The Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod range is designed to give road bike fans a more comfortable platform for their long distance stints in the saddle. However, while other bikes of this kind which are built for comfort can end up feeling a bit vague and limp, the Hi-Mod models are intended to create a more engaging and responsive ride.

Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Ultegra

The full carbon frame of the Cannondale Hi-Mod Ultegra integrates Save Plus technology, which is specifically designed in order to improve the comfort of the bike.

It is essentially a type of low profile suspension that operates on a minute level, with Cannondale having gone back to the drawing board in order to overhaul it for 2012. Flattened rear stays help to combat road rumble and vibrations without making the bike overly flexible, which could otherwise compromise stiffness and reduce power throughput.

The Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Ultegra’s fork is also kitted out with Save Plus technology, making sure that the carbon has been fashioned in such a way that it can iron out uneven surfaces while still giving you the kind of accuracy in the handling department which is required from this type of road bike. As such you still feel in touch with the road, but combined with the more upright seating position you can take a relaxed approach to riding.

The Save Plus Multiflex seat post is similarly adaptive, giving the rider the option to pick a firmer or more forgiving platform depending on their individual requirements. Meanwhile the Fi’Zi:K Aliante Delta saddle is easy on the posterior without being bulky.

You get the full complement of Shimano Ultegra 6700 components across the drive train and brakes, which combines well with the light frame to put as little burden on the rider as possible. Mavic Ksyrium Elite rims and spokes are matched with Schwalbe Ultremo Zx tyres to keep up fast rolling momentum in a variety of conditions.

Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Dura Ace

The Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Dura Ace is a sight more expensive than its Ultegra-toting sibling, although it shares the same carbon frame with Save Plus technology, along with the adaptive seat post and responsive fork.

The Dura-Ace derailleur, shifters, chain and brakes all come together to whittle away a significant amount from the total weight of the bike. The Hollowgram SI chainset from Cannondale is similarly intended to lighten the load, while the Synapse Si headset features a carbon top cap to retain consistency across the bike.

DT Swiss rims and spokes are lighter than the Mavic wheelset found on the Ultegra model, although the same Ultremo Zx tyres are onboard. The Aliante Gama saddle from Fi’Zi:K is mounted on lighter rails, so it looks like every detail of the bike has been chosen to ensure that it is from a featherweight category.

This bike and its sibling are designed to inspire confidence in the rider, because comfort can play a big role in building up the ability to perform consistently, particularly in high pressure situations.

While using the word ‘comfort’ in relation to a high end road bike may not be that appealing, particularly if riders are going to value performance over this category when investing such significant sums, it seems that the Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod family can offer both simultaneously, not one at the expense of the other.

There are plenty of carbon framed road bikes out there, but Cannondale has managed to sidestep the issues of handling and performance that can sometimes plague the more affordable options. If you are buying a new road bike in 2012 then these models should certainly feature somewhere on your wish list.

Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod 3 Ultegra Compact 2013 Specifications

  • Front Fork: Synapse, Hi-MOD full carbon
  • Rear Shock: N/A
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra 6700
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra 6700
  • Gears: 20
  • Chainring: 50/34T
  • Cassette: Shimano Ultegra 6700, 11-28T 10-speed
  • Shifters: Shimano Ultegra 6700
  • Brakes: Shimano Ultegra 6700
  • Wheels: Mavic Ksyrium Equipe S WTS
  • Tyres: Mavic WTS 700x25c

Model: Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod
4 / 5 stars