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Cannondale’s new 2022 Synapse Carbon road bike integrates light and radar




The Cannondale Synapse Platform has long served as a clear answer for American brands to the category of durable roads. A platform with a history that strikes a good balance between the relaxed geometry that defines the categories and the lightweight, sporty feel.

Cannondale overhauled Synapse again. Although it is a durable road bike, it can also be called an all-road bike because of the increased tire clearance. Cannondale claims that not only is the new road bike more comfortable, but it’s also faster with the many design cues borrowed from the SystemSix aero road bike.

Many of the new Synapse Carbon models also feature Cannondales’ new SmartSense technology, which aims to more seamlessly integrate common safety features such as Garmins Varia Radar and daytime running lights via the bike’s central battery. ..

I haven’t been able to test this new bike or try out the new SmartSense widgets yet, but there’s still a lot of detail to share.

Smoother and faster

The new Synapse Carbon is designed with the same style of riding in mind and does not deviate significantly from previous versions. Rather, new disc-only bikes look more sophisticated in design. The premium Hi-Mod version of Synapse is gone (at least not yet) and all models now share the same level of carbon fiber frame. Cannondale continues to offer regular alloy synapses as the most affordable and durable road bike.

Rather than introducing heavier moving components into the package, the new Synapse maintains a simple approach to comfort by adjusting the carbon layup and molding to bend the tubing. Cannondale now has a drop seat stay, which is not a small feat given that the new model has 8% higher saddle vertical compliance than the previous model and has moved to a larger seatpost. Insist.

The new Synapse LTD (Limited Edition) version comes with a Shimano GRX 2×11 Di2 drivetrain. All other models feature a wide range of road gear with a compact (50 / 34T) crankset.

The potential for increased bike comfort is increased tire clearance, which is now up to 35 mm (with a 4 mm perimeter gap required by ISO). And while this could be an all-road bike, Cannondale installed 30mm of rubber to prove the Synaptic road intent.

The new frame also features an improved tube shape that borrows the truncated airfoil found on Cannondale aero road racing bikes. However, while these other carbon road bikes strive to hide the cable in the head tube, Synapse keeps things simple by letting the cable go into the frame of the down tube.

As seen in the 2021 Synapse Hi-Mod, the new high-end version of Synapse continues to use the two-piece yet one-piece handlebars and stems of the SAVE System Bar. There are certainly aerodynamic benefits here, but the main purpose of this flexible bar is to improve ride quality. The two-piece design also allows you to adjust the roll angle of the bar slightly.

The top two Synapse Carbon models feature Cannondale’s unique SAVE bar and stem combo. But what about that Garmin robot in front of you? Go to it.

The new bike retains the ability to fit the fenders and features a removable fender bridge to keep things clean in the summer. And now there is a mounting requirement on the top tube for small bags.

Despite the current aerodynamic tube profile and the addition of the SmartSense cavity (more on this below), the new Synapse weighs less than a few older ones. The 56 cm frame is estimated to be 1,035 g compared to its most equivalent predecessor, 1,015 g. For comparison, Synapse’s currently discontinued top-of-the-line Hi-Mod version provided a frame weight of 950g.

Cannondale marketing materials create a large number of size-specific designs for proportional responses. In human terms, this simply means that each of the six sizes receives a specific geometry to ensure consistent handling and the stiffness level of the frame is adjusted based on the expected rider size. (For example, smaller sizes are proportionally less rigid). This approach to size-specific design is already common on many performance bikes from major bike brands, but perhaps some have more complex details than other bikes.

And when it comes to geometry, it remains almost the same. The general fit of the bike, the stack and reach numbers, is virtually unchanged. The trail numbers haven’t changed much, but the headtube angle has been steeper (more like a race) and the seat tube angle for most sizes has been loosened slightly to 73. On the other hand, the chain stay is 5mm longer. At 415 mm.

The numbers haven’t changed much, but the minimum 44cm frame size has been abolished.English thread bottom bracket

Now, if you put your own subheader on the threaded bottom bracket, this feature could be a bit oversold, but we’ve also talked about Cannondale here. And the fact that the new Synapse has only general industry equipment is certainly unexpected.

Cannondale introduced the BB30 to the world of cycling in 2000, and since then the company has provided many performance road bikes with a variation of the press-fit bottom bracket system designed around a 30mm crank spindle. But if the new synapse passes by, Cannondale seems to be listening to market pressure and going back to some old ways.

The bottom bracket is actually a perfectly normal 68 mm English screw (BSA) number. Given the history of Cannondale’s use of 30mm spindle cranks (often proprietary), we expected Cannondale to eventually move to a larger diameter T47 screw system. Instead, all new Synapse models announced so far feature Shimano’s own crank with a 24 mm spindle. Certainly a big change.

Most high-end Cannondales these days have some form of press-fit bottom bracket system and Cannondale’s own crank (SuperSix EvoCX in the photo). The times seem to have changed.

David Divine, Global Senior Product Director at Cannondales, has been riding BB30 and BB30 variations on motorcycles for over 20 years. “Then we were going to go to the simplest, unconfused, bottom bracket if we were going to switch.

