speed Shimano Claris to 2x11 speed Dura Ace Di2 electronic drivetrains, the Synapse range caters for every price point, to get near any rider on a bike and going fast. Disc brake models are also available, and every bike gets a carbon fork for great vibration damping.

Cannondale Synapse Frame and Fork

Frame and Fork

Lightweight and comfortable

The highlight of the Synapse range has to be the Endurance Race Geometry (SERG), which is found on all models. It puts you in the perfect position to put down the power, while being happy to ride all day long, and the women specific models get their own geometry for a specialized fit. The aluminium models get a SmartFormed C2 alloy frame that keeps the price down, yet performance high. Every Synapse gets carbon bladed forks, with the higher end models getting carbon steerer tubes too.

The carbon frames come in two flavours: the BallisTec carbon and top-end Hi-Mod carbon, which uses high and ultra-high modulus fibres to maintain the same strength, while reducing the weight. SAVE PLUS Micro Suspension in the frame and forks allows a controlled flex in the flattened tubes in order to absorb bumps and allow the wheels to track smoothly. The Power Pyramid at bottom of the seat tube keeps weight down and stiffness high, to help power delivery.

The Synapse stands out due to its frame tubes – almost organic in appearance, their purpose is to dampen vibrations and stiffen areas of the frame that take the most abuse. - Cyclist

Cannondale Synapse groupset


Reliable and consistent Shimano gearing

Any groupset combination with a choice of rim and disc brakes suit all riding styles and price points.

Simplicity for the consumers. Cannondale names their bikes based on their groupsets, so you always know what you’re getting. Every model comes with a 2x drivetrain and between 8-11 speeds in the back. There are both standard rim brake and disc brake options. Alloy models go from the entry-level Claris models with 2x8 Shimano drivetrains up to a 2x11 speed 105 Disc, which features mechanical disc brakes.

The Carbon models start with the 2x10 Tiagra drivetrain up to the Ultegra Di2 Disc, while the Hi-Mod frames begin at Ultegra and move up to a range-topping Dura Ace Di2 Disc. It’s clear that there’s a model for every price point. Disc models below the 105 all come with cable actuated brakes, whereas every disc brake from the 105 upwards is hydraulic. Disc brakes offer greater power and modulation, withconsistent performance in all weather conditions.

Cannondale Synapse wheels


Fast rolling road wheels and tyres

Rapid 700c road wheels are what every Synapse rolls on, launching you forward with little hesitation. More entry level alloy-framed models get alloy wheels, while the carbon models start with Mavic Askium wheels with aero, straight-pull spokes. The Mavic theme continues with Askium WTS wheels found on the Carbon Disc Ultegra and Ultegra Di2. Cannondale’s CZero wheels are lightweight carbon hoops that will spin for ages.

The Hi-MOD Disc Ultegra rolls on this pair, while the Hi-MOD Disc Ultegra Di2 and Disc Team rocket away with Cannondale’s Hollowgram Si wheels for super fast performance. Mavic tyres are found on most of the models that feature Mavic wheels, matching them perfectly for a complete rolling system. Schwalbe Lugano tyres are found throughout the range, as they are versatile and quick rolling. For the range-toppers, though, Schwalbe’s Pro One tyres offer blistering speed.

Fast rolling alloy and carbon hoops, and slick tyres keep you pinned to the road.

Cannondale Synapse Best For

Best for

Road racing and long distance riding

The Cannondale Synapse offers a huge range of models to suit every price point, making sure everyone can enjoy the well-designed geometry and SAVE PLUS technology. Alloy and carbon frames, alloy and carbon wheels, and Shimano drivetrains ranging from Claris to Dura Ace Di2; the Synapse has it all covered, from weekend riders to racers at the peak of the sport.

The Cannondale Synapse would make a great speedy commuter, while after work or on the weekends it will clock up the miles easily, taking you where you want to go in comfort.

Cannondale Synapse crankset Cannondale Synapse handlebar
Cannondale Synapse brakes Cannondale Synapse head tube
Cannondale Synapse cassette Cannondale Synapse seat stays

Cannondale range models