Cannondale Synapse Review
The affordable end of the Cannondale Synapse range consists of alloy framed road bikes designed to deliver high octane performance on the tarmac without costing the earth. Each model is defined by the groupset that makes up its drivetrain, so you can choose a bike which fits into your lifestyle.
Cannondale Synapse 7 Sora
This model is a good introduction to the performance road bikes from Cannondale and will be a suitable starting point for anyone who is just getting serious about their cycling.
If features an optimised 6061 alloy frame with road geometry and a host of Save Plus features integrated into it. This is Cannondale’s system that allows for improved comfort and flexibility without these coming at the expense of stiffness and accelerating potential.
The Synapse Save fork with carbon blades benefits from this technology, effectively smoothing out the ride so that you are not fatigued by constant vibrations or sporadic bumps.
As the name suggests you get the Shimano Sora groupset on the drivetrain of this model, with an SRAM PG-950 cogset allowing you to pedal efficiently and select gears with ease.
Maddux RS 3.0 rims are paired with Schwalbe Lugano tyres, while the bike can be controlled with the Cannondale C4 brakes at the front and rear.
The Stage Ergo saddle is comfortable and durable, with the C4 seatpost keeping things nice and light. A C4 compact handlebar allows you to feel confident and in control, while gel backed suede grips ease the pressure on your hands.
Cannondale Synapse 6 Tiagra
The same alloy frame and fork with carbon blades setup is used for the Cannondale Synapse 6 Tiagra, but it is the lighter Shimano drivetrain components that help to define this as distinct from its more affordable sibling.
Cannondale has not tampered with the basic formula that makes these bikes appropriate, so you get the same wheelset, brakes, saddle, seatpost and handlebar setup here. The long reach brake levers are particularly convenient, allowing you to put your hands in a position that feels most natural while still being able to control the bike at a moment’s notice.
Cannondale Synapse 5 105
The Shimano 105 drivetrain is lighter still on this particularly Cannondale Synapse, which allows it to sit at the top of the alloy-framed range.
Here the handlebar, stem and seatpost have been swapped out for the Cannondale C3 range, which is lighter and more responsive. In fact the seatpost in particular is specifically designed to allow the rider to choose the kind of comfort levels which they prefer. You can pick from two options as part of the Save Plus MultiFlex seatpost system, with one providing a firmer ride which still has flex while the other is on the softer side of things.
Each of the Save Plus additions to the frame, whether at the rear end, on the seatpost or integrated into the fork, allows this model and its counterparts to make long distance road rides all the more pleasant. Vibrations generated by the tarmac and imperfections in the surface of the road will no longer leave you shaken and longing to get off before you have reached your goal.
While comfort is not typically a feature of this kind of bike, it is good to see that Cannondale is sensitive to the needs of riders who want performance without having to bear the problems that a stiff, taught ride can deliver.
The final notable upgrades to the Cannondale Synapse 5 105 come in the form of the Shimano RS10 wheelset and the Tektro R539 brakes, which help to improve its standing as a platform for racing or touring.
Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 Compact Specifications
- Front Fork: Synapse Full Carbon
- Rear Shock: N/A
- Front Derailleur: Shimano 105 5700
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano 105 5700
- Gears: 20
- Chainring: 50/34T
- Cassette: Shimano 105 5700, 11-28T, 10-Speed
- Shifters: Shimano 105 5700
- Brakes: Tektro R580
- Wheels: Mavic Aksium
- Tyres: Mavic Aksion, 700X25C, Black