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  1. #1
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    Are the Cannondale Synapse and Specialized Roubaix comparable?

    I'm looking for a bike to do some centuries. I rented a brand new Roubaix in Colorado recently and was really impressed. I wonder how the Cannondale Synapse carbon compares.

    I'm also curious as to how a Trek Madone 5-series would compare to both...Trek doesn't seem to have a "plush" or "endurance" line of bikes, and I wonder if a Madone at the same price point (about $3k) compares.

    Any thoughts appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member chasmm's Avatar
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    FWIW, I have the Roubaix Elite. I was told that the Trek 4.5 is the equivalent to the Roubaix. I don't know how accurate that statement was, but I just "liked" the Roubaix more.

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  3. #3
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    When I was shopping for my bike, I was looking at "plush" bikes, and the Cannondale Synapse was one in that line. I didn't find one to test ride, but it is in that genre. Trek has (or had) the Pilot line, which were similar, and no one near me had them in stock, either.
    Last edited by unabowler; 07-21-10 at 08:24 PM. Reason: typo

  4. #4
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    Anyway, just to complete my thought, I was riding a hybrid and decided to get a road bike and thought the plush bikes would be a good way to go. I rode the Specialized Secteur (same geometry as the Roubaix except in aluminum) and one of the Giant Defy series. I rode a non-plush Trek and didn't notice that much difference and bought the Trek. Even in the beginning I didn't feel like there was any difficulty in the transition to a road bike.

    YMMV, you're going carbon and I'll bet you like the Synapse if you liked the Roubaix. Good luck shopping.

  5. #5
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    Ride both I have and personally prefer the Roubaix, its much more responsive, but buy the new frame design, the old one while good, isint as good as the new one. Night and day.

  6. #6
    Senior Member EKCooper's Avatar
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    No, the Synapse is soooo much better. ;-)
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  7. #7
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    I've been happy with my 2010 Synapse Carbon 5, although I considered the Roubaix. In the end, it just came down to which dealer I liked better and which bike I thought had the better colors & graphics.

  8. #8
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    They certainly are comparable bikes in the same category. The Synapse has a shorter head tube and is considered by some to be one of the most "race like" of the plush bikes. I'm sure you could argue that if that's what you're after to just get a real race geom.

    Personally the Zerts things in the fork and stays on the Roubaix seem a bit silly, but the bike is supposed to ride very well.

    I ended up with the Synapse and love it. Fast but just a tad more upright...still responsive but comfortable. Hell, it's my first all carbon bike so I'm sure I'd be a fan of whatever I bought.

    Other options around that price are the Felt Z, Scott CR1, Colnago ACE etc... there are a lot of options.

  9. #9
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    I have a new to me Synapse alloy 5. Did a century this past Saturday. I thought it felt real smooth compared to my 88 steel Bianchi, but was on unfamiliar roads. Did 45 miles on it yesterday over very familiar roads and confirmed it. The ride is incredibly smooth. The bottom bracket area is super stiff. I also have a 94 Cannondale M700 mountain bike with the Pepperoni fork- it had really biased me against aluminum frames because of the harsh ride on and off road. Love the Synapse so far!

  10. #10
    Senior Member colombo357's Avatar
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    Nope.

    The Synapse is a bicycle.

    The Roubaix an electric motorcycle.
    "I just googled triple crank set and i see what your saying. this bike has 9 of those "cranksets".
    "They are showing [the TDF of Versus] at 5 different times in the day. It doesn't say which one is the live one."

  11. #11
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    I can comment on the Synapse but not on the Roubaix. I bought a new '08 Synapse Carbon 5 in the first quarter of '09 and got a discount on it as a last-year's model. Longest ride so far is 90 miles, but it did well. Have done an 80, and some 70's and 60's as well. No problems. Mine has all Shimano 105 components. So far, I have 4,200 miles on it. It climbs well and descends well. Max speed so far is 48.5 on a descent with no shimmy. The original saddle was a little narrow for me, and I have switched to a Specialized Avatar, which I like. This was my first venture into carbon, and I am pleased with it. My old bike, which I still ride, is an aluminum Fuji Newest. I prefer the ride on carbon. Wheels on the Synapse are Mavic Aksiums, and they seem to be holding up well. Good luck with your search.

