This commemorative edition of Peter Sagan's Cannondale SuperSix EVO celebrates the 100th edition of the Tour de France
Cannondale 2014 road bikes – first look
SuperSix EVO frameset trickles down to sub-£2,000, plus 2014 Synapse pricing details
2014 looks set to be a big year for Cannondale road bikes, with the impressive new Synapse hitting the shops in a wide range of options, and the sub-kilo EVO trickling down to £1,699.99 (US pricing TBA) and replacing the outgoing SuperSix. Other highlights include new Black Inc bikes and a limited edition Peter Sagan SuperSix EVO signature run.
Read on or see our image gallery, right, for more details on the company’s 2014 road range. As for the new EVO, US pricing and availability for all the bikes is to be announced.
SuperSix EVO trickles down in price
Cannondale’s epic SuperSix EVO has wowed us every time we’ve had a chance to ride it, the only downside being a price range that starts at £3,999. For 2014, the big news is that the SuperSix EVO will replace the regular SuperSix, meaning you’ll be able to get your hands on one for £1,699.99.
The frame uses the same BallisTec carbon technology as the range-topping bikes, but Cannondale have had to make a small change to get under the £2,000 price tag – the rear brake cable now runs externally along the top tube rather than sitting internally. To buy a SuperSix EVO for under £2,000, we reckon we can live with that.
Synapse pricing and details
Despite the 2014 Synapse being a recent announcement, Cannondale have priced the range sensibly. The new Power Pyramid carbon frame impressed us when we rode the Synapse for a first ride review in Tuscany earlier this year, and we expected it to take at least a season or so before the cutting-edge design dropped into the sub-£2,000 category.
However, Cannondale have produced a Synapse driven by Shimano 105 gearing, mixed with Tiagra brakes, and retailing for £1,699. Next in line is an Ultegra model at £2,499.
If you want a slightly lighter Hi-Mod model, pricing starts with the £3,299.99 Ultegra bike, with a SRAM Red model at £4,749.99 and a Black Inc build at £6,999.99. Riders in the US are expected to be offered a few more options.
The alloy Synapse has also been updated for 2014, to follow the same design principles and geometry as the carbon platform. The range starts with a £649.99 bike with Shimano’s new Claris groupset. Next comes a Sora build at £749.99, and a Tiagra model at £949.99. It’s then that the range shifts to disc brakes, with a Shimano 105-equipped bike with Render Promax mechanical discs at £1,099.99, and an Ultegra model at £1,399.99.
SuperSix EVO Black Inc
Cannondale are continuing with their Black Inc line for 2014, featuring ultra-light, ultra-limited versions of their standard bikes. The new SuperSix EVO Black Inc features a matte carbon and gold finish. With a custom matte/natural ENVE bar, stem and seatpost and matching gold graphics, it’s a classy looking machine.
A new wheelset based around custom Smart ENVE 3.4 rims and custom-finished Chris King hubs also features. The Cannondale-designed SiSL2 chainset comes complete with two spider rings, giving you a choice of 53/39 for flatter days and 50/34 for the hills. At £8,499.99 the SuperSix EVO Black Inc doesn’t come cheap, but we doubt you’d run into many other people riding one.
A Synapse Black Inc also exists, with a matte carbon FSA SL-K bar, stem and seatpost, new Vision Metron 40 wheels (also in a custom matte black finish), and Shimano’s mechanical Dura-Ace 9000 11-speed group. The bike will retail for £6,999.99
Peter Sagan signature bike
Peter Sagan rode a custom ‘100’ SuperSix EVO at the 2013 Tour de France, made to celebrate the 100th edition of the race. Cannondale told us that this bike will be available in a limited edition run soon. If you look closely, you’ll notice the Peter Sagan signature Kenda tyres – rumour has it these will also be available soon.
Cannondale’s iconic small-wheeled street bike, the Hooligan, returns for 2014 with a funky new cream/lime and sky blue //check// paint scheme. It has a price tag of £749.99 and street-optimised gearing for the BMX-sized wheels.
For more information on Cannondale road bikes see http://www.cannondale.com.
Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod 2014 – first look
The all-new Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod, a race version of which has been used to great effect by Peter Sagan in the recent spring classics, is the US company's latest road bike, designed with an emphasis on comfort and performance.
For Cannondale's latest iteration of their endurance focused Synapse, they’ve taken elements of a highly successful predecessor and used knowledge and tech gained from the SuperSix EVO lightweight race machine.
The Synapse wasn’t Cannondale’s first foray into the world of rider-focused road bkes. Back in 2002, while the CAAD range of alloy road bikes was getting more and more aggressive by being longer, lower, and stiffer, they introduced a bike named the Road Warrior, with a shorter reach and taller head tube to relax the position.
This evolved into the original Synapse, which retained the more relaxed position and added to the comfort by using Cannondale’s SAVE (Synapse Active Vibration Elimination) tube shaping and material manipulation. This allowed high-frequency vibrations from coarse road surfaces to be reduced, resulting in a combination of relaxed ride position and smooth rolling.
For the latest Synapse, Cannondale have been back to the conception stage – the explosion of the gran fondo and sportive scenes has meant the requirements for a non-pro bike have changed.
They believe that a relaxed position is still key, but that the bike must handle well, and be reactive and light. The hardcore enthusiast, as opposed to a racer, still needs the same priorities from a bike, just in a different order.
Erik Eagleman, chief industrial designer for the Synapse project and originator of the EVO, Slice RS and Jekyll mountain bike, explained: “Racers want lightness and sharp handling, and an efficient position. Comfort is apprieciated but not at the compromise of anything else. An endurance rider, we feel, puts comfort and handling above all else. So that’s comfort, handling, position efficiency, lightness.
The rear exit cable routing and minimal dropouts are reminiscent of the EVO
“If you think of the SuperSix EVO as a Formula 1 car, then our new Synapse is a Maserati GranTurismo. It combines elements of beauty with real world performance.”
While the new Synapse contains plenty of radical new touches and engineering firsts, it still manages to retain some of the character of the original. The seat tube still having the silhouette shape of the rear wheel cut in, the pinched-in-the-middle seatstays, and arch of the fork all hint at the previous design, while the slender nature of the tubes reflects what Cannondale have learned from the EVO project.
Eagleman led the aesthetic and performance side of the design process, while chief design engineer Chris Dodman took on the job of implementing the radical changes. The central goals of the new Synapse were to improve drivetrain stiffness while enabling a better level of compliance, all wrapped up in a lighter (sub kilo) frame.
This involved implementing carbon layup and engineering solutions both obvious to the eye and under the skin, and Cannondale claim they’ve hit the sweet spot with the end result.
The company have always been keen on buzzwords and anacronyms with their tech, so we expected one or two for the new bike. The first is SERG, which stands for Synapse Endurance Race Geometry. It means the Synapse has got a little more aggressive, the frame shape now sitting squarely between the racy EVO and the previous Synapse.
To be honest, it’s what we expected to see on a reworking of the platform, as we’ve already seen Specialized race-up the Roubaix with the SL4, Giant hit the sweet spot with the Defy Advanced, and Trek have success with the H2 fit on both the Domane and Madone.
The SuperSix EVO saw Cannondale debut the BallisTec Carbon on the road, and Chris Dodman explained the reasons why this tougher-than-standard material was chosen for the new Synapse:
“This is our proprietary carbon construction. By utilising a material that was originally used in military armour, at the fiber base we’ve got an excellent strength to weight ratio. The use of both UHM (Ultra Hi-Mod) and HM (Hi-Mod) fibres means we can, in combination with the layup, precisely tune the stiffness through a network of stiffening fibres where we need it.
“By optimising the layup schedule we can ‘scrub out’ high frequency vibrations. Because, unlike the EVO, weight wasn’t our number one priority we could use more layers in our layups."
This has also supposedly led to extra durability, which has enabled Cannondale to give the frame a lifetime warranty.
The next buzzword is SAVE+.
SAVE technology (what they call Micro-Suspension) has been around on Cannondales for a while, and is achieved through carbon fibre layup orientation, designed to maximise the inter-lamination shear dissipation.
Under stress, different layers of a laminate will be moving constantly. If the orientation of the fibres is different (as is very likely) they will be working against each other, with only the bond of the resin holding them together. In a worst-case scenario that can lead to cracks, delamination and, ultimately, failure of the structure.
Cannondale’s BallisTec combination of resin and fibres combats this potential problem. This frame marks the first time they’ve looked at layup over stiffness to see how the laminates can be used to create comfort.
Shapes such as the helix to the seatstays increase the length of the fibres, and that helps decrease the amount of high-frequency vibration getting through to the rider.
The fork legs bear a similar helical design to the seatstays
The fork and stays have been designed to work in unison, combined at the back with the helix-shaped seatstays and slimmer-than-usual chainstays. These pinch and flatten at the midpoint, between BB shell and dropout, and it’s this horizontally flattened part that’s designed to allow flex.
Up front, the fork’s offset dropout means it has a greater effective length and rake, which adds smoothness but retains the handling traits. The legs themselves have a slightly helical profile, like the rear stays, and are broader at the crown and dropouts, slimming through the mid-section to allow for some flex fore-and-aft.
It’s these key features that Cannondale claim give them the advantage over their competition, as the vibration reduction works whether you’re in the saddle or standing (though when standing you are using your arms and legs as suspension).
The new seatpost, from partners FSA, has been designed around a super-slim 25.4mm diameter, compared to a standard 27.2mm or oversized 31.8mm model. This means it can flex more than a standard post.
The new collarless clamp design also increases the amount of the post that can flex (6.5cm for a 56cm frame), and Cannondale claim a 113 percent greater deflection than with a 27.2mm diameter post at 100kg (220lb).
Those versed in bike history will recall the 25.4mm standard seatpost diameter of steel bikes of the 60s. So Cinelli, 3T and Campagnolo, dig out those old tube moulds – it looks as though 25.4 is making a comeback!
Power Pyramid seat tube
From race photos and spy shots, the most intriguing thing about the new Synapse is what Cannondale are calling the Power Pyramid, a term resurrected from their oversized tapered alloy frame designs but applied to the radical seat tube design.
The twin tube design came about after the company tested the original wide-based, single tube design. They found that the front and rear sections of material were doing very little to enhance stiffness, and claim that by taking the same amount of material and splitting it into two ‘legs’ they’ve made the structure much more stable.
The design is asymmetric, with the split offset at its base. It’s designed to work with an evolution of the BB30 standard, named BB30a. Designed by Dodman (who also designed the original BB30 and Hollowgram chainset), it improves bottom bracket stiffness by relying on shape and optimised use of materials.
With BB30a, the shell is widened from 68mm to 73mm to increase stiffness but give a balanced heel clearance of 10mm each side (BB30 offers 10mm and 15mm). Plus, with Cannondale’s Hollowgram chainset, or FSA’s Cannondale-specific models, it retains the same Q factor.
It’s also meant an increase inn chainstay width, and that allows a much wider tyre to be fitted.
Sizing and pricing
Cannondale will offer the new Synapse in no fewer than 11 sizes when you include the women’s specific models. With each model being optimised in terms of layup, construction, reach and fork rake, each frame size is unique, with no shared sections.
The pricing for a single mould wasn’t confirmed, although mooted to be around the price of the aforementioned Maserati, so make no mistake – this is one seriously expensive frameset to construct. The development process (estimated at a total of eight years of man hours) means it’s been a pricy project to complete.
We’re yet to get out on the new Synapse to see how it rides, but initial feedback from Cannondale team riders has been good.
Peter Sagan admits he didn’t want to ride the new Synapse Hi-Mod over his beloved SuperSix EVO, but after testing it over the Strade Bianche and cobbles it’s now his frame of choice for the Classics. Victory at Ghent and a podium at Flanders suggests it’s doing something right.
BikeRadar will have more information and a first ride coming over the next few days, so watch this space. For more information on Cannondale products see www.cannondale.com.
Cannondale Synapse model year 2014 road bikes - first look
16:00 16th August 2013 By George Scott
The Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod was, along with the Bianchi Infinito CV, one of two key bikes launched into the ‘endurance’ road market this year.
The annual dealer and press show of Cannondale’s distributor, Cycling Sports Group, gave us the chance to check out it out in the flesh, as well as the revamped, more affordable alloy sibling.
We also saw the models that will be available to the public within the next two months as part of the American firm’s model year 2014 range, with five carbon fibre Synapse bikes across a range of price points, starting at £1,699.99, and an alloy fleet which includes a disc-equipped machine with Shimano Ultegra.
All-new Synapse now available - tech details
Five models in 2014 carbon Synapse range
Aluminium Synapse revamped – disc brake model introduced
Cannondale Synapse HM Black Inc
The £6,999.99 Synapse Hi-Mod Black Inc is the top-the-range machine in Cannondale’s model year 2014 ‘performance’ range
All-new Synapse now available
The all-new Synapse is the key new model in Cannondale’s 2014 road range, even if it was first unveiled back in April at the end of the Classics campaign. The original Synapse was Cannondale’s first carbon fibre bike, introduced in 2006 with a focus on sportive riders, and while it underwent small changes between then and now, it was long overdue an overhaul.
The result, according to Cannondale, is a machine which is far more performance-focused, and Peter Sagan’s results through the Classics campaign, ridden on the Synapse (the Slovak won Gent-Wevelgem and finished second in E3 Harelbeke and the Tour of Flanders) are testament to that.
Peter Sagan's Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod
Peter Sagan rode the Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod through the Classics campaign
“The endurance category moved on a long way from 2006 to 2013,” Cannondale’s global marketing manager, Jonathan Geran, told RoadCyclingUK. “It came from bikes for riders who want a comfortable, upright riding position, to those who are perhaps riding big sportives and Gran Fondos and while they may not be strapping on a race number every week, they want a bike which provides performance, comfort, low weight and stiffness in an equal balance.”
The Classics season has become one of cycling’s most important shops windows and the Trek Domane, Bianchi Infinito CV and BMC GranFondo 01 are all machines released over the past two years to service both WorldTour riders in some of the toughest races on the calendar and, crucially for manufacturers, the ‘endurance’ market of club and sportive riders.
The new Synapse is the result of a three-year engineering project and the frame borrows features from the existing SuperSix Evo, and also introduces a number of key technologies. We ran through many of them in our Synapse Hi-Mod launch article back in April but let’s recap.
Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105
Cannondale’s SAVE Plus micro-suspension system is said to improve comfort
First up, the Synapse Hi-Mod borrows the Ballistec carbon construction of the SuperSix Evo, which uses high-strength, high-elongation carbon fibres to create a base structure which Cannondale say is strong, light and stiff. The result is a claimed frame weight of 950g for the high-modulus version, which is very competitive for an ‘endurance’ frame, where comfort is more important than weight.
Cannondale’s SAVE micro-suspension system was introduced with the original Synapse but it’s now been updated and is known as SAVE Plus, made up of three key components, all designed to improve compliance.
First, the carbon layup has been designed to increase what Cannondale call ‘inter-laminar shear dissipation’, which is designed to absorb vibrations before they reach the rider.
This integrated seat clamp keeps plenty of the super-skinny 25.4mm seatpost exposed
Second, Cannondale have used a series of complex tube profiles, including helixed seatstays, designed to increase the length of the carbon fibres in relation to the stays themselves, and a curved fork with offset dropouts, which is said to compress and flex without compromising stiffness or handling.
Finally, Cannondale have switched to a super-skinny 25.4mm seatpost which in itself offers more compliance than a larger diameter post. The Synapse also features an integrated seatclamp which is not there to improve aerodynamics, but to leave more seatpost exposed, thus increasing the amount of material which is able to flex and absorb vibrations when you hit big bumps in the road while riding in the saddle. It does limit seatpost choice, though Cannondale provide a range of options, as do FSA and Thomson.
“The big things about SAVE Plus technology is that it’s not just about comfort, but handling as well,” said Geran. “Instead of the wheel chattering down the road, it’s designed to roll over those rougher sections, thereby improving handling and performance for the rider while not sapping energy and making the rider more fatigued.”
The most striking feature on the new Synapse, the Power Pyramid, reduces weight while improving rigidity
While Cannondale’s SAVE Plus technology is perhaps the most important feature of a bike designed for comfort, the Power Pyramid seattube cutout is the most visually striking aspect of the bike.
It’s not a feature designed to improve comfort, instead to save weight while allowing Cannondale to user a new, wider bottom bracket called BB30A. Cannondale revolutionised bottom bracket technology when they introduced the BB30 standard in 2000 and BB30A is the latest evolution of that.
‘A’ stands for asymmetric as BB30A adds 5mm to the non-driveside of the bottom bracket shell (widening it from 68mm to 73mm) to create a more stable platform while maintaining an ideal chain line on both sides. All the internal parts of BB30A are the same, according to Geran, there’s just a smaller internal spacer to accommodate that extra 5mm. Power Pyramid allows Cannondale to, in effect, create a wide junction between the seattube and bottom bracket, thereby improving torsional rigidity, while reducing weight.
Neat internal cable routing is designed to keep the cables kink-free, thereby improving shifting and braking performance
The Synapse is also based around a slightly more relaxed geometry – dubbed S.E.R.G, or Synapse Endurance Road Geometry by Cannondale – with a slightly taller headtube, slightly longer wheelbase and slightly slacker head angle, which Cannondale say results in the right balance between a pure race positioning and upright comfort.
“The new Synapse is lighter than the previous version, about ten per cent stiffer, and somewhere in the region of 30 per cent more compliant,” said Geran.
“The team – Cannondale Pro Cycling – weren’t the driving force behind this project but they provided valuable feedback throughout the design process.
“This bike can definitely handled being raced at the Tour de France, and it’s designed to be raced at your local weekend crit or a road race, but if you’re looking at a long charity ride or a Gran Fondo, that’s where it will come in to its own.
Cannondale say the Synapse provides the right blend of performance, comfort, weight, handling and stiffness
“If you’re on a training ride and left is the dirt road, and right is the paved road, and you want to go left, then this bike is designed to handle that, and the fact we have specced 28mm with all bikes is testament to that.
“While some riders may be afraid to get their race bike dirty, this is a bike we want you to get dirty.”
Five all-new Synapse models
That brings us on to the five all-new Synapse models introduced for model-year 2014. There are essentially two frame grades as far as the new, carbon fibre Synapse is concerned (the aluminium Synapse remains in the range with a revamped frame, more of which below). The Synapse Hi-Mod, the frame ridden by Peter Sagan et al, uses a higher proportion of high-modulus cabron fibres than the Synapse Carbon, and is more expensive as a result.
Of the two frames, there are three Hi-Mod builds (Shimano Ultegra, £3,299.99; SRAM Red, £4,749.99; and Shimano Dura-Ace, £6,999.99) and two Carbon builds (Shimano 105, £1,699.99; and Shimano Ultegra, £2,499.99).
Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105
The Synapse Carbon 105 is the entry-level machine in the carbon range at £1,699.99
Let’s take a closer look at the two models which bookmark the range: the £1,699.99 Synapse Carbon 105 and the £6,999.99 Synapse Hi-Mod Black Inc.
The Synapse Carbon 105 is the entry point to the range and has a smattering of Shimano 105 components (front derailleur, rear derailleur, shifters), with the brakes and cassette coming from the more affordable Tiagra groupset, while the FSA provide the compact 50-34t Gossamer chainset and Shimano the R501 wheels, wrapped in Schwalbe Lugano rubber. The finishing kit (stem, seatpost, handlebar and saddle) all comes from Cannondale’s own range.
Cannondale Synapse HM Black Inc
The range-topping Synapse Hi-Mod Black Inc comes in this stealthy finish
At the other end of the scale, the stealth Synapse Hi-Mod Black Inc is dressed in 11-speed, mechanical Shimano Dura-Ace, with Cannondale’s super-light and super-stiff Hollowgram SiSL2 cranks and SpideRing chainrings, again in compact 50-34t guise. Vision, wheel sponsor to the Cannondale Pro Cycling team, provide the Metro 40 carbon clincher hoops, which are in turn shod with Schwalbe Ultremo ZX tyres (this is the only carbon fibre Synapse model to come with 25mm, not 28mm, rubber. FSA SL-K finishing kit, in a new matte black finish, and a Fizik Aliante saddle (as preferred by Peter Sagan) complete a stunning build.
Aluminium Synapse revamped – disc brake model introduced
The all-new Synapse is the headline grabber as far as Cannondale’s 2014 road range is concerned, but the aluminium Synapse has also had a significant overhaul and steals some of the features of its more high-tech, and more expensive, sibling.
“The alloy Synapse is heavily influence by the carbon Synapse,” said Geran. “It has a similar, but less pronounced, helix shape on the seatstays, a similar shape to the fork, seatstays which bisect the toptube and a double-flared toptube and downtube to improve the headtube and bottom bracket stiffness.
Cannondale Synapse Ultegra Disc
Disc brakes, anyone?
“It took a lot of engineering resource to mimic those complex tube shapes in alloy but we only did it where it was right to apply them. The chainstays don’t get get the same articulation because, in an alloy material, it’s better for the profile to more defined in order to maintain stiffness.”
The aluminium Synapse continues to use BB30, rather than BB30A, but the seattube has been widen at the bottom bracket to improve rigidity, while it tapers significantly as it rises to accommodate the same 25.4mm diameter seatpost as the carbon Synapse. The alloy Synapse also has the same neat internal cable routing, with cables entering at the front of the toptube to ensure they remain straight kink-free.
Cannondale say they’ve been able to incorporate many of the features of the carbon Synapse into its more affordable, aluminium sibling
The most exciting models in the five-bike alloy Synapse range are the Synapse Ultegra Disc and the Synapse 105 Disc. Needless to say, both are disc-equipped machines running on largely Shimano Ultegra and Shimano 105 drivetrains, with Cannondale own-brand disc brakes (with a 160mm rotor at the front and 140mm at the rear).
“We’re always looking to integrate better technology into our products. Generally it trickles down from the top end, but this was the right consumer to launch disc brakes to,” said Geran, who went on to hint a disc-ready version of the carbon Synapse may be in the pipeline for model year 2015.
Cannondale will offer two disc builds, based around Shimano Ultegra and Shimano 105, as part of their 2014 range
Let’s concentrate on 2014 for now, however. The Synapse Ultegra Disc is the top model in the alloy range at £1,399.99, ahead of the Synapse 105 Disc (£1,099.99), Synapse 6 Tiagra (£949.99), Synapse 7 Sora (£749.99) and Synapse 8 Claris (£649.99). All are based around the same frame, with a straight-through 1-1/8″ carbon/alloy fork (in two versions, one disc-specific, and one for conventional rim brakes).
To focus on one model, the Synapse Ultegra Disc takes its front derailleur, rear derailleur, shifters and cassette from Shimano’s 2014 11-speed Ultegra group, with a compact FSA Gossamer chainset, Cannondale’s MB700T mechanical discs, disc-specific Maddux RD 2.0 wheels, 25mm Schwalbe Lugano tyres and Cannondale finishing kit.
That’s Cannondale’s Synapse range wrapped up. There are also changed to the race-ready SuperSix Evo line-up and the aluminium CAAD collection. We’ll bring you new of both on Monday.
Cannondale 2014: Cheaper Evo and Synapse Disc launched
Cannondale produce new more affordable SuperSix Evo with 105, the Synapse gets disc brake option, and there are increased women's offerings
David Arthur, August 19, 2013
Cannondale 2014 Evo HM Team - side
For 2014 Cannondale have pushed their flagship SuperSix Evo to an even lower price point, courtesy of a revised frame design with external cable routing, and completely dropped the old SuperSix from the range. There's a new women-specific SuperSix Evo as well.The other big news is the unveiling of the Synapse Disc. Two models, based on the aluminium version of the their new endurance road bike, show the company's interest in disc-equipped road bikes, although it's more of a small toe dip in the water than a fully-fledged commitment.
Evo: New even more affordable. SuperSix retired
The SuperSix Evo is now available at its lowest ever price, £1,699. You get a near identical frame with the same geometry as the one that is raced in the World Tour, but at a fraction of the price. It's built up with a Shimano 105 groupset and wheels making it a very competitive bike at this price.
To turn out an Evo at this new lower price (and in the process eliminating the SuperSix entirely) Cannondale have slightly modified the frame. The key change is full external cable routing, with different cable stops bonded to the down tube, which reduces the build time.That change aside, the frame has the exact same tube shapes as the more expensive models: the huge down tube, 30mm Pressfit bottom bracket, tapered head tube and skinny seatstays. The Ballistec Carbon that is used is the same as that of the more expensive Evo frames too.
It's built up with a Shimano 105/Tiagra groupset with a compact FSA Gossamer chainset, Shimano R501 wheels and Cannondale's own C3 bars, stem, seatpost and saddle. The frame is available in the one colour option (black) and four sizes.If you're feeling a bit flush, then how about a team edition of the Evo? This is the same bike used by Peter Sagan and Ted King. In essence it's the same as the Evo 105 (above) too, but the frame uses the company's Ballistec Hi-Mod carbon fibre which reduces the weight quite a bit. The cable routing is different too, the rear brake passing inside the top tube and the gear cable mounts located on the side of the head tube.
This model is decked out in the team sponsors' kit, including Vision Metron 55 carbon clincher wheels, Kenda tyres and a SRAM Red 10-speed groupset. The team have yet to switch over to SRAM's new RED 22 groupset, after it was launched back in April. Teams and riders are typically reluctant to make major equipment changes without adequate testing time, so we could expect to see them transition over to the newer groupset during the winter. Or I could be completely wrong... only time will tell.
Other sponsor parts include the FSA K-Force carbon handlebars, stem and seatpost, Fizik Arione saddle and Cannondale's own HollowGram SiSL2 chainset. Cannondale is one of a few manufacturers, along with Specialized, who produce their own chainset. This is one of the lightest on the market with a claimed 483g weight (compared to 557g for an equivalent SRAM Red chainset). The unique 10-arm design is said to be inspired by the wheels found on race cars and is claimed to handle the forces that go through a chainset better than other designs.
You'd think the team bike would be the lightest in the range, but it's beaten on the scales by this stunning Evo Black, which is now in its second year. The frame, made from Ballistec Nano carbon, is actually a few grams lighter than the frame used by the team thanks to a different resin that saves some weight. Claimed weight is 655g, about 40g lighter than the Hi-Mod version. The team already have to add weight to the Hi-Mod frame so there would be little sense in racing an even lighter frame. We covered this bike in detail at the 2013 launch. You can read that article here.
