Cannondale Synapse Neo: How do they achieve that huge Range Per Battery Charge?"

timacn

Member
Cannondale Synapse Neos: How do they achieve that huge Range Per Battery Charge?" I want to get a battery assisted gravel bike and have narrowed my choice down to a Cannondale Synapse Neo 1, a Cannondale Synapse Neo SE, or a Kona Libre EL. There have been no reviews of the Kona Libre (E7000 motor and 504watt battery) and no published average range per charge estimate, but both Cannondale Synapse bikes have range per charge estimates well above other ebikes that I've seen. REI claims they have a range up to 150 miles for the Neo SE 1and 93 miles for the Synapse Neo SE! WOW! Are those numbers accurate?
 

SoCalDave

Member
It is a Class 1 instead of a Class 3 ebike. Riding below 20 mph instead of below 28 mph takes a lot less power. If you stayed in an aerodynamic position, kept the setting in ECO mode, rode on the flat only with no headwind, and kept your speed well below 20 mph, 150 miles seems attainable. If you are doing substantial climbing at speed in a headwind and you are a big guy, the range will be greatly reduced.
 

timacn

Member
Thanks, Dave. Would that apply to the Kona as well? It's got a Shimano E7000 motor, but the battery is the same. I cannot get any kind of readon the Kona's range per charge.
 

SoCalDave

Member
I could not answer for the Kona, as I don’t know the power settings. I have a Quick Neo 2019 with the Active Line Plus motor, and I believe on ECO that the motor adds up to 40% of your power output. So if you are on the flat, no headwind, and keep your speed modest, the draw on the battery should be modest. My Quick Neo is a flat bar bike, while the Synapse Neo is a drop bar bike, giving an aerodynamic advantage over my Quick Neo. As for the Kona, if the Shimano E7000 has a low power setting roughly equal to Bosch’s ECO on the Active Line Plus motor, it should have good range under the ideal conditions I have described.
 

carsonjones

Member
I need to see the real world user tests before I believe 150 miles on a charge.
I ride the Cannondale Synapse Neo 1 (2020) and the range is pretty great. I'm 6'4" and about 230 lbs, so a bigger guy and I'm getting about 100 km (with 1000 meters of climbing) on an average ride where I'm typically in Eco and Tour mode with occasional kicks up into Sport mode on steep climbs. The range is great. If I'm riding relatively flat rides with average headwind then I'm confidently getting about 140 km in range.

Interestingly, I'm finding that the closer I'm riding to the maximum assist speed, the better battery range I'm getting. I typically have an average speed of between 26 - 29 km/hr with a cadence of about 70 rpm.
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
Cannondale Synapse Neos: How do they achieve that huge Range Per Battery Charge?" I want to get a battery assisted gravel bike and have narrowed my choice down to a Cannondale Synapse Neo 1, a Cannondale Synapse Neo SE, or a Kona Libre EL. There have been no reviews of the Kona Libre (E7000 motor and 504watt battery) and no published average range per charge estimate, but both Cannondale Synapse bikes have range per charge estimates well above other ebikes that I've seen. REI claims they have a range up to 150 miles for the Neo SE 1and 93 miles for the Synapse Neo SE! WOW! Are those numbers accurate?
93 miles seems a smidge high, but not too much, as a max range for the Neo SE (flat, warm temperature, 170ish lbs rider, low winds, approx 15 mph speed), but that 150 mile number just seems WAY too high - that's the number on Cannondale's page as well! It's like they plugged in the MOST optimal conditions and ran with it. :)

I'd recommend setting up the parameters in the Bosch range calculator to get a more realistic idea of range under your riding conditions...


In comparison, I'd say you could expect similar, but slightly less range, with the Shimano E7000, but it'll handle hills and offroad better, with an extra 10Nm of torque.
 

SoCalDave

Member
93 miles seems a smidge high, but not too much, as a max range for the Neo SE (flat, warm temperature, 170ish lbs rider, low winds, approx 15 mph speed), but that 150 mile number just seems WAY too high - that's the number on Cannondale's page as well! It's like they plugged in the MOST optimal conditions and ran with it. :)

I'd recommend setting up the parameters in the Bosch range calculator to get a more realistic idea of range under your riding conditions...


In comparison, I'd say you could expect similar, but slightly less range, with the Shimano E7000, but it'll handle hills and offroad better, with an extra 10Nm of torque.

I agree with you that they plugged in the most optimal conditions to get the estimate of 150 miles, and the actual range under other conditions would be substantially less. It would have made more sense for Cannondale to list a range of distances. They don’t seem so optimistic with ranges on their other bikes.

I do believe that 150 miles is attainable under ideal conditions, which would include level roads, no headwind and modest speed. If you pedal with a power input of 80 W, and the bike is in ECO mode, it will add up to 40% of 80 W, or 32 W. A 32 W draw on a 500 Wh battery should provide about 15 h of assistance. If you are riding at least 10 mph, 150 miles is attainable. When I ride non electric bikes, sustained speeds of 12 mph and above are easily attainable, and when I was younger, I could ride much faster than that.

