We spied this a while back in flashy team green, and now it’s official: The new Synapse is a road endurance race machine. And in typical Cannondale fashion, there’s plenty of new tech and dimensions to ooh and aah over.
Actually, it’s more like evolved tech. The stays use a modified version of their SAVE micro suspension, getting a twisted seatstay that winds up a bit during compression to act like a spring, and borrowing BallisTec fibers to keep the frame strong even with the built in deflection. A few of their “standards” have changed, with a new 73mm wide SiSL2 crankset spindle and a narrower 25.4mm diameter SAVE seat post.
Oh, and then there’s the split seat tube design…
Endurance road bikes are popping up everywhere, with models for the weekend gravel grinder to bikes like this, aimed at pro-race level performance for folks that want to go fast regardless of where the road may take them. In other words, they want you to be able to pack more adventure into your ride time.
With that in mind, overall comfort had to play well alongside efficiency and power transfer. The outcome of their R&D are new SAVE Plus stays, which take the flattened profile of yore and give a twist. Literally. Cannondale says the slightly longer fiber length gained from the twist make for a slightly more compliant ride.
The SAVE Plus fork uses designed in flex from the shape of the legs and by limiting the steerer’s taper to 1-1/4″ at the bottom. Setback dropouts also factor into the “micro suspension” efforts. At the opposite end of things, FSA co-developed a new 25.4mm seatpost diameter standard, and the post clamp is recessed into the frame. The narrower profile and additional post extension provides a claimed 113% more deflection at the saddle, further taking the edge of bumps.
The show stopper, though, is the split seat tube, which has to do with stiffness rather than compliance. To get the race-level power transfer, they widened their bottom brackets to 73mm, a first for Hollowgram cranksets (word is it’ll still work with older cranksets by removing the 5mm spacer). This provided real estate for a massive seat tube, but their engineers found that a tube that big at the lighter weight they wanted could buckle under load. So, the split tube design solved the problem and didn’t require any additional mass.
Claimed frame weight is under 1,000 grams. There’ll be 11 different frame sizes including three women’s models, with two different fork rakes depending on frame size. No hydraulic or disc brake models yet, but look for high end builds with both Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 and the new SRAM Red 22 when they hit US dealers this summer.
Big thanks to Peloton Magazine for sharing their pics and info with us. Click on over there for more details and an upcoming ride report from the launch!