  12. #12
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    I have a Roubaix expert and find it very comfortable and smooth. It's really noticable on rough roads like chipseal (and cobbles per the Specialized marketing dept.).

    I can't really compare to the Synapse, but have been very pleased and have a little over 2k miles on it since april and don't ride my Tarmac much since I bought the Roubaix.

    One thing to look at on the Roubaix is that they have extremely tall head tubes which limits saddle to bar drop. If you like a lot of drop, it's probably not a good choice.

  13. #13
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    I have an 18-month old '09 Roubaix, and have 24,600 miles and 154 centuries on it. Obviously I think it's a good century bike. But to make it one, I put on my 31-year old Ideale 90 leather saddle and 25mm tires. By comparison, my '95 Trek 6500 aluminum MTB with 37 mm City Contact tires and a Brooks leather saddle is at least as smooth. In this case the tires and saddles are the key elements as I've dialed the fit to be identical on the two bikes.

    I offer that to say that either the Roubaix or Synapse can be great century bikes, but only if they fit and you've swapped parts that annoy or discomfort you.

    When Trek gave up the carbon Pilot (this year's is only aluminum), they went to two geometries for the Madone: performance and pro. The performance fit is more relaxed, though slightly less so than the Roubaix: headtube length is between the shorter one on the pro and the longer one on the Roubaix. Sounds like the Synapse is about as relaxed as the Madone performance fit.

    So, try the Synapse and the Roubaix for geometry. If you've never ridden carbon, trust me they will both be smooth. You can heighten that even more with tire and saddle selection as I did.

    There will be no wrong answer here!

  14. #14
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    Yes, I would say the Trek Pilot, Cannondale Roubaix, Felt Z-Series, whatever Giant sells that is now equivalent to the OCR, and other such bikes with a taller headtube are all comparable. They're aimed at the same type of buyer. Most of them are all nice bikes

  15. #15
    Senior Member kleinboogie's Avatar
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    When I got my '09 Synapse Carbon 3 it had slightly better components than the Roubaix. It was all Ultegra SL and Dura Ace RD. This year Roubaix is a mix of DA and Ultegra whereas the comparable C'dale is all DA. Both are good bikes in the category, agree with others, can't really go wrong with either one. GL

  16. #16
    Senior Member sounds7's Avatar
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    The two are similar bikes and either would be a nice purchase. I would decide by how it looks and what components it has. I have the synapse and love the ride.
    [SIGPIC]http://www.bikeforums.net/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=68263&dateline=1279744461[/SIGPIC]
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  17. #17
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    I just test rode both the Synapse and the Roubaix a couple weeks ago. The Synapse is a sweet bike, but I got the Roubaix - the Synapse was just too aggressive a position for me, especially coming from a hybrid.

  18. #18
    '09 Synapse Carbon 3 lpolliard's Avatar
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    Any of the plush carbon bikes in the price range you are looking at will be a nice ride. Carbon is the way to go. It all comes down to which feels more comfortable to you and which one you like the looks of better. That being said, I have a Synapse Carbon 3 and I am glad that the saddle to bar drop is so adjustable so my bike can grow with my fitness level/skills. I have read that this bike has been raced on the cobblestones of Europe. I currently have my stem flipped as well as all the spacers removed from under the stem and have a 7 cm drop. Per my LBS I am still able to remove a 1 inch spacer under my cone for an additional drop if desired. This has yet to be proven. It might take a change in hardware to accomplish this if I want more drop.

    Test ride them all and buy the one you like best and don't try to hurry your decision.
    ...............[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  19. #19
    Senior Member 96WX3's Avatar
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    I tested a Madone 4.5 several times. FWIW, I found it as nice a ride as the Specialized and mostly chose the Roubaix Comp due to the dealer and that I could get it with Rival (in stock and ready to buy).
    Originally Posted by kbbpll
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  20. #20
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Add the Look 566 to the list (although I'd guess that it's a little harder to find). Real nice bike.

  21. #21
    Senior Member shabbasuraj's Avatar
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    Both are made in China, so ya they are comparable.

    By what fits you best.

    then ride the heck out of it.

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