Having said that, most rides are not done in ideal conditions. If I want to ride in ideal conditions, I’m happy to ride my carbon fiber road non-e bike. My favorite rides involve substantial sustained climbs at altitude, and I need to use my ebike for those climbs to enjoy them.
 

SoCalDave

Member
Thanks, Dave. Ever take your Quick on rail trails, gravel, or dirt?
I like riding on smooth paved roads and bike paths, but will occasionally ride short distances on good Forest Service dirt roads. The 2019 Quick Neo Has Schwalbe 700X35 gravel tires, but no front or rear suspension. I added a Redshift suspension stem and a Cane Creek Thudbuster short travel seat post, which helps a little, but if I was going to ride on rougher surfaces on a more regular basis, I think I would want at least front suspension, and probably full suspension, along with Much wider tires with more air volume. I could afford to buy more bikes, but I don’t want to fall into the bad habit of continually buying more gear, which I have done with many of my hobbies.

I enjoy my Quick Neo, and the only major change I would consider is upgrading the Purion display to the new Nyon display, as I would like to capture data such as my power output along with the motor’s power output. Other than that, I don’t see how another bike would give me more satisfaction for the type of rides I currently do.
 

Timo

New Member
I've got a Synapse Neo 2 and live in a pretty hilly area plus we have a fair amount of wind. I have been astonished at the mileage I'm getting compared to my previous e bike - a Trek Powerfly. I frequently get about 100 + miles. I try to keep it in Eco with some Tour thrown in up the hills and into a wind. I rarely use Sport and almost never Turbo. I reckon that the motor (Active Line) gives more mileage than my previous Trek mountain bike which had a CX motor. Insanely fast to the limit but less miles (obviously). I should also add that we in the UK are limited to the 15.5 mph limit of assistance so we should get more from a battery than those of you in the States where (I gather?) your limit is higher. I do have mudguards and a rack which should bring the mileage down a bit - more equivalent to the Neo SE which has guards and a rack fitted as standard. I also do not shy away from gravel trails.

I love this bike. It takes me back to how I once was (now 73)! I've done every kind of racing (road, track, TT, mountain) and was going out less and less as it all seemed a bit of an effort. No more! Now I'm out every day including shopping so the car hardly gets used. That said, I am surprised at the 140 mile claim. That seems a bit optimistic to me.

SoCalDave, what do you think of the Redshift suspension stem? I am thinking about getting one and would be grateful for your views.

Hope this helps.
 

Captain Slow

Well-Known Member
I think the clue lies in what Dave is saying and the new Orbea Rise. Orbea is claiming that the 320 wh battery in the Rise gets 1.5X the range of a 500 wh battery. The EP8 motor they use from Shimano is physically the same, but the software is different and limits the motor to 60 nM rather than 85 nM in a stock EP8. Limit the power the motor puts out and it doesn't draw as much power. You can't go as fast, but you can go further.
 

timacn

Member
I've got a Synapse Neo 2 and live in a pretty hilly area plus we have a fair amount of wind. I have been astonished at the mileage I'm getting compared to my previous e bike - a Trek Powerfly. I frequently get about 100 + miles. I try to keep it in Eco with some Tour thrown in up the hills and into a wind. I rarely use Sport and almost never Turbo. I reckon that the motor (Active Line) gives more mileage than my previous Trek mountain bike which had a CX motor. Insanely fast to the limit but less miles (obviously). I should also add that we in the UK are limited to the 15.5 mph limit of assistance so we should get more from a battery than those of you in the States where (I gather?) your limit is higher. I do have mudguards and a rack which should bring the mileage down a bit - more equivalent to the Neo SE which has guards and a rack fitted as standard. I also do not shy away from gravel trails.

I love this bike. It takes me back to how I once was (now 73)! I've done every kind of racing (road, track, TT, mountain) and was going out less and less as it all seemed a bit of an effort. No more! Now I'm out every day including shopping so the car hardly gets used. That said, I am surprised at the 140 mile claim. That seems a bit optimistic to me.

SoCalDave, what do you think of the Redshift suspension stem? I am thinking about getting one and would be grateful for your views.

Hope this helps.
Hi Timo. Thanks for all the good information! I am torn between a Synapse Neo and a Synapse Neo SE. They are very similar but, as you know, the SE has "gravel" tires and 11 speeds, while the Synapse Neo has more speeds, and more road oriented tires.

Sounds like you were and are a pretty serious cyclist, much more so than I ever was. With a battery boost, I'm not sure I would utilize all the Synapse Neo's 22 gears, but with all the rolling hills around here, I might. The Synapse Neo SE has a nice range of gearing but I don't really like 650B tires unless they are inflated to the max because they feel too "squishy" to me at lower inflations. I also don't ride rough trails but stick more to rail trails, canal paths, and paved roads, so I probably don't need 650Bs. It was of interest to me that you take your Neo 2 on gravel.

I do like the reported range on both the Synapse Neo and Synapse Neo SE and will probably end up buying one or the other. The SE version sold here doesn't come with rack or fenders but I've seen a Synapse Neo SE EQ with both advertised online in a British bike shop. Looks very nice! Another possibility is a Kona Libre EL. Nice looking bike, but I'm not sure it can get close to the range of the Cannondales.

