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New Cannondale Synapse vs. Another Endurance Bike?

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New Cannondale Synapse vs. Another Endurance Bike?

Old 03-30-24, 01:46 AM
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New Cannondale Synapse vs. Another Endurance Bike?

I have been looking for a new CF endurance road bike for a while, but have not found one that meets my requirements, until earlier tonight, when I found a new Cannondale Synapse 2 RLE (Ultegra Di2 12-speed) on sale for $3,500 + $300 shipping, so I ordered it. It won't ship for another few days, so I can cancel the order early next week, if my fellow BF enthusiasts can find me a better (or at least different) bike for a similar price that meets my requirements. I am all ears!

Requirements
1. Light weight carbon fiber frame and fork, i.e., < 1.5 kg or 3.3 lbs.
2. Endurance geometry, i.e., > 1.5 stack:reach ratio; preferably: 580 mm [stack], 380 mm [reach], 545 mm [effective top tube].
3. Short wheelbase. I don't need wide tire clearance or all-road capabilities; I have a gravel bike (Santa Cruz Stigmata 3) for that.
4. Round, non-proprietary seat post.
5. Disc brakes; not trying to restart the debate, but I already have two road bikes with 105 rim brakes.
6. Non-integrated cockpit; semi-integrated cockpit routing hoses and wires through handlebar and headset is OK, but routing through stem makes adding or subtracting headset spacers an all-day chore.
7. No moving suspension, which eliminates Trek Domane and Specialized Roubaix.

I had considered but ultimately decided against these other bikes.
A. Bianchi Infinito CV. Who does not want a Bianchi!? But it has a proprietary seat post with a fragile saddle rail clamp. I was prepared to overlook that (only because it is a Bianchi) but I could not even order a spare seat post. $$$
B. Basso Astra. Perfect geometry for me. But again, a proprietary seat post, and I cannot order the clamps for CF saddle rails. Also has a fully-integrated cockpit. $$$$
C. Giant Defy Advanced 0. I was prepared to overlook the proprietary seat post since Giant has the best supply chain in the business, but I miss the sale on the prior model, and new model reduced stack by 10 mm. $$$
D. Canyon Endurace CF SLX. I don't trust the adjustable width integrated handlebar where each end is only held by two small bolts. Even if I get over my fear of the ends snapping off, Endurace in size M is rarely in stock. $$
E. Pearson Forge. Why do so many bikes require a proprietary seat post!? And a fully-integrated cockpit!? $$$$
F. Look 765 Optimum. Finally, a relatively light endurance bike with a round seat post. But head tube angle < 71*; potential issue when slow climbing. $$$

Thank you for reading this post and for your suggestions.
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Old 03-30-24, 04:22 AM
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What’s wrong with the Cannondale? Seems like a good deal at that price.
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Old 03-30-24, 11:14 AM
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Anything about the fits on the Caad4 or Trek FX2 that bothered you? I'm thinking the Synapse will be similar to your FX2 for fit.
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Old 03-30-24, 12:04 PM
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I have a Cannondale Synapse and love it. Mine has 105 on it but I did swap out the wheelset for a carbon wheelset and replaced the seatpost, seat, stem, and bars. I'm also planning on replacing the groupset with Di2 this year hopefully. I'd pick it over any of the options you listed (I don't want a Bianchi).

A Synapse with Ultegra Di2 for $3,800 shipped sounds like a great deal to me.
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Old 03-30-24, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
What’s wrong with the Cannondale? Seems like a good deal at that price.
Originally Posted by KJ43
A Synapse with Ultegra Di2 for $3,800 shipped sounds like a great deal to me.
Nothing wrong with the Cannondale Synapse at all, and it is a great deal at $3,800. It is just that I already have one (see below), and so wanted to explore other options.

Originally Posted by KJ43
I have a Cannondale Synapse and love it. Mine has 105 on it but I did swap out the wheelset for a carbon wheelset and replaced the seatpost, seat, stem, and bars. I'm also planning on replacing the groupset with Di2 this year hopefully. I'd pick it over any of the options you listed (I don't want a Bianchi).
What year is yours? I love my 2016, my first road bike, and I have also replaced the same components as you did. I had to replace the derailleur cables once, and found that the internal routing was not bad, so would keep it manual shifting, in case I forget to charge the battery on my new one. But you must be the only member in this forum who does not like Bianchis!?