This model earns its £8,499 (no, that's not a typo) price tag with a very special build. To match the gold on matte black frame, Cannondale have pulled in some favours from Enve, Chris King and Fizik.
First off, the carbon railed Arione 00 saddle has a gold pin stripe along the centre, matching those found on the frame.
A similar gold stripe wraps around the black Chris King hubs, and the Enve Smart 3.4 carbon rims (with a shallower section front rim) they're laced to have discreet gold decals. Enve have also produced a handlebar with a gold detailing on the centre that is displayed in the space created by the open faceplate of the Enve stem. The seatpost is from Enve too. A Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 11-speed mechanical groupset completes the build.
Synapse: Disc version launched
I was at the Synapse launch in Italy a few months ago, where the company showed a radical redesign of the bike aimed at the 'endurance' sector – bikes built for comfort over long distances. Rather than go over old ground here, you can refresh your memory by having a quick read of the launch article, which has all the technical details on the new bike.
Right, memory refreshed, let's take a look at the full 2014 range... And the big news is the introduction of two disc-equipped aluminium models. When asked at the launch, Cannondale's top marketing man Murray Washburn was being very coy about a future disc brake version, but his silence on the matter was telling, so it's no surprise they've quietly slipped two bikes into the range. Showing that Cannondale are sitting on the fence on this particular development, they've used the aluminium version of the Synapse, rather than the carbon.
The Synapse 105 Disc costs £1,099 and the Synapse Ultegra Disc (pictured above) is £1,399. They have the same frame, made from 6061 aluminium that shares some of the tube shaping of the carbon model, but critically without the novel split seat tube at the bottom bracket, which they call the 'Power Pyramid'. It will be interesting to see how the alloy Synapse rides in comparison to the carbon bike when we get the chance.
Cannondale specify this bike with their own-brand MB700T disc brakes, a mechanical design, with a 160mm front rotor and 140mm rear pairing. Groupset is a mix of new Shimano Ultegra 11-speed and FSA Gossamer 50/34 chainset. The wheels are disc-specific Maddux RD 2.0.The frame features tidy internal cable routing. The rear mech and brake cables are routed through the chainstays, and pass up into the down tube, leaving the top tube looking very clean.
This is the first time we've seen the women's version of the Synapse, available in both carbon (pictured) and alloy. It shares the very same feautres as the regular Synapse but trades in the handlebars, stem and saddle for women-specific products. The frame is also available in smaller sizes, including 44, 48, 51, 54 and 56cm options. Built with a Shimano 105 groupset and R501 wheels, it costs £1,699.There's a Synapse Black. It gets similar treatment to the Evo Black with a similarly eye-watering price tag: £6,999, if you really need to know. It partners the excellent Vision Metron 40 carbon clinchers with Schwalbe Ultremo ZX tyres, a Shimano Dura-Ace 11-speed groupset and SiSL2 chainset.
At the other end of the range there's this smart looking Synapse Carbon 105 costing £1,699. It is the same shape as the Synapse Black but with a cost-saving Ballistec carbon rather than the Hi-Mod type.A Shimano 105 groupset and R501 hoops keep the price down as do the Cannondale branded C3 components and FSA Gossamer chainset, a very common chainset at this price range. The frame is Di2-ready should you be interested in upgrading in the future.
This is the Synapse Claris which swaps the carbon frame for one made form 6061 aluminium, with a carbon bladed fork. It costs £649.99 and is available in five sizes.One neat feature of the Synapse is the LED that Cannondale developed. It sits around the steerer tube and takes the place of a handful of spacers. It's compact, light and a nice little addition for extra night-time visibility. If you've got a stack of spacers, it's surely preferable to have a compact light there instead, right? It'll be interesting to see if Cannondale develop some more products like this. A rear light similarly integrated into the frame would be interesting to see.