For 2018 Cannondale redesigned their classic road bike the Synapse. Here are some thoughts on the new Cannondale offering.
So, in 2018 Cannondale released the next generation of its flagship road bike the Synapse. You might say that all bikes are created equal and what is the big deal with a redesign anyway? Well, this bike is built for the future and the direction that the road bike industry is headed. Cannondale responded to the changes in the cycling world and released this cycling machine that is sure to support you on the road less traveled or the one most traveled.
The elephant in the room is that the new Synapse is only available with disc brakes. For some people, disc brakes are a luxury- dubbing themselves purists with rim brakes. To be honest, I currently ride a SuperSix with rim brakes and I love them; however, the stopping power coming from the Synapse and the full disc brake line blew me away. Being in Utah Valley I am surrounded by mountains and the occasional rain storm. To say that rim brakes are totally reliable in the rain is a white lie. However, while testing the synapse I got caught in a spring shower and the brakes gave me consistent stopping power coming down a pretty steep grade somewhere near the Alpine loop. Cannondale's switch to all disc lineup is consistent with the Synapse's appeal to all types of riders and all types of riding.
Something else new with the 2018 release is the ability to not only take the path less traveled but conquer it in the mean time. The redesigned fork can handle a size 32c tire which means dirt roads and light single track are now options to give your legs a good spin. This ability to handle some of the rough stuff allows for you to take on some gravel trails and really explore the best of the outdoors. While testing the new Synapse, I put on some wider tires and took a ride down a dirt road and a goat trail. The redesigned frame surprised me and handled the road well. However, it is still a road bike at heart so it will give you a stiff ride but some of the new integrations make riding on surfaces other than pavement quick and enjoyable.
While the new Synapse does not have any sort of active suspension, the boys and girls at Cannondale saw fit to integrate a few millimeters of travel into the frame at the hubs and in the integration of a narrower seat post. When climbing the Alpine loop this small integration went unnoticed but when I was cruising along a trail through the middle of a meadow, I became quite aware of the adjustments in this frame and the huge impact to my riding and comfort.
The Synapse is one of the most comfortable road bikes that I have ever ridden. With identical geometry in each size bike, the new Synapse provides a comfortable bike with the ability to break out with the leading group or take a leisurely 200-mile jaunt through Wasatch country. Either way, you want to go, the new Synapse is a great bike and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to test out the bike. If you don't plan to attempt any large jumps, this bike is the workhorse you are looking for. It will give you the comfort and performance that you look for in a bike. The frame geometry is comfortable enough to be used as a commuter but also a race bike for the summer season. It's like the mullet of road bikes, business in the front and a party in the back; or Superman, a news reporter by day and a superhero do-gooder by night. Whatever you want to compare it to, the new Cannondale Synapse is a force to be reckoned with and a good time on two- wheels. Come take one for a test ride and you will see what I mean; it will let you take paths traveled and those less traveled and it will make all the difference.