“The BSA 68mm is constant and works well with the Shimano and DUB bottom brackets in SRAM. The T47 looked really promising, but as soon as the variant began to appear (not referring to the COVID variant), the BSA 68mm Fixed to the choice of. Standard BB for easy tool access and purchase, easy replacement. Interestingly, the DUB bottom bracket was threaded for a 68 mm frame, so it’s probably the original CODA setup. Most similar to, but used outboard bearings.

And bottom brackets aren’t the only non-exclusive thing, as if Christmas had come in January.

Previous versions of Synapse used a very flexible 25.4mm seatpost, but this new version moves to a 27.2mm round post. This means that you are free to fit the model of the selected post.

A common round seatpost held by a regular external clamp. Pure madness.

The new Synapse also doesn’t have a completely hidden cable. Rather, the brake hose and cable go into the frame with a down tube and hold the head tube only for the headset bearing and round steerer tube. And of course, that means you can replace the provided cockpit with a regular 11/8 inch stem and bar combo.

And instead of the previously used Mavic Speed ​​Release design, there’s a thru axle that’s usually threaded. With regular threaded through axles and closed dropouts, Synapse can now be used for virtual riding with almost any trainer.

As someone who has recently been dissatisfied with the lack of focus on excellent road bike options for those who need a more relaxed geometry, at least on paper, the new Synapse is certainly trying to buy. It can be read like a motorcycle. However, while Cannondale has made great efforts to simplify Synapse to make it easier to own, its new SmartSense system could be a new decision / polarization factor.

SmartSense explained

With the release of an integrated electronic device named SmartSense by Cannondale, the new Synapse has arrived. Simply put, SmartSense provides a more comfortable ride by linking popular safety-focused accessories to a central battery and automatically activating them from the front wheel sensors provided by Cannondales. I am aiming for.

All Synapse Carbon models come with Cannondale’s unique ANT + / Bluetooth wheel sensor.

As seen in Synapse Carbon 1, 2, and 3, the new SmartSense concept is shown by model name as R, L, and E, which corresponds to radar, light, and electronic shift, respectively. Cannondale has partnered with both Garmin and Lezyne to provide rear radar and daytime running lights for these models, respectively.

The Cannondale-specific version of Garmins is very popular among the top three models. VariaRadar is a product that constantly scans for approaching traffic from behind. Radar provides clear alerts via Cannondales’ proprietary phone app, bike-provided display unit, or compatible head unit of your choice (such as Wahoo or Garmin).

This Garmin Varia unit is not currently offered as an aftermarket option by GPS companies. Rather, this version was created for use with another battery.

Not much different from the lights found on many e-bikes, the Lezyne lights offered are intended for daytime (or nighttime) running use and automatically adjust or automatically adjust the brightness. You can also set the brake alert function (a function already provided by many Lezyne lights based on the accelerometer). Bikes sold in Europe are equipped with StZVO compliant (German regulation) lights.

The lights and radar are powered by a Garmin USB-C battery pack that docks to a specific cradle at the base of the down tube. This battery pack is said to be easy to remove from the bike for charging and also serve as a charging source for other electronic accessories if needed (although it serves its main purpose on the bike). It’s not). Models with a Shimano Di2 shift will continue to have a different Di2 battery.

Garmin’s “Varia Core” battery is secured to the frame with a slide-locking cradle.

Battery life isn’t as amazing as you would expect from bolting the battery pack to your bike. Cannondale argues that the entire system will run for about two hours in the brightest constant mode, and if the lights go into a more efficient flashing mode, the system should last for nearly 20 hours.

Cannondale claims to add 462 grams across the SmartSense package, but the battery cradle is included in the frame weight mentioned above. And, inevitably built into the price of the bike, of course, you can remove the system simply by unbolting the bracket and pulling out the hidden wire.

Cannondale provides an app that acts as the control center for your SmartSense system.

I still have some big questions about the SmartSense system. How easy and reliable is automatic activation? How easy is it to charge the central battery? Can I run a saddle bag or handlebar bag without any problems? And how clean is the wiring setup? Once you have a test bike, you’ll get an answer.

Model and price

Cannondale does not currently offer synapses as a frameset option. The availability and exact specifications of the bike model may vary depending on the local market. For example, in Australia, new synapses will be available in stores starting in July. Information on other markets has not yet been confirmed.

You can easily see the price range in the galleries below. Note (not shown) that many models are available with up to 3 different color options each.

Synapse Carbon 1 RLE (Dura Ace Di2): US $ 9,000 / 9,000 / 8,999 / AUD $ N / ASynapse Carbon LTD RLE (GRX 11 speed): US $ 7,000 / 6,750 / 6,999 / AUD $ N / ASynapse Carbon 2 RLE (Ultegra) Di2 12 speed): US $ 5,500 / 5,800 / 5,999 / AUD $ 8,499 Synapse Carbon 2 RL (Ultegra Mechanical 11 speed): US $ N / A / 4,000 / 4,499 / AUD $ 6,799 Synapse Carbon 3L (105 11 speed): US $ 3,300 / 3,200 / 3,499 / AUD $ 5,099 Synapse Carbon 4 (Tiagra 10 speed): US $ 2,400 / 2,400 / N / A / AUD $ 3,999.




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