BikeXchange is reader-supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through the links on our site. Read More...

Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 Review

Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 2019

Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 is aimed at all of those rides who are seeking adventures off the beaten tracks. If your idea of a cycling road is similar to Paris-Roubaix, then this all-carbon road bike will be your best companion.

The Synapse soaks up the imperfections of the surface beneath you perfectly with its stiff front and more relaxed rear end. It ensures great and pain-free rough rides. With its 18 lbs of weight, it is able to compete with some much more expensive carbon bikes out there.

It is available in one color – charcoal gray, which in our opinion makes it even more irresistible to hop on and ride.

The all-carbon frame and fork on this Synapse Carbon 105 will make you the king of cobbles and rough roads and give you an edge over most riders.

Key Specifications

The full-carbon frame, fork, and the Shimano 105 groupset is what makes this bike worth the investment. However, that is not all as it has much more to offer. Stay with us to learn what it is and why you should give it a go.

Number of Gears


Frame Material

Carbon Frame + Carbon Fork


No Suspension


Hydraulic 105 Disc Brakes

Quality Classes

Shimano 105


Main Features

It’s not only its carbon frame that the Synapse Carbon 105 boasts. There are premium components fitted into that frame and great looks as well. All of that is brought together by Cannondale’s experienced craftsmanship so we end up with an excellent road bike that is a delight to ride.

Frame and Fork

Cannondale Synapse 105 Carbon Fork
HQ Carbon BallisTec fork

Even though Cannondale is most popular for its superior aluminum frames, they have shown with this and a range of other models that carbon frames are not strange to them either. Both the frame and the fork are made of BallisTec Carbon and they contribute greatly to the total weight of 18 lbs for this Synapse Carbon 105.

The fork in front is quite stiff so you will have a very positive feedback when you are sprinting or biting the tarmac up some steep hills. The frame and the rear triangle give in a little bit more so they perform well but ensure that comfort that carbon frames are known for. It’s definitely a winning combination for Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105.

The Drivetrain

The crankset is made of a combination of Cannondale’s SI crankset and Shimano 105 cassette on the back. The crankset is a combination of 50 and 34 teeth on two rings, while the cassette has the range of 11-32 teeth. Together, they couple for 22 wide-range gears suitable for fast flats, lightning downhills, as well as some hard hills.

They are linked together by the Shimano HG601 chain which is by no means a weak link among the three. This drivetrain combination adds to the general idea that Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 is intended for the rougher roads and long century rides.  

The Derailleurs

The derailleurs, as expected, are also a part of the Shimano 105 groupset. On the front, shifting is done by a Shimano 105 braze-on derailleur, while on the back Shimano 105 GS has this role. Generally, road cyclists love the 105 which is regarded as the workhorse of road cycling components.

Not much can go wrong with the 105 as it is built to shift accurately and last for a long time. That is why it is the most popular choice among the majority of mid-range road bikes on the market.

Cannondale Synapse 105 Carbon on action

Brakes and Tires

The hydraulic brakes are one of the biggest positives on Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105, apart from the carbon frame and fork. Even though it is expected to get hydraulics on a $2500 road bike, it is great to see that they are sticking with the idea throughout the bike.

These Shimano 105 hydraulic discs will offer awe-worthy stopping power on any rough and wet terrain, being cobbles, or just pothole-laden roads.

The tires add to the overall story of this Synapse. Cannondale has chosen to go with Vittoria Zaffiro – 25c wide.

Related: Cannondale Caadx review 

Saddle and Pedals

The saddle that comes with Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 is the standard Fabric Scoop Shallow. You can find this saddle on most Cannondale road bike models and that is for a good reason. Something that works well should not be changed, and this saddle has proven itself time and time again. Plus, it adds quite a bit to the overall good looks of the bike because it is a great fit for the charcoal grey paint job.


Should You Buy The Synapse 105?

Once again, Cannondale has nailed it and built an all-rounder that appeals to an incredibly wide audience.

Whether you are looking for a bike that will shorten your commute time to work and back every day, want to improve your average time on those long rides, or tackle the far-from-perfect roads in your area, the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 is going to make you happy.

If you’re living in a wet and cold area and that was stopping you from putting the weekly and monthly miles into your Strava account, now you will have no excuses. Arguably, the Cannondale Synapse appeals better to the sportive audience, but you can take it to a race easily as well.

The only slight downside is the heavier wheels, but this does not stop it from accepting the power and surging really fast during sprints. Plus, the heavier and harder wheels add to the overall sturdiness and durability of the bike and make it an all-condition winner.

At this price range, you are usually paying the most for the frame, and that is exactly where you’re getting the most with Carbon 105. If you ever decide to invest more in components and the wheelset, the Synapse’s carbon frame will offer the perfect basis.

Points of Improvement

What we like


A heavier wheelset

Carbon frame and fork


Hydraulic disk brakes


Decent Shimano 105 components


Other Models

Other Cannondale Synapse modelsCannondale has other Synapse models in stock for you if Synapse Carbon 105 doesn’t meet your needs perfectly. Check them out below

  • Disc Sora – This is a cheaper model with an aluminum frame, a carbon fork, and a Shimano Sora groupset.
  • Disc Tiagra – Slightly more expensive than the Disc Sora, this comes with similar parts, apart from the Tiagra groupset.
  • Disc 105 – This model has the same Shimano 105 components like the one we reviewed above, but it features an aluminum frame and mechanical disc brakes.
  • Disc 105 SE – Quite similar to the one above, but with lighter wheels and tires for better rolling performance.


Leave a Comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *