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We’ve had the Cannondale Synapse NEO SE in for testing. This is a true E-Gravel bike and something we’ve been wanting for a while now. Cannondale has listened and added the Synapse NEO to its lineup. The lightweight E-Bike, perfect for road and gravel is fitted with a lively Bosch Active+ motor, fully integrated battery and is a neatly put together package. We’ve had the exclusive test of the new E-Bike and have to admit that E-Gravelling is a lot of fun!

On Test: Cannondale Synapse NEO SE

A shapely frame and fully-integrated battery — it’s easy to mistake the Synapse NEO for a normal bike

Gravel bikes are very on-trend at the moment and it seems that’s influencing E-Bikes as well. Whilst many other brands are using smaller motors, Cannondale is using the stalwart Bosch unit along with a fully-integrated battery. The lighter Bosch Active+ motor doesn’t deliver the torque we’re used to from other models, but has many other benefits instead. The Cannondale Synapse NEO components are standard fare for a gravel bike: SRAM Apex 1×11 gears, matching SRAM hydraulic brakes and high volume WTB Byway tyres on 650b wheels. The build is complemented by own-brand parts for the bars, stem and seat post. The Bosch Purion display is prominent in its central position on the bars.

It’s worth mentioning that as this was an exclusive test, that some of the components we had fitted won’t feature on the production bike.

This E-Bike costs € 3.699 (UVP) | Bikemarkt: Cannondale Synapse NEO SE kaufen

Cannondale Synapse NEO SE
# Cannondale Synapse NEO SE - Motor: Bosch Active Plus | Weight: 17,9 kg | Price: € 3.699

Geometry

Available Sizes: S, M, L, XL

Measured Standorver: 810 mm (Size L)

Weight: 17,9 kg (Size L)

You can find the geometry here

 SMLXL
Sitzrohr445 mm490 mm535 mm580 mm
Oberrohr (horizontal)535 mm552 mm576 mm597 mm
Steuerrohrwinkel71°71°71°71°
Sitzrohrwinkel74°74° 73.5° 73°
Überstand730 mm770 mm810 mm850 mm
Steuerrohrlänge126 mm157 mm191 mm222 mm
Radstand1034 mm1053 mm1073 mm1034 mm
Kettenstrebenlänge438 mm438 mm438 mm438 mm
Stack547 mm577 mm609 mm638 mm
Reach378 mm387 mm396 mm408 mm

🔽 Inhalte ausklappen 🔽🔼 Inhalte einklappen 🔼

Components

Brakes and shifting in one unit
# Brakes and shifting in one unit - SRAM Apex with DoubleTap technology
Shifting is taken care of by the crisp SRAM Apex groupset
# Shifting is taken care of by the crisp SRAM Apex groupset
It's possible to fit a front deraileur too
# It's possible to fit a front deraileur too - the stays have been designed to allow clearance for a double chainset
The WTB tyres roll quickly and provide a decent amount of cushioning
# The WTB tyres roll quickly and provide a decent amount of cushioning - on loose gravel and sand they quickly reach their limits though
Cannondale Synapse NEO SE – Please expand for components

FrameRahmenALL-NEW Synapse NEO , SmartForm C1 Alloy, SAVE,
Ai, flat mount brake, 142x12 thru-axle
ForkGabelALL-NEW Synapse NEO Disc, BallisTec Carbon, 1-1/8” to 1.5”
tapered steerer, 55mm offset, flat mount, 12x100 thru axle
ShifterSchalthebelSRAM Apex 1 HRD, 11-speed
DerailleurSchaltwerkSRAM Apex 1, Long cage
CassetteKassetteSRAM PG-1130, 11-42, 11-speed
CranksKurbelBosch Gen3 w/ custom Ai offset spider, 44t
BrakesBremseSRAM Apex 1 HRD, 160/160mm Centerline rotors
TiresReifenWTB Byway TCS, 650b x 47mm, tubeless ready
RimsFelgenWTB ST i23 TCS 2.0, 28h front, 28h rear1
HubsNabenFormula RX-512 12x100 front, DC-142 rear
SeatSattelFabric Scoop Radius Elite, cro-mo rails
SeatpostSattelstützeCannondale C3, 6061 Alloy, 25,4 x 350 mm
BarLenkerCannondale C3, 6061 Alloy, Compact
StemVorbauCannondale C3, 3D Forged 6061 Alloy, 1-1/8”, 31.8, 7°
MotorMotorBosch Active Line Plus 250W
DisplayDisplayBosch Purion
BatteryAkkuBosch PowerTube 500
PowerLeistungmax. 250 W
WeightGewicht17,9 kg (L)
Price (RRP)Preis (UVP)3.699 € (UVP)

