Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Trek domane 4.3 vs Cannondale Synapse

Notices
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 domane 4.3 vs Cannondale Synapse

Old 08-19-14, 02:21 PM
  #1  
Chiefsandme
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 58
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Trek domane 4.3 vs Cannondale Synapse

42 years old been riding a hybrid for 5 months. Lost 62 pounds. Want a true road bike. Looking for opinion on these 2 bikes? Carbon or aluminum for a 200 pound rider. I average 175-200 miles a week. I just did my longest ride Thursday of 82 miles.
Chiefsandme is offline  
Old 08-19-14, 04:12 PM
  #2  
fstshrk
Senior Member
 
fstshrk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: WA State
Posts: 1,843
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
I test rode both and chose the Domane 4.5 (2013 model) over the Synapse Carbon 2014. I found the Domane to be livelier and the iso-speed seatpost suspension to be amazing. I also found it to have more get-up and go, but I think that is just because it comes with a decent wheelset as opposed to the boat anchors that are shipped with the Synapse.

They are both great bikes though. You can't go wrong.
fstshrk is offline  
Old 08-19-14, 06:04 PM
  #3  
PaulRivers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 6,388
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 504 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 20 Posts
Yeah, they're both very good bikes, and you get similar features at a similar price level for either one. #1 thing should be to buy the right size bike, after that buy whatever feels the best, whatever's the funnest - or whatever comes in your preferred paint job. I don't like the Cannondale black/green colors, they remind me to much of a cheap walmart bike, whereas I love the domane 4.0 colors (know you said the 4.3).

For endurance bikes, in my opinion, full carbon is definitely more comfortable than aluminum. It kinda varies based on the person - some people don't seem to feel road buzz through the handlebars, but I do, and "endurance" full carbon is always nicer than aluminum, no matter the tire size or frame design for me.

* They can make full carbon that doesn't help with road buzz, but you don't find it on the domane or synapse which are "endurance" race bikes, it's usually on more twitchy handling race bike like a tarmac
* It's not a horrible difference - a good aluminum endurance bike is fine if price is a concern. It's like "nice" vs "really really nice". I ride a Specialized Sequoia (aluminum) when I want to leave my bike locked up somewhere - it's fine. It's just that my full carbon is nicer. :-)

P.S. Wow, 175-200 miles/week on a hybrid? That's impressive. :-)

If money was no object, the best bike I've ridden so far is the Trek Emonda with 500 level carbon. The Domane 4.0 is a smoother ride than the entry level Emonda, but the 500 level Emonda (and I've also ridden the 500 level Domane) is the most comfortable, without being dead and boring, bike I've ridden so far.

Here's the cheapest $2,800 version, the SL5 -
https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes.../emonda_sl_5/#

Here's the cheapest $3,150 version, the SL6 (this is the one I actually rode, but based on the specs the previous one should have the same ride) -
https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes.../emonda_sl_6/#

Both the Domane and the Synapse are good bikes though, just wanted to mention it.

Last edited by PaulRivers; 08-19-14 at 06:14 PM.
PaulRivers is offline  
Old 08-19-14, 06:05 PM
  #4  
Chiefsandme
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 58
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the input!!! Much appreciated
Chiefsandme is offline  
Old 08-19-14, 06:41 PM
  #5  
Chiefsandme
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 58
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My local bike shop , just got in a few of those Emonda's. I wasn't familiar with them, but they do look impressive. Thanks for the info!!!!
Chiefsandme is offline  
Old 08-19-14, 06:48 PM
  #6  
fstshrk
Senior Member
 
fstshrk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: WA State
Posts: 1,843
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
Hi Paul

Does the emonda also have the iso-speed coupler like the Domane? I can see how it could have a good ride, but without the iso-speed, not sure it would be as good in the really bumpy terrain like the cobbles or the really bad roads we get around where I live.


Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
Yeah, they're both very good bikes, and you get similar features at a similar price level for either one. #1 thing should be to buy the right size bike, after that buy whatever feels the best, whatever's the funnest - or whatever comes in your preferred paint job. I don't like the Cannondale black/green colors, they remind me to much of a cheap walmart bike, whereas I love the domane 4.0 colors (know you said the 4.3).

For endurance bikes, in my opinion, full carbon is definitely more comfortable than aluminum. It kinda varies based on the person - some people don't seem to feel road buzz through the handlebars, but I do, and "endurance" full carbon is always nicer than aluminum, no matter the tire size or frame design for me.

