We’re really pleased to be able to unveil Dynamic Bicycle‘s newest performance-oriented machine, the Synergy road bike. The official release of the bike is scheduled for the Seattle Bike Expo in March, but the good people at Dynamic allowed the staff of Bikecommuters.com to be the very first testers outside of their own company. How do you like them apples?
Dynamic is known primarily for its shaft-drive bicycles (the Synergy is a bit of a departure for them), and they’re not afraid of trying new drivetrain options around their company. We here at Bikecommuters.com have talked about the concept behind this particular bike before, and were blown away when Dynamic told us they were going to go ahead with this machine.
Please bear in mind as we write about and show photos of this new bike that the version shown here is a pre-production model — a prototype, if you will. The production version will have a couple of minor differences in parts spec, paint scheme and frame characteristics, and we’ll show you a photo of that at the end of this first look.
Billed by Dynamic as “the world’s first production internally-geared road bike”, this bike is aimed at the performance enthusiast who likes to think outside the box. With a drivetrain based around a Shimano Alfine 8-speed internal hub, the other item that really makes this bike stand out (and excites the hell out of me!) is the STI-style shifter co-developed by Dynamic and a Taiwanese component manufacturer.
Up until this point, the only shift controllers for the Alfine and other Shimano internally-geared hubs were trigger pods or a twist-grip unit, neither of which was appropriate for a traditional road bike without some kludgy workarounds to get those shifters onto road drop bars. Not anymore — the Dynamic’s STI shifters are AWESOME and open up a world of tinkering opportunity for cyclists. I’d venture to say that if Dynamic offered these shifter units by themselves, they’d make a mint!!!
That’s a little bit beside the point for right now, though. This Synergy road bike blends the STI-style technology and an IGH into a sleek, road-worthy package that is capable of some real performance. Parts spec on this prototype is very nice and include a couple of house-branded parts (crankset and external-bearing bottom bracket), Tektro brakes (R720 and R538), Ritchey Pro and Comp seatpost, stem and ergo handlebars, Cane Creek IS-2 headset and Alex 32 hole rims wrapped in some of my favorite road rubber: Vittoria Rubinos in 700c X 25. And, of course, the sweet Shimano Alfine hub.
The heart of the beast, as it were:
The frame is TIG-welded aluminum in the common “compact geometry” configuration with sloping top tube. There’s nothing particularly wild about the frame — merely a well-executed oversized tubeset with some gracefully flared chainstays. The pre-production frame comes with mounting points at the seatstays for a rear rack, but no matching eyelets at the track-style rear facing forkends. Patrick Perugini, president of Dynamic, assures me that the production frame WILL have those crucial eyelets to mount a rear rack. The pre-production frame’s carbon fork comes with eyelets for fender mounting, but as we saw on the OSO a few weeks ago, there’s little chance a fender will fit into those narrow spaces between fork, tires and brakes. I’m not clear as to whether the production fork will have those eyelets.
Dynamic is loaning me this bike for testing purposes for only a few days — so I’ll get some actual reviews up pretty soon. I received it on Tuesday via UPS and have already put about 35 miles on it…and so far I can say that it is comfortable yet nimble, it performs very nicely from a functional standpoint and I’m really glad to see such a machine on the market.
I’ll leave you with a photo provided by Dynamic that shows the bike as close to actual production as possible. There may still be a couple of minor tweaks, but this at least will show the production color scheme:
Oh, and by the way — Mercutio Stencil: great guess…you nailed this one! Thanks to the rest of you for throwing your comments into the ring.