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Trek 2.1 or C'dale Synapse 5 105 alloy??

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Trek 2.1 or C'dale Synapse 5 105 alloy??

Old 02-27-11, 09:11 AM
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Trek 2.1 or C'dale Synapse 5 105 alloy??

Hello, I'm purchasing my first road bike and have narrowed it to either the Trek 2.1 or C'dale synapse 5 105 alloy. Price is pretty close between the two and I didn't notice much difference in feel. The trek has 23mm tires where the c'dale is 25mm. Will this make a difference? Thanks for all the suggestions!

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Old 02-27-11, 09:22 AM
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Which one did you like riding better? Also, those tire sizes are interchangeable so don't let that influence your decision too much. Narrower tires aren't necessarily faster.
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Old 02-27-11, 09:27 AM
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I only rode them near the stores, but they didn't feel much different. I just wasn't sure if anyone had better luck with one brand compared to the other. The componets seem pretty comparable. Basically looking for any guidance. Each salesman of course is promoting his stock.
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Old 02-27-11, 09:34 AM
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Here you'll have more people recommending the Cannondale I'm sure. If you like them both equally, it might be worth visiting each shop one more time to find out if you can get a better deal on one or the other. Maybe not on the bike, but a markdown on shoes/pedals/shorts etc.
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Old 02-27-11, 10:07 AM
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good point. thanks! i think i can get the Trek for a little less, but I like the color of the C'dale better. Someone also told me the C'dale would probably be more comfortable on long rides 50mi+. I'm really not worried about the $$ my main concern is quality, efficiency and comfort.
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Old 02-27-11, 10:41 AM
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I test rode the same bikes a week ago too.

I like the feel of the Cannondale better. You might wanna try out the Specialized Secteur or the Allez.
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Old 03-08-11, 08:45 AM
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I'm going through the same debate right now. I'm a beginning road bicyclist, and currently own a comfort hybrid. A local store has both in my size at about $400 off MSRP (slightly used rentals). I rode the Trek 2.3 and the Synapse 5-105 and frankly didn't notice a huge difference. I felt very comfortable on the Synapse and am leaning that way based on what I've ready about not only the brand but the fact that it is an ideal starter road bike due to its comfort design. I certainly welcome any other thoughts / feedback. The sale starts Friday and I need to make my decision soon.

Thank you.
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Old 03-08-11, 09:38 AM
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I'd be picking the Cannondale as well, especially if you want a bike in the endurance category. You didn't notice much difference just going around the shops, but the Synapse has VERY difference geometry form the Trek. Very different angles and wheelbase, but the chainstay isn't too much (so you can put large tires on the Trek if you were to need a little plush to the ride.)

Make sure to add a saddle to your extended cycling budget, because I doubt either of the stock saddles will serve you well.
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Old 03-08-11, 10:00 AM
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Which one looks better?
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Old 03-08-11, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by bengreen79
Here you'll have more people recommending the Cannondale I'm sure. If you like them both equally, it might be worth visiting each shop one more time to find out if you can get a better deal on one or the other. Maybe not on the bike, but a markdown on shoes/pedals/shorts etc.
Originally Posted by srob1855
good point. thanks! i think i can get the Trek for a little less, but I like the color of the C'dale better. Someone also told me the C'dale would probably be more comfortable on long rides 50mi+. I'm really not worried about the $$ my main concern is quality, efficiency and comfort.
If they're in different shops, definitely try to get a comparison of service AFTER sale. For instance, one shop near me gives 1 free tune-up and 10% off any accessories you buy the same day as the bike. Another shop gives 1 year of free tune-ups and 10% off all parts and accessories for a full year. That 10% off for a full year has made a huge difference for me.
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Old 03-08-11, 01:09 PM
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I went through the same dilemna last month and ended up with a Trek 2.1. I test rode the Synapse 105, the 2.1, and the Giant Defy. All 3 in roughly the same price range. As far as brand preference and aesthetics were concerned, I liked Cannondale best, Giant second, then the Trek. So, why did I end up with the Trek? Fit.

