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Sizing for Cannondale Synapse- did I buy too small?

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Sizing for Cannondale Synapse- did I buy too small?

Old 06-26-20, 12:36 PM
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Sizing for Cannondale Synapse- did I buy too small?

Hey there,

First off, I am new to the forums so looking forward to being in the community. I am also new to the sport of cycling and looking for some help! I am coming from riding a Focus Urban commuter bike and have decided to purchase my first road/endurance bike in a 2020 Cannondale Synapse. The person at the store was not entirely helpful when choosing the size of the bike and told me I could go with a 54 or 56 frame and "could not go wrong with either". Because of this, I had a hard time deciding on the right frame and ultimately chose the 54 for a few reasons:
  • the 56 frame had a huge scratch and he wouldn't discount it at all
  • the 56 felt big and the reach seemed super long. Granted, I've never been on a road bike so the stretched feeling is all new to me.
  • I also realized the 54 is very similar to my current bike and felt more comfortable
  • Lastly, everyone says "you can make a small bike bigger"
I am about 5'9 in height. So far, I've gone on 3 rides each about 1 hour and between 12-15 miles. My main complaint is lower back pain. I can't determine if this is just expected for new riders or if the fit is off.

Do you think this bike is too small for me? I feel like I look too big for the bike and I have the seat post super high. Any suggestions on improving my position or eliminating back pain would be super helpful. Thanks in advance!!!






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Old 06-26-20, 01:41 PM
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No, looks fine. Seat might be a tad low, bars might be a tad high.

Main thing about fit is that it's hard to tell you it's wrong if you don't have anything that's bothering you. What is your past experience riding?

After a few rides your butt will probably get a pain between your sit bones and tail bones. Usually normal and goes away after a week or so with more riding. Or if you stop riding, it will go away until you start riding again.
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Old 06-26-20, 02:21 PM
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I agree that it appears fine but could use a few tweaks as you get more comfortable. For reference, I'm 6ft (not that overall height determines everything) and I ride a 56 synapse and 56 supersix. I even run a slightly shorter stem on my supersix but stock on synapse. Until you have shoes and pedals it's hard to offer any specific advice, other than a professional fit is the best money you can spend on your bike.
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Old 06-26-20, 04:59 PM
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Iride01 Thanks for the feedback. The main thing is some lower back pain but I don't have much experience at all. I rode a hybrid type with flat bars for the last 2 summers but that is it. I then bought this and went on a few 1 hour rides and feel some pain in the lower back towards the end. This could easily be due to being new or just some tight hammys and getting used to things. I've been thinking about dropping the bars by removing some spacers to get lower. Thanks for the feedback.

wirides Good reference point. I know heigh doesnt mean everything but i imagine your bike is also towards the smaller side and obviously works fine. Next purchase is some bike shoes and will check out a professional fit if necessary.

Either way, I just wanted to make sure I was not way off basis here and completely screwed up on my choice. That buyers remorse is real! Thanks.
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Old 06-26-20, 05:07 PM
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Sometimes lower back pain is telling you to strengthen your core back muscles. So certain exercises off the bike will hep.

Sometimes it might be that you are rounding your back with your pelvis rotated too far forward. So make sure to keep your back straight when riding, whether in the drops or on the hoods.
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Old 06-26-20, 05:52 PM
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I expect you'll be more comfortable if you bend your elbows. I wonder if shock through your arms effects your back.

How much weight is on your hands when you ride? If it's much more than a touch, core strength is a strong possibility for the source of your lower back pain. BTDT.
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Old 06-26-20, 08:08 PM
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Great points. I would say my hands definitely feel a good amount of pressure. I didn't even think about leaning forward a bit more to bend the elbows. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 06-27-20, 04:45 AM
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Trust me when I say, all your questions will be answered with a professional fit. There's lots of things they will do to make you comfortable. Seat fore and aft will have a large effect, but can not be addressed until you are clipped in. Flipping your stem, longer, shorter stems, etc. Also keep in mind Cannondale tends to size a little bit different than others. For example, I'd likely be on a 58 trek but the 56 Cannondale is perfect for me.
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Old 06-28-20, 09:25 AM
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Looks good to me, but looks like a 56 would have been OK, too. Agree about doing core work, especially stretching and lower back strengthening. You should also try to roll your pelvis forward a little to get rid of most of that rounding in your lower back. If you feel too much weight on your hands, move your saddle back. You'll have to lower it a hair if you do that.
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Old 06-30-20, 09:52 AM
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Super helpful. Thanks for the input everyone.

Carbonfiberboy Good tips, admittedly have been slacking on the core work. I haven't thought about the rounding in my back or moving my pelvis. I'll give this a try.
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Old 07-01-20, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
After a few rides your butt will probably get a pain between your sit bones and tail bones. Usually normal and goes away after a week or so with more riding. Or if you stop riding, it will go away until you start riding again.
( noob here started in march have about 2700 miles, longest ride 40/50 miles )

" sit bones and tail bones " what ? What is the difference? I am still just biking in fitnesses shorts ( not bike shorts ) and using the stock seat that came with the bike.
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Old 07-01-20, 05:55 PM
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Tail bone is your cocyx. Sit bones are the ischial tuberosity. Google them. Some of the pics are a little confusing because they don't identify whether looking from behind or from the front. This pic shows the sit bones well, but it makes you think the tail bone or cocyx is attached to them. It's not. This is a pic looking from behind. As they narrow up, they are going toward the front of the body. Away from you in the pic.



https://www.yoganatomy.com/sit-bone-pain-revisited/


This view below shows a better isometric view from the front with left leg on the right

https://sixtyandme.com/your-pelvis-s...ple-exercises/
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Old 07-01-20, 06:14 PM
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@Iride01 thank you
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