Most affordable Synapse now comes with hydraulic disc brakes on top two builds
This competition is now closed Flanges
Cannondale has upgraded the entry-level alloy Synapse AL to include SmartSense technology, an integrated light and a rear sensor system.
The brand has further optimised its cheapest endurance road bike for long-distance, multi-terrain riding with top tube mounts and an increase in stock tyre size from 28mm to 30mm.
Cannondale says the new Synapse AL has a maximum tyre clearance of 32mm, which is 3mm less than the 2022 carbon fibre Synapse.
In addition, Cannondale has upgraded the mid-range Shimano Tiagra and range-topping Shimano 105-equipped models from mechanical to hydraulic disc brakes.
Both bikes now have a Fizik Aliante Delta road bike saddle instead of Cannondale’s own model.
Mechanical disc brakes and Cannondale finishing kit remain on the cheapest Synapse AL 3.
The 2023 Synapse AL retains its fittings for a rear rack and mudguards. You can now screw in a top tube bag for bikepacking trips.
A trainer axle is available to purchase separately, enabling you to ride the Synapse AL on a turbo trainer for the first time.
Cannondale has not changed the SmartForm C2 Alloy Frame material and carbon fork combination. Therefore, we expect little weight difference from the Cannondale Synapse AL Disc Tiagra we tested in 2020.
Cannondale’s SmartSense technology has trickled down from the carbon Synapse range. This includes our Bike of The Year 2022, the Cannondale Synapse Carbon LTD RLE.
A battery pack stored on the down tube powers the integrated front and rear lights. It also runs a version of the Garmin Varia radar, which alerts you to cars approaching from behind.
The battery can be removed from the bike and recharged via USB-C. Judging from Cannondale’s images, you can install a bottle cage on the down tube in place of its mount.
The 2023 Cannondale Synapse AL sees subtle adjustments to the geometry.
The head tube angle is slightly steeper than the previous model and the seat tube angle is slightly slacker. The chainstay length has increased slightly, too.
The range includes three bikes available in seven sizes from 44 to 61cm – one fewer than the previous model.
The highest-end Cannondale Synapse AL 1 is specced with an 11-speed Shimano 105 drivetrain and costs £1,900. This model is only available in the UK.
The Synapse AL 2 is equipped with 10-speed Tiagra and will set you back £1,650 / $1,800 / AU$3,199.
These top two models have hydraulic disc brakes, DT Swiss R470 wheels, Vittoria Zaffiro Pro 700 x 30c tyres and Fizik Aliante Delta saddles.
Priced at £1,100 / $1,300 / AU$2,199, the Cannondale Synapse AL 3 drops down to a nine-speed Shimano Sora drivetrain and mechanical disc brakes.
Cannondale is not selling the Synapse AL in Europe.
Jack Evans is a digital writer for BikeRadar.com Jack learnt to ride on rough Cotswold trails before switching to tarmac in his teens. Gravel riding and cyclocross racing (badly) has since taken him back to his roots. Most at home scaling south Wales climbs, Jack more commonly escapes his home in Birmingham via the lanes and bridleways of Worcestershire, riding either his Canyon Ultimate road bike or Canyon Grail gravel bike. He wishes he was as good at riding as he is drinking espresso. But he has completed the 296km Dragon Devil sportive in under 10 hours and finished in the top 100 at the 2022 UK National Hill Climb Championships. Jack is an NCTJ-trained journalist and a former press agency hack with bylines in The Times, Daily Telegraph and Daily Mirror. He was once electrocuted for a Sun frontpage exclusive and taste-tested camel milk for The Times.
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