Cannondale Synapse Neo

Nev

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 1, 2018
374
167
59
North Wales
#21
I will feed back my thoughts when I have got a few miles under my belt on it. The bike is heavier than what I would have ideally liked, but it's probably about 7 or 8 kg lighter than my e-mtb. I do like the active line motor, although the CX motor in the mtb is not exactly loud I can still hear it at times. I couldn't hear the active line at all (it was windy today though) so it will be interesting to see how quiet it is in still conditions.

The bike has 22 gears, and I got up all the hills I tried today in either tour or sport mode, and the lowest gear I went down to was about 3rd or 4th. So I think in first gear and turbo mode I will be able to get up any hill I come across on my usual routes.

I live in a very hilly area, and the thing that had been stopping me getting a pedelec type racing bike was that I would not be able to ride some of the very hilly runs that I often do on my CX equipped mtb.
 

Nev

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 1, 2018
374
167
59
North Wales
#22
Nice work, congratulations. I feel a little bit responsible.........and jealous!
Lol, yes I shall blame you if it all goes pair shaped. Seriously I am really glad you brought my attention to it. As soon as I saw the pic and read the specification I thought this was probably exactly the type of bike I had been looking for over the last 6 months.

Unfortunately it does not look as though I will be able to use the battery from the Neo in my MTB. Even though they are both 500 wh, the shop didn't think they would fit. I have had a quick look at this and I think they are right, so that's a bit disappointing but that was just a bonus really. It wasn't the reason for buying the bike.
 
Sep 11, 2014
37
10
64
#23
hope you get a lot of enjoyment nev,just to ask although 18.5kg in weight do you find it light and responsive, and have you tried it with power off.
 

Nev

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 1, 2018
374
167
59
North Wales
#24
Hi nightrider, I think the bike feels fairly light to me but that's mainly because for the last 10 months I have done over 3000 miles on a 25 kg e-mtb. I suspect if I had been riding a 10 or 12 kg bike then the Neo would feel fairly heavy. It was great putting it in the back of my car. I nearly get a hernia every time I put my e-mtb in the car. The 7 or 8 kg weight saving over the mtb made it much easier to get in and out of the car.

I tried it yesterday with the motor off but only for a couple of hundred metres and it felt easy to peddle. I was already doing about 15 mph and the road was fairly flat at the time so it was not a really good test of what its like to ride with the motor off.

When the weather improves in the next few days (its stopped raining at the moment but roads are soaking wet) I will take it out for a good run. I will try it on some steep hills, try it in all the modes and with the motor off and also try it at above cut off speeds.

I am too risk averse to consider fitting a dongle to it, as knowing my luck the first time I did this I would be involved in a serious accident and then have the book thrown at me.

One of the main reasons for buying the bike is that I am hoping to see the following improvement of around 3 to 4 mph over the e-mtb, for the same level of my physical effort. As an example on the flat and no wind or with a slight tail wind I can do around 18 mph on the e-mtb without putting in a lot of effort ie. I can hold a conversation with someone if I needed to. I am hoping with the Neo to up this speed to around 21 or 22 mph but maintaining the same kind of effort as previously.
 

Nev

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 1, 2018
374
167
59
North Wales
#26
Due to the bad weather I have not done many miles on the Neo (less than 10), but here are a few more of my thoughts. Taking off with the motor off is quite hard work. Although not as difficult as my e-mtb it is still a fair bit more difficult than a conventional bike. I would not want to ride the bike without any assistance, but it would certainly be possible to ride it home if I had ran out of battery or the motor had packed in.

The acceleration from standstill or from very low speed is really good, there is a noticeable improvement between the neo and my e-mtb. The Neo is about 8 kg lighter than my e-mtb so that's about an 8% improvement in acceleration (credit to vfr400 for this information) and the lower rolling resistance probably means the Neo is about 10% quicker when taking off.

I've done a few more hills now but have not yet tackled any really long and steep ones in my area. So far I have been really pleased with the Neos hill climbing ability. I struggle on hills and I was worried a pedelec racing bike would not be powerful enough to assist my up steep hills. The Neo has actually been better on hills that I anticipated so I am extremely happy about that.

The motor, although not totally silent is definitely quieter than the Bosch CX fitted to my mtb. I also can't notice when it stops assisting when riding above the cut off speed limit. Having said that I often can't tell when this happens with the CX motor too.

I don't have a HR monitor or power monitor to make some reliable tests so I have to go by feel, but having said that it seems that when riding above cut off speed I'm traveling at around 3 mph faster than I would be on my e-mtb for the same level of effort.

I think its unlikely I would be able to keep up with a fit group of roadies traveling along and averaging around 20 mph but I don't think I would be as far behind them as I would be on my e-mtb.

So far I am overall extremely pleased with the bike, both its acceleration and hill climbing ability has been better than I expected, if the weather next week is better I will try it out on some long and steep hills (plenty of those here in North Wales).
 

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