Cannondale Synapse NEO SE Review

Brady Meyers Profile image

Written By:

Updated January 27, 2023
Our posts contain affiliate links. Sometimes, not always, we may make $$ when you make a purchase through these links. No Ads. Ever. Learn More
86 Expert Rating

One of the best gravel e-bikes, the Cannondale Synapse NEO SE comes equipped with best-in-class SRAM Apex hydraulic disc brakes, which excel at offering a smooth stop on gravel, sand, snow, and wet roads. It’s that versatility and performance in all weather that gives the bike its spot among the best electric road bikes, even competing with the Giant Revolt E+ Pro.

Why We Like It – Cannondale Synapse NEO SE

The Cannondale Synapse NEO SE includes SRAM Apex hydraulic disc brakes, which offer smooth stopping power on any surface type and during inclement weather, in addition to featuring a battery that gets 85 miles of use on a single charge. What if you want a bike that can provide maximum off-road performance? Read about a recommendation in our Bulls ebikes review.

  • 85 miles of use on single charge
  • 11-speed hydraulic shifter excels at inclines
  • Powerful Bosch Active Line electric motor
  • No pedals included

Durability & Build Quality

This is a high-end electric bicycle and, as such, does not include pedals, allowing riders to choose their own to suit their personal needs. Additionally, this bike is on the heavier side, coming in at 41 pounds. The 32mm WTB Byway exposure tires are wide enough to offer you a smooth ride on a trail. They feel chunky and comfortable even while clearing slight bumps on the road. Also, their tubeless-ready design allows you to ditch the tubes and shed off some weight. The Cannondale Synapse NEO is held together by a SmartForm C1 frame that makes for a sturdy construction. The bike is well constructed, thanks to a combination of Out-Front geometry, BallisTec carbon fork, and SAVE Micro-suspension that delivers a smooth and inspiring cruise on the trail. The tires that come with the bike are the WTB Byway TCS 650B x 47 mm, all contained in the WTB STi29 TCS 2.0 mit Formula-Naben with a wheel size of 26in. The stem is the Cannondale C3, Alu the same designation is given to the handlebars and seat post, so anyone who loves the bike won’t need to remember different names for different parts as they need to replace parts from use. For an e-gravel bike, check out the Cannondale topstone neo carbon electric road bike review. Additionally, for more great premium bikes from Cannondale, you can read our guide on the top Cannondale electric bikes.

Performance (Speed & Acceleration)

This bike is powered by a powerful Motor Bosch Active Line Plus Drive unit, which performs better than previous versions. The generation 3 motor is lighter, smaller, and more efficient to ensure that battery power is conserved. The power is transmitted smoothly to get you to top speeds of 20mph, beyond which the motor assist will instantly cut off. Overall, the E road bike has a high amount of performance, but compliance is limited. In contrast to the Yamaha Wabash, you have to take your hand further from the handlebar to change modes on the Purion display, but it shows you all the most important information you need while you’re riding.

Thanks to the powerful Bosch Active Line Plus motor, the Cannondale accelerates quickly, despite its weight. However, it takes a lot of effort to maintain the bike’s speed above the 25 km/h threshold. As long as you stay below 25 km/h (optimally at a cadence of 75–80 rpm), the bike invites you to leave the paved roads whenever you want. On the trail, the handling of the Synapse NEO SE is very stable. However, you should stay in Eco mode as otherwise, it becomes difficult to control the powerful Bosch motor.

Range & Battery

Reviewers loved the 500 Watt Hours, Lithium-Ion Battery battery pack, which can get up to 85 miles per charge and reaches a maximum charge rather quickly. The battery has been integrated into the frame and sits inside the downtube to leave you with a seamless bike design. Apart from the oversized downtube and enlarged bottom bracket, the untrained eye will not notice there’s something different about this bicycle. The Boardman ADV 8.9E may not offer the 85-mile range that the Cannondale does, but it has a removable battery. This is to make it easier to charge, and it only takes around 3 hours to fully charge. And while the Engwe mountain bike might not get as far on a charge with only about a 25-mile range, it is foldable for easier portability.

Safety features

The Synapse NEO is fitted with a Shimano 105 hydraulic flat mount brake that offers good braking performance in all kinds of weather conditions. You’ll have the confidence to cruise at top speeds on wet road surfaces, as well as descend hills with unrivaled stability.


Mounted by default with a thru-axle, you won’t need to worry about needing to replace it when you pick it up, regardless of the amount of weight you normally carry on your bike rides and regardless of where you’re going. It is cheaper than the Specialized Turbo Creo SL though it’s still quite expensive.

Cannondale Synapse NEO SE Wrap Up

Cannondale Synapse NEO is a reliable e-bike with high-performance specs that any enthusiast would love to have on the road. The bike boasts a powerful motor, long-range battery, and comfortable geometry, among its many positive attributes. Though the non-enthusiast might be angry if they order the bike as it doesn’t come with pedals in any way.

Brady Meyers Profile image