Cannondale Synapse Neo 1 (2020) - 1 month review...

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
This question was asked of you back in September but not answered and the answer could be key. The Cannondale/Garmin front wheel sensor is something included in their better bikes. It reports via bluetooth to the Cannondale app and measure speed independent of the Bosch motor system. If that gives you accurate speed and the Bosch display does not it is clearly Cannondale's problem to sort out as they have control over wheel circumference values set on the Bosch systems they bikes they make.

tolovan said:
@carsonjones Do you get correct speed readout from the built in Cannondale/Garmin wheel sensor via the Cannondale app? Or is that off as well? Just curious. If that sensor is giving correct speed it might be a slight leverage to convince Cannondale that something is off.
 

carsonjones

Member
This question was asked of you back in September but not answered and the answer could be key. The Cannondale/Garmin front wheel sensor is something included in their better bikes. It reports via bluetooth to the Cannondale app and measure speed independent of the Bosch motor system. If that gives you accurate speed and the Bosch display does not it is clearly Cannondale's problem to sort out as they have control over wheel circumference values set on the Bosch systems they bikes they make.

tolovan said:
@carsonjones Do you get correct speed readout from the built in Cannondale/Garmin wheel sensor via the Cannondale app? Or is that off as well? Just curious. If that sensor is giving correct speed it might be a slight leverage to convince Cannondale that something is off.
Now that I'm back in to a new season of riding I'll test and confirm this asap. Thank you for the reminder. That said, the calibrated Wahoo Speed sensor does the same thing and I can confirm that it reads accurately and the Purion unit shows a speed that is 4-6 km/hr faster, resulting in the pedal assist cutting out well before the 32 km/hr limit.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Now that I'm back in to a new season of riding I'll test and confirm this asap. Thank you for the reminder. That said, the calibrated Wahoo Speed sensor does the same thing and I can confirm that it reads accurately and the Purion unit shows a speed that is 4-6 km/hr faster, resulting in the pedal assist cutting out well before the 32 km/hr limit.
So either take your tire circumference down on your display till it agrees with your other sensors like I suggested or just keep griping. Your choice. I am done.
 

Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
As I've mentioned in other threads, I have the same problem as carsonjones (but to a lesser degree).
A solution that I plan on using is to purchase a de-restrictor. Epic Ebikes in Australia makes one and Planet3 is working on one for the Bosch motor.
The only thing that's stopping me from doing it now is this will void the Bosch warranty.
 

carsonjones

Member
So either take your tire circumference down on your display till it agrees with your other sensors like I suggested or just keep griping. Your choice. I am done.
The bike shop won't adjust the wheel circumference further because Cannondale have said it's to spec. Again, as I've said already, this is the issue. The input data for calibrating the Bosch system has been entered correctly and based on the manufacturer's specs. The actual riding speed is not registering correctly. While I appreciate your intention to help, the wheel circumference data entry isn't the issue and you're assuming that this is the only possible solution. Thanks for the input but in this case your proposed solution is not the solution.
 

carsonjones

Member
This was one of the first videos I watched when researching solutions. The Purion unit doesn't allow for manual circumference data entry and it must be adjusted by a certified bike shop. The bike shop can't adjust the circumference specs outside of the manufacturer's specs.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
I just realized you have a Purion display which does not have the ability to adjust tire circumference. I was in error as you cannot do any adjustments yourself with that display/controller. It is just too basic and stripped down. You can do that with the Intuvia, Kiox and Nyon displays with the limits set by the manufacturer of the bike. I would ask the shop to lower the circumference to as low as possible for you using their Bosch software and see if that changes the cut off point. If it is set too low it might throw an error code and the shop should be able to find the right value by trial and error.
 
Carson, I'm sorry that you are having these frustrating problems! I have the same bike but live in the US and I have no issues with the speed cut-off point. When I get to 20 mph, say on a slight downhill, I can feel that the motor starts to gently cut off to provide no assistance at speeds faster than 20 mph. This might be a crazy idea, but is there an option to toggle your controller to the US settings, that is to change from km/hr to mph readings? The km/hr bike speed limit may have been set up for the EU not realizing that Canada does not have the same speed limit as the EU although Canada does use km, not miles. If it's an easy thing for your Cannondale dealer to do, it might be worth an experiment. On my bike I also have another odometer that I use for navigation and speed readings; these seem to agree well with my Purion controller. Good luck sorting it out!
 

carsonjones

Member
Carson, I'm sorry that you are having these frustrating problems! I have the same bike but live in the US and I have no issues with the speed cut-off point. When I get to 20 mph, say on a slight downhill, I can feel that the motor starts to gently cut off to provide no assistance at speeds faster than 20 mph. This might be a crazy idea, but is there an option to toggle your controller to the US settings, that is to change from km/hr to mph readings? The km/hr bike speed limit may have been set up for the EU not realizing that Canada does not have the same speed limit as the EU although Canada does use km, not miles. If it's an easy thing for your Cannondale dealer to do, it might be worth an experiment. On my bike I also have another odometer that I use for navigation and speed readings; these seem to agree well with my Purion controller. Good luck sorting it out!

