Anyone Familiar With This Bicycle?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 01, 2010 3:21 AM GMT
    2010 Cannondale SYNAPSE HI-MOD Di2

    I'm looking at it for the November ride down to Key West, something lighter and smoother riding than my touring bike. The Di2 designation means it has the new Shimano Di2 electronic shifters, and is based on DuraAce 7900 components.

    Do the S.A.V.E. system and carbon frame really give a comfortable ride? The route down to KW is very jarring. The frame geometry also provides a less aggressive and more upright riding position than many other bikes of this type, which I need at my age. I don't want a full-out road racing bike, nor a triathlon.

    I had thought I might also take another look at the Trek Roubaix, which I almost bought a couple of years ago, but it seems to have been discontinued. Any thoughts on this Cannondale or other high-end road bikes? Thanks!

    Cannondale.jpg

    The Cannondale site wouldn't allow a link or download, had to do an image capture from my screen.
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    Jun 01, 2010 2:04 PM GMT
    Wilton said2010 Cannondale SYNAPSE HI-MOD Di2

    I'm looking at it for the November ride down to Key West, something lighter and smoother riding than my touring bike. The Di2 designation means it has the new Shimano Di2 electronic shifters, and is based on DuraAce 7900 components.

    Do the S.A.V.E. system and carbon frame really give a comfortable ride? The route down to KW is very jarring. The frame geometry also provides a less aggressive and more upright riding position than many other bikes of this type, which I need at my age. I don't want a full-out road racing bike, nor a triathlon.

    I had thought I might also take another look at the Trek Roubaix, which I almost bought a couple of years ago, but it seems to have been discontinued. Any thoughts on this Cannondale or other high-end road bikes? Thanks!

    The Cannondale site wouldn't allow a link or download, had to do an image capture from my screen.


    Nice bike. I would suggest that only you can tell how the bike feels and fits, so best would be to get out and test ride some bikes. Your bike shop should allow you to take as much time as you like on them, not just around the parking lot.

    In this class, I would also consider the Trek Madone, in Performance geometry, you can spec out a Madone with Di2 on Trek's Project One website. Also, the Specialized Roubaix (I don't think Trek ever made a Roubaix designated road frame.) but you would have to upgrade to Di2 on your own.

    As for the Di2, it is neat stuff, you will like it. If you are seriously considering the Di2, look for bikes that integrate its special features (hidden cables, battery bosses). I know the 2010 Trek Madones do, but it doesn't appear that the Synapse does. So that may be something else to consider.

    All that being said, at your price point, over 8k, I would seriously suggest a custom frame, and build. Nothing wrong with off the rack carbon, it rides great, but you can have something really special (unique) for the same amount of money.

    HTH
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    Jun 01, 2010 4:43 PM GMT
    bikethere saidNice bike. I would suggest that only you can tell how the bike feels and fits, so best would be to get out and test ride some bikes. Your bike shop should allow you to take as much time as you like on them, not just around the parking lot.

    In this class, I would also consider the Trek Madone, in Performance geometry, you can spec out a Madone with Di2 on Trek's Project One website. Also, the Specialized Roubaix (I don't think Trek ever made a Roubaix designated road frame.) but you would have to upgrade to Di2 on your own.

    As for the Di2, it is neat stuff, you will like it. If you are seriously considering the Di2, look for bikes that integrate its special features (hidden cables, battery bosses). I know the 2010 Trek Madones do, but it doesn't appear that the Synapse does. So that may be something else to consider.

    All that being said, at your price point, over 8k, I would seriously suggest a custom frame, and build. Nothing wrong with off the rack carbon, it rides great, but you can have something really special (unique) for the same amount of money.

    HTH

    Thanks! The custom frames I was looking at were over $10k, and standard geometry fits me just fine. I've been on those measurement rigs at the dealer, and they confirm I don't really need custom dimensions. But all these off-the-rack bikes do have top-line components, which I do think are worth having.

    You're right about the Roubaix, it is a Specialized! No wonder I couldn't find it on the Trek site. DUH! And the damn thing is I've ridden one.

    I realized my error earlier this morning, while driving my partner to his office, though what made that pop into my head escapes me. I was gonna edit my post here when I got home, but first I jumped onto my Cannondale and did a quick 15-mile training spin before the heat built up. When I came back home again the thought had gone right out of my head once more -- one of the many disadvantages of being in my 60s. icon_redface.gif

    So thanks for the reminder, and to check out Specialized. I like the idea of bikes optimized for the Roubaix race for the riding I'll be doing, having longer wheelbases, easier geometery for my old body, and more compliant frames. I was already looking at the Madone 6.9, but it's spec sheet didn't seem to mention Di2. I agree the battery box on the Synapse is tacked on & ugly, using the bottle cage lugs. I might consider having its black surface painted white to match the Synapse's frame if I get a 2010.

