Pro bike: Peter Sagan's Cannondale Synapse Evo Hi-Mod

Second place for Cannondale Pro Cycling at Tour of Flanders 2013

Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling) didn’t win the 2013 Tour of Flanders but he was awfully close, finishing 1:26 down from winner Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack Leopard). It was arguably still a victory for team sponsor Cannondale, though, as Sagan gave the company's new model its best result to date. Cannondale isn't revealing any details yet but given the company's naming conventions, we're going to go ahead and christen it the Synapse Evo Hi-Mod.

Visually, Sagan's new Synapse is a complete departure from the current version, though it's clearly still designed for comfort on rough surfaces. The stays are even flatter than before, while the seat tube has shed its pseudo-aero profile for a round-to-flat shape that radically splits in two down by the bottom bracket.

The fork blades are more aggressively scalloped than before, too, although they're still built with unusually forward-swept legs with dropouts that reach back to the hub to retain a normal rake.

Cannondale also appears to have made the new Synapse an even higher-performance model with a newly tapered front end (we're guessing 1 1/8in to 1 1/4in), fully split seat stays that are spaced further apart at the seat cluster, and chain stays that are even broader than before. Cable routing is now internal, too, and suffice to say that we expect the new bike to shed a fair bit of weight.

The radically split seat tube base

As with Sagan's SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod, Cannondale has supplied the Slovakian cycling superstar with a custom geometry to better suit his aggressively long and low position.

While teammate Maciej Bodnar's standard 58cm Synapse Evo Hi-Mod comes with a 207mm-long head tube, Sagan's bike is built with a similar reach but the stack of a 54cm size, complete with a head tube that's more than 60mm shorter.

Somewhat amazingly considering how different the production SuperSix and Synapse families are in terms of positioning, Sagan's custom fit is virtually identical between his two machines. The one exception is a 15mm lower saddle height on his Synapse Evo Hi-Mod, which was likely done to help maintain proper pedaling performance while he bounces across the cobbles.

The build kits are similar, too, including a SRAM Red 2012 transmission and brakes with a PC-1070 cassette, Vision Metron carbon tubular wheels wrapped with Kenda-badged tires, 175mm-long Cannondale SiSL2 crank arms with an SRM power meter and SRAM Red 2012 53/39T chainrings, a Fizik Aliante saddle, and a 120mm-long, OS-99 carbon-wrapped aluminum stem and 42cm-wide, traditional-bend Energy T aluminum handlebars from FSA.

Peter sagan (cannondale pro cycling) prefers the traditional bend of fsa's energy t aluminum handlebar:
Peter sagan (cannondale pro cycling) prefers the traditional bend of fsa's energy t aluminum handlebar:

FSA's Energy T aluminum handlebar has a traditional bend

Sagan has switched things, however, by subbing in Fizik K:ium tubular metallic saddle rails and slightly shallower, 40mm-deep wheels in place of his usual carbon rails and 50mm-deep hoops. Plus, there's the sturdier FSA SL-K seatpost instead of the K-Force, to handle the greater extension.

We weren't able to get an actual weight but the similarly equipped SuperSix Evo comes in at 7.29kg (16.07lb) so we'd expect this Synapse Evo Hi-Mod to be a bit heavier.

We hope you enjoy this in-depth look at Sagan's new machine – as a bonus, we've included detailed shots of his SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod, too.

Complete bike specification

  • Frame: Cannondale Synapse Evo Hi-Mod, custom 58x54cm geometry
  • Fork: Cannondale Synapse Evo Hi-Mod
  • Headset: Cannondale Synapse Evo SL, 1 1/8in to 1 1/4in tapered
  • Stem: FSA OS-99, 120mm x -6 degrees
  • Handlebar: FSA Energy T, 42cm (c-c)
  • Tape/grips: Fizik
  • Brakes: SRAM Red 2012 w/ carbon-specific pads
  • Brake levers: SRAM Red 2012 DoubleTap
  • Derailleurs: SRAM Red 2012
  • Shift levers: SRAM Red 2012 DoubleTap
  • Cassette: SRAM PG-1070, 11-26T
  • Chain: SRAM PG-1070, 11-26T
  • Crankset: Cannondale Hollowgram SiSL2, 175mm, w/ SRAM Red 2012 53/39T chainrings
  • Bottom bracket: Cannondale BB30
  • Wheels: Vision Metron 40 tubular
  • Pedals: Speedplay Zero Stainless
  • Saddle: Fizik Aliante K:ium
  • Seatpost: FSA SL-K SB20
  • Bottle cages: Elite Ciussi (2)

Critical measurements

  • Rider's height: 1.84m (6ft)
  • Rider's weight: 75kg (165lb)
  • Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 755mm
  • Saddle setback: 80mm
  • Seat tube length, c-c: 455mm
  • Tip of saddle nose to c of bars: 620mm
  • Saddle to bar drop: 105mm
  • Head tube length: 144mm
  • Top tube length: 580mm
James Huang

Former Technical Editor, US
James was BikeRadar's US tech editor from 2007-2015.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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