The Cannondale Synapse range suits riders who prefer a slightly relaxed position on the bike rather than super aggressive stance. The Women’s 105 5 features an alloy frame and Shimano 105 shifting. My favourite feature is the SAVE Plus micro suspension, which transforms the ride properties of this $AU 1699 bike into one that you would think cost a lot more. With rack mounting points and a colour scheme that won’t show grime, it’s well suited to commuting through the city some days and longer adventures out of town or with a road bunch on others.
I tested the 2015 Women’s Synapse 105 5 for the Spring 2015 issue of Bike Magazine (Australia). You can download a PDF copy of the review here. An excerpt and a bonus gallery is below.
The frame, features and spec feature strong overlaps with the 2016 model, which you can read about on Cannondale’s US website. If you’re reading from your mobile, double tap the gallery to see the images in full size.
In the late nineties, as a teenager getting into cycling, I had a photo of a Cannondale women’s road bike stuck to my wall. I never bought that bike, but one day my local bike shop, knowing how much I dreamt about it, replaced the ripped bar tape on my second-hand Repco with tape they’d saved from a customer’s Cannondale. I thought that bar tape was the best thing ever.
I tell this story for two reasons. First to highlight that most cyclists experience Cannondale lust at some point. Second, to point out that this company has been designing bikes for women since before it was trendy.
Cannondale’s renowned manufacturing processes and design philosophies from light, high-end alloy bikes trickle down to the Women’s Synapse 105 5. They’ve thought carefully about the intended users of this entry-level model – their hopes, worries and the diverse experience they may seek. Read more.
For an industry overview on the research and thinking behind bikes designed for female riders, with insights from Liv, Specialized, Trek and Yeti, this link will take you to an article I wrote for BikeRadar.
Images: Kath Bicknell