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  1. #1
    Junior Member Lorig20's Avatar
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    Teach a newbie about Geometry

    Actually I'm new in the sense that I haven't bought a new bike in 37 years.

    I've tried 2road bikes. A 2013 Cannondale Synapse 6. The smallest size they had at the LBS was a 48. I am 5' tall with about a 26.5" inseam. His size calculator put me in a 46. He put the seat down as far as possible but the bike still didn't feel quite right in the seat area and when I pedaled, I felt like I had to give it a little extra reach on the down stroke. He thought if they shave off a little height of the seat post after I bought it, it would be fine and the next smaller, which I think was a 44 would be too small for me. I wasn't sold since it wasn't at all comfortable so headed to LBS #2 to try the Giant Avail 2 in a XS. So much more comfortable. I couldn't believe the difference. So I've pretty much decided on the Giant.

    But I'm curious about how to compare the geometry of the two bikes and try to figure out why the Cannondale was so off for me. Especially when the Synapse has such a rep for being a comfortable bike. When I asked the Cannondale salesman questions about geometry, he said I was over thinking it. I agree it should come down to the test ride, but I'm still trying to understand what makes them so different. Curious if I ask them to bring in a 44 if the Cannondale would feel much better, though I hate to go down that road because I think I kinda bonded with the Giant and am close to getting it before someone else does!

  2. #2
    More Speed = More Work
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    There are quite a few fit calculators on the web, google them and check them out. And do NOT buy from the bike shop who suggested "oh, we'll just take some off the seat post"; that was ridiculous

    Cheers

  3. #3
    Senior Member buffalowings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorig20 View Post
    Actually I'm new in the sense that I haven't bought a new bike in 37 years.

    I've tried 2road bikes. A 2013 Cannondale Synapse 6. The smallest size they had at the LBS was a 48. I am 5' tall with about a 26.5" inseam. His size calculator put me in a 46. He put the seat down as far as possible but the bike still didn't feel quite right in the seat area and when I pedaled, I felt like I had to give it a little extra reach on the down stroke. He thought if they shave off a little height of the seat post after I bought it, it would be fine and the next smaller, which I think was a 44 would be too small for me. I wasn't sold since it wasn't at all comfortable so headed to LBS #2 to try the Giant Avail 2 in a XS. So much more comfortable. I couldn't believe the difference. So I've pretty much decided on the Giant.

    But I'm curious about how to compare the geometry of the two bikes and try to figure out why the Cannondale was so off for me. Especially when the Synapse has such a rep for being a comfortable bike. When I asked the Cannondale salesman questions about geometry, he said I was over thinking it. I agree it should come down to the test ride, but I'm still trying to understand what makes them so different. Curious if I ask them to bring in a 44 if the Cannondale would feel much better, though I hate to go down that road because I think I kinda bonded with the Giant and am close to getting it before someone else does!
    The biggest difference is probably the top tube length. If you look at the geometry listed by Cannondale, the horizontal toptube of the 44cm synapse is 49.1, the XS giant is 51.5. The cannondale also has a shorter headtube, so it would place you in a lower position if the same amount of headset spacers are used. What was, "wrong" with the Cannondale exactly? If you fitted a stem 20mm longer on the Cannondale, you would get the same reach as the giant. It's usually easier to fit a smaller frame then a large frame, because stems only come in so many sizes. And if you have a toptube so long, that it's a stretch even with the shortest stem installed, then you are out of luck at that point.
    Last edited by buffalowings; 03-16-14 at 06:49 PM.
    Noooooo! My thread!! -_________- http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/896498-Do-you-pack-quot-heat-quot-while-cycling

  4. #4
    Junior Member Lorig20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffalowings View Post
    What was, "wrong" with the Cannondale exactly? If you fitted a stem 20mm longer on the Cannondale, you would get the same reach as the giant. It's usually easier to fit a smaller frame then a large frame, because stems only come in so many sizes. And if you have a toptube so long, that it's a stretch even with the shortest stem installed, then you are out of luck at that point.

    I could only try a 48 Cannondale. With the seat as low as possible, it just didn't feel right in the seat area. Hard to explain, maybe a cob up the butt feeling ( pardon the imagery!) Also I needed to reach just a tad to much to pedal the complete stroke.

  5. #5
    Senior Member buffalowings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorig20 View Post
    I could only try a 48 Cannondale. With the seat as low as possible, it just didn't feel right in the seat area. Hard to explain, maybe a cob up the butt feeling ( pardon the imagery!) Also I needed to reach just a tad to much to pedal the complete stroke.
    This is kind of obvious..you were riding a frame that was too large, if would be fair if you were comparing 44cm to XS, but 48cm is a whole size bigger. Everything is elongated, toptube length, seat tube length (in fact the seat tube/seatpost was too long for you, there is a serious problem if you have to cut down the seatpost to fit the frame).
    Last edited by buffalowings; 03-16-14 at 08:35 PM.
    Noooooo! My thread!! -_________- http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/896498-Do-you-pack-quot-heat-quot-while-cycling

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