In this article, I’ll guide you through a comparison between the Cannondale Synapse and Pinarello X; both popular road bikes among cyclists.
I’ll walk through the Cannondale Synapse and Pinarello X models lineup, their specifications, and retail pricing (USD). I’ll explain the carbon fiber technology used (Cannondale BallisTec vs Pinarello TorayCa Carbon), and unique frameset features for each bike.
The goal is to help you get a better understanding before you make your final purchasing decision.
|Cannondale Synapse||Pinarello X|
|Type of bike||Endurance||Endurance|
|Frame material||BallisTec carbon||Toray T600 carbon|
|Frame sizes||48, 51, 54, 56, 58, 61||430, 460, 490, 515, 530, 545, 560, 580, 600|
|Groupset||Shimano, SRAM (12-speed)||Shimano, SRAM (12-speed)|
|Brakes||Hydraulic disc||Hydraulic disc|
|Price (USD)||$4,500 to $9,050||Check with local retailers|
The Cannondale Synapse is for those looking for endurance bike geometry.
Compared to its elder sibling, the Cannondale SuperSix EVO, the Cannondale Synapse hasn’t had any major design changes in recent years. It still features a traditional frame design with the non dropped seat stays with a maximum tire size of 32c, and disc only.
As an endurance bike, the Cannondale Synapse doesn’t use top-of-the-line Hi-MOD framesets. In 2023, Cannondale streamlined the Synapse model from five to three, all with disc brakes and electronic shifting only.
|Model||Frame material||Groupset||Wheelset||Retail price (USD)|
|Cannondale Synapse Carbon 1 RLE||BallisTec carbon||Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)||HollowGram 45 SL KNØT||$9,050|
|Cannondale Synapse Carbon Ltd RLE||BallisTec carbon||Shimano GRX Di2 (11s)||HollowGram 45 SL KNØT||$7,050|
|Cannondale Synapse Carbon 2 LE||BallisTec carbon||Shimano 105 Di2 (R7100)||DT Swiss R470||$4,500|
Cannondale Synapse vs others
The Pinarello X series was announced in February 2023 as a direct replacement for the popular Pinarello Paris.
It’s an endurance bike that focuses on comfort and compliance. The Pinarello X has a shorter, more upright geometry than the Pinarello Dogma F and F series. Pinarello claims the X series is 21% more compliant than the top-of-the-line, racy Pinarello Dogma F. The standout feature is the rear triangle, which has a Flexy Stay design to dampen road vibrations without resorting to mechanical means such as on the Pinarello K8 in the past.
|Pinarello X3||Toray T600 carbon||Shimano 105 Di2 (R7100)||Fulcrum Racing 800 DB|
|Pinarello X3||Toray T600 carbon||SRAM Rival eTap AXS||Fulcrum Racing 800 DB|
|Pinarello X1||Toray T600 carbon||Shimano 105 (R7000)||Shimano WH RS-171|
Pinarello X vs others
Cannondale vs Pinarello carbon fiber
Cannondale BallisTec Carbon
Cannondale BallisTec is a proprietary carbon fiber construction technique used to manufacture Cannondale bicycle frames.
The BallisTec carbon technology utilizes advanced engineering and construction methods to create frames that balance strength, stiffness, and weight. It involves the precise layering and placement of carbon fiber sheets, which are impregnated with epoxy resin and then molded under high pressure and temperature.
The BallisTec carbon is available in three grades.
- BallisTec LAB71 is Cannondale’s latest advancement in carbon construction. Also known as the Series 0 carbon, LAB71 is designed to be the lightest and most advanced, taking over from the Hi-MOD carbon. LAB71 frameset delivers exceptional performance, weight reduction, and overall ride quality.
- BallisTec Hi-MOD stands for High-Modulus, which refers to using high-modulus carbon fibers in the frame. This results in a stiffer and lighter structure, providing enhanced power transfer and a more responsive ride feel. Hi-MOD carbon frames are designed for riders who prioritize performance, stiffness, and weight savings.
- BallisTec is the standard carbon in Cannondale’s frames, which offers a balance of weight, stiffness, and durability at more affordable prices.