Motor & Battery

The Bosch Active+ fitted was a revelation
# The Bosch Active+ fitted was a revelation - quiet, composed and reliable assistance is provided by this motor
The Bosch Purion display sits prominently in the middle of the bars where it's easy to read
# The Bosch Purion display sits prominently in the middle of the bars where it's easy to read
The charging port is near the headtube and very easy to access
# The charging port is near the headtube and very easy to access
The Bosch Active+ motors use a large chainring
# The Bosch Active+ motors use a large chainring - that looks a lot better in our opinion

“I love this Bosch Active+ unit!” — our tester remarked enthusiastically.

Power on the Cannondale Synapse NEO SE is provided by a Bosch Active+ motor which produces up to 50 Nm torque. Immediately noticeable (or not) is how quiet the unit is. You have to listen very closely, it has to be very quiet and you have to be pedalling very hard in order to hear the low hum it produces. In all honesty we never actually noticed it in use.

If you look at the specs you might be disappointed by the 50Nm torque produced by the Bosch Active+ motor, which is low compared to many competitors. However if you value smooth, natural and well-judged assistance, as well as pedalling above the 25 km/h assistance limit then you’ll quickly learn to value this unit. There’s zero drag to hold you back! The motor is also very efficient and we really liked its riding characteristics. It pushes you nicely through tight corners, but also throttles back smoothly as you reach the 25 km/h limit. It’s all so smooth that you hardly notice whether you have the motor helping you along or not.

The Bosch PowerTube 500 is integrated into the down tube of the E-Bike. The low consumption and the efficient power makes the Bosch Active+ the motor of choice for many riders including commuters, tourers and all those who are looking for an E-Bike that doesn’t feel like it’s relentlessly pushing you forward. This is a bike that you can ride under you own steam, but with enough assistance to get you up the hill if you don’t want to exhaust yourself.

Please expand for motor details

  • Motor: Bosch Active Line Plus
  • Battery: Bosch PowerTube / 500 Wh
  • Power: max. 250 Watt
  • Torque: max. 50 Nm
  • Display: Bosch Purion

Real-world Range

Range test with the Cannondale Synapse NEO
# Range test with the Cannondale Synapse NEO - 54,2 km | 1303 metres vertical | 2 h 09 min

54,2 km / 1303 metres vertical ascent

2 h 09 min

Quoted figures for range tend to be on the optimistic side so we like to test bikes for ourselves, draining a whole battery and seeing how far the bike will go. For this test we managed 54,2km and 1303 metres of ascending, staying in the highest power setting throughout. Please note that these values in no way represent rigorous or normalised testing, instead they should be seen as ballpark figures. Using lower assistance modes increases the range significantly too.

Here are the exact details of our test ride.

On the trail

It's a lot of fun on easy, fast, flowing trails
# It's a lot of fun on easy, fast, flowing trails

E-Gravel bikes — nothing’s quicker!

Tarmac, cobbles, fire roads and forest trails — the Cannondale Synapse NEO SE feels at home anywhere where the going doesn’t get too rough. Because the Cannondale Synapse NEO SE is an E-Gravel/-Road bike we haven’t tested it according to our usual Uphill, Downhill and Trail criteria. Instead we’ll just talk about our riding impressions of this machine.

