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

carsonjones

Member
@Alaskan we did finally end up working with Cannondale Canada to get the bike in the shop and adjust the wheel circumference settings, as they confirmed that the factory settings were set incorrectly. Having said that, I haven't yet had the opportunity to focus on testing the accuracy. It's on the list and I'll report back when I know more. @William - Bosch Team was a big help in putting the bike shop and Cannondale in touch with each other, as you suggested he would be so thanks for that.
 

Bakunin

New Member
Region
USA
What do they expect us to do if we put wider tires on the bike (which will increase its outside diameter and therefore its circumference) or 650b wheels?
 
I'm running 650b Shimano GRX wheels with WTB Byway tires (47 mm) and they're fantastic on both road and light gravel / trails.
carsonjones: A question just out of curiosity... I know that you have both 700c tires and wheels and 650b wheels with wider tires and that you can hot-swap between the two sets on your Synapse Neo 1. Do you do this often, or do you find that you are mostly leaving one set of tires/wheels on the bike and ride "wherever"? I have been toying with the idea of having two sets of wheel/tires or perhaps just getting a bit wider tire than the 32c that came on my bike. I have been doing pretty well on gravel roads with the 32c tires, but there are a few roads that I wish I had a wider tire.
Thanks in advance for your reply, NH-Senior-Gal
 

carsonjones

Member
@NH-Senior-Gal - I typically ride with the 650b / 47 mm wheelset and ride mainly farm roads / gravel roads / rail trails. A caveat is that the WTB Byway tires, while 47 mm, also are slick down the middle with tread pattern on the sides. This makes them ideal for the type of riding I do and means that I don't lose a lot of speed when on regular roads. I do switch out to the 700c / 32 mm wheelset if I'm doing all road and doing longer distances (e.g. 80 km+). I've also had situations where we'll be travelling to a destination ride and there's been concern about one of the tires losing air. I'll take the second set of wheels knowing that I'll be able to ride no matter what. I've been fortunate also that the wheels are truly hot-swappable, meaning I don't have to faff about with fine-tuning the derailleur alignment. Your local bike shop should be able to set up both wheelsets this way. I highly recommend having the two sets and you'll certainly appreciate the much wider tires for days on gravel roads and trails. It lets you ride comfortably pretty much everywhere.
 
@NH-Senior-Gal - I typically ride with the 650b / 47 mm wheelset and ride mainly farm roads / gravel roads / rail trails. A caveat is that the WTB Byway tires, while 47 mm, also are slick down the middle with tread pattern on the sides. This makes them ideal for the type of riding I do and means that I don't lose a lot of speed when on regular roads. I do switch out to the 700c / 32 mm wheelset if I'm doing all road and doing longer distances (e.g. 80 km+). I've also had situations where we'll be travelling to a destination ride and there's been concern about one of the tires losing air. I'll take the second set of wheels knowing that I'll be able to ride no matter what. I've been fortunate also that the wheels are truly hot-swappable, meaning I don't have to faff about with fine-tuning the derailleur alignment. Your local bike shop should be able to set up both wheelsets this way. I highly recommend having the two sets and you'll certainly appreciate the much wider tires for days on gravel roads and trails. It lets you ride comfortably pretty much everywhere.
Thanks for your answer! This also helps me answer some questions that I've had from some e-bike wannabes. ;) The WTB Byway tires look very similar to the WTB Expanse 32c with the exception that the 47 tires have a little knobby on the outside edge in addition to being wider. The smooth center tread is great on the road and both tires have this. It's good to know that you don't have to fiddle with stuff after hot-swapping your wheels!
 

Captain Slow

Well-Known Member
I too have found that the "correct" tire choice can vary significantly by trail. I've ridden some really hard packed trails that are possible to ride on a set of 23 mm racing slicks. But I've been on other trails that even a 700 x 40 tire with a tread pattern feels like it's not enough tire. You can ride the trail but there are some sketchy moments and you'd feel more comfortable with an even wider tire. Plus personal preference has a lot to do with it as well.

As a result I've accumulated a bunch of different tires and I'll probably need to ride another 30,000 to 40,000 km's to wear them all out!

I would say though with a motor, that tire choice matters a little less. Just go bigger and the motor will compensate. That does cut your range, but if I had a Bosch, Yamaha or Shimano motor 500 watts or better I think I'd just go with a wide tire. I wouldn't care about weight, aerodynamics or rolling resistance nearly as much. But again personal preference matters a lot here. If you were planning on doing 100+ km days well then I guess tire choice does matter.
 
I too have found that the "correct" tire choice can vary significantly by trail. I've ridden some really hard packed trails that are possible to ride on a set of 23 mm racing slicks. But I've been on other trails that even a 700 x 40 tire with a tread pattern feels like it's not enough tire. You can ride the trail but there are some sketchy moments and you'd feel more comfortable with an even wider tire. Plus personal preference has a lot to do with it as well.

As a result I've accumulated a bunch of different tires and I'll probably need to ride another 30,000 to 40,000 km's to wear them all out!

I would say though with a motor, that tire choice matters a little less. Just go bigger and the motor will compensate. That does cut your range, but if I had a Bosch, Yamaha or Shimano motor 500 watts or better I think I'd just go with a wide tire. I wouldn't care about weight, aerodynamics or rolling resistance nearly as much. But again personal preference matters a lot here. If you were planning on doing 100+ km days well then I guess tire choice does matter.
I walked sections of loose 'gravel' (?) like this... I would have wanted a fat tire bike, but even then I might have been walking. ;)
 

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Alaskan

Well-Known Member
I walked sections of loose 'gravel' (?) like this... I would have wanted a fat tire bike, but even then I might have been walking. ;)
I have a pair of 650b x 47 WTB Byway tubeless tires on my Cannondale Topstone Neo Carbon 3. They do very nicely on rocky, gravely logging roads, when inflated at 22-25 PSI and are superb on roads inflated at 28-32 PSI. Very grippy on pavement and amazingly durable on rock strewn dirt roads. I really like these tires set up tubeless. No flats in almost 2,500 miles. One self-healed puncture center tread with a 1/2" staple that healed leaving a dime size latex tab on the outside of the tire covering the staple. It leaking out about 2 or 3 psi before sealing. No hiss or air lost when I pulled the staple out.

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I have a pair of 650b x 47 WTB Byway tubeless tires on my Cannondale Topstone Neo Carbon 3. They do very nicely on rocky, gravely logging roads, when inflated at 22-25 PSI and are superb on roads inflated at 28-32 PSI. Very grippy on pavement and amazingly durable on rock strewn dirt roads. I really like these tires set up tubeless. No flats in almost 2,500 miles. One self-healed puncture center tread with a 1/2" staple that healed leaving a dime size latex tab on the outside of the tire covering the staple. It leaking out about 2 or 3 psi before sealing. No hiss or air lost when I pulled the staple out.

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I have heard good things about those tires. Thanks for sharing your experience!
 

Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
I have a tire similar to the WTB Byways (47mm Specialized Pathway 2Bliss) and I'm very happy with them. The Pathways are great on most surfaces, but not much fun on sandy surfaces.
I've been running mine at 40f/45r. I'll have to lower them a bit to see how they feel. Maybe they'll behave better on sandy pathways.
 

carsonjones

Member
Just added a rack and pannier setup to the bike for touring. Really impressed with how the Ortlieb panniers and Bontrager rack fit the Synapse Neo. Can't wait to try it out!

FOLLOW UP: Aug 22 2021 - tried out the new touring setup today on a nice 100 km ride. The new rack and pannier system is fantastic and the bike performs and rides really well.
 

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