I love mine. I tend to stay in the drops a lot with my head down when I'm in areas with light traffic. Helps clear my mind. And the geometry of the R1000fem frame is perfect for that. It's a compact frame where the regular CAAD8 is traditional, but when I test rode both the ride had few differences. I went with the fem version because it had a better wheelset and I liked the powder blue color. I've got about 800 miles on it so far and the only thing I've had to do since my fitting is adjust saddle height to my liking. I was told to expect the frame to transfer a lot of road vibration and be really harsh, but I haven't felt rattled at all and I frequently ride 50+ miles in one day. My longest ride on the frame to date has been 73mi so I can't say how well it would fare on century rides, but I haven't experienced any discomfort yet. Seems to be a well made frame that's very versatile. I would definitely reccomend it.
So far I have 120 miles on it, I'm coming from a mountain bike so I can't compare it to another road bike but I really like it. My goal is 75 miles a week (plus the mountain biking that I do).
My typical ride is 17.5 - 20 miles depending on the route I take; all in all I'm impressed. I was worried that the seat would be uncomfortable but its not; I no fatigue during or after the rides. I live outside DC so it’s rolling hills for me; it climbs well and it seems fairly stable at speeds going downhill. I’m getting used to the longer stretch then on a mountain bike, it’s really not that bad.
I bought it at REI, I'm not sure they did a good job at initial set up as I had to take it back to adjust some rear shifting issues which they addressed although the front rings are still having some shifting issues.
I attribute this to set up and not equipment as the equipment is very prevalent on other bikes (a mix of Shimano and TruVativ). It could be that cables are stretching plus I ride over wood bridges and other rough terrain so I’m not sure…
Overall I’m really happy with the bike and I’m glad I chose it; I can image years of use…..
Nice ride - just out of curiousity - did you test ride a CAAD8 as well when you bought this bike? If so, was there much of a difference? Personally, I think there's very little harshness in the CAAD7/8 frames considering it's aluminum, but I'm wondering if the aluminum Synapse is even more comfortable.
I didn't try the CAAD8, I tested the Road Warrior 800, Cyclecross, Novara Big Buzz, Trek 7.6 FX, Giant FCR and Synapse Alloy. The Cyclecross was pretty similar to the Synapse but I wasn't ever planning on taking my road bike on dirt. I would have tested the Sport Road but I couldn’t find one to test. My goal is fitness and the CAAD8 never came up with the staff of the bike stores I visited.
The folks at the Trek store had me sit on a 05 Pilot (all carbon), just sitting on it was very uncomfortable; they told me I’d get used to it but it seemed absurd to suffer through discomfort.
I choose the Synapse Alloy for because of all the bikes I road it was the best ride, it was comfortable right from the start and very quick.
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