Gravelling means...
# Gravelling means...
... travelling in comfort (and style)
# ... travelling in comfort (and style)

The drop bars with SRAM road shifters give you a lot of comfortable positions to choose from. In the drops if we want to go fast, on the tops if we’re taking it easy and want to be more comfortable. To get out to the forest trails there’s a stretch on tarmac roads that we have to ride. The fast road requires us to move quickly. The fast rolling tyres and drag free pedalling of the motor above the assistance limit makes it easy to filter though the traffic. Onto the fire roads and we continue at the same high speed, because this is where the Synapse NEO feels really at home and just keeps on happily rolling along. It’s a rally machine for the gravel!

Cannondale Synapse NEO DSC 8680
# Cannondale Synapse NEO DSC 8680
Cannondale Synapse NEO DSC 8868
# Cannondale Synapse NEO DSC 8868
Cannondale Synapse NEO DSC 8874
# Cannondale Synapse NEO DSC 8874
Cannondale Synapse NEO DSC 8912
# Cannondale Synapse NEO DSC 8912
Cannondale Synapse NEO DSC 8964
# Cannondale Synapse NEO DSC 8964
Cannondale Synapse NEO DSC 8925
# Cannondale Synapse NEO DSC 8925

On narrower trails the bike needs to be on the right terrain. Tight and windy trails that aren’t too steep or bumpy are a lot of fun but be wary of pushing it too far. It it starts to get bumpy, say over roots, then the rigid E-Bike starts to throw you around a bit making your vision a blur at high speeds. Feedback from the trail is transmitted directly to your hands which means you need a tighter grip on the bars and tire more quickly than you would with suspension. However, dial it back a bit and take things a bit more slowly and you’ll find yourself having fun carefully picking the smoothest and cleanest lines. The SRAM Apex gears are consistent and reliable, and the disc brakes provide good stopping power. The Bosch Purion display is mounted in the middle of the bars and in that position is always easy to see and read.

Cyclocross is also a lot of fun with the Synapse NEO! We’re already looking forward to winter when we can put some mud tyres on and plough through boggy fields.

We noticed

  • Slick centre tread – whilst these tyres roll very quickly, we feel that sacrifices some versatility as they are only really suited to dry conditions. We can definitely see fitting high volume rubber with a little more tread to make the E-Bike more suited to a wide range of conditions.
  • Rigid fork – obviously you don’t need suspension on an E-Road bike, but on an E-Graveller we think it might be worth considering, especially to dampen the hardest impacts. We would like to see a lightweight suspension fork fitted.

eMTB-News Summary: Cannondale Synapse NEO SE

An immediate winner
# An immediate winner - The Cannondale Synapse NEO SE wins our pick for E-Gravel bike 2018!

The Cannondale Synapse NEO SE is a pure-bred E-Gravel bike and we can immediately recommend it as the E-Gravel bike to get in 2018. If you want an E-Bike to get around quickly you’ll find the perfect partner here. Commuters and leisure riders also have a very viable option here.

The excellent Bosch Active+ Motor completely redefines riding above the 25 km/h assistance limit. There’s no drag to slow you down and no noise to disturb your meditative rides over gravel and tarmac.

We’d like to see more of these “true” E-Road/Gravel bikes because the big motor provides decent assistance rather than the middling push you get from a more lightweight system. Thumbs up for this admittedly rather unique E-Bike. We’re already fans!

Pro
  • Fast
  • Efficient
  • Great range
Contra
  • Difficult to pedal out of the saddle
  • No suspension fork
  • No sweep on the bars

What do you think of the Cannondale Synapse NEO? Are you interested in getting an E-Gravel bike?


About the test

Please expand for more details

On our test runs we usually stay in the highest assistance mode and drain the battery completely at least once. We then publish our results on our Strava account.

Our loop has everything we need to test what our E-bikes are capable of:

  • Tight uphill trails with roots, rocks and loam
  • Flat trails with small climbing sections
  • Fast and flowing downhills
  • Long gravel trails up- and downhill

E-bikes are subjected to our route multiple times to allow us to draw our conclusions.