Thanks again for all your useful information.
 

SoCalDave

Member
I've got a Synapse Neo 2 and live in a pretty hilly area plus we have a fair amount of wind. I have been astonished at the mileage I'm getting compared to my previous e bike - a Trek Powerfly. I frequently get about 100 + miles. I try to keep it in Eco with some Tour thrown in up the hills and into a wind. I rarely use Sport and almost never Turbo. I reckon that the motor (Active Line) gives more mileage than my previous Trek mountain bike which had a CX motor. Insanely fast to the limit but less miles (obviously). I should also add that we in the UK are limited to the 15.5 mph limit of assistance so we should get more from a battery than those of you in the States where (I gather?) your limit is higher. I do have mudguards and a rack which should bring the mileage down a bit - more equivalent to the Neo SE which has guards and a rack fitted as standard. I also do not shy away from gravel trails.

I love this bike. It takes me back to how I once was (now 73)! I've done every kind of racing (road, track, TT, mountain) and was going out less and less as it all seemed a bit of an effort. No more! Now I'm out every day including shopping so the car hardly gets used. That said, I am surprised at the 140 mile claim. That seems a bit optimistic to me.

SoCalDave, what do you think of the Redshift suspension stem? I am thinking about getting one and would be grateful for your views.

Hope this helps.
The redshift stem pivots, and works better with a longer lever arm, so it would work better on drop bar handlebars, rather than flat handlebars. Redshift acknowledges this at their website. I added Ergon GP3 bullhorns to the end of my flat bars, and when I move my hands to them, with the longer lever arms, it adds more flex. All in all, I'm happy with the Redshift stem.
 
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Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
I just received the Redshift stem I ordered for my Giant Defy road bike. Just for the heck of it I installed it on my Cannondale Topstone Neo Lefty 3, which has a single front shock, with 3cm of travel.
The Topstone is great on gravel roads and trails, but the shock is quite stiff and it doesn't filter out all the small 'buzzing' vibrates. I plan on going for a ride tomorrow to see if I'll notice any difference/improvement. I'll ride over the same gravel pathways and roads that I usually ride, so I should be able to notice improvement, if there is any.
 

Timo

New Member
Thank you SoCalDave and Deacon Blues. I've got drops so I should be alright. Do let us know how you find it after the install Deacon. I absolutely lust after one of those Topstone Neo Leftys - but I don't want to be murdered by my wife!
 

Timo

New Member
Sounds like you were and are a pretty serious cyclist, much more so than I ever was. With a battery boost, I'm not sure I would utilize all the Synapse Neo's 22 gears, but with all the rolling hills around here, I might. The Synapse Neo SE has a nice range of gearing but I don't really like 650B tires unless they are inflated to the max because they feel too "squishy" to me at lower inflations. I also don't ride rough trails but stick more to rail trails, canal paths, and paved roads, so I probably don't need 650Bs. It was of interest to me that you take your Neo 2 on gravel.
Hi timacn, I actually wanted the Synapse Neo with the 650B tyres but you couldn't get them in the UK when I ordered mine. I put Bontrager G3 tubeless 700 x 40c on my Neo 2 to make it more "gravelly". I've now gone on to Schwalbe Marathon Mondials (35) with tubes as I was getting a lot of punctures on the tubeless which were a pain to repair on the road. The Schwalbes are ok on trails but are not really gravel bike tyres.
I do like the reported range on both the Synapse Neo and Synapse Neo SE and will probably end up buying one or the other. The SE version sold here doesn't come with rack or fenders but I've seen a Synapse Neo SE EQ with both advertised online in a British bike shop. Looks very nice! Another possibility is a Kona Libre EL. Nice looking bike, but I'm not sure it can get close to the range of the Cannondales.
You are right and I made a mistake (old age!). The SE is the one with 650s and the EQ is the one with the guards and rack. Cheers!
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
I agree with you that they plugged in the most optimal conditions to get the estimate of 150 miles, and the actual range under other conditions would be substantially less. It would have made more sense for Cannondale to list a range of distances. They don’t seem so optimistic with ranges on their other bikes.

I do believe that 150 miles is attainable under ideal conditions, which would include level roads, no headwind and modest speed. If you pedal with a power input of 80 W, and the bike is in ECO mode, it will add up to 40% of 80 W, or 32 W. A 32 W draw on a 500 Wh battery should provide about 15 h of assistance. If you are riding at least 10 mph, 150 miles is attainable. When I ride non electric bikes, sustained speeds of 12 mph and above are easily attainable, and when I was younger, I could ride much faster than that.

Having said that, most rides are not done in ideal conditions. If I want to ride in ideal conditions, I’m happy to ride my carbon fiber road non-e bike. My favorite rides involve substantial sustained climbs at altitude, and I need to use my ebike for those climbs to enjoy them.
I know Cannondale mentions their own software "Cannondale ACR" on some of their e-bikes, but I haven't seen any details about it. Sounds like it's their own firmware for motor behaviour, which could have some effect on range, for example, by supplying less power at lower torque. Just a guess.