Pictured above is a Cannondale Synapse Carbon Women’s bike with all of the current C’dale road bike touches like SAVE carbon stays to dampen road vibrations, a BB30 bottom bracket to provide stiffness where it’s most wanted, and a flawless finish. The Synapse series is a blend of road racing and comfort performance – the geometry isn’t quite as aggressive as Cannondale’s full racing series but still allows you to do pretty much anything you wish with the bike while enjoying a slightly taller position. Of course the women’s version featured here also has geometry that’s more specific to the fairer sex’s proportions.
As much as we like the bike, what’s more interesting to us is the Sram Apex components it comes spec’d with. Apex is the new ‘entry level’ group from Sram, designed to compete directly with Shimano’s 105 group. For starters we should say that entry level is a bit of a misnomer. If you want lighter and slightly quicker shifting you can get it by spending more, but Apex (and 105 for that matter) perform so well that there’s no reason you need to aspire to more. What we really like about Apex though is the wide range double chainring set up (sort of the same concept as the XX mountain group) that allows for a similar overall range but better shifting, lighter weight, and much less redundancy than the average triple chainring set up. Mated with the Synapse geometry this becomes the perfect do-almost-anything road bike. Heck, the brake arms are even long enough to accommodate up to 28mm tires (assuming they can squeeze between the stays and fork).
At just $1900 this is the sort of bike that can attract 1st time buyers who want to get a performance bike right away, but it can also entice long time riders looking for excellent performance without ProTour prices.