    But I went to the Shamano site and looked at their Di2 installation PDF, and they recommend that method, and indeed their box mounting strap is predrilled for the standard 2-lug spacing of a cage. Plus they give warnings about hidden cables, which have rather large connector ends on them.

    Thanks once more for your obviously knowledgeable input, which I hope I can draw upon again as needed! icon_biggrin.gif

    Edit: my Cannondale dealer has lesser Synapse models on-hand, but with the same geometry as the HI-MOD, and I'll confirm the fit when I next get over there.
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    Jun 01, 2010 5:33 PM GMT
    Wilton said
    Thanks! The custom frames I was looking at were over $10k, and standard geometry fits me just fine. I've been on those measurement rigs at the dealer, and they confirm I don't really need custom dimensions. But all these off-the-rack bikes do have top-line components, which I do think are worth having.

    You're right about the Roubaix, it is a Specialized! No wonder I couldn't find it on the Trek site. DUH! And the damn thing is I've ridden one.

    I realized my error earlier this morning, while driving my partner to his office, though what made that pop into my head escapes me. I was gonna edit my post here when I got home, but first I jumped onto my Cannondale and did a quick 15-mile training spin before the heat built up. When I came back home again the thought had gone right out of my head once more -- one of the many disadvantages of being in my 60s. icon_redface.gif

    So thanks for the reminder, and to check out Specialized. I like the idea of bikes optimized for the Roubaix race for the riding I'll be doing, having longer wheelbases, easier geometery for my old body, and more compliant frames. I was already looking at the Madone 6.9, but it's spec sheet didn't seem to mention Di2. I agree the battery box on the Synapse is tacked on & ugly, using the bottle cage lugs. I might consider having its black surface painted white to match the Synapse's frame if I get a 2010.

    But I went to the Shamano site and looked at their Di2 installation PDF, and they recommend that method, and indeed their box mounting strap is predrilled for the standard 2-lug spacing of a cage. Plus they give warnings about hidden cables, which have rather large connector ends on them.


    Not trying to steer you into a Madone. But the 2010 6 Series (not the 5 Series), is built from the ground up with Di2 in mind. Note that doesn't exclude non-electric groups, it is just that cable routing is not an afterthought.

    You have to go to the Project One portion of the website.
    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/projectone/model/madone69/
    You can spec a Madone with pretty much any group you want from the big three: Shimano, Campagnolo, or SRAM.

    There is no issue at all with the internal cable routing in the Madone. Internal routing is done with both electric and tensioned cabling.
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    Jun 01, 2010 9:50 PM GMT
    OK, I took the link, built a 6.9 with Di2, and it costs $10,499. But is the Madone as comfy a bike as either the Roubaix or the Synapse HI-MOD? I'm concerned it may be too aggressive & edgy for me, its geometry too demanding.
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    Jun 01, 2010 10:07 PM GMT
    Wilton,

    As far as bike fit goes, your comfort is probably not going to be optimal on any frame right off the shelf. Even a frame with a shorter top tube and longer head tube might "seem" to be more comfortable in spec, they're going to have whatever size stem thrown on they have in the warehouse. For a perfect fit on any bike, the stem is probably going to have to be replaced.

    As far as the ride quality, generally it's assumed that the wider a carbon tube is laterally, the better lateral stiffness it provides, and the larger the tubes are in circumference, the greater their ability to absorb shock (naturally, it's simply dissipation across a greater surface area). The roubaix's pockets of shock absorption are of particular interest to a touring would-be, so I'd definitely check it out.

    Do you feel that Di2 is absolutely necessary? I'd be disinclined to take Di2 out on a long, long journey for fear that I'd end up in a place with no means of recharging. Which I suppose wouldn't be the end of the world, but no one wants a single speed they paid 10,000 for. I think you'd feel just as happy with the 7900. Di2 is cool, but from what I've seen, its genious lies in its superior shifting strength under pressure, which I doubt you're going to be shaking things up that much on your trip to Key West.

    The last consideration I think you should evaluate is your wheel choice. A LOT of how your bike will feel under your hands is determined by how your front wheel contacts the road. I recently bought a cheap pair of training wheels (very heavy). Their dish width is noticeably wider than my previous American Classic CR-420's or Vuelta Corsa SL's. Their ability to absorb impact is MUCH better, you'd think I was riding a completely different bike.

    Patrick
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    Jun 01, 2010 10:42 PM GMT
    Triguy013 saidDo you feel that Di2 is absolutely necessary? I'd be disinclined to take Di2 out on a long, long journey for fear that I'd end up in a place with no means of recharging.

    Thanks for your comments, Patrick. Shimano claims 1000 hours of use between charges for the Di2. I've never done more than a century in a single day, so I wouldn't be shifting that much, with overnight stops on this kind of bike where electrical outlets would be available. I have the touring bike if I decided to try remote camping again, a bike that's totally non-electrical, except for LED battery headlight and taillight. Dragging along the tentage and cookware far from civilization is not something I'd be doing with a carbon road bike like we're discussing.

    Still, I do wonder about the real value of the Di2 system to me. Outside of a competitive environment, I'm not sure if the kind of charity and club runs I'm doing would really benefit from that technology. My first priorities are lightness & comfort, since my body is getting weaker and prone to injury with age. I need to lose every pound from the bike (and from me, too), not so I can win a race, but just so I can cross the finish line.

    As for frame specs, I have a particular problem: short legs and a long torso. So I need a smaller frame with a short standover height, but a moderately long top tube. I've tried having the handlebars extended out, but that really didn't work, the steering response suffering.

    So now you know more of the specifics of my requirements, and I welcome any more suggestions you guys have. I'm continuing to use my touring bike as a trainer, and have until November to get a bike for this next ride.
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    Jun 02, 2010 4:59 AM GMT
    i know it's always tempting to go for the top of the line, but do you have any particular reason to go for Dura Ace, let alone the Di2 ?
    The Ultegra would perform just as well considering the riding you'll do.
    I can see the benefits of Dura Ace for an elite racer with wider gear, cranks and chainring selection, but for 99.9% of us , the extra cash doesn't really justify the difference in performance. And there are tons of racers on Ultegra and even 105 gruppos.

    Considering your physiology, will you be looking for a somewhat larger size bike from which you'll just lower the saddle ? It would give a more upright position but as you say you're not looking for a full aerodynamic racing position. But this is just a random idea, i don't know your real proportions.

    Will you be riding 700CX25, 23, 20 clinchers ? They make quite a difference i comfort, but not a huge one in performance if you're not racing.
    I used to prefer 23 for riding ( now i only ride xc ).

    I know they're not as popular nowadays, but if you want a lot of resilience from the frame, have you looked into titanium or titanium/carbon mix ?
    Moots, Titus, Litespeed ...







  • Jun 02, 2010 5:07 AM GMT
    It does appear that this bike is well suited for racing more than for touring. I find carbon perfectly comfortable, but I agree with he guy above--look into something like a Moots. If you're going to do a lot of heavy road cycling AND touring with it, then maybe it's a good choice. I guess it just depends on what the primary use for it will be in the future. . .nice bike--post how you like the Di2 system if you get it (and I do agree that Ultegra might even be better for touring--but having said that, the owner of my bike shop has a fantastic Independent touring bike with those shifters, so who I am to say so? icon_smile.gif)
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    Jun 02, 2010 12:12 PM GMT
    xassantex said...The Ultegra would perform just as well considering the riding you'll do. I can see the benefits of Dura Ace for an elite racer with wider gear, cranks and chainring selection, but for 99.9% of us , the extra cash doesn't really justify the difference in performance...

    Considering your physiology, will you be looking for a somewhat larger size bike from which you'll just lower the saddle ?...

    Will you be riding 700CX25, 23, 20 clinchers? They make quite a difference i comfort, but not a huge one in performance if you're not racing...

    I know they're not as popular nowadays, but if you want a lot of resilience from the frame, have you looked into titanium or titanium/carbon mix ?
    Moots, Titus, Litespeed ...

    My Cannondale t1 touring bike has Ultegra components, and I agree they're not shabby. However, DuraAce is light, part of my selection criteria. This bike would be strictly for doing charity and club rides, none more than 165 miles, and all with full road support. I'll be keeping my tourer for other riding chores, for training, and for solo touring rides. But I am having second thoughts about Di2, as I noted above, thanks to the good feedback I'm getting here.

    I do in fact always get a frame that's slightly oversized for me, the limit being the standover height, making the seatpost in fact lower than typical today. That gives me the top tube stretch-out room I need, although it does add some weight over a smaller frame. Of course I'm aware that as the saddle goes up it also goes back from the handlebars, and I check that factor as well, but I also want to keep the saddle as low as possible in relation of the handlebars. And frankly, I hate riding a frame that looks small enough for a child. It seems carbon is the material of choice these days for compliance from the major manufactures, haven't seen much in titanium.