Originally Posted by Iride01
Anything about the fits on the Caad4 or Trek FX2 that bothered you? I'm thinking the Synapse will be similar to your FX2 for fit.
The CAAD4 is a 2001 "vintage" project bike that was inspired by the sci guy. Much to his disappointment, my build progress has been extremely lackadaisical, and so I don't know how it fits or ride yet!

The Trek FX2 is my first bike after a quarter century hiatus from cycling. I bought it using the standover method at my LBS, so it may be one size too big (56 instead of 54 like all my other bikes), but no biggie since it is my ride with family hybrid bike.

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Old 03-30-24, 01:36 PM
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I think you'll like the Synapse. But do get some input on what size you might like if it's not too late. Per Cannondale's sizing for that model, a 54cm should be for 67" - 71" tall riders. A 56cm for 69" - 76" tall riders. I'd be in the overlap size for my height of 71".

I might go with the smaller size more likely as I like sporty handling over stable feeling luxury sedan like riding. Though if you are truly going to be doing long distance multi day trips, you might want the larger for the extra perceived stability. Although I don't think this is a bike with eyelets for racks and paniers you might want for long multi day trips.

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Old 03-30-24, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
What year is yours? I love my 2016, my first road bike, and I have also replaced the same components as you did. I had to replace the derailleur cables once, and found that the internal routing was not bad, so would keep it manual shifting, in case I forget to charge the battery on my new one. But you must be the only member in this forum who does not like Bianchis!?
2022. I pulled the smart sense crap out of it and bought a cover for the battery cavity.

It's not that I dislike Bianchi's, I just don't want one. They are nice bikes and when I lived on the Peninsula the shop that I went to where I knew the co-owner/mechanic carried them so I've checked them out up close. There are just so many great options for bikes that they would be way down on my list.
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Old 03-30-24, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
I think you'll like the Synapse. But do get some input on what size you might like if it's not too late. Per Cannondale's sizing for that model, a 54cm should be for 67" - 71" tall riders. A 56cm for 69" - 76" tall riders. I'd be in the overlap size for my height of 71".

I might go with the smaller size more likely as I like sporty handling over stable feeling luxury sedan like riding. Though if you are truly going to be doing long distance multi day trips, you might want the larger for the extra perceived stability. Although I don't think this is a bike with eyelets for racks and paniers you might want for long multi day trips.
I am half an inch shorter than you. I ordered it in size 54 based on a comparison of geometry numbers against my existing Synapse and Stigmata. As for multi-day trips, I have never done one, and would probably not consider one which involves camping or carrying more than what would fit in a top tube bag plus a small saddle bag. What is the bike touring equivalent of glamping?

Originally Posted by KJ43
2022. I pulled the smart sense crap out of it and bought a cover for the battery cavity.
I plan to do the same after a few test rides; I only went for the 2 RLE to get Ultegra Di2. Did you resell your Smart Sense components? What is a good source for that cover?

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Old 03-30-24, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
I plan to do the same after a few test rides; I only went for the 2 RLE to get Ultegra Di2. Did you resell your Smart Sense components? What is a good source for that cover?
Nah, I just tossed them. There is a great resource for Cannondale parts: Cannondale Spares. They are under the company Revel Outdoors which is also behind Giant Bike Spares. They are in the UK so you won't get stuff super fast in the States.

Besides the cover I've bought Frame Grommets and Fender Mount Hardware from them.

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Old 03-30-24, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
What is the bike touring equivalent of glamping?

?
It’s referred to as “credit card touring”. You generally carry clothing only. You might typically install a rear rack with some small panniers for the clothing, that all weighs very little.
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Old 03-30-24, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by KJ43
Nah, I just tossed them.
That seems a tad wasteful when the Smart Sense radar seems to be the horizontal functional equivalent of a Varia RVR315. After I remove mine, I will look into making it work as such.