Worth testing out for sure. I'll dig into the manual to see if this is something I can adjust. May be time to upgrade the Bosch head unit, although at the cost of the bike it should have come with one of the better units IMO.�
 
Worth testing out for sure. I'll dig into the manual to see if this is something I can adjust. May be time to upgrade the Bosch head unit, although at the cost of the bike it should have come with one of the better units IMO.�
I just looked and changing units to mph is easy. Hold the - button on the left down and tap the power button to toggle between km/h and mph. If this actually changes the cut-off speed it would be really weird, and just wrong! Good luck anyway.
 

Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
Worth testing out for sure. I'll dig into the manual to see if this is something I can adjust. May be time to upgrade the Bosch head unit, although at the cost of the bike it should have come with one of the better units IMO.�
I just inquired into how much it would cost to upgrade my display from a Purion to a Nyon. The motor has to be dropped because new wires are needed, which means the labour cost will be somewhere between 1 to 3 hours, depending on the bike.
For me the upgrade will cost approximately $740 Can., which is way more than I want to pay. The cost of the display alone is $499.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
@carsonjones Having spoken with and had my Bosch powered bikes in various shops up and down the west coast, I can report that there is tremendous variation in the levels of training and competence between "certified Bosch" shops and their various mechanics. There are both shop owners and mechanics who still consider ebikes to be like ugly step children, who look on them with disdain and do the least amount of training to meet Bosch requirements. There are others who have some enthusiasm for our bikes who are always seeking to learn more and care about getting ebikers back in the saddle with everything working right. I have been to several shops where I knew far more than the supposedly "Bosch certified" mechanic with whom I was speaking.

I don't know which shop you are dealing with and what their attitude is toward ebikes. The guys at our Trek store in Bellingham are into it and really understand the Bosch system and how to work with it, update it, fine tune its setting to get things spot on. We have one Trek ebike, 2 Reise & Mullers and a Cannondale, all with Bosch motors. I have had similar problems on the Trek and the guys here were able to make it right with very little fuss other than the wait for a time when the guy at HQ with the right password and access to deeper factory controlled settings.

I am confident that @William - Bosch Team Team will be getting back to you with a shop in the Toronto area that he knows has the level of competence you need to resolve your problem. Don't "throw the baby out with the bath water" on this one. Instead of writing of Bosch, work with them and they will make things right, whatever it takes. That is what I have observed them do for their customers and I am sure they will do it for you.
 

angryrice_esq

New Member
Region
USA
City
Glendale
Thanks for your thoughts! I just ordered a Synapse Neo 1 from REI as they were having a sale ($1,200 off). I was originally going to wait for the Specialized Vado SL 4.0, but they're sold out everywhere in Southern California until July 2021. I also found the idea of a removable battery eminently more appealing than Specialized's proprietary... everything. I figured the Bosch system would be more easily serviceable down the line.

Would you still recommend the Synapse Neo 1? Anything I, as a new casual cyclist, should know about this bike?

I also just bought an Aventon Pace 500, but quickly started to worry I was damaging my hub motor since I live on the side of a mountain where all the streets have at least a 13% grade.
 

carsonjones

Member
Thanks for your thoughts! I just ordered a Synapse Neo 1 from REI as they were having a sale ($1,200 off). I was originally going to wait for the Specialized Vado SL 4.0, but they're sold out everywhere in Southern California until July 2021. I also found the idea of a removable battery eminently more appealing than Specialized's proprietary... everything. I figured the Bosch system would be more easily serviceable down the line.

Would you still recommend the Synapse Neo 1? Anything I, as a new casual cyclist, should know about this bike?