    Most of these tires are 23's, which I've ridden and know their harshness. That makes a Roubaix-style carbon frame & fork more desirable for me with my bad lower back (degenerative disc disease), and neck problems (cervical spondylosis). But I've gotta balance those hard tires and narrow rims against their low weight and rolling resistance.

    When I did the Key West ride 18 months ago I was literally the last rider of nearly 400 to cross the finish line, 10 minutes over the cut-off time but they allowed me to finish anyway. I don't wanna be in that position again, hence my priority for a bike that's ultra-light and easy to pedal. (I merely crewed the most recent ride along with my partner, to keep an eye on him after his being recently released from the hospital) Now I'll be almost 2 years older for this upcoming ride, pushing 62, and need every advantage I can get, regardless of price.

    But thanks for the good suggestions, and I'm not dismissing them, just talking them out. Comments & observations from other smart guys here would also be appreciated.
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    Jun 02, 2010 1:48 PM GMT
    Since you have been coming in last place anyway,it seems that a rickshaw would be much more comfortable and appropriate.
    It's inevitably the new you,embrace it!
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    Jun 02, 2010 2:10 PM GMT
    goodtr8s saidSince you have been coming in last place anyway,it seems that a rickshaw would be much more comfortable and appropriate.
    It's inevitably the new you, embrace it!

    icon_cry.gif

    Well, it's also a matter of being able to complete these events at all, since many of them close the course after a certain time, and even sweep you. And also so I'm not killing myself trying to make it under the wire.

    In fact, if I were routinely finishing with the leaders with my old bike, then THAT would be the stronger argument that I don't need a better new one. This bike will be to compensate for my own physical shortcomings, not to win any races, which none of these rides are. But I do wanna at least finish.

    And BTW, that 165-mile KW ride was the only one where I came in dead last. In shorter club & charity rides I do about mid-pack or a little farther back, but never last.
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    Jun 02, 2010 3:19 PM GMT
    If you want light weight, I'm not sure I'd be looking at Shimano, anyway. SRAM has shimano beat at every component level.

    Also, what REAL weight is going to be saved between 7900 and 6700? Maybe a few 100 grams across the entire groupset? For the weight savings you might as well carry one less water bottle.

    Patrick
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    Jun 02, 2010 3:20 PM GMT
    Not to mention that the most important location for weight in the bike is in the wheels because of the rotational weight.

    Patrick
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    Jun 02, 2010 4:59 PM GMT
    Triguy013 saidIf you want light weight, I'm not sure I'd be looking at Shimano, anyway. SRAM has shimano beat at every component level.

    Also, what REAL weight is going to be saved between 7900 and 6700? Maybe a few 100 grams across the entire groupset? For the weight savings you might as well carry one less water bottle.

    Patrick

    Thanks, this is the kind of info I wanna be getting. There is a version of the Cannondale Synapse Hi-MOD called the Red, which uses all SRAM Red. See what you think (click on Specs):

    http://www.cannondale.com/usa/usaeng/Products/Bikes/Road/Performance-Road/Synapse/Details/1251-0RCL00C-Synapse-Hi-MOD-Red

    After my morning training ride today I stopped by the Cannondale/Specialized dealer. They had a Synapse with the same geometry as the Hi-MOD in a 54c frame, the longest downtube I thought would work for me. It fit like a glove, the dealer instantly noting the "cockpit" was perfect for my torso. A brief spin confirmed a good geometry for me.

    They didn't have a Specialized Roubaix, however, so that remains a question mark. I'll visit the Trek dealer in the next few days. I may hold off until the 2011's come out, since I know from past experience, at least with Cannondale, that I can order in late September in time for the November ride. In the meantime I have the touring bike for training.

    I'm real excited about this, even have a new helmet picked out, whose color scheme I'll match to the bike when I know what that'll be.