Originally Posted by Steve B.
It’s referred to as “credit card touring”. You generally carry clothing only. You might typically install a rear rack with some small panniers for the clothing, that all weighs very little.
You have put the seed of an idea in my head. It involves planning a route over 6 legs, hotels for the nights, and a support cargo van that would fit 2 persons (one driver and one passenger), 6 bikes, one work stand, light luggage, and everyone drives one leg.
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Old 03-30-24, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
That seems a tad wasteful when the Smart Sense radar seems to be the horizontal functional equivalent of a Varia RVR315. After I remove mine, I will look into making it work as such..
My model only had the light. Mine was the 3L and was lower spec'd.
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Old 03-30-24, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by KJ43
My model only had the light. Mine was the 3L and was lower spec'd.
Yes, the front light looks atrocious and the rear light seems weak.
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Old 03-30-24, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
That seems a tad wasteful when the Smart Sense radar seems to be the horizontal functional equivalent of a Varia RVR315. After I remove mine, I will look into making it work as such.



You have put the seed of an idea in my head. It involves planning a route over 6 legs, hotels for the nights, and a support cargo van that would fit 2 persons (one driver and one passenger), 6 bikes, one work stand, light luggage, and everyone drives one leg.
Plus places to eat
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Old 03-31-24, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
Yes, the front light looks atrocious and the rear light seems weak.
I just had a look at the spec for the 2 RLE and they are listed at £5,800. I have to say that the Smartsense installation looks horrific! But at the price you quoted it looks like a bargain.

Edit: Fulcrum alloy wheels on a £6k road bike!

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Old 03-31-24, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I just had a look at the spec for the 2 RLE and they are listed at £5,800.
In the USA, the 2RLE has an MSRP of $5,550, and it's on sale everywhere for $4,440, but somehow I managed to order the last one in my size from this chain across the country at $3,500 + $300 shipping, leaving me some money for a wheel upgrade.
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Old 03-31-24, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by KJ43
Mine was the 3L and was lower spec'd.
Originally Posted by KJ43
I'm also planning on replacing the groupset with Di2 this year hopefully.
KJ43: If you plan to upgrade to 105 Di2, the 2LE is on sale for $2,925, less than the current $3,325 MSRP of the 3L. It may make more sense for you to buy a 2LE, swap parts with your 3L, then sell the latter, than buying a whole new 105 Di2 groupset.
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Old 03-31-24, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
In the USA, the 2RLE has an MSRP of $5,550, and it's on sale everywhere for $4,440, but somehow I managed to order the last one in my size from this chain across the country at $3,500 + $300 shipping, leaving me some money for a wheel upgrade.
I’m not surprised it is on sale. Alloy wheels and bars at that MSRP is nuts! But $3,500 seems more reasonable.
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Old 03-31-24, 07:09 AM
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I like the round seat tube and standard cockpit (segregated!?) requirements.
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Old 03-31-24, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
KJ43: If you plan to upgrade to 105 Di2, the 2LE is on sale for $2,925, less than the current $3,325 MSRP of the 3L. It may make more sense for you to buy a 2LE, swap parts with your 3L, then sell the latter, than buying a whole new 105 Di2 groupset.
When I upgrade I'm going Ultegra or Dura Ace.
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Old 03-31-24, 10:41 AM
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Fwiw the more I ride it the more I like it. I changed the stem from 110 to 100 and for some reason the wandering on slow steep climbs has gone away.


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Old 03-31-24, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
I have been looking for a new CF endurance road bike for a while, but have not found one that meets my requirements, until earlier tonight, when I found a new Cannondale Synapse 2 RLE (Ultegra Di2 12-speed) on sale for $3,500 + $300 shipping, so I ordered it. It won't ship for another few days, so I can cancel the order early next week, if my fellow BF enthusiasts can find me a better (or at least different) bike for a similar price that meets my requirements. I am all ears!

