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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 08-06-09, 03:46 PM   #1
KZONE
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Cannondale Synapse Sport 7

Could this road bike be used as a touring bike? According to the description it is rack and fender ready. Also, it has a more upright seating position compared to more traditional road bikes. It says that it could be used for light touring, but I would want to use it for a more extensive tour. Thoughts? Thanks!
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Old 08-06-09, 05:15 PM   #2
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Depends on your fitness / tolerance for pain / willingness to walk hills. Were assuming paved touring, of course.

Actually, IMHO if you use a trailer, don't take too much stuff, and recognize that there will be some hills that you can't climb you'd be good to go. Ideal? Probably not, but many people tour successfully with a road bike and a trailer. As long as the road bike is a triple.

Since the Synapse 7 has a carbon fork, most (nearly all?) people would not mount a front rack and panniers. If you can fit your kit in two panniers and the top of a rear rack, that will work if you go ultralite and are not a clyde. If you can fit your kit in just a saddlebag, that's even better, but there you're talking less than 20 lbs of gear including the mounting hardware and bag and making IMHO YMMV some real compromises in comfort. My $0.02.

Your weak link in any non-trailer set up will be your wheels. If you and your gear weigh much over 200 lbs I'd be worrying about broken spokes and pinch flats.

Think about a BOB Yak and save yourself some potential trouble in the future. You be able to carry more gear and have a more durable rig than otherwise.
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Old 08-06-09, 05:25 PM   #3
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I just returned from a 4 day tour on a Synapse Sport and I had to replace both wheels. They can't take the weight place the abuse that you can't avoid even on paved roads. I am now buying a Treck 520 and wish I had the $160 that i had to put into the wheels.
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Old 08-06-09, 07:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KZONE View Post
Could this road bike be used as a touring bike? According to the description it is rack and fender ready. Also, it has a more upright seating position compared to more traditional road bikes. It says that it could be used for light touring, but I would want to use it for a more extensive tour. Thoughts? Thanks!
Why not just buy a T2 touring bike? Yes, it is more expensive but it is designed for touring...no fussing around with trying to adapt the bike. And the T2 isn't too bad a road bike either.
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Old 08-06-09, 09:03 PM   #5
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I ride a Synapse 5 as my sporty road bike for local rides. I really like it, but there's no way it would make a decent fully loaded touring bike for self-sufficient tours.

While you could probably mount fenders, I doubt you could (or would want to) mount racks on it, especially a front rack. The 23mm tires and low spoke count wheels are unsuitable for carrying much more than just a rider over decent roads. The gearing is way too high.

You'd be better off touring on a $139 Wal-Mart bike. It would be more ruggedly built.
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Old 08-07-09, 10:29 AM   #6
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FWIW I have Synapse 3 with an Xtracycle on it and I love the thing! Wheels are fine with 200lbs of cargo on Baltimore City streets but I use 700x32 tires (which will not fit on the bike without the Xtracycle.)
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Old 08-09-09, 11:14 AM   #7
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I purchased a Synapse 2 last year with the idea of doing light touring in addition to local rides. While the Synapse 2 is nimble and fun for short riding, I finally decided to anty up and buy the "right tool for the job" and got a Surly LHT. Too early to say for sure, but early indication (approx 100 miles) is that the LHT is much more comfortable for me (and durable). The rear rack and pannier certainly fits better.
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