Cannondale enters e-road and e-gravel markets with Synapse NEO

The new Synapse NEO promises 200km battery life

The latest big brand to enter the burgeoning performance road e-bike arena is Cannondale, with the Synapse NEO. 

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As the name suggests, it’s based around its ever-popular Synapse endurance bike platform and shares similar geometry and ride position to the alloy Synapse disc.

Cannondale is also the first to use Bosch’s Generation 3 Active Line plus e-bike system. Unlike previous Bosch systems, the Gen 3 unit is much smaller, so integrates better into a more standard looking frame.

The bike is built around Bosch's Active Line Plus motor
The bike is built around Bosch’s Active Line Plus motor
Cannondale

The new Gen 3 system also promises virtually no drag when the system is off. This is a welcome move because drag is something that had been an issue on earlier Bosch systems.

The battery is neatly integrated into the down tube
The battery is neatly integrated into the down tube
Cannondale

The Synapse NEO neatly integrates a 500Wh battery called the Powertube into the alloy frame’s down tube (in a similar way to Orbea’s Gain, and Focus’ Paralane²).

Cannondale is claiming a potentially huge 200km range for the NEO, which would outstrip pretty much any other road going e-bike we’ve seen.

The bike can be built around either a 1x or 2x drivetrain
The bike can be built around either a 1x or 2x drivetrain
Cannondale

The NEO is also the first Bosch equipped road-going bike we’ve seen that uses a traditional double-chainring set-up, so you get just the same gearing you would on a standard Synapse.

Cannondale has been able to achieve this by offsetting the back end, meaning the drivetrain sits in line. Focus got around a similar problem by introducing a road-Boost standard on the Paralane².

Cannondale’s solution allows it to use shorter chainstays (keeping the wheelbase similar to a standard bike), while also allowing clearance for larger volume tyres.

Taking full advantage of this, a gravel-focussed version of the NEO has been released alongside the pure-road machines.

The front end has also been adapted with Cannondale’s own ‘out-front’ geometry, a concept borrowed from its mountain bikes.

This pairs a slacker head angle with a long 55mm fork offset, which it claims increases the NEO’s stability at speed while retaining plenty of steering agility. This is something that Cannondale sees as important to counter the increased weight (and speed) of an e-road bike.

The top-end build features carbon wheels from Vision
The top-end build features carbon wheels from Vision
Cannondale

There are some neat details too; the custom colour matched motor cover is a nice touch and makes the integration much cleaner.

Cannondale has also included a removable rear bridge so that standard mudguards can be fitted easily. The e-system is also pre-wired for front and rear lights, making the Synapse NEO something that should also appeal to year-round commuters.

The range will initially consist of four models with the range-topping NEO AI 1 coming with Shimano Dura-Ace (50/34, 11-34), Vision Trimax Carbon clinchers (40mm deep), 32c WTB Exposure tyres, a Fabric Scoop carbon saddle and a carbon post with C3 alloy bar and stem for £4,999.99.

The NEO AI2 has a 105/Ultegra mix drivetrain with WTB wheels and tyres for £3,499.99. Entry into the NEO range comes with the AI 3 at £2,999.99 for a Tiagra equipped bike with Cannondale RD2.0 wheels.

Gravel-specific Synapse NEO

The tan wall tyres and grey paint make the bike look good
The tan wall tyres and grey paint make the bike look good
Alex Evans / Immediate Media

Yes, that’s right — the Synapse NEO is also available in a gravel-specific model, dubbed the SE. The main difference over the road models are the 650b diameter wheels that are paired with WTB Byway 47mm wide tyres.

Internal cable routing is a nice touch
Internal cable routing is a nice touch
Alex Evans / Immediate Media

The SE is also specced with SRAM’s 11-speed APEX drivetrain, which features an11-42 tooth cassette mated to a 44 tooth chainring, so you’ll struggle to run out of gears.

Sitting in the middle of the NEO range is the SE, priced at £3,299.99. We’ve managed to weigh a Neo SE and it tipped the scales at 18.52kg without pedals.

Cannondale Synapse NEO Al 1

The range-topping Synapse NEO AI 1
The range-topping Synapse NEO AI 1
Cannondale
  • Frame: Synapse NEO, SmartForm C1 Alloy, SAVE, Ai, flat mount brake, 142×12 thru-axle
  • Fork: Synapse NEO Disc, BallisTec Carbon, 1-1/8in to 1.5in tapered steerer, 55mm offset, flat mount, 12×100 thru-axle
  • Wheels: Vision TriMax Carbon CSI Clincher TL, 40mm depth, 28h
  • Tyres: WTB Exposure TCS, 700 x 32c, Distance + compound, tubeless ready
  • Crankset: Bosch Gen3 Carbon w/ custom Ai offset spider and FSA rings, 50/34
  • Chain: Shimano E8000, 11-speed
  • Cassette: Shimano Ultegra, 11-34, 11-speed
  • Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace, braze-on
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Shifters: Shimano Dura-Ace hydro disc, 2×11
  • Handlebar: Cannondale C3, 6061 Alloy Compact
  • Tape: Cannondale Grip Bar Tape w/Gel, 3.5mm
  • Stem: Cannondale, 3D Forged 6061 Alloy, 1-1/8in, 31.8, 6 degrees
  • Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace hydro disc, 160/160mm RT800 rotors
  • Saddle: Fabric Scoop Shallow Pro, carbon rails
  • Seatpost: Cannondale SAVE Carbon, 25.4 x 350mm
  • £4,999.99, international pricing TBC

