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  1. #1
    Senior Member skycyclepilot's Avatar
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    Giant Defy 1 Versus Cannondale Synapse Disc 5 105 Or Other

    I'm 52, in fairly good shape, and am thinking about an endurance road bike. Comfort is very important to me, but I don't want to compromise speed too much. I cannot afford a $3,000 plus bicycle, so aluminum makes more sense. I'm looking at the Giant Defy 1 and the Cannondale Synapse Disc 5 105. I've heard bad things about the wheels on the Giant, and mixed reviews about the disc brakes on the Cannondale, but I take online opinions with a grain of salt. And would the Cannondale be heavier? What do you guys think of these two bikes? Which would you buy and why? Are there other bikes I should consider?

  2. #2
    Senior Member seymour1910's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skycyclepilot View Post
    I'm 52, in fairly good shape, and am thinking about an endurance road bike. Comfort is very important to me, but I don't want to compromise speed too much. I cannot afford a $3,000 plus bicycle, so aluminum makes more sense. I'm looking at the Giant Defy 1 and the Cannondale Synapse Disc 5 105. I've heard bad things about the wheels on the Giant, and mixed reviews about the disc brakes on the Cannondale, but I take online opinions with a grain of salt. And would the Cannondale be heavier? What do you guys think of these two bikes? Which would you buy and why? Are there other bikes I should consider?
    you said you couldn't afford $3,000, but you didn't give your actual budget. How much can you spend? Both of those bikes are nice really nice and will get it done but there are so many more options.

  3. #3
    Senior Member skycyclepilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seymour1910 View Post
    you said you couldn't afford $3,000, but you didn't give your actual budget. How much can you spend? Both of those bikes are nice really nice and will get it done but there are so many more options.
    Both the bikes I mentioned are roughly $1,500. I need to stay in that range.

  4. #4
    Senior Member IcySmooth52's Avatar
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    I wouldn't bother with the disc brake Synapse. Disc is completely unnecessary on road and just an extra cost.

    If you can afford $2k, I'd take a look at some 105/Apex carbon bikes like Defy Composit 2, Felt Z4, Fuji Gran Fondo 2.5, Specialized Roubaix SL4 Sport, etc. Carbon will give a degree of comfort no aluminum bike can.
    '15 Lapierre Xelius 200 "Layla" - '13 Marin Palisades Trail SE 29er "Matilda" - '11 Trek T1 "Voskhod"

  5. #5
    Senior Member seymour1910's Avatar
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    $1500 is a nice budget and you can get a very nice bike with that. You can also land a carbon bike with that if you would rather go that route. You don't need 3 grand to get a nice carbon bike.

    This is slightly over your budget at $1677
    Giant TCR Composite 2 Road Bike 2013 > Complete Bikes > Road Bikes | Jenson USA
    Last edited by seymour1910; 06-25-14 at 09:47 PM.

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    Senior Member fstshrk's Avatar
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    I rode both of the bikes you mentioned recently. I would wait until September when the 2015 models with the 11 speed 105 drive train comes out. I prefer the synapse over the defy. Synapse felt more lively to me.
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    The OP could pick up a nice titanium road bike at BD within his budget. As well as a carbon road bike, if that is what he prefers.

    He doesn't have to spend 3 grand to get a very nice rig when there are better choices out there. $1500 is a solid budget today for a road bike at the enthusiast level.

  8. #8
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    I was looking for my first road bike and the Cannondale Synapse 105 Disc was one of my choices, but the $1500 price tag was pushing my budget. I came across a 2013 Giant Defy 1, and that's the one I ended up getting. I found the Giant to be lighter and more responsive IMO. I'm a heavier rider, and so far I haven't had any issues with the wheels.

  9. #9
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    I am 56 and was looking for the exact thing you are - an endurance bike. I ended up with a Giant Defy Composite 3 and it fits the bill perfectly for me. If you can get a Defy Composite 2 within your budget I think you will be very happy with it.