Requirements
1. Light weight carbon fiber frame and fork, i.e., < 1.5 kg or 3.3 lbs.
2. Endurance geometry, i.e., > 1.5 stack:reach ratio; preferably: 580 mm [stack], 380 mm [reach], 545 mm [effective top tube].
3. Short wheelbase. I don't need wide tire clearance or all-road capabilities; I have a gravel bike (Santa Cruz Stigmata 3) for that.
4. Round, non-proprietary seat post.
5. Disc brakes; not trying to restart the debate, but I already have two road bikes with 105 rim brakes.
6. Non-integrated cockpit; semi-integrated cockpit routing hoses and wires through handlebar and headset is OK, but routing through stem makes adding or subtracting headset spacers an all-day chore.
7. No moving suspension, which eliminates Trek Domane and Specialized Roubaix.

I had considered but ultimately decided against these other bikes.
A. Bianchi Infinito CV. Who does not want a Bianchi!? But it has a proprietary seat post with a fragile saddle rail clamp. I was prepared to overlook that (only because it is a Bianchi) but I could not even order a spare seat post. $$$
B. Basso Astra. Perfect geometry for me. But again, a proprietary seat post, and I cannot order the clamps for CF saddle rails. Also has a fully-integrated cockpit. $$$$
C. Giant Defy Advanced 0. I was prepared to overlook the proprietary seat post since Giant has the best supply chain in the business, but I miss the sale on the prior model, and new model reduced stack by 10 mm. $$$
D. Canyon Endurace CF SLX. I don't trust the adjustable width integrated handlebar where each end is only held by two small bolts. Even if I get over my fear of the ends snapping off, Endurace in size M is rarely in stock. $$
E. Pearson Forge. Why do so many bikes require a proprietary seat post!? And a fully-integrated cockpit!? $$$$
F. Look 765 Optimum. Finally, a relatively light endurance bike with a round seat post. But head tube angle < 71*; potential issue when slow climbing. $$$

Thank you for reading this post and for your suggestions.
Looks like a good deal to me. I've been accused of being a Canyon fanboy, but that Synapse is a much better deal than the comparable Endurace IMO. To get the non-integrated cockpit on the Canyon, you're stepping down to the lower-spec frame with 105 di2.
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Old 04-01-24, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by KJ43
I have a Cannondale Synapse and love it.
KJ43: Do you know the total height of the headset spacers that your bike came with? I tried to look it up in the User Manual Supplement but could not find it. My 2016 Synapse carbon had a very generous stack of headset spacers for a total height of 55 mm, including the typical SI 25 mm tall funnel-shaped headset top bearing cap / cover.
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Old 04-01-24, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
KJ43: Do you know the total height of the headset spacers that your bike came with? I tried to look it up in the User Manual Supplement but could not find it. My 2016 Synapse carbon had a very generous stack of headset spacers for a total height of 55 mm, including the typical SI 25 mm tall funnel-shaped headset top bearing cap / cover.
I don't know. I have one 5mm spacer on top of the top bearing cap and after I had a bike fit chopped the top of my steerer tube so the top cap is flush on my stem.
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Old 04-09-24, 10:51 PM
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My new Cannondale Synapse arrived today. Preliminary observations:

1. The grey is darker than on Cannondale and retailer websites. Maybe my living room does not get enough light?
2. Frame is Made in Taiwan. Yay! The rose gold frameset I saw on eBay is Made in Indonesia: 2022 New Cannondale Synapse Carbon Endurance Bicycle Disc Frame Set Rose gold | eBay
3. Frame does not have a bottom bracket cover!? One is not listed on the Replacement Parts page of the Owner Manual Supplement.
4. Di2 wire to RD is too short and does not extend out of seat post. Cannot connect RD to Di2 battery; no test ride. Argh! Have to visit LBS tomorrow.
5. Bar tape wrapping job is noticeably worse than the factory bar tape wrap on my 2016.

Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
Do you know the total height of the headset spacers that your bike came with? ... My 2016 Synapse carbon had a very generous stack of headset spacers for a total height of 55 mm, including the typical SI 25 mm tall funnel-shaped headset top bearing cap / cover.
The new Synapse likewise comes with 55 mm of spacers: (a) SI 25 mm tall funnel-shaped headset bearing top cap; (b) 15 mm spacer; (c) 3 x 5 mm spacers.
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