2022 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 Review
- Price: $3025
- Frame: BallisTec carbon fiber
- Tires: 700×30c”
- Gear: 2×11
What we like about it: A comfortable endurance frame and some pursuit of speed.
What we don’t like about it: The possibly relatively outdated aluminum wheelset.
The Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 is an endurance bike with a more upright position to ensure you can ride farther and enjoy the scenery around you. This allows it to face more towards the mass of riders, and the wider tire clearance allows it to accommodate wider tires, enough to handle bumpier roads.
Incredibly, the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 also has great acceleration as well as some climbing ability that is rarely seen on unusual enduro road bikes. While it may not have some amazing elements compared to the competition, its understatement of refinement and the ride it gives shows that it is still telling that this is one of the best enduro road bikes out there.
Below we break down the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 regarding road riding, long-distance riding, key features, components and specifications, and other versions.
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Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 Road Riding Review
For a long-distance endurance bike, speed must not be its strength. In general, it has the exact opposite geometry of an aero bike. This design is also reflected in the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105.
But on the frame, I saw some surprising designs. The bike is designed with flat and truncated tubes, which are mostly found on the aerodynamic frame, which means it is an “aerodynamic endurance bike”.
I chose to test the bike on the coastal road around the city, which extends towards the coastline with very strong winds. I had a feeling that I would be blown over on this road, but that didn’t happen. The pneumatic frame and thin tubing made me feel like the wind was only blowing on my body and had no effect on the frame, and even the wind coming from the rear side had some pushing effect on my ride.
The first thing I noticed the moment I got on the bike was the very high amount of stacking, and it was easy to see the nature of the bike as an endurance bike. I mounted the handlebars directly onto the tapered headset cover to keep it low enough, and even then it still had a nice vertical seating position, which was pleasing.
Moreover, the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 does not use a compression disc, but a traditional road-used (52/36) disc. This also gives it a greater quest for speed.
When riding on flat and straight roads, my partner and I used to have speed races to battle it out. It has the same gear ratio as a regular bike, giving it the same great speed. Under my hard pedaling, it can quickly glide through a corner and then go all out for the finish. I’d like to reiterate that it’s also a good competitor in fast travel.
Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 Long-Distance Riding Review
For this test, I chose the Allegheny Mountains Loop for this bike. It had a variety of terrain, from sidewalk to gravel, and it was time to put my wide tires to the test. It was on this longer course that I could feel the distinct advantage that an enduro bike gives me.
At the beginning of the ride, I didn’t feel so comfortable in this riding position, I was just sitting straighter than the people around me.
When we arrived at Green Bank Observatory and my yardstick mileage showed that I had reached 100 miles, I felt that it was very comfortable. Because people around me were trying to get their hands off the handlebars and just ride in the saddle – their backs were very sore. I was able to get a comfortable upright riding position by just holding onto the handlebars.
That’s when I realized how important a comfortable upright riding position is for long distances. This should be attributed to the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105’s elevated head tube height (173mm length) and shorter Reach (386mm).
The Vittoria Zaffiro Pro tires have a full vacuum design, which gives me more peace of mind on long rides. Even if a bump causes the tire to break, the self-replacing fluid inside the vacuum tire will quickly repair it, and all I have to do is to refill it with air. This is much more convenient than open tires.
First of all, the frame is made of BallisTec full carbon fiber, allowing it to be light enough while remaining rigid. And the tubing of the frame is flat with some truncation, which makes it look more aerodynamic. Likewise, the cables are all arranged inside the frame, making it easier to clean while reducing wind resistance.
In addition, the bottom bracket height skeletonized shock absorbing design is very impressive, while it also seems to have aerodynamics, as well as lowering some frame weight. What’s more unexpected is that Cannondale also utilizes its micro-suspension technology and advanced coilover pattern to add some comfort on bumpy roads.
Not easily noticed, this Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 also comes with a hidden fender bracket to mount fenders when riding in wet or muddy conditions. This is a great idea for keeping your body dry while training or even for the morning commute.
On my 54-yard Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105, it has a very high stack (590mm), which is 16mm higher than its sister bike, the Supersix Evo. I didn’t find the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 to be a very sluggish enduro bike while riding, as both I didn’t find the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 to be a very sluggish enduro bike when riding it, as both have the same wheelbase (1008mm). So the fork, which is only 2mm shorter, is an indication of the bike’s high-speed enduro status.
It’s not too upright like the pure enduro road bike Trek Domane and the Specialized Roubaix, with a taller Stack (611mm) and a shorter Reach (380mm). It looks more like an all-around capable enduro bike, with similar geometry to the smaller Giant Defy.
Components and Specifications
Shimano 105 2×11 Drivetrain
As we can see, this Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 comes with a full 105 kit, as well as an uncompressed 11-34t cassette and 50/34t discs. This makes it an endurance road bike that doesn’t compromise on speed.