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    Nek
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    Similar situation for me, mid 50's and looking for something comfortable w/o compromising too much on speed and style. Also not a lot to pick from in my neck of the woods and any of the big 3 cant be bought online. :-(
    Anyhow just today I snagged a new Synapse Disc 5 105 for $1149. I really didn't want discs but really wanted 105's.
    Give me 2 weeks to run it through its paces and I'll give you an update. LMK how you like yours.

  11. #11
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    The Cannondale is probably a wee bit heavier (disc brakes mainly is the culprit).

    I bought the 2014 Synapse 105 because I wanted a good Do It All bike. Comfort, versatility (all weather), extra clearance for wider tires, ability to add fenders easily etc. Disc brakes are preferable for me in that regard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skycyclepilot View Post
    I'm 52, in fairly good shape, and am thinking about an endurance road bike. Comfort is very important to me, but I don't want to compromise speed too much. I cannot afford a $3,000 plus bicycle, so aluminum makes more sense. I'm looking at the Giant Defy 1 and the Cannondale Synapse Disc 5 105. I've heard bad things about the wheels on the Giant, and mixed reviews about the disc brakes on the Cannondale, but I take online opinions with a grain of salt. And would the Cannondale be heavier? What do you guys think of these two bikes? Which would you buy and why? Are there other bikes I should consider?

    I am a few years your junior and I went with a Defy 1 last year. Nearly 5,000 miles later I have no complaints. Wheels have cartridge bearings are better than any that came on the Treks I have owned. I think you will be well pleased with a Defy. All of the major manufacturers have a $1500 aluminum bike. If you shop the specs carefully I think you will find the Defy to be the best buy. For example, several of the big name manufacturers use a 105 rear dr but put a tiagra up front. I found the defy to be the best equipped for the price. All that said - test drive several and buy the one that rides the best for you. good luck!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by skycyclepilot View Post
    I take online opinions with a grain of salt.
    And yet you post to an online message board asking for them.

    Last edited by gl98115; 08-05-14 at 10:36 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by IcySmooth52 View Post
    I wouldn't bother with the disc brake Synapse. Disc is completely unnecessary on road and just an extra cost.
    .

    This.

    disc brakes just make it easier to go over the bars.

  15. #15
    Senior Member cderalow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Sarcasm View Post
    This.

    disc brakes just make it easier to go over the bars.

    Funny, I've yet to go over the bars of my disc equipped hybrid, despite an emergency stop at 40mph to dodge a deer.

    I find a lot of people have opinions about discs that have either
    a) only ridden mechanical versions on heavy mountain bikes or
    b) never ridden a bike with discs.

    certain types of bikes and riding lend themselves well to discs.

    Do you need discs in your sunny dry part of the world? probably not.

    in my neck of the woods, where you know we get rain, and sometimes snow... discs are extremely useful.

    I'm pretty sure going over the bars has very little to do with the specific type of brakes and a lot more to do with the specific rider, their ability and knowledge.

  16. #16
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    disc is coming whether people want it or not, and coming fast. IIRC, in the Giant range, only the AL Defy's are still rim brake for 2015, all carbon Defy's have gone disc. 'dale has expanded disc use thru the synapse line and added it to the CAAD10 as well, probably the last bike I would have ever expected to make the switch. so while some of us poo-poo the disc brake thing you might as well get used to it. its here and it aint going anywhere. rim brakes will eventually be the bastion of entry level and walmart bikes in 10yrs.
    "You should never point a loaded *** at anyone. This is not a hard and fast rule, however. A hard and fast rule is that you should never, ever, point an unloaded *** at anyone." --P.J. O'Rourke

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    Quote Originally Posted by cderalow View Post
    Funny, I've yet to go over the bars of my disc equipped hybrid, despite an emergency stop at 40mph to dodge a deer.