I'm 6'5" and the 2.1 offers three different types of bike setup options (H1, H2, and H3) based on the length of the Head Tube. The H1 puts the rider in a slightly more agressive posture than the normal setup of the H2. The H3 in a less agressive posture than the H2. At my height, I needed a bike with a longer head tube, so that I wasn't too bent over in my riding position. Once the "fit guy" at the LBS explained that my lung capacity could be reduced/constricted if I was bent over too much (too large a drop between the seat and bars), I was sold on the H3 setup on the 2.1. So far, so good, as I'm very comfortable on the bike and feel no unnecessary pain (other than burning lungs and legs on hills) with this setup and the professional fitting offered by the LBS, as part of the sale. Not sure if any of this applies to you, but make sure fit is your primary decision criteria.
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Old 03-08-11, 01:44 PM
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They are both good bikes. I have the 2010 Cannondale Synapse 5 and am loving it. Got it at the end of last season. The longest ride it's been on so far is 40 miles and was comfortable the entire way.
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Old 03-08-11, 01:54 PM
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Oddly enough I'm also in the same boat though I'm considering a few more options than you.
Trek 2.3 ($1700), Trek 3.1($2100). Cannondale CAAD10-5 ($1500). Giant TCR Composite ($1900).

My only 'requirement' is it must have 105's or better. SRAM equivalent is fine too.

So far I haven't ridden any of the above listed bikes. I own a bike with the regular Trek geometry so I'd expect them to be same, just lighter.
One of my LBS's has a Giant TCR Advanced but no Composite and a Cannondale CAAD9-4. They have a CAAD10 but I didn't look at it too heavily since the one they had was out of my price range.

I plan on riding one each of the Giant and Cannondale to get a feel for how the geometries vary between Trek/C'Dale/Giant sometime this week.

I'll report back. I suspect I'll end up with the Trek because they stock it a the LBS that isn't full of jerks looking for a quick sale. If I end up going for the Giant or C'Dale I'll buy it online and put it together myself then have my preferred LBS do all the torquing and safety check.
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Old 03-08-11, 03:12 PM
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Wow - thanks for all of the prompt feedback. I guess my dilemma is not uncommon. Both bikes are being sold by the same chain of shops, so the service issue is N/A. I'm 5'8" with a fairly short torso, but discovered the 54 was a better fit when comparing the 52 and 54. I like the styling of both, but am trying to make the most sensible purchase with a focus on practicality.

I'm really leaning towards the Synapse, but am curious. Other than the potential for a bad fit, what would be the drawback of going with the "endurance" geometry of the Synapse vs. the "performance" styling of the Trek? I'm certainly not going to do any criterions any time soon, and at most may do some duathalons.
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Old 03-08-11, 04:04 PM
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I have a 2009 Synapse 5. I to was looking at the Trek 2.1 & 2.3, and the CAAD 9. I started out wanting the CAAD 9 because of all the hype but there was just something about the Synapse I liked a little better. FWIW I found that I needed one size bigger in the Trek over the Cannondale. So in my case a 56 Cannondale compared to a 58 Trek. If you want a performance bike that is oriented to a more comfortable ride for long distances then the Synapse is your bike. When I decided against the CAAD 9 it was because I realized I never intended to crit race (or do any racing for that matter) and just wanted a performance type bike I could do long charity rides on, etc. I am glad I picked the Synapse and never looking back.
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Old 03-08-11, 05:27 PM
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Awesome - thanks for the feedback Brazos. You have me thinking I should probably be very sure about the sizing - don't think they have a used 52 available, but rather only a 51, and that probably will be too small.

Thanks!
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Old 03-08-11, 08:47 PM
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i looked at those bikes last fall and added in the Giant Defy 1. almost a thousand miles later i am really happy with my giant. it just had the best fit, and the best overall deal.
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