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Cannondale Synapse: The endurance bike relaunced

Vibration-managing Save features expanded, while frame can take 32-mm-wide tires

Cannondale Synapse

Cannondale has announced its latest iteration of the Cannondale Synapse, the Bethel, Conn.-based company’s endurance machine. As with any bike built to mellow the harshness of the road, but still perform well when you push hard on the pedals, the Cannondale Synapse has a system for addressing bumps that get sent up the frame. Cannondale calls its system Save, which has been part of the Synapse since 2006. For the model-year 2018 bike, the company has expanded the Save features. The chainstays, seatstays, and fork legs have been redesigned. The 25.4-mm-diameter seatpost now has Save technology. At the front, there’s the new Save SystemBar handlebar and stem. The carbon-fibre layup, and the orientation of those fibres, of the Save components helps to dissipate small bumps in the road.  The tube shapes of the stays and fork take care of small to medium bumps. The thin seatpost that protrudes well beyond the top of the seat tube offers flex to manage the larger hits you’ll encounter on your rides.

“The SystemBar’s ergonomic and elliptical Save bar shape feels great in the hands and provides riders more deflection than a standard bar,” says David Devine, Cannondale senior product manager, road, on the new Save components. “The SystemBar works with the rest of the bike’s Save features to really smooth the ride and increase control. Additionally, the two-piece system offers integrated style without the hassle of a one-piece design, allowing riders to fine-tune their ride positions with interchangeable stem lengths and eight degrees of pitch adjustment.” The bar also has an integrated, detachable mount that holds both a Garmin and Fabric Lumaray light.

The right amount of flex in a bike depends on the size of the rider. To address rider size, a company such as Trek, with its Domane, gives you the ability to adjust the level of flex at the seatpost. Cannondale, on the other hand, used different tube dimensions and carbon layup for different frame sizes of the Cannondale Synapse. The steerer/head-tube diameters can vary and there are three fork offsets. These features also give a consistent steering feel across the entire range.

Cannondale says that the bike’s Endurance Race Geometry balances the aggressive position you need to ride hard, with the ability to keep to you comfortable as you ride for miles. The frame is said to be 220 g lighter. The head tube and bottom bracket, two areas where you want stiffness to be high, are 10 per cent more ridged than on the previous version of the Synapse.

Following the trend of “wider, wider, wider” when it comes to tires, the Cannondale Synpase can accommodate 32-mm-wide treads. The frame also has discrete fender mounts. It can handle mechanical and electronic groupsets. Thru-axles are used to affix the wheels to the dropouts. Disc brakes, which range from the new Dura-Ace 9170 flat-mount to SRAM Apex 1, bring each bike to a stop.

Prices range from $13,800 for the Cannondale Synapse Dura-Ace Di2 model to $1,300 for the aluminum model with Sora components. The Canadian lineup includes eight builds for women.