I’ve always been a big fan of the 105 kits. When buying a road bike, the 105 kit adds to my desire to buy it because the relatively low price is comparable to the experience of the premium Ultegea kit. And, Cannondale is very smart about it. It keeps the cost reasonable while still meeting the high expectations of endurance riders and most commuters. And this model also offers a great selection of other kit versions.
Shimano 105 Hydraulic Disc Brake
Hydraulic disc brakes are now the traditional mainstream road bike configuration, and with up to 32mm of tire clearance, you can transform it into even a gravel road bike. The benefits of this design came through nicely when I was on a long ride on a road that wasn’t in great condition.
I used to have rim brakes on my road bike, and I had to ride very slowly on muddy roads when it was raining. Because the brakes lost all their braking effect at that time, the hydraulic discs completely avoided that. It gave me excellent braking performance whenever it was raining, even when it was wet.
Vittoria Zaffiro Pro 700×30 Tires
One might think that aluminum tires don’t shine on this bike, but the Vittoria Zaffiro Pro’s tires are a nice touch.
On long road rides, I often struggle with flat tires, so I have to bring the whole group to a halt. What awaits me is a ten-minute-long tire repair and then a restart. But vacuum tires avoid this very well. The tires are filled with self-replenishing fluid, and even if the bike has a flat, the self-replenishing fluid will be quickly pushed by air pressure to the crack, thus repairing my breakage. And all I have to do is to replenish the bike with air, and I don’t even have to do anything.
This is very important for a long endurance ride because no one wants to keep stopping to fix its tires on a long ride and affect the progress of the whole group.
Other versions of Cannondale Synapse Carbon
In this review, we have reviewed the 2022 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105, which has a comfortable enduro frame, surpasses its price point in the pursuit of speed, and is even designed with some aerodynamics and superb value for money. As you can see, this is a great endurance road bike.
At the same time, along with him were launched other kit versions of the 2022 Cannondale Synapse Carbon. As shown by the data, they simply differ in the use of kits, including this 105 kit in addition to the Tiagra version, which uses a lower configuration to offer a cheaper price. So the price point is different, giving us different component options, and it’s all about personal preference.
We have reviewed other versions of the 2022 Cannondale Synapse Carbon. If you want to learn more, stay tuned with us.
What we like about it
- Special tube type full carbon fiber frame
- Complete Shimano 105 kit
- Endurance bikes for speed
- Excellent hydraulic brake
- Vittoria Zaffiro Pro 700*30 tires for vacuum
What we don’t like about it
- Relatively heavy aluminum frame wheelset
1. What kind of wheelset does the 2022 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 use?
The front tire is a Cannondale RD 2.0 Disc with Formula CL-712 hubs, and the rear tire is a Cannondale RD 2.0 Disc with Formula RXC-400 hubs. Both tires use Vittoria Zaffiro Pro, 700 x 30c size outside tires.
2. What kind of people does the 2022 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 cater to?
The 2022 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 is suitable for a universal crowd, if you are looking for comfort, then it is really good, if your goal is also for the speed aspect, its aerodynamic shape can also meet you well.
3. 2022 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 is suitable for which height people?
The sizing chart for the 2022 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 is as follows.
(These sizes are only a general guide, the true fit may vary from person to person and the easiest way to find your size is best to go for a test ride.)
|5’2″ – 5’6″||48|
|5’5″ – 5’10”||51|
|5’7″ – 5’11”||54|
|5’9″ – 6’1″||56|
|6’0″ – 6’4″||58|
|6’3″ – 6’8″||61|
2022 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 Specs
|Frame||BallisTec Carbon, Di2 ready, SAVE, BB30a, flat mount, 12x142mm thru-axle, internal cable routing, removable fender bridge BB Standard: BB30, Press Fit Colors: Mantis; Stealth Grey|
|Fork||BallisTec Full Carbon, integrated crown race, SAVE, size-specific design, 12x100mm thru-axle, internal routing|
|Bottom Bracket||Cannondale BB30|
|Headset||Synapse Carbon, integrated, 1-1/8″ – 1-1/8″ (48cm), 1-1/8″ – 1-1/4″ (51-54cm), 1-1/8″ – 1-3/8″ (56-61cm)|
|Stem||Cannondale 3, 6061 Alloy, 31.8, 7°|
|Handlebar||Cannondale 3, 6061 alloy, Compact|
|Saddle||Fizik Aliante Delta, S-alloy rails|
|Seatpost||Cannondale 3, 6061 Alloy, 25.4 x 300mm (48-51), 350mm (54-56), 400mm (58-61)|
|Grips||Cannondale Bar Tape, 3.5mm|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano 105 GS|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano 105, braze-on|
|Crank||Cannondale 1, BB30a, 50/34|
|Shifters||Shimano 105, 11-speed|
|Cassette||Shimano 105, 11-34, 11-speed|
|Chain||Shimano HG601, 11-speed|
|Brakes||Shimano 105 hydraulic disc, 160/160mm RT64 rotors|
|Brake Levers||Shimano 105 hydraulic disc|
|Rims||Cannondale RD 2.0 Disc, double wall w/ eyelet, 28h|
|Spokes||Stainless Steel, 14g|
|Front Hub||Formula CL-712, 12x100mm centerlock|