    I find a lot of people have opinions about discs that have either
    a) only ridden mechanical versions on heavy mountain bikes or
    b) never ridden a bike with discs.

    certain types of bikes and riding lend themselves well to discs.

    Do you need discs in your sunny dry part of the world? probably not.

    in my neck of the woods, where you know we get rain, and sometimes snow... discs are extremely useful.

    I'm pretty sure going over the bars has very little to do with the specific type of brakes and a lot more to do with the specific rider, their ability and knowledge.
    Whether a shorter or longer ride, I have ridden plenty of bikes w/disc. I still fail to see why "road" bikes need them. If you're riding in conditions that road rim brakes wont suffice, sounds like you need a cross or ridged mtb bike. And I dont really consider a hybrid a "road bike". But if it suites your needs thats all that matters, to each their own.

    Quote Originally Posted by bonz50 View Post
    disc is coming whether people want it or not, and coming fast. IIRC, in the Giant range, only the AL Defy's are still rim brake for 2015, all carbon Defy's have gone disc. 'dale has expanded disc use thru the synapse line and added it to the CAAD10 as well, probably the last bike I would have ever expected to make the switch. so while some of us poo-poo the disc brake thing you might as well get used to it. its here and it aint going anywhere. rim brakes will eventually be the bastion of entry level and walmart bikes in 10yrs.
    Who said i never wanted them? Certain application discs would be beneficial. But for those situations a road bike would probably just barely suffice and as just mentioned something w/a wider tire would be better (and there is a difference between "riding in the snow" and "riding in the snow on a plowed road").

    The caad10 only has 2 models w/discs, the rival 22 and the black inc. everything before or in between comes w/rim, not to mention the evo is still disc less. but with all that being said, I cant wait to see wally world bikes rocking da 9700.

  18. #18
    Senior Member IcySmooth52's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cderalow View Post
    Funny, I've yet to go over the bars of my disc equipped hybrid, despite an emergency stop at 40mph to dodge a deer.

    I find a lot of people have opinions about discs that have either
    a) only ridden mechanical versions on heavy mountain bikes or
    b) never ridden a bike with discs.

    certain types of bikes and riding lend themselves well to discs.

    Do you need discs in your sunny dry part of the world? probably not.

    in my neck of the woods, where you know we get rain, and sometimes snow... discs are extremely useful.

    I'm pretty sure going over the bars has very little to do with the specific type of brakes and a lot more to do with the specific rider, their ability and knowledge.
    I've ridden mechanical disc, hydraulic disc, and rim brakes of many sorts for hundreds of miles each. The only benefit to mechanical disc brakes are being able to lock your wheels to a skidding stop when mud is all-over your rims. You shouldn't be riding a road bike with slim tires if these conditions are to be met, and rim brakes will give you far more control if you just want to slow instead of halt. Hydraulic discs are far smoooother and would be just as nice as rim caliper brakes for being able to slow or stop though. But not at all necessary for the road with their benefit.

    Hydraulic discs are what my next cyclocross ride will have.
    '15 Lapierre Xelius 200 "Layla" - '13 Marin Palisades Trail SE 29er "Matilda" - '11 Trek T1 "Voskhod"

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Sarcasm View Post


    Who said i never wanted them? Certain application discs would be beneficial. But for those situations a road bike would probably just barely suffice and as just mentioned something w/a wider tire would be better (and there is a difference between "riding in the snow" and "riding in the snow on a plowed road").

    The caad10 only has 2 models w/discs, the rival 22 and the black inc. everything before or in between comes w/rim, not to mention the evo is still disc less. but with all that being said, I cant wait to see wally world bikes rocking da 9700.
    nobody said that, I just noted taht road disc has been poo-poo'd by many on this board, a few in this thread alone. the statement was not directed at you specifically.
    "You should never point a loaded *** at anyone. This is not a hard and fast rule, however. A hard and fast rule is that you should never, ever, point an unloaded *** at anyone." --P.J. O'Rourke

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