* They can make full carbon that doesn't help with road buzz, but you don't find it on the domane or synapse which are "endurance" race bikes, it's usually on more twitchy handling race bike like a tarmac
* It's not a horrible difference - a good aluminum endurance bike is fine if price is a concern. It's like "nice" vs "really really nice". I ride a Specialized Sequoia (aluminum) when I want to leave my bike locked up somewhere - it's fine. It's just that my full carbon is nicer. :-)

P.S. Wow, 175-200 miles/week on a hybrid? That's impressive. :-)

If money was no object, the best bike I've ridden so far is the Trek Emonda with 500 level carbon. The Domane 4.0 is a smoother ride than the entry level Emonda, but the 500 level Emonda (and I've also ridden the 500 level Domane) is the most comfortable, without being dead and boring, bike I've ridden so far.

Here's the cheapest $2,800 version, the SL5 -
Émonda SL 5 - Trek Bicycle

Here's the cheapest $3,150 version, the SL6 (this is the one I actually rode, but based on the specs the previous one should have the same ride) -
Émonda SL 6 - Trek Bicycle

Both the Domane and the Synapse are good bikes though, just wanted to mention it.
fstshrk is offline  
Old 08-19-14, 07:25 PM
  #7  
PaulRivers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 6,388
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 504 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 20 Posts
Originally Posted by fstshrk View Post
Hi Paul

Does the emonda also have the iso-speed coupler like the Domane? I can see how it could have a good ride, but without the iso-speed, not sure it would be as good in the really bumpy terrain like the cobbles or the really bad roads we get around where I live.
If you watch bikes for a while, it seems like it's the same pattern over and over again:
1. They come out with some new whiz bang supposedly amazing improvement
2. They put it on a lot of bikes and make a lot of claims about how it's responsible for something being amazing
3. Competitors come out with their own product without the whiz-bang thing - and their product is just as good or better

The last one was "zertz inserts" from specialized. They still put them on bikes, but other people came out with bikes that don't have them at all but were just as comfortable - sometimes more comfortable.

There's only 1 thing that matters - how the bike actually rides.

Bike shops by me will "rent" you a new bike. For $60/day, you can "rent" a bike from them (they may also require a full bike cost hold on the bike on your credit card) and ride it all day. If you actually buy a bike from them, they count the "rental" cost towards the bike purchase price. So to ride 2 bikes on 2 days would cost $120 - but if you bought one of them it would cost $0 as it would be applied towards the bike purchase.

That's what I would suggest - try it yourself. Different people's opinions and experiences will vary. For example, the coupler thingy only absorbs impact on the rear wheel. I have a big butt, and rarely even feel impacts on the front wheel - so my focus ends up being on how things are handled that come through the handlebars. I've talked to other people online who are far more sensitive to rear wheel jolts, but somehow don't have the problem with feeling road buzz like I do. So I don't think I can tell you more useful info past "try them out yourself". :-)

The Emonda didn't have the iso coupler, but I personally thought the 500 series was still a better ride without it than the equivalent Domane. I didn't have a chance to find a big pothole with the Domane, but I did with the Emonda - and no bike has been better at both not feeling like the pothole was a big shock, and also being very stable and rolling over it.

Last edited by PaulRivers; 08-19-14 at 07:29 PM.
PaulRivers is offline  
Old 08-19-14, 07:26 PM
  #8  
RNAV
Flyin' under the radar
 
RNAV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: O'Fallon, IL
Posts: 789

Bikes: '15 LeMond Washoe custom painted, '06 LeMond Croix de fer custom painted, '90 Trek 420 converted to FG

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 147 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by fstshrk View Post
Hi Paul

Does the emonda also have the iso-speed coupler like the Domane? I can see how it could have a good ride, but without the iso-speed, not sure it would be as good in the really bumpy terrain like the cobbles or the really bad roads we get around where I live.
I rode a 4.3 Domane demo bike for about two months (also test rode a 5.2 Domane) and ended up purchasing an Emonda SL 8 Red. To answer your question, on extremely harsh roads such as cobbles or incessant serious potholes, the Domane's Isospeed comes out ahead -- the 5 series Domane is smoother than the 4 series, FYI. That said, the Emonda absorbs road vibration better, and is livelier (and lighter) than the Domane. So on anything but the absolute harshest of roads/cobbles, the Emonda is the better ride.

Having spent two months on the Domane demo bike, I know what it's capable of. And basically it allows you to stay in the saddle for those bone-jarring hits that most folk with half a brain would get out of the saddle to avoid. Just because you can stay in the saddle for those bone-jarring hits doesn't mean it's exactly comfortable . . . it's just less painful than any other bike on the market.
RNAV is offline  
Old 08-19-14, 11:55 PM
  #9  
a1penguin
Senior Member
 
a1penguin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Posts: 3,190
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 135 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 11 Posts
When you test ride bikes, tire pressure can alter the feel of the bike. With higher pressure, you'll feel more of the road. 10 lbs less pressure and the tires will absorb more of the road and give a smoother ride. Just make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

Those bikes are all great bikes and have similar components. As others have pointed out, fit is the top criteria when selecting a bike.