|Rear Hub||Formula RXC-400, 12×142 centerlock|
|Tires||Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Bright Black, 700 x 30c, reflective|
|2023 Giant Defy Advanced Pro 2 Di2||$4800||2×12||Shimano 105 Di2 Hydro Disc||Giant Gavia Fondo 1 700x32C||Click View|
|Specialized Roubaix Sport||$3500||2×11||Shimano 105 Hydro Disc||Specialized Turbo Pro, 700x30C||Click View|
|Scott Addict 30||$3299||2×11||Shimano BR-R7070 Hydro Disc||Schwalbe ONE 700x32C||Click View|
|Fuji Gran Fondo 1.1||$3799||2×11||Shimano Ultegra Hydro Disc||Vittoria Zaffiro Pro V 700x30C||Click View|
2022 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 vs 2023 Giant Defy Advanced, Pro 2 Di2
I’ve ridden both of these bikes for a short time and I have to say that there is almost no difference in geometry between them. However, the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 is one size smaller than the Giant Defy Advanced, Pro 2 Di2 overall. That means if you need to ride a Giant Defy Advanced, Pro 2 Di2 in size S, then the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 is a good purchase in M to get the same experience.
Other than that, the Giant Defy Advanced, Pro 2 Di2 uses a carbon fiber wheelset, and the overall weight as well as the higher frame height gives it a higher advantage for longer rides. And with the more advanced 105 electronic shiftings, it’s all going to be a good experience overall, but there’s a whopping $1800 price difference to pay for it. In my opinion, these upgrades aren’t enough to raise the price that much, probably as a result of Giant’s brand benefits. My recommendation would be to buy the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105, as the ride is more about performance than a big logo on the frame of the bike.
learn more:Giant Defy Advanced 2 Review - Fast Enduro Star
2022 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 vs 2022 Specialized Roubaix Sport
The name Roubaix speaks directly to the kind of terrain it can handle – long distances and unforgiving road conditions. In comparison, there is little difference between the two bikes in terms of configuration, but the Specialized Roubaix Sport has a shorter seat tube height and a more compressed frame, and I decided to do some riding to get a feel for the difference.
After I rode the bike for a while I noticed that the Specialized Roubaix Sport has a very short seat tube height (465mm). This is a staggering 55mm difference compared to the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 (520mm). But the rest of the data is almost indistinguishable, which is very friendly to riders who are not very tall, with a very low stand-up height (762mm). And the compact frame also makes the whole bike more direct and easy to control.
But it has to be said that the wider frame of the 2022 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 will make the rider more comfortable on the bike. It is also more effective in maintaining speed over long distances.
The Specialized Roubaix Sport is a good choice if you need more of a sprint and a stiff power feel. But an enduro bike requires more of a comfortable riding position, so the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 is the model I would recommend.
2022 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 vs 2022 Scott Addict 30
The Scott Addict 30 is also similar in terms of accessories. Notable is the use of a full internal cable routing design (including handlebars and grips), which makes it hard to spot the cables on the bike. This may make it less prone to errors, but it can be a hassle for the repairman old.
Of the five endurance road bikes in this comparison, this is the only one that is a bit more aggressive than the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105. It benefits from a high BB drop (275.3) and an in-line front end that emphasizes its aerodynamic attributes. I have to say it looks very sprint-like, but the main body is an endurance bike, which is a similar audience to the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105. If you need to add some speed to a long ride, both bikes are good choices.
2022 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 VS 2022 Fuji Gran Fondo 1.1
The Fuji Gran Fondo 1.1 is the only one of the five bikes compared that takes the kit up a notch, with the Shimano Ultegea kit going a step further than the Shimano 105. There is no doubt that it has a smoother shifting feel as well as responsiveness.
But when I was riding it, it felt like an endurance road bike didn’t seem to need much quick and precise shifting on long rides. So the Shimano 105 is perfectly adequate for me. Of course, it would be better if it was electronically shifted. However, the Shimano Ultegea kit is not a good choice for me, and I’m not willing to spend more money on it.
In terms of frame geometry, I don’t think the Fuji Gran Fondo 1.1 is quite right for me. It doesn’t have a very high stack height (582mm) and seems a bit small in every figure, but that’s already its LG size. It doesn’t seem to fit the taller crowd very well, at least not for me to ride it. But if you’re the right height, this is a good choice. If you don’t have access to a test ride of the actual bike, the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 is pretty accurate. I suggest you go with it and eliminate the hassle of returning it.
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