Pinarello uses Torayca carbon in their bikes due to the material’s performance characteristics and the consistency of its quality. Toray’s manufacturing processes ensure a high level of control over the properties of carbon fiber, resulting in a reliable and predictable material.
Different grades of Torayca carbon are used in Pinarello bikes, which are distinguished by their moduli. The T in T1100, T900, T700, and T600 refers to Torayca, and the number denotes the grade of the carbon fiber.
A higher number equates to a higher grade of carbon, which in turn offers more stiffness and less weight, but also typically costs more to produce.
- T1100 carbon is the top Pinarello’s carbon offering. This high-end carbon fiber blend is created for the ultimate stiffness-to-weight ratio. Utilizing the highest quality carbon fiber available, Pinarello designs frames with T1100 Carbon for their flagship, Pinarello Dogma F series.
- T900 carbon is another high-quality carbon fiber offering from Pinarello, albeit slightly less stiff and lightweight than T1100. It’s used in the Pinarello F series road bikes, such as the F9 and F7.
- T700 carbon is a step down from the T900 but still offers a solid balance between weight, stiffness, and cost. It’s found in mid-range models, such as the Pinarello F5.
- T600 carbon is the entry level of Pinarello’s carbon range, is heavier, less stiff, and more comfortable. It’s used in the Endurance road bike series, the Pinarello X.
Frameset technologies and innovations
Cannondale Synapse and Pinarello X framesets incorporate advanced technologies to enhance their bikes’ performance and ride characteristics.
Here’s an overview of the technologies used in each bike model.
|BallisTec carbon construction||A proprietary manufacturing technology that uses meticulously woven carbon fiber material to create strong and lightweight bike frames.|
The goal is to maximize the stiffness-to-weight ratio, providing riders with a responsive and efficient ride experience.
Available in three grades; BallisTec LAB71, BallisTec Hi-MOD, and BallisTec.
|SAVE technology||SAVE stands for Synapse Active Vibration Elimination, and it is implemented in various bike components, including the frame, fork, seatpost, and handlebar.|
The primary goal of SAVE technology is to absorb and dampen road vibrations, which can lead to rider fatigue and discomfort, especially during long rides on rough or uneven surfaces.
|Asymmetric frame||The Pinarello X series has an asymmetric frame that compensates for the unbalanced forces generated by the drivetrain. The right side of the frame is stiffer and stronger than the left side, to improve power transfer and efficiency. The asymmetric frame also enhances the handling and stability of the bike|
|TiCR||Total Internal Cable Routing (TiCR) is the state-of-the-art internal cable routing system that sets the standard across the whole bike industry. This system is versatile, accommodating both wireless and electro-mechanical group sets. |
TiCR completely conceals the cables within the bar/stem or integrated handlebar. This not only enhances the bike’s aesthetic appeal but also significantly improves aerodynamic performance and protects the cables from external elements.
|FlatBack Profile||The FlatBack Profile is a significant aerodynamic feature in the Pinarello X. Essentially, it’s a truncated aerofoil design that provides an aerodynamic advantage while adhering to the 3:1 rule set by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). |
By using this design, the bike achieves excellent aerodynamic performance with minimal lateral wind resistance. This means less energy is expended fighting wind resistance, leading to greater speed and efficiency.
|Onda Fork||The Onda Fork is a distinctive Pinarello technology that has been around since 2000. This fork’s unique design offers precise steering abilities, stability, and a notable reduction of both longitudinal and lateral shocks. It does this by effectively absorbing road vibrations and dissipating them before they can reach the rider, resulting in a smoother, more comfortable ride.|
|Flex Stays||Flex Stays are designed to absorb road vibrations without reducing the responsiveness of the rear triangle. They are part of the Pinarello X series endurance bike, which is designed for riders who love cycling for pure joy.|
Flex stays work by having a curved shape that allows them to flex slightly when the bike encounters bumps or rough surfaces. This flexion helps to smooth out the ride and dampen the shocks that would otherwise be transmitted to the rider’s body. The flex stays also have a concave profile on the back, which improves the airflow and reduces the drag.