Hell I am impressed with people with real road bikes that put that many weekly miles on the bike! I think you'll appreciate the ride difference that a road bike offers.
a1penguin is offline  
Old 08-20-14, 06:25 AM
  #10  
Nebby10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 182
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by RNAV View Post
I rode a 4.3 Domane demo bike for about two months (also test rode a 5.2 Domane) and ended up purchasing an Emonda SL 8 Red. To answer your question, on extremely harsh roads such as cobbles or incessant serious potholes, the Domane's Isospeed comes out ahead -- the 5 series Domane is smoother than the 4 series, FYI. That said, the Emonda absorbs road vibration better, and is livelier (and lighter) than the Domane. So on anything but the absolute harshest of roads/cobbles, the Emonda is the better ride.
I remember in the other thread a while back you mentioned the Emonda was equipped with a tubeless tire. Did you do the comparison with identical tires and pressures?
Nebby10 is offline  
Old 08-20-14, 10:37 AM
  #11  
RNAV
Flyin' under the radar
 
RNAV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: O'Fallon, IL
Posts: 789

Bikes: '15 LeMond Washoe custom painted, '06 LeMond Croix de fer custom painted, '90 Trek 420 converted to FG

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 147 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by Nebby10 View Post
I remember in the other thread a while back you mentioned the Emonda was equipped with a tubeless tire. Did you do the comparison with identical tires and pressures?
That's a very good point to bring up.

The Emonda S4 (300 series carbon fiber) that I test rode was equipped with Bontrager R1 Clinchers, as was the 4.3 Domane demo bike; tire pressures were the same. Even with the S4's aluminum seat post, the bike rode very well. I would say road vibration was absorbed slightly better than the 4.3 Domane, but the 4.3 Domane was more plush over really significant impacts.

My experience across all of Trek's road bikes is that the 5-series bikes (500 series carbon fiber), with the integrated ride-tuned seat mast, ride smoother than the lower series bikes with traditional seat posts. So, clincher-to-clincer, the 5-series Domane and Madone ride smoother than their respective 4-series counterparts.

I have not, however, ridden an Emonda SL (500 series carbon fiber) with traditional clinchers, so my assumption is that my previous experience with 500-series carbon fiber & integrated ride-tuned seat mast riding better than lower series carbon fiber and traditional seat post holds true with the Emonda. Hence, some amount of smoothness is attributable to the better carbon fiber and seat mast. My particular experience with throwing tubeless into the mix makes it difficult to identify how much of the smoothness is attributable to the tubeless vs. the other aforementioned features. That said, this combination of Emonda + tubeless makes it the perfect bike for me.
RNAV is offline  
Old 08-20-14, 10:37 AM
  #12  
mprelaw
Senior Member
 
mprelaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Posts: 2,318
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have to say that my Synapse's rear triangle doesn't handle rough roads any better than the wrecked Madone that it replaced. Part of that may be due to the alloy seat post. Both had alloy bars, and it's hard to say whether the Synapse fork handles bumps better than the Madone for did. So much of this is subjective.
mprelaw is offline  
Old 08-21-14, 12:31 PM
  #13  
warpdrive
Senior Member
 
warpdrive's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 77

Bikes: 2013 Trek Domane 4.5, Brompton S6L

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a Synapse 5 disc aluminum and a 4.5 with upgraded parts (pics: All Photo Album - Pinkbike)

I’d say the Domane is a much better bike than an aluminum Synapse. The Synapse does ride pretty well for an aluminum bike but the Domane’s isospeed really does help a lot to smooth out imperfect roads.
warpdrive is offline  
Old 08-21-14, 12:55 PM
  #14  
spdracr39
Senior Member
 
spdracr39's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cabot, Arkansas
Posts: 1,538

Bikes: Lynskey Twisted Helix Di2 Ti, 1987 Orbea steel single speed/fixie, Orbea Avant M30, Trek Fuel EX9.8 29, Trek Madone 5 series, Specialized Epic Carbon Comp 29er, Trek 7.1F

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ride them all and buy the one that you love the best. They are all really essentially the same to the average rider.
spdracr39 is offline  
Old 08-21-14, 10:42 PM
  #15  
Chiefsandme
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 58
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Both of the the bikes I'm looking at are Carbon, does that change your opinion???
Chiefsandme is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
bhargavnat
Road Cycling
5
06-21-16 11:13 PM
isuckatbiking
Road Cycling
4
05-26-15 06:18 AM
RBnewbie
Road Cycling
8
04-21-13 08:11 AM
theoddone
Road Cycling
9
09-26-12 07:29 AM
MattyA
Road Cycling
20
07-22-10 02:00 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.