    Hi-MOD Red with SRAM Red components:

    Hi-MODRed.jpg

    Bell Volt helmet:

    VoltRedWhite.jpg

  • Jun 02, 2010 5:03 PM GMT
    Well if price isn't the biggest issue, then why not look at a custom Serotta or something. They are amazing, it will fit to you exactly, and you can select everything you want, component by component (and by the way I agree about SRAM above--love my SRAM Red--find it much smoother than the Dura Ace I have on another bike)
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    Jun 02, 2010 5:34 PM GMT
    multisportmansf saidWell if price isn't the biggest issue, then why not look at a custom Serotta or something. They are amazing, it will fit to you exactly, and you can select everything you want, component by component (and by the way I agree about SRAM above--love my SRAM Red--find it much smoother than the Dura Ace I have on another bike)

    Damn, you guys are selling me on SRAM. But not sure about a Serotta -- with "Ford" written on it? I would expect at least Lincoln for those prices!

    main_meivici_ford_1.jpg

    OK, j/k, I assume team markings shown as an example. Well, another possibility in the price range, although I'd kinda feel more comfortable with a larger company with local dealers, even if Cannondale itself is not the biggest, compared to Trek for example. My preferred dealer also carries Scott, but I'm not sure about them, either. I'm trying to get smart with bicycle mags, but they mostly seem to think everything is wonderful, not very discriminating & helpful.

  • Jun 02, 2010 5:41 PM GMT
    Serotta is an American company, and plenty of better bicycle shops carry them. And yeah, the Ford thing is just an example ;) Parlee, a Boston company, also makes some KILLER custom road bikes. . .I've ridden them--incredible. But I also get wanting a more common brand. I personally think Felt does a nice job with carbon (but I'm prejudiced). I recommend a fit session with a REALLY good fit specialist. They'll tell you what frames are best for your body and your needs, and that will narrow it down some. For all you know, that Cannondale might have the wrong geometry for the way you ride.. .
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    Jun 02, 2010 7:20 PM GMT
    multisportmansf saidSerotta is an American company, and plenty of better bicycle shops carry them. And yeah, the Ford thing is just an example ;) Parlee, a Boston company, also makes some KILLER custom road bikes. . .I've ridden them--incredible. But I also get wanting a more common brand. I personally think Felt does a nice job with carbon (but I'm prejudiced). I recommend a fit session with a REALLY good fit specialist. They'll tell you what frames are best for your body and your needs, and that will narrow it down some. For all you know, that Cannondale might have the wrong geometry for the way you ride.. .

    OK, just got off the phone with a Serotta dealer in Boca Raton, some 20 miles north of me. Had a nice chat with a guy there, I plan to visit them before long.

    Would be a good training ride for me, and I've gone up that way before on charity runs, know good roads to take. As the Serotta is custom made they don't keep anything on hand in the shop, unless a bike is being serviced. I'll try to coordinate that with them, and I was told several of their employees ride them, too, might have one there that day.

    About $100 for a computerized fitting, similar to what other shops charge, and credited against a purchase. I'll check it out, see what I think, and thanks for the lead. I wasn't sure I really need a custom frame, but I'm open to suggestions, always willing to learn. And they're within the $8-10k window I think is acceptable. Anything more is Tour de France territory.
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    Jun 03, 2010 4:23 AM GMT
    buying a Serotta is like buying a Colnago.
    You'll have to put top of the line components otherwise people will look at you funny. :p

    and whether you went for Dura Ace, Campi Super Record or Sram Red , you'd be in bike heaven . *envious*


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    Jun 05, 2010 7:03 PM GMT
    xassantex saidbuying a Serotta is like buying a Colnago.
    You'll have to put top of the line components otherwise people will look at you funny. :p

    and whether you went for Dura Ace, Campi Super Record or Sram Red , you'd be in bike heaven . *envious*

    Yes, my intention is for the components to be the best, whether I get an off-the-rack frame or a custom made. I should do the same thing I always do when I buy a new motorcycle: get all the relevant cycling magazines I can and look for reviews on bikes and components.

    In the past some articles have negatively impressed me as puff pieces, but maybe if I search enough I'll find some of real value. Anyone have recommendations for biking magazines with meaningful reviews of road bikes?
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    Jun 06, 2010 9:53 AM GMT
    I've owned a Giant OCR road bike, and a Cannondale Cyclocross. Both were aluminum, and both had Shimano 105 gears. Did century rides with both.

    I'll take the Cannondale any day. Even with cross tires, it still outperformed the Giant road bike with skinny tires.
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    Jun 06, 2010 10:03 AM GMT
    I would have sex with that bike. You should buy it
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    Jun 06, 2010 3:01 PM GMT
    Wilton said2010 Cannondale SYNAPSE HI-MOD Di2
    Cannondale.jpg

    The Cannondale site wouldn't allow a link or download, had to do an image capture from my screen.

    You on a bike? I gotta see pictures of this or it didn't happen. I've never pictured you doing anymore exercise than lifting a martini glass.
  • TCharest

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    Jun 06, 2010 3:13 PM GMT
    For these prices. I know it's not a road bike, but I'd get an Optibike instead hands down.