I also just bought an Aventon Pace 500, but quickly started to worry I was damaging my hub motor since I live on the side of a mountain where all the streets have at least a 13% grade.
Overall I really like this bike. I'm working on sorting out the issue I have with the speed sensors not registering correctly, but other than that the bike has been fantastic. I've done a few things to set it up for how I ride, which is long days in the saddle in a very hilly area. This summer I plan to ride 100+ km rides regularly over country roads that include paved and gravel. I've been out on a few of these rides already this season and my setup seems to be working very well. A few notes below about what I've done and will be doing to fine tune things to my liking...

- purchased second set of 650b Shimano wheels and am using 47 mm WTB Byway tubeless tires. This means I can hot-swap the 700c 32 mm road tires (Continental Gators) for the wider 650b's as needed. It's early in the season and so I've been on the 650b's and they're amazing.

- purchased a second battery and battery frame cover. I use a Topeak large half frame bag to carry the extra battery which is wrapped inside a thin waterproof dry bag. It's great peace of mind to have when there's a chance I might drain a full battery out on a ride. I should note my Synapse Neo is an XL as I'm 6'4" so there's room on the frame for the larger frame bag. This also means I still have room for two regular size water bottles. A note on the water bottles and the battery covers... Topeak make a removeable water bottle cage mount and this makes swapping out the batteries quick and painless while out on a ride. My typical battery range is 100 km with 1000 meters of climbing in tour mode much of the time. On particularly hilly rides or where there's very strong head winds, I'll need to use the second battery if I'm doing a 100 km ride. As my fitness level increases over the season I ride more in the Eco mode.

- I use a Bags by Bird Goldback handlebar bag when I'm out on my longer rides and I absolutely love it. Room to carry lunch, an extra water bottle, energy snacks, and tools and repair essentials as well as any clothing options like a light shell. I also plan to do some bike fishing this summer and the handlebar bag will also be great for that!

- I recently purchased a Redshift ShockStop stem that I'll be adding for a little more comfort. This should help to reduce road noise (vibrations) and larger bumps in the road. My handlebars are also double wrapped with bar tape on the uppers with a Fizik bar gel pad sandwiched in between. This also really helps with reducing vibrations through the bars and means my hands and wrists can handle the longer rides comfortably. I rarely ride in the drops.

Overall I think you'll really like the Synapse Neo 1. I do definitely recommend the second set of 650b wheels and 47 mm tires if you're going to be riding light gravel and easy single track and also if you're just looking for added comfort while riding.

FOLLOW UP: In addition to the Redshift ShockStop stem I have also ordered their Kitchen Sink handlebars (no front loop) and grips. They're flared for gravel riding and I think this will improve my hand position options and comfort. Again, I'm focused on longer rides and comfort (i.e. endurance) and not so much about speed and being aero. My average speed on most rides is between 24 - 28 km/hr, even in the hills. I'm still waiting for the new stem and bars. When I've ridden on some longer rides with them I'll likely add a review on the forums here in case others might be interested in these bars or similar style handlebars.
 
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angryrice_esq

New Member
Region
USA
City
Glendale
Had my Synapse Neo 1 for almost a week, now. Can't think of anything else but getting out there and riding.

But I ran into the same problem as OP; some of the spokes in the rear wheel feel loose. Super bummed.

Will take it to REI for a quick look-over tomorrow, and fingers-crossed they won't need to do a warranty replacement... that would suck since I have a group ride planned for Saturday (but somehow doubt it will be a quick and permanent fix).
 

carsonjones

Member
Had my Synapse Neo 1 for almost a week, now. Can't think of anything else but getting out there and riding.

But I ran into the same problem as OP; some of the spokes in the rear wheel feel loose. Super bummed.

Will take it to REI for a quick look-over tomorrow, and fingers-crossed they won't need to do a warranty replacement... that would suck since I have a group ride planned for Saturday (but somehow doubt it will be a quick and permanent fix).
angryrice a good bike shop should be able to provide you with a loaner wheel for your ride. Just be sure that they dish the rear wheel for the Cannondale setup (easy for them to do). Hope you get out and have a great ride! Oh... and don't forget to transfer your spoke magnet over to the fixed / new / loaner wheel!
 

Hops

New Member
@carsonjones Thank you for the great summary of the Neo 1. Is this your favorite e-bike for attempting a tour?
Is there a way to put on a back rack? Thanks
 

carsonjones

Member
@Hops I'm glad you found this post helpful and I'll continue to follow up with my experience with the bike.

In terms of touring, I don't think I have the experience necessary to give you any really solid feedback as I my rides are typically single day loops and out and backs. That said, I can say this about the Synapse Neo...

