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Buy that Synapse?

  • YES - Frame/Wheels/Groupset worth it!

    Votes: 12 57.1%
  • NO - Get a race bike instead

    Votes: 2 9.5%
  • NO - Keep your BMC and save $ for something else.

    Votes: 7 33.3%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all.

I'm relatively new to bike scene and need your assistance.
I bought BMC GF bike last year as my 1st road bike. Used it for rides, commute and everything: it was way more comfy, then I expected, honestly. I was choosing gravel bike as do-it-all, but realized that I don't ride gravel roads: I replaced 35 tires with 32 gravelking slicks. Could probably go with 28 instead.

Now I got a nice deal on cannondale synapse himod: SRAM RED Hydro vs Shimano 685/105 group. Carbon frame vs aluminum. Carbon wheels vs aluminum. Looks like a nice upgrade, right? Price is very good too.

But when I started asking, people advise on getting a race bike, like supersix (or any other brand) instead.

I think I never did more then 100km at once: usually I ride 2-3 hrs. I was riding more with my friends, but that very very relaxed ride. I don't see myself racing, may be in 2-3 years, but not now. I don't see myself doing long bike trips as well. I see myself on short and fast rides around the city, or even doing track riding. I live in the city, so roads are far from perfect here.

So, what do you think about it?
On the other hand it's enough to make an upgrade, just because of carbon frame/wheels/groupset. I see difference between my BMC and Synapse is more then between Synapse and Supersix.
On the other hand, may be I should go with race bike instead?

Thanks.

ps. What does Hi-mod means? I get that it's a better/stiffer carbon, but does it make bike lighter, using less carbon, or does it make bike stiffer, with same weight?
 

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But when I started asking, people advise on getting a race bike, like supersix (or any other brand) instead.
Anybody who advises you to "get a race bike" instead of a Cannondale Synapse has never tried racing on a Cannondale Synapse.

There is nothing about the Synapse construction or geometry that will penalize you when competing against any other amateur racer riding a SuperSix. Nothing.

The Synapse got a bad name a decade ago when it was first introduced because it had a slightly taller headtube and (I think) slightly more trail. It got called a "comfort bike" because of this, and instantly all the racer boys decided that it must be slow compared to their slammed-stem 20cm drop Colnagos and S-Works bikes.

But unless the race course involves a tight series of slaloms around closely-spaced offset traffic cones -- like a parking lot bike handling drill, only at 30mph -- the Synapse will be just as much of a "race bike" as the SuperSix. I have a couple friends who upgraded from CAT4 to CAT3 in one season racing on Synapses.

Buy whichever bike fits you and feels good. Ignore the marketing parrots.
 

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Have you ridden it, on a good long test ride? It's not an upgrade if it doesn't feel good to you. You have a very nice bike that you like, and that you find very comfortable, and that's not even two years old. Don't succumb prematurely to upgrade fever. Ride the other bike, and if you really like it a lot better, you might get it.

But it seems to me you already have a very good bike for your needs. You're new to the sport; in a year or two your needs might change. I'd put those 28mm tires on it and ride another season.



Hi-mod and all the other marketing terms are mostly just that. They indicate differences in construction that don't necessarily make so much difference in performance.
 

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Anybody who advises you to "get a race bike" instead of a Cannondale Synapse has never tried racing on a Cannondale Synapse.

There is nothing about the Synapse construction or geometry that will penalize you when competing against any other amateur racer riding a SuperSix. Nothing.

The Synapse got a bad name a decade ago when it was first introduced because it had a slightly taller headtube and (I think) slightly more trail. It got called a "comfort bike" because of this, and instantly all the racer boys decided that it must be slow compared to their slammed-stem 20cm drop Colnagos and S-Works bikes.

But unless the race course involves a tight series of slaloms around closely-spaced offset traffic cones -- like a parking lot bike handling drill, only at 30mph -- the Synapse will be just as much of a "race bike" as the SuperSix. I have a couple friends who upgraded from CAT4 to CAT3 in one season racing on Synapses.

Buy whichever bike fits you and feels good. Ignore the marketing parrots.
Right, exactly.

I think the Synapse might take bigger tires than the Supersix too. Even if you don't use that room it doesn't hurt anything being there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have room for 35 or even bigger tires, but I'm not using it: I guess 28 or 32 is the sweet spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Anybody who advises you to "get a race bike" instead of a Cannondale Synapse has never tried racing on a Cannondale Synapse.

There is nothing about the Synapse construction or geometry that will penalize you when competing against any other amateur racer riding a SuperSix. Nothing.