Cannondale Synapse NEO Al 2

The Cannondale Synapse NEO Al 2 is available in red...
The Cannondale Synapse NEO Al 2 is available in red…
Cannondale
...or yellow!
…or yellow!
Cannondale
  • Frame: Synapse NEO, SmartForm C1 Alloy, SAVE, Ai, flat mount brake, 142×12 thru-axle
  • Fork: Synapse NEO Disc, BallisTec Carbon, 1-1/8in to 1.5in tapered steerer, 55mm offset, flat mount, 12×100 thru-axle
  • Wheels: WTB ST i23 TCS 2.0, 28h front, 28h rear
  • Tyres: WTB Exposure TCS, 700 x 32c, Distance + compound, tubeless ready
  • Crankset: Bosch Gen3 w/ custom Ai offset spider and FSA rings, 50/34
  • Chain: Shimano CNE8000, 11-speed
  • Cassette: Shimano HG700, 11-34, 11-speed
  • Front derailleur: Shimano 105, braze-on
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Ultegra
  • Shifters: Shimano 105 7020 hydro disc, 2×11
  • Handlebar: Cannondale C3, 6061 Alloy, Compact
  • Tape: Cannondale Grip Bar Tape w/Gel, 3.5mm
  • Stem: Cannondale C3, 3D Forged 6061 Alloy, 1-1/8in, 31.8, 7 degrees
  • Brakes: Shimano 105 R7070 hydro disc, 160/160mm RT70 rotors
  • Saddle: Fabric Scoop Shallow Race, ti rails
  • Seatpost: Cannondale SAVE Carbon, 25.4x350mm
  • £3,499.99, international pricing TBC

Cannondale Synapse NEO Al SE

The Synapse NEO AI SE is a gravel-focussed build
The Synapse NEO AI SE is a gravel-focussed build
Cannondale
  • Frame: Synapse NEO, SmartForm C1 Alloy, SAVE, Ai, flat mount brake, 142×12 thru-axle
  • Fork: Synapse NEO Disc, BallisTec Carbon, 1-1/8in to 1.5in tapered steerer, 55mm offset, flat mount, 12×100 thru-axle
  • Wheels: WTB ST i29 TCS 2.0, 28h front, 28h rear
  • Tyres: WTB Byway TCS, 650b x 47c, tubeless ready
  • Crankset: Bosch Gen3 w/ custom Ai offset spider 44 tooth
  • Chain: SRAM PC-1110, 11-speed
  • Cassette: SRAM PG-1130, 11-42 tooth, 11-speed
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM Apex 1
  • Shifters: SRAM Apex 1 HRD, 11-speed
  • Handlebar: Cannondale C3, 6061 Alloy, Compact
  • Tape: Cannondale Grip Bar Tape w/Gel, 3.5mm
  • Stem: Cannondale C3, 3D Forged 6061 Alloy, 1-1/8in, 31.8, 7 degrees
  • Brakes: SRAM Apex 1 HRD, 160/160mm centerline rotors
  • Saddle: Fabric Scoop Radius Elite, cro-mo rails
  • Seatpost: Cannondale C3, 6061 Alloy, 25.4x350mm
  • £3,299.99, international pricing TBC

Cannondale Synapse NEO Al 3

The Synapse NEO AI 3
The Synapse NEO AI 3
Cannondale
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  • Frame: Synapse NEO, SmartForm C1 Alloy, SAVE, Ai, flat mount brake, 142×12 thru-axle
  • Fork: Synapse NEO Disc, BallisTec Carbon, 1-1/8in to 1.5in tapered steerer, 55mm offset, flat mount, 12×100 thru-axle
  • Wheels: RD 2.0, 28h
  • Tyres: WTB Exposure TCS, 700 x 32c, Distance + compound, tubeless ready
  • Crankset: Bosch Gen3 w/ custom Ai offset spider and FSA rings, 50/34
  • Chain: Shimano HG54, 10-speed
  • Cassette: Shimano HG500, 11-34, 10-speed
  • Front derailleur: Shimano 105, braze-on
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Tiagra
  • Shifters: Shimano Tiagra, 2×10
  • Handlebar: Cannondale C3, 6061 Alloy, Compact
  • Tape: Cannondale Grip Bar Tape w/Gel, 3.5mm
  • Stem: Cannondale C3, 3D Forged 6061 Alloy, 1-1/8in, 31.8, 7 degrees
  • Brakes: Tektro cable actuated disc, 160/160mm
  • Saddle: Fabric Scoop Radius Sport, steel rails
  • Seatpost: Cannondale C3, 6061 Alloy, 25.4X350mm
  • £2,999.99, international pricing TBC