We tested the Cannondale Synapse NEO SE here:

  • On the trails around Bamberg and Bad Kreuznach, Germany. The riding provides narrow and tight trails with technical rooty, rocky sections, steep and technical uphills as well as flowing downhills.

This post is also available in: deDeutsch

Tester-Profil: Rico Haase
62 cm90 kg86 cm61 cm183 cm
E-Enduro, E-Trailbike, Hardtail, Downhiller, Rennrad – mir macht jedes Bike Spaß. Egal ob mit oder ohne Motor, außer ich muss damit unendlich bergauf fahren – da mag ich Motorunterstützung schon sehr. Flowige Trails, gern auch gebaut, liebe ich. Ach ja, eins noch, ich hasse Spitzkehren.
I ride everything: E-Enduro, E-Trailbikes, hardtails, downhill, road – I enjoy it all, whether it’s E-assisted or not. I’ll admit that I do quite like having a motor on the uphills though. There’s lots to love about flowing trails; natural or built. The only thing I hate – switchbacks.
Fahrstil / Riding style
Verspielt und flowig / Flowing and playful
Ich fahre hauptsächlich / I mainly ride
E-Enduro, E-Trailbike, aber auch XCO, DH und Road / E-Enduro, E-Trailbike but also XCO, DH and road
Vorlieben beim Fahrwerk / Preferred suspension setup
Straff und schnell – ich möchte wissen, was unter mir passiert / Firm and reactive – I like feedback from the trail
Vorlieben bei der Geometrie / Preferred geometry
Langer Reach, kurzer Vorbau, breiter Lenker / Long reach, short stem, wide bars

This post is also available in: deDeutsch

Summary — Cannondale Synapse NEO SE

Cannondale Synapse NEO SE

range of use
XC: 8/10 – Trail: 2/10 – All-Mountain: 1/10 – Enduro: 1/10 – Downhill: 1/10
Motor + Battery
Bosch
Battery Capacity
500 Wh
Range km/mi
Distance
33.7 mi
Climbing
4,275 ft
Duration
2:09 h
Bike Weight
39.5 lb
System Weight
243 lb
Uphill
8/10
bad
excellent
Downhill
1/10
bad
excellent
Motor
5/10
weak
extreme
Value for Money
5/10
too expensive
perfect
Sitting Position
6/10
upright
stretched
character
6/10
playful
stable
Explanation of “Range of Use”
XC:
0 to 120 mm Travel (Hardtails and Full-Suspension)
Trail:
100 to 150 mm Travel (Hardtails and Full-Suspension)
All-Mountain:
120 to 150 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
Enduro:
150 to 180 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
Downhill:
more than 180 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
Erklärung zum Systemgewicht
Das hier angegebene Gewicht ist die Summe aus den Einzelgewichten (E-Bike, Fahrer, Rucksack usw.), welches bei unserem Reichweitentest zum Einsatz kam.

This post is also available in: deDeutsch

  1. benutzerbild

    riCo

    Registered since 05/2016

    We’ve had the Cannondale Synapse NEO SE in for testing. This is a true E-Gravel bike and something we’ve been wanting for a while now. Cannondale has listened and has added the Synapse NEO to its lineup. The lightweight E-Bike, perfect for road and gravel is fitted with a lively Bosch Active+ motor, fully integrated battery and is a neat package. We've had the exclusive test of the new E-Bike exclusively and have to admit that E-Gravelling is a lot of fun!


    → Read the full article “[url=https://www.emtb-news.de/news/en/cannondale-synapse-neo-test/]Cannondale Synapse NEO SE review: A rally racer for the gravel?[/url]”


    [url=https://www.emtb-news.de/news/en/cannondale-synapse-neo-test/][img]https://fthumb0.mtb-news.de/cache/750_auto_1_1_0/4b/aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZW10Yi1uZXdzLmRlL25ld3Mvd3AtY29udGVudC91cGxvYWRzLzIwMTgvMDcvU3luYXBzZS1ORU8tSGVhZGVyLTEuanBn.jpg[/img][/url]
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