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  1. #1
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    '10 Cannondale Synapse 5 or Specialized Secteur Elite?

    I'm looking at getting into road cycling at a recreational level (20-30 mile weekend rides, the occasional 100k-100mile charity ride) so I was looking at various "endurance road" bikes and have narrowed my search down to 2: Cannondale's Synapse 5 and Specialized'd Secteur Elite. I haven't been able to find just a ton of info on the Secteur, other than it's basically an aluminum version of the Roubaix. I'm wanting a compact crank as well.

    Ultimately, it'll come down to what feels more comfortable when I ride but assuming that comfort is the same, which of these will be better suited for the long haul? They both offer a mix of 105 components with the main differences appearing to be in rims/wheels (RS10 and Vittoria for cdale, Mavic CXP-22 and Specialized for the Secteur) and crank (FSA Gossamer for cdale, Shimano FC-R600 for the spesh).

    They'll both be priced within $50 of each other, and both are available at a LBS that I feel comfortable with. I do like the blue paintjob on the Synapse 5 better, though I'd probably try and find some matching blue handlebar tape, but I'd like to hear some pros/cons if there's anything else I should know. I've been able to find some reviews that mention the Synapse has nice power transfer (not as nice as the CADD9 obviously) for a "comfort" bike and that's something I may not fully realize on a brief test ride so I'm hoping to get that sort of feedback from this forum.

    Appreciate any feedback, etc..

  2. #2
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabsabre
    I'm looking at getting into road cycling at a recreational level (20-30 mile weekend rides, the occasional 100k-100mile charity ride) so I was looking at various "endurance road" bikes and have narrowed my search down to 2: Cannondale's Synapse 5 and Specialized'd Secteur Elite. I haven't been able to find just a ton of info on the Secteur, other than it's basically an aluminum version of the Roubaix. I'm wanting a compact crank as well.

    Ultimately, it'll come down to what feels more comfortable when I ride but assuming that comfort is the same, which of these will be better suited for the long haul? They both offer a mix of 105 components with the main differences appearing to be in rims/wheels (RS10 and Vittoria for cdale, Mavic CXP-22 and Specialized for the Secteur) and crank (FSA Gossamer for cdale, Shimano FC-R600 for the spesh).

    They'll both be priced within $50 of each other, and both are available at a LBS that I feel comfortable with. I do like the blue paintjob on the Synapse 5 better, though I'd probably try and find some matching blue handlebar tape, but I'd like to hear some pros/cons if there's anything else I should know. I've been able to find some reviews that mention the Synapse has nice power transfer (not as nice as the CADD9 obviously) for a "comfort" bike and that's something I may not fully realize on a brief test ride so I'm hoping to get that sort of feedback from this forum.

    Appreciate any feedback, etc..
    I'll tell you upfront that I don't have first hand experience with either bike, so my comments/ opinions are based on my general experience, specs and the geo of the bikes.

    Fit comes first, so working with a LBS (as you are) is the best way to go. You don't say if you've been sized/ fitted or test rode either bike, but if not there's a good chance that after that process is completed, you'll have your answer as to which bike is best (for you).

    The geo of both bikes is so close as to be a non issue, unless you decide you don't like the ride/ handling. In that case, I suspect both bikes would be out and you'd start your search over, but I doubt that'll happen.

    The specs are very close on both bikes as well, but there are a couple of differences, the biggest (IMO) is the cranksets. FSA Gossamer cranksets have been problematic, so I think the Secteur's Shimano crankset has the edge. Another difference is the Secteur's 25c tires as opposed to 23c's on the Synapse. There's nothing wrong with either tire, but all else being equal (and tