2021 Cannondale Synapse Neo EQ: New Synapse Model Showing Up in Europe

timacn

Member
Been asking lots of questions and trying to decide on a Cannondale Neo (Tesoro or Synapse SE). Cannondale told me today that info on 2021 models will probably not be released in the USA until mid to late October. A new iteration of the Synapse Neo showed up in a British shop. Aside from a different color and a fender and rack system, it appears to be pretty similar to the 2020 Synapse Neo SE. No info on a 2021 Tesoro yet.
 

carsonjones

Member
Looks okay. I own the Synapse Neo 1 (2020) and overall love it, although the rear wheel Cannondale shipped with it had the wrong size spokes and the wheel developed a severe wobble after about 500 meters of riding (pretty terrible quality control IMO). This Neo Eq looks like a mix between the Synapse Neo 1 and Neo SE (2020). I'm not a fan of the 10 speed Tiagra but if it saves a few bucks that's a positive. Interesting that they've put 35C tires on it as this is a nudge up from the 32C on the Neo 1 and a nudge down from the Neo SE. A great tire size for general riding.

Some cons that I've found with the Neo 1...

- If you want to do longer rides and take an extra battery, the process of swapping the batteries is terrible. The bottle cage needs to be removed so that you can unscrew the frame's cover from the battery. I think Cannondale designers figured that customers would be fine with the range of one battery and designed around this idea. That said, the range on a single battery is very good. A full charge will give me about 100 km over 1000 meters of climbing.

- The Purion head unit is as basic as it gets. Some might think that this is a positive however any fine-tuning you might want to do (e.g. adjusting wheel size) isn't an option with the Purion unit.

- The speed calibration on my Synapse Neo 1 is off by approximately 3.5 km/hr, meaning that the assist cuts out at about 26.5 km/hr instead of 30 km/hr. Correcting this hasn't been possible as of yet. Bosch have stated that this can only be adjusted by Cannondale and Cannondale haven't been very forthcoming or helpful with my local bike shop (Cannondale dealer). Support from Cannondale seems non-existent so far.


Other than these issues, I really do love the bike. It's a game changer for riding around my neck of the woods which is very hilly and we have a near-constant headwind from the west. If pricing isn't an issue than I would recommend the Synapse Neo 1 over the Neo Eq simply for the group set. If you're fine with a 10 speed then Tiagra is a solid option. Either way, you'll love the bike.
 

timacn

Member
Hey Carson. Thanks for the information. Very helpful. I was planning to use the Synapse for riding bike trails: macadam, crushed stone, dirt roads, nothing too rough. Did you ever take your Neo 1 on gravel? I have a Topstone with 650s on it and inflated the tires to the highest level I could. When they were too low, they slid around too much on turns. Didn't like it. Since I inflated them, they're OK. I believe the Synapse Neo 1s come with 700s on them. Aside from the tires and the gearing, the bikes seem very similar. If the Synapse Neo 1s did well on gravel, crushed stones, and dirt, it might be the better choice for me.
 

carsonjones

Member
We've got some rough country roads around us and the Neo 1 with 700 32c tires is fine. The 700's should comfortably go up to 35c tires also, however I haven't switched mine just yet. That said, I have ordered a 650b wheelset for my Neo 1 and will be putting the 47c tires on it to match up with how Cannondale ship the Neo SE. That'll give me the option to ride pretty much anywhere in comfort. Like you, I'll probably keep the tire pressure up higher on the 47's to reduce rolling resistance. I'll primarily be on rail trails and easy single track with the option for rougher terrain. Overall I preferred the Neo 1 to the SE since I ride more roads, don't like the Apex groupset that ships on the SE, and have the option of putting 650b wheels on it. A win / win in my book. The Neo 1 also includes all of the connection points for fenders / panniers / etc. Really, the only thing I don't like about the Neo EQ is the Tiagra group set. I've had Tiagra on another one of my road bikes and really do miss having an extra gear in the hills.
 
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Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
Speaking of 650 wheels, I recently came across a company out of Florida that sells carbon 650 wheels, and they even make a set that will fit my Lefty 3! 🥳

It's so tempting to buy a set, but then reality sets in and I realize that I probably wouldn't be able to feel the weight difference on a 40 pound ebike. :rolleyes:
 

carsonjones

Member
Checking in... I rode part of The Great Trail here in Ontario this week (72 km) on light gravel (well packed) and the 32 mm tires on the Synapse Neo 1 were good. They handled the gravel well and the overall ride was mostly comfortable. That said, I have ordered a second set of 650b wheels (Shimano 570 GRX) and will be fitting them with WTB Byway tires (47 mm) making gravel riding much more comfortable. I'll report back when I've ridden with the new wheelset.
 
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