The Synapse got a bad name a decade ago when it was first introduced because it had a slightly taller headtube and (I think) slightly more trail. It got called a "comfort bike" because of this, and instantly all the racer boys decided that it must be slow compared to their slammed-stem 20cm drop Colnagos and S-Works bikes.

But unless the race course involves a tight series of slaloms around closely-spaced offset traffic cones -- like a parking lot bike handling drill, only at 30mph -- the Synapse will be just as much of a "race bike" as the SuperSix. I have a couple friends who upgraded from CAT4 to CAT3 in one season racing on Synapses.

Buy whichever bike fits you and feels good. Ignore the marketing parrots.
I don't care much about racing now. I might try it in several years though.
UCI will probably allow disc brakes by that times and I won't need another bike lol.
 

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I ride a 2016 Synapse carbon 105. It's a great bike! What kind of terrain will you be riding? My area is hilly, so the 11-32 cassette and 50/34 compact rings are very nice to have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Very flat Chicagoland area.
It probably comes with 50/34 and 11-32. However I might change it to 53/39 and/or 11-28.
I'm not crazy about weight, so I might sell hollowgram crankset and get a Sram RED instead. Especially if I can save some money on it.
 

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Anybody who advises you to "get a race bike" instead of a Cannondale Synapse has never tried racing on a Cannondale Synapse.

There is nothing about the Synapse construction or geometry that will penalize you when competing against any other amateur racer riding a SuperSix. Nothing.

The Synapse got a bad name a decade ago when it was first introduced because it had a slightly taller headtube and (I think) slightly more trail. It got called a "comfort bike" because of this, and instantly all the racer boys decided that it must be slow compared to their slammed-stem 20cm drop Colnagos and S-Works bikes.

But unless the race course involves a tight series of slaloms around closely-spaced offset traffic cones -- like a parking lot bike handling drill, only at 30mph -- the Synapse will be just as much of a "race bike" as the SuperSix. I have a couple friends who upgraded from CAT4 to CAT3 in one season racing on Synapses.

Buy whichever bike fits you and feels good. Ignore the marketing parrots.
My bike is a Synapse. There is only one thing... It's really not aero. Really really not. But I still like it a lot.
 

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My bike is a Synapse. There is only one thing... It's really not aero. Really really not. But I still like it a lot.
I sometimes ride with a couple of older retired guys who both ride Synapses. Those two are "crushers of souls" who have dropped plenty of people on bikes with more aggressive geometry. As has been mentioned, the Supersix would give you a little bit more snappy steering and would put you in a slightly more aero position. You get a little more comfort on a Synapse. However, I agree with others that at this point in your riding life, getting a new bike for the reasons you have implied doesn't make a lot of sense.
 

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Hi-mod and all the other marketing terms are mostly just that. They indicate differences in construction that don't necessarily make so much difference in performance.
The only difference between hi-mod and standard mod is about 2 pounds. Contrary to what others may tell you, you won't notice a difference except that the hi-mod will make your wallet much lighter.

I think the Synapse might take bigger tires than the Supersix too. Even if you don't use that room it doesn't hurt anything being there.
I have a Synapse Carbon and it will take 28c tires. I believe a SuperSix Evo will only take 25c tires.

It all comes down to which fits you better.
 

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I guess 28 or 32 is the sweet spot.
That may be true if: 1) you are a heavier rider and 2) you choose tires with compliant casings. A lighter rider might use quite low pressures on such a wide tire and therefore need a compliant casing to get a good ride. In many lines of tires, the larger sizes are only available in tires with "heavy duty" casings and that will negate the benefits of wider tires with lower pressures. For many tire companies, their performance tires are not available in sizes larger than 28, or sometimes even 25. Compass tires are making high compliance wide tires but many companies have not yet figured out the benefits. You still have many riders who think that 120 psi (8 bar) pressures are desirable and that skinny tires roll faster. The market has not yet completely adjusted to the known facts.
 

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I have an Cannondale EVO (non Himod) and love it.
I don't see any reason why I would want a Synapse.
I am 59 and no longer race, but a race bike is best for the type of riding I do now.
Go test ride both and then decide.
 

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I have an Cannondale EVO (non Himod) and love it.
I don't see any reason why I would want a Synapse.
I am 59 and no longer race, but a race bike is best for the type of riding I do now.
Go test ride both and then decide.

It all comes down to which type of rider position you prefer.
 

