We put the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5 through its paces in our Four Ride bike review

Cannondale Synapse 5 Review

Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5



The Cannondale Synapse 5’s spec is what we’d expect for £150 below the £2k ceiling, comprising a full 105 groupset barring the BB30 FSA Gossamer chainset. From the first ride, the Synapse’s all-round capability is immediately obvious. Shifting is smooth and punchy with the Gossamer’s 50/34 rings matching Shimano’s for accuracy. Out back, a wide 12-30 cassette offers a decent range for hilly triathlon competitions.


The Synapse’s cloud-like comfort makes fast progress easy to achieve on long rides. The Shimano RS11 wheels are matched to comfort-friendly 25c Schwalbe Lugano S tyres. The Synapse’s ability to combine pulsating pace and fantastic handling with standout smoothness is astounding. Rarely have we seen a bike that blends such rapid performance with class-leading comfort over any ride distance.


The way in which the Cannondale goes about its business of being flat-out-fast sets it apart from the highly competitive crowd. The bike’s shape is far more aggressive than the old Synapse, but not as low and flat as their similarly impressive Evo racer. It occupies a middle ground and it’s all the better for it. The Synapse is a joy to ride but you’ll want to start upgrading to make an already great bike into a dream machine.


On climbs, the Synapse’s perfectly balanced ride makes for swift progress. It may not be the lightest bike in the world, but it climbs incredibly with a light feeling on every ascent. It’s when you hit the descents that you realise just how good this bike is, though. The smooth yet stiff back end feels absolutely planted and the bike tracks with resolute unwillingness to drift even a fraction off the fastest line.

Weight 8.52kg
Size 58cm
Sizes available 48cm, 51cm, 54cm, 56cm, 58cm, 61cm
Frame Ballistec Carbon
Fork Ballistec Carbon
Seating Prologo Kappa Evo Saddle, Cannondale C3 Alloy 25.4X300mm
Handlebars/stem Cannondale C3 Compact 6061 Alloy, Cannondale C3 31.8mm
Gears Shimano 105
Brakes Shimano 105
Wheels Shimano RS11
Tyres Schwalbe Lugano 700X25c