The Cannondale Synapse is a long-time favorite recommendation at the shop for someone looking for a bike perfectly suited to ride all-day, without the sluggish performance that many endurance road bikes fail to avoid. Each generation of Synapse has been better than the previous one in becoming simultaneously more comfortable while inching towards greater performance ability. This newest model, the 2018 Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Disc Dura-Ace Di2, might be a handful of a name but it represents the very best of what Cannondale have to offer to the endurance road bike segment: Tour-grade performance, improved vibration damping, and lower overall weight.
The biggest difference between the new Synapse and the previous model is the change to disc-only frames using a 12mm thru axle. Fork legs, chainstays, and the Power Pyramid seat tube (a seat tube that forks at the bottom bracket for improved stiffness and lower weight) are asymmetric to accommodate these brakes, while improving overall frame performance. The Synapse also uses a next-generation Synapse Active Vibration Elimination (SAVE) micro-suspension system. SAVE consists of a series of flex-zones engineered into the frame and fork, designed to soak up vibrations when possible. It includes a 25.4 mm seatpost and integrated seat binder to allow the seatpost to deflect 36% more, meaning the Synapse translates less road vibration than ever before. Tubing has also become size-specific, with size-specific tubing profiles, head tubes, and steer tube diameters to ensure each rider receives the same comfortable riding experience.
These changes may not look like much when looking at the bike, but they amount to a drastic change in how the Synapse fundamentally functions. Weight is down 220 g at the frame (to just 950 g for a 56 cm frame), while the fork is a substantial 116 g lighter (to 367 g). Desite this substantial cut in weight, Cannondale was still able to increase headtube stiffness by nearly 10%, while increasing bottom bracket stiffness as well. This has completely transformed how the bike performs on the road; the newfound lateral stiffness is made idea for each size, meaning the bike inspires more confidence as it is leaned into a corner, without the noodly feeling that other bikes geared toward comfort might receive. The Synapse Hi-Mod feels faster than ever out of the saddle, but its concessions to comfort mean riders will still be comfortable over a long ride thanks to its SAVE micro-suspension.
The 2018 Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Disc Dura-Ace Di2 features Shimano’s best road group, a Shimano Dura Ace 9170 Di2 electronic group, using compact (50/34) gearing and an 11-30 cassette. It uses a HollowGram SL carbon fiber wheelset, Vittoria Corsa 700 x 28c tires, a Cannondale SAVE carbon seatpost, and an ENVE carbon handlebar and stem. It is available in six sizes (48-61 cm), in their Volt (a gloss black with yellow gloss rear triangle and inside of fork) colorway.
Have any questions about the 2018 Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Disc Dura-Ace Di2? Give us a call during shop hours at 801.364.0344, or send us an email anytime at email@example.com.