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Pretty sure a Hollowgram (if it's the SiSl version) is lighter than a SRAM Red crankset.
Right. Which would make someone who's "not crazy about weight" selling it a smart move (that is if the take off price he can get is more than a Red crank costs new which it likely is)
 

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While I will agree that the markers have turned it into a new science when it comes to marketing different types of bikes. My god, we have bike for dry road, smooth road, gravel road with small rocks, gravel road with bigger rocks, gravel road with a mix of mud and gravel, bike for endurance, randoneur (whatever that means), bike for the young and flexible, bike for the retiring old man, etc. It's ridiculous.

Me, when it comes to a "road bike", I want it to be fast, medium weight (not lightest, due to longevity), and with a proper road geometry. That means for me, the most "relaxed" class of bike I will ever buy for the road is the "roubaix"ish bike (eg, Specialized Roubaix, Trek Domane). Anything more relaxed than that, it's not a road bike. If I want fun in the dirt, I get a proper mtb bike (either hardtail or fully).

OP, you already have a relaxed bike. Now why would you want another semi-relazed bike??? Wouldn't it make MUCH more sense to go a bit further and get a dedicated race bike? Oh btw, I have found that the Cdale Supersix ain't all that agressive! Not sure why folks would call the Supersix an aggressive bike, it's a race bike, but not overly aggressive IMO. For truly aggressive bikes, you have to look at ones of the Cippolini model, not that would be aggressive. Or maybe the Specilalized Allez with its shortish heattube (not as short as Cippolini though) and longish toptube. But the Supersix isn't all that aggressive.

And guess what, when you ride aggressive frames, your body will also tend to adjust to it over time. So what is inflexible now will become flexible later, assuming you don't have some sort of back injury or issue to begin with. Body will change.
 

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I have a synapse hi-mod and a specialized tarmac s-works sl3. There is 3/8" difference in the stack height and the wheelbase is the same. The difference in the ride is undetectable except the hi-mod is a bit better in the corners.

By far the biggest difference is that the hi-mod has shimano dura-ace di2 with their generic hydro disc brakes and the sl3 has campy record/super record--both 11 speed.

I never ride the sl3 anymore and it hangs from my den ceiling. Because I mostly ride in the mountains, the sl3 with rim brakes is antiquated technology and far less fun to ride on twisting descents. They both climb out of the saddle about the same--very responsive.

In short, the sl3 is far less of a race bike than the synapse hi-mod because the hy-mod will always stay with the sl3 on climbs and is much faster on descents.
Hi all.

I'm relatively new to bike scene and need your assistance.
I bought BMC GF bike last year as my 1st road bike. Used it for rides, commute and everything: it was way more comfy, then I expected, honestly. I was choosing gravel bike as do-it-all, but realized that I don't ride gravel roads: I replaced 35 tires with 32 gravelking slicks. Could probably go with 28 instead.

Now I got a nice deal on cannondale synapse himod: SRAM RED Hydro vs Shimano 685/105 group. Carbon frame vs aluminum. Carbon wheels vs aluminum. Looks like a nice upgrade, right? Price is very good too.

But when I started asking, people advise on getting a race bike, like supersix (or any other brand) instead.

I think I never did more then 100km at once: usually I ride 2-3 hrs. I was riding more with my friends, but that very very relaxed ride. I don't see myself racing, may be in 2-3 years, but not now. I don't see myself doing long bike trips as well. I see myself on short and fast rides around the city, or even doing track riding. I live in the city, so roads are far from perfect here.

So, what do you think about it?
On the other hand it's enough to make an upgrade, just because of carbon frame/wheels/groupset. I see difference between my BMC and Synapse is more then between Synapse and Supersix.
On the other hand, may be I should go with race bike instead?

Thanks.

ps. What does Hi-mod means? I get that it's a better/stiffer carbon, but does it make bike lighter, using less carbon, or does it make bike stiffer, with same weight?
 

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I have a Synaspe and an Evo. I think the Evo is better handling and quicker to accelerate. As far as riding comfort to me they are the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That may be true if: 1) you are a heavier rider and 2) you choose tires with compliant casings. A lighter rider might use quite low pressures on such a wide tire and therefore need a compliant casing to get a good ride. In many lines of tires, the larger sizes are only available in tires with "heavy duty" casings and that will negate the benefits of wider tires with lower pressures. For many tire companies, their performance tires are not available in sizes larger than 28, or sometimes even 25. Compass tires are making high compliance wide tires but many companies have not yet figured out the benefits. You still have many riders who think that 120 psi (8 bar) pressures are desirable and that skinny tires roll faster. The market has not yet completely adjusted to the known facts.
I'm a heavier rider first of all. Gp4000 for example available in 28. I don't see many reasons to go with 25, but who knows.
 
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