- A frame that we believe is Cannondale's upcoming Synapse HM, based on the most recent addition to the UCI's approved frames list, was used by Cannondale Pro Cycling's Fabio Sabatini and Kristjan Koren at Strade Bianche on Saturday. The frame looks to be a replacement for the old Synapse, Cannondale's current endurance road frame. There's a good chance that more of the squad will be on the frames for the rougher cobbled classics. Photo: Kei Tsuji
- The seatpost junction on the new Cannondale frame. Photo: Kei Tsuji
- We're not entirely sure what this split seat tube is for, but it likely plays some role in the vertical flex of the bike's rear end. Photo: Kei Tsuji
- A kink in the rear stays is likely inteded to add a bit of flex. Photo: Kei Tsuji
- The new frame features internal routing and a stout downtube. Photo: Kei Tsuji
Race winner and second place Moreno Moser and Peter Sagan were on their usual SuperSix EVO frames, but may swap to the new bike for the burlier classics.
Cannondale public relations manager Bill Rudell would not provide any additional information on the frame, other than to note that the brand uses its pro riders for development and verification of new technology.
“It’s no secret we’re always trying to make better products – but at this point all we can say is that we are developing a cool new platform with the help of our team,” Rudell said via e-mail. “For now, select members of the team will continue to ride-test the bike and provide the feedback that is integral to the process of building the best bikes possible,” he said.
Though the frames have been through the UCI’s approval procedure, and can therefore not be visibly altered, Cannondale could still modify the internal structure of the frames without running afoul of the governing body — mostly because it would never know. The company could alter its carbon layups, for example, following input from its pro riders, just as Trek was looking to do as it performed rider testing in Flagstaff last fall.
Despite the lack of details from Cannondale HQ, the new frame features a number of visible queues that point towards the endurance category, where it will compete against the likes of the Specialized Roubaix and Trek Domane.
Like the old Synapse, the bike has a tall head tube. Both pro riders were using severely negative stems slammed down to the top cap of the headset. The slender, curved fork is new, incorporating dropouts that jut backwards from the main fork legs, a design similar to that of the fork found on the Trek Domane.
The rear stays are the most visibly altered from the previous version — thick junctions lead into thin middle sections on the chain and seat stays, and combine with a strange looking seat tube that splits near the bottom bracket. The shapes appear to be designed around enabling vertical flex — unsurprising, given the bike’s intended use.
The downtube, meanwhile, retains a robust shape similar to that of the race-bred SuperSix EVO, the stiffest bike we’ve ever had through VeloLab. The new frame features internal cable routing throughout.
An official launch is likely to take place sometime this spring.