Synapse Neo SE Reviews?


New Member
Hi, I bought one two days ago. I'm very pleased with it. I've written a few simple impressions on the 'Pedelec' forum. Here are a few of these comments from me and Nev.:

I live in the Peak District (UK) so very hilly!

Day 1.I've just done 10 miles in it for a 'shakedown' appraisal. So far I'm impressed. The frame rides and steers well and would be a very comfortable ride if it wasn't for the cast-iron saddle. The 'Turbo' and 'Sport's modes don't appear to be that different. The Purion display is a bit basic; a shame it doesn't display cadence. I can't get the Cannondale app to record my ride. Does it need an additional front wheel sensor does anyone know? (Answer: yes)

If so, any recommendations?

Changing gear to a larger cog is a little noisy - unlike the motor. Do these bikes need a period of 'running-in'?

No specific manual. On-line versions are for the whole 'family' and anything to do with Bosch needs another Google search and non-specific download. Time-wasting.

I had the same question re the extra cable in the box. I too think it must be for lights. I think these must be for Bosch units. Are there any cheaper options?

I've already tightened up the saddle.

I bought it from Evans' in Sheffield; they were very good; very professional.

Hi Bonky, yes I agree with you there is not a big difference between Sport and Turbo mode, this comes as a bit of a surprise if one has been riding a bike fitted with a Bosch CX motor.

I can't help you with the app unfortunately, I didn't even know one was available. I haven't noticed changing to a larger cog being noisy, perhaps your bike needs a little adjustment. I took mine back to the shop after a couple of months for a free service.

Like you I live in a very hilly area and find the bike is ideal for me, I prefer the looks of bikes like the Orbea Gain or the Ribble but I suspect I would struggle with those types of bikes on some of the hills I go up.

Thanks Nev; agreed. I was almost tempted by the new Boardman with the Fazua motor - partly 'cos of the looks and light weight - but it does have a limited range. A ride today from Lodge Moor to Hathersage should be interesting...

I had a test ride on a Cube Agree which has the Fazua motor, prior to buying the Cannondale. It was a lovely bike, but I really struggled on very steep hills with it and so opted for the Neo. All the best for your ride today I am sure you will enjoy it.

Day 2.Thanks Nev.Just returned; we actually went from Lodge Moor to the other side of Edale (about 36 miles- uphill and down-dale). Three battery bars remaining; a warm days but I hardly broke sweat. What a difference!

To use the Cannondale app one needs a front wheel sensor. Cannondale is bringing out a Garmin unit in August for their new 2020 bikes and these will also be available for a retrofit.

The Fazua motor is rated at 60Nm where's the Bosch unit is 58Nm (max) so I'm surprised you noticed such a difference when it came to hill-climbing, but I've read the same from others.

However, I went with a neighbour who has a hub motor on his new Bianchi AriaE. It only has a 250W battery; I could overtake him on the hills but he returned with half his battery capacity left - which rather surprised me. His motor is an efficient unit but noisier than the Bosch.

My backside and arms are numb...I'm really not bike-fit yet. I'm informed that the saddle is a 'good 'un'. I may need to tinker with the bars and saddle to relieve some of the pressure on my arms.


All-in-all I'm impressed. I have the Neo 2 - so a good standard of equipment (Shimano Ultegra/105 etc).

Pros: Looks great; good standard of equipment. Mudguards and panniers can easily be fixed. Long range; good quiet motor. Stable; comfortable (I do have a few issues with the saddle though). Good range of gears.

Cons: it's heavy! (so no quick-release front wheel or saddle post).The battery can be removed though. Basic Bosch Purion display; no panniers/lights/mudguards etc. No physical and specific manual.

Hope that helped;...let us know...please!

Edit: The battery is still difficult to remove.
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New Member
Just to add to my comments (above):
Nev replied:
"Yes on paper both motors should have been about the same, but it just goes to show how important it is to take a test ride on the types of hills you are going to be riding up. The Bosch motor was far more powerful on the hills than the Fazua."

Just found one minor irritation: I had a bottle rack on the down-tube opposite the battery. It's almost impossible to get the battery out.

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King me

New Member
Hey Deacon, Your post is a little old so I'm replying being fully aware that you could have made a buying decision and have been enjoying your bike for awhile now. I just bought the SE through REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.). Been enjoying it a lot. Haven't tackled the full extent of the control functions, but will be soon. To speak to some of the other posts here, the Bosch and most of the other mid-drive systems have torque sensors as well as cadence. So a hub motor with a rating of ~60Nm, will not seem as responsive or peppy on a climb as a mid-drive with the same torque rating (~60Nm). I've ridden both and can confirm there's a notable difference.