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Is the Synapse a plush bike or a race bike? Their web page says something about putting on a head tube spacer for a more upright position - but is that all it takes? It doesn't seem to have the compact geometry of say an OCR or a Roubaix - so I'm a little confused. Thanks!
 

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While the Synapse might be called a comfortable riding bike, it's not a "comfort" bike. Its geometry is more relaxed or upright than Cannondale's "elite racing" bikes. However, it is still a performance bike, much like the Roubaix. Liquigas uses the Synapse for Paris-Roubaix.

I've always thought that the Synapse was a compact geometry bike. It's not that aspect that makes it more comfortable, though. It's the fact that the headtube is longer, allowing for a more upright posture.One can accomplish the same effect by using spacers and an upwardly angled stem on a racing geometry bike.
 

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While it's true that you can get a higher stem position with an upright stem and more spacers, the synapse is much more than that. The best way to describe it is a comfortable race bike. In addition to a higher headtube, it also has a slightly relaxed geometry and longer wheelbase for a smoother, more stable ride. The design of the rear stays also adds a lot of comfort. I ride the carbon model synapse, and it is the smoothest riding road bike I've ever been on. I had previously owned a specialized roubaix, which is the best known of the "comfort race " bikes, and the synapse is by far the smoother bike. And the great thing about the synapse is you don't give up any noticeable performance advantage. The stiff carbon frame, along with the BB30 crank [ if so equipped] make it accelerate as well as any full race bike out there. I absolutely love mine! They are great bikes for those who want the snappy performance of a race bike, but perhaps are getting a little older and can't take the low position and harsh ride of a hard core race bike.
 

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On the carbon synapse, the 53 cm (545mm top tube) utilizes the same length headtube as the 54cm System Six (also boasting a 545mm top tube). So I'm not clear on why people think it is more upright. The seat tube is a half degree steeper and head angle is half a degree slacker but it's not much different from the so called race bikes.. I've ridden the CAAD's and the Synapse and don't notice a handling difference. It does ride smoother though...
 

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Forget the marketing imagery like "plush" vs "racing" bikes. Look at facts, not the hype. There are differences in geometry and materials between various models from different companies. Different stems/handlebars/seatposts/etc. can be swapped to fine tune your fit. And don't forget that wheels & tires can make a big difference in ride comfort/handling/etc. It's all about finding the bike & set-up that's best for YOU and your riding. Takes some effort & good advice to get there, but it's worth it.
 

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it's not marketing hype or play of words. synapse will give you a more relaxed position while riding, that's the end of it. a caad or the 6 models will have you more stretched out. it's more about riding position than handling or performance. they just serve different purposes.

why add spacers to a caad when you can buy a synapse or why lower stem to a synapse when you can get a caad? it just depends on what you are looking for.
 

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manhattanproj said:
it's not marketing hype or play of words. synapse will give you a more relaxed position while riding, that's the end of it. a caad or the 6 models will have you more stretched out. it's more about riding position than handling or performance. they just serve different purposes.

why add spacers to a caad when you can buy a synapse or why lower stem to a synapse when you can get a caad? it just depends on what you are looking for.
On my Synpase my saddle (same saddle) is the same amount of distance behind the bb that my CAAD frame was, bar to saddle drop is the same, same length top tube, same length stem, same distance from the tip of the saddle to the center of the bar. You can set a bike up any way you want if you understand fit. The guy above merely buys that Cannondale said the bike is more relaxed so you can't get the fit the same. Yet the Liquigas guys used the Synapse at Roubaix last year, go figure... And I doubt that they will accept a change in position when they are used to a certain fit.
 

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manhattanproj said:
it's not marketing hype or play of words. synapse will give you a more relaxed position while riding, that's the end of it. a caad or the 6 models will have you more stretched out. it's more about riding position than handling or performance. they just serve different purposes.

why add spacers to a caad when you can buy a synapse or why lower stem to a synapse when you can get a caad? it just depends on what you are looking for.
No argument that the Synapse has a more "laid back" geometry than other Cdales, but the OP was mentioning other brands too. Some brands' "plush" bike geometry can overlap another brand's "race" bike. And changing bits (e.g. stem, seatpost, etc.) can have a "plush" frame fit the rider essentially the same as a "race" bike ) -or almost anywhere in between depending on what you want (e,g, Boonen on his Specialized Tarmac or Roubaix depending on the specific race). And many riders change their "best position" over time (or between events) so it's good to be aware of the range of options available.
 

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Anyone who calls the Synapse a "comfort" bike has never ridden one, or else has a really sadistic idea of what "comfort" means!

It is definitely a smooth ride -- feels more like a hovercraft floating on a cusion of air than a bicycle rolling on two wheels -- but there's nothing inherently more "comfortable" about the position it puts you in. After 3 or 4 hours in the Synapse's saddle my neck & shoulders are just as sore as they are on my traditional race geometry bike.
 

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no bike, I say no bike at all can be call "comfort" bike when riden in the Street of Montreal, Qc. Canada!!! But bring it to the circuit Gilles Villeneuve (where the Fomula1 race occur) and then all bike are smooth, comfo and fast!!! :)

Seriously I bough my first ever road bike last year and had a lot of difficulty to choose between the Synapse and the Roubaix (after having tried both) and I end up with the Synapse Alloy 1 because of the deal I got on it. I'm not desapointed at all, I love it!! But can't really compare because it's my first road bike, being riding full suspension mountain bike for years!!!

When I tried the Roubaix Vs the Synapse (both carbon version), I found the Synapse to be quicker and have better acceleration(stiffer rear triangle) while the Roubaix was looking more soft, more confortable and providing less feeling. I think I made the good choice, especially with the deal I had!

In the first rides I did with my bike (Alu) in the street of Montreal I didn't finds anything comfortable at all until I ride a really nice road then I understood what was road riding...:D
 
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