- It's very comfortable to ride 100+ km. As always, assuming you have a good fit and the saddle that works best for you.

- it's versatile with the option to swap out your wheels (700c / 650b). I'm loving the 650b wheels combined with the WTB Byway tires (47 mm). Frankly, I can't recommend the Byway tires enough. They're quick on the asphalt and grippy and comfortable on the gravel.

- Once you've sorted out a battery swapping system (perhaps another post I might make based on my experience) it's very easy to switch out the battery while out on a longer ride (100+ km). My system/method allows me to swap out the battery in a couple of minutes (e.g. while on a water stop). I ride the XL and can easily carry the second battery in a half frame bag. Also, I don't find that the added carrying weight of the second battery is significantly impacting the range I'm getting on a single battery. I'll carry the second battery on rides more than 70 km, just in case I hit some super hilly routes or very strong headwinds.

- The bike does include mounting points for a back rack although I haven't set it up for this yet. It's on the list for sure. If you plan to ride with a rack and frame bags there are lots of available options. I went with a pricey Goldback bag (saddle bag/handlebar - Bags by Bird) and love it. I use it as a handlebar bag. I use the Topeak Midloader (4.5 L) to carry the second battery and some tools. I also recently added two feed bags for the handlebars (Chrome Doubletrack). While bag systems work well and you can mount a rear rack, there aren't a lot of mounting points (i.e. eyelets) when compared to a proper touring bike. That may or may not be an issue for some.

I'll be using the Synapse Neo for some bike packing/touring trips that are typically asphalt and gravel road/trail routes. It's important to note that I haven't actually done this yet. I won't be doing much in the way of single track or heavy gravel routes. To address your question, I think you could make the bike work well for touring. While it lacks a full touring layout, the Synapse Neo does have a rack mounting option and with today's bike bag systems, I think you'll be able to spec it out according to your needs. Simply put, I would be comfortable using the bike for touring based on how I ride and where I ride. Hope that helps to provide some additional insight.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
@Hops I'm glad you found this post helpful and I'll continue to follow up with my experience with the bike.

In terms of touring, I don't think I have the experience necessary to give you any really solid feedback as I my rides are typically single day loops and out and backs. That said, I can say this about the Synapse Neo...

- It's very comfortable to ride 100+ km. As always, assuming you have a good fit and the saddle that works best for you.

- it's versatile with the option to swap out your wheels (700c / 650b). I'm loving the 650b wheels combined with the WTB Byway tires (47 mm). Frankly, I can't recommend the Byway tires enough. They're quick on the asphalt and grippy and comfortable on the gravel.

- Once you've sorted out a battery swapping system (perhaps another post I might make based on my experience) it's very easy to switch out the battery while out on a longer ride (100+ km). My system/method allows me to swap out the battery in a couple of minutes (e.g. while on a water stop). I ride the XL and can easily carry the second battery in a half frame bag. Also, I don't find that the added carrying weight of the second battery is significantly impacting the range I'm getting on a single battery. I'll carry the second battery on rides more than 70 km, just in case I hit some super hilly routes or very strong headwinds.

- The bike does include mounting points for a back rack although I haven't set it up for this yet. It's on the list for sure. If you plan to ride with a rack and frame bags there are lots of available options. I went with a pricey Goldback bag (saddle bag/handlebar - Bags by Bird) and love it. I use it as a handlebar bag. I use the Topeak Midloader (4.5 L) to carry the second battery and some tools. I also recently added two feed bags for the handlebars (Chrome Doubletrack). While bag systems work well and you can mount a rear rack, there aren't a lot of mounting points (i.e. eyelets) when compared to a proper touring bike. That may or may not be an issue for some.

I'll be using the Synapse Neo for some bike packing/touring trips that are typically asphalt and gravel road/trail routes. It's important to note that I haven't actually done this yet. I won't be doing much in the way of single track or heavy gravel routes. To address your question, I think you could make the bike work well for touring. While it lacks a full touring layout, the Synapse Neo does have a rack mounting option and with today's bike bag systems, I think you'll be able to spec it out according to your needs. Simply put, I would be comfortable using the bike for touring based on how I ride and where I ride. Hope that helps to provide some additional insight.
Carson, did you ever get a satisfactory resolution of your speed and power cut-out issue?

I am loving riding my Topstone Neo Carbon 3 by the way on 650b wheels with 47mm WTB Byways they really combine comfort and speed. Thanks for the tip. Cannondale makes some excellent ebikes.