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Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 L 2022

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Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 L 2022

Old 03-20-22, 07:25 AM
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mlp0807
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Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 L 2022

Yesterday, I looked at the new synapse and even put a deposit down to hold the bike until I complete my new bike fit. I was intrigued by the integrated smart sense front/rear light and Garmin Varia radar. After watching several online reviews I知 not sure I知 wanting this bike.

Questions the smart sense battery placement is on the down tube right under a bottle cage. I know the first version of Di2 had an external battery. What issues did this cause and what issues might the smart sense have?

Also, I知 not sure the front light assembly is removable for racing.

Any other red flags?

My main reason for wanting this bike was the built in lighting. No more charging multiple lights and trying attach them.
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Old 03-20-22, 10:48 AM
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I got this exact bike and I love it. I pulled the smartsense out immediately and I have the cover (Cannondale Synapse DT Cover, K34621) on order for the cavity. The smartsense took me 5 minutes to remove...its all comes off very easily and the internal cables come apart in front of and behind the battery pack so it just pulls out from the front frame routing port and the seat tube.

The bike itself is everything I wanted. Great geometry, fast, stable and really nice looking bike. I'm replacing most of the components with stuff I already have though. I have a carbon wheelset on order that will really make a difference over the heavy stock wheelset.
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Old 03-20-22, 12:12 PM
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I too was impressed with the new Synapse but the addition of the lights really turned me off from the purchase. I guess I see those electronics as something that should be left to an individual's own taste. To me it's akin to putting mirrors on the bike from the factory. Let me decide, don't charge me for something I don't really want.
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Old 03-20-22, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
I too was impressed with the new Synapse but the addition of the lights really turned me off from the purchase. I guess I see those electronics as something that should be left to an individual's own taste. To me it's akin to putting mirrors on the bike from the factory. Let me decide, don't charge me for something I don't really want.
Well, like I mentioned, they come right off and its not an issue aside from the aesthetics of the plate covering the cavity which I understand is also to personal preference. I doubt the cost of the lighting system makes any real difference to the cost of the bike.

You can also get the base model (Tiagra groupset) that comes with the cover plate and not the battery or lighting system.
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Old 03-20-22, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by KJ43 View Post
Well, like I mentioned, they come right off and its not an issue aside from the aesthetics of the plate covering the cavity which I understand is also to personal preference. I doubt the cost of the lighting system makes any real difference to the cost of the bike.

You can also get the base model (Tiagra groupset) that comes with the cover plate and not the battery or lighting system.

you are correct on all points.
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Old 03-20-22, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by KJ43 View Post
Well, like I mentioned, they come right off and its not an issue aside from the aesthetics of the plate covering the cavity which I understand is also to personal preference. I doubt the cost of the lighting system makes any real difference to the cost of the bike.

You can also get the base model (Tiagra groupset) that comes with the cover plate and not the battery or lighting system.

It will be built to a target price point and the component spec will be a compromise to hit that point. The added lighting components will be part of that overall compromise. Nothing is for free.
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Old 03-20-22, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
It will be built to a target price point and the component spec will be a compromise to hit that point. The added lighting components will be part of that overall compromise. Nothing is for free.
Spare me. Negligible to the point of "not making any real difference". Try to keep up.
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Old 07-06-22, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by KJ43 View Post
I got this exact bike and I love it. I pulled the smartsense out immediately and I have the cover (Cannondale Synapse DT Cover, K34621) on order for the cavity. The smartsense took me 5 minutes to remove...its all comes off very easily and the internal cables come apart in front of and behind the battery pack so it just pulls out from the front frame routing port and the seat tube.

The bike itself is everything I wanted. Great geometry, fast, stable and really nice looking bike. I'm replacing most of the components with stuff I already have though. I have a carbon wheelset on order that will really make a difference over the heavy stock wheelset.
Did you ever get the DT cover? Pics on the bike? Also considering the new Synapse but my concern is battery replacement once the unit dies...
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Old 07-06-22, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Caliwild View Post
Did you ever get the DT cover? Pics on the bike? Also considering the new Synapse but my concern is battery replacement once the unit dies...
I did. I pulled the smartsense from the bike the instant I got it home and rode with the open battery recess until I got a cover delivered.

I ordered one through the shop I bought my bike and I found one online. The shop (not my regular shop) did not know how to find the part until I provided them the part #.

But Cannondalespares.com has them available. You can find the part HERE. Just so it's clear, the sticker was added by me, the cover itself comes completely free of decoration.


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Old 07-08-22, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by KJ43 View Post
I doubt the cost of the lighting system makes any real difference to the cost of the bike.
I would agree if this was solely about the LEDS and the battery, but the Varia electronics got to be more expensive. May still not be a significant cost on the BOM. How much weight reduction from removing front light, Varia rear light, battery, and associated wiring?

Trek Domane has a downtube storage area under a cover; I would have thought that Cannondale could have readily engineered a battery which fits under rather than that plate.
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Old 07-08-22, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
I would agree if this was solely about the LEDS and the battery, but the Varia electronics got to be more expensive. May still not be a significant cost on the BOM. How much weight reduction from removing front light, Varia rear light, battery, and associated wiring?

Trek Domane has a downtube storage area under a cover; I would have thought that Cannondale could have readily engineered a battery which fits under rather than that plate.
I could care less about the weight reduction of the smartsense system so if you want that information you might search online for it. Whatever the cost of the system I would still consider it negligible imo to the cost of the bike as I'm not really to concerned about minor costs.

My bike currently set up with pedals, bottle cages, 28mm clinchers with latex tubes is about 19.8 lbs (Shimano 105 groupset). I primarily ride my gravel bike but love riding the Synapse on pure road rides and it's fast, stiff, and comfortable to ride. I have added a new wheelset, changed out the bars, stem, seatpost, seat.

Last edited by KJ43; 07-08-22 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 07-08-22, 10:00 AM
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The Synapse looks like an awesome bike. The "integrated" lighting is a bit clunky and I'd probably remove it as well.

That downtube compartment looks like it would be perfect for onboard storage. Does anyone make an aftermarket kit to convert it for this use?
Also does this bike still have the AI rear wheel offset?
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Old 07-08-22, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
The Synapse looks like an awesome bike. The "integrated" lighting is a bit clunky and I'd probably remove it as well.

That downtube compartment looks like it would be perfect for onboard storage. Does anyone make an aftermarket kit to convert it for this use?
Also does this bike still have the AI rear wheel offset?
I think I've seen snippets here and there online about the possibility of using the recess for things other than the smartsense. I'm fine with the cover for now.

One reason I picked the Synapse is because the new version moved away from proprietary stuff. BSA BB, normal seatpost, easy cable routing, etc. Nothing weird. I picked up a Lightbicycle wheelset with standard offset.
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Old 07-08-22, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
The Synapse looks like an awesome bike.
Yes! I have a 2016 Synapse that is now 2 generations old.

Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
The "integrated" lighting is a bit clunky and I'd probably remove it as well.
Same here. But removing a Varia rear radar seems a bit of a waste.

Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
That downtube compartment looks like it would be perfect for onboard storage. Does anyone make an aftermarket kit to convert it for this use?
Exactly my point above.

Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Also does this bike still have the AI rear wheel offset?
My 2016 Synapse does not have this, and neither does the following generation, from a quick look on the web. But the Ai drive train offset is on at least certain models of Synapse NEO e-bike and SuperSix Evo CX from the same period.
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Old 07-23-22, 03:14 PM
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I have the Synapse LTD RLE and thinking of doing what the OP did. There is a major manufacturing design flaw with the way it is attached to the Cannondale system bar and LBS is confused. To elaborate the bolt on the go pro attachment keeping the light attached to the out front cannot be removed as the bolt cannot back out all the way due to the side of the out front fouling it.
And if you can't remove the light you can't get at the bolt above it holding on the cable management piece that clamps the wire that goes from the light to the varia head unit in place. So this means you cannot get the varia out either. Result is you can't use a bike computer and if something goes wrong with the light, no way to remove it.
See page 21. of the manual. Can't post URL's yet but google Cannondale manuals and pick Synapse 2022
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Old 08-21-22, 08:41 PM
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I have a 2015 Carbon 105 Synapse that I love, great bike!

I was thinking about treating myself to a new Ultegra equipped model and I have to admit, I am bummed to see they only offer it with smartsense. I won't buy one with it.

I don't want to pay extra for something I don't want and don't want the big space in the frame. It's good they have the cover but still, at that price point it looks kinda like an afterthought.

Come on Cannondale, give us customers what we want. 105 and Ultegra carbon Synapses with standard groupsets without the doodads!
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Old 08-23-22, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by KJ43 View Post
I got this exact bike and I love it. I pulled the smartsense out immediately and I have the cover on order for the cavity. The smartsense took me 5 minutes to remove...its all comes off very easily and the internal cables come apart in front of and behind the battery pack so it just pulls out from the front frame routing port and the seat tube.

The bike itself is everything I wanted. Great geometry, fast, stable and really nice looking bike. I'm replacing most of the components with stuff I already have though. I have a carbon wheelset on order that will really make a difference over the heavy stock wheelset.
Life saver! I love everything about the Synapse 3L except for smartsense. I am picking the bike up tonight and was wondering if there was a way of removing it. I know this post is a little old but i was wondering if you could snap some pics of the front of the bike and any holes that were left exposed.

Appreciate the help!

ps: Thanks for the link to the cavity cover as well
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Old 08-23-22, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by maxrun View Post
Life saver! I love everything about the Synapse 3L except for smartsense. I am picking the bike up tonight and was wondering if there was a way of removing it. I know this post is a little old but i was wondering if you could snap some pics of the front of the bike and any holes that were left exposed.

Appreciate the help!

ps: Thanks for the link to the cavity cover as well
The only cavity is the main one. All other cables for smart sense are routed through either the front cable (shift and brake) opening or down the seatpost and seat tube. The smart sense is super easy to remove and the only remainder after it's gone is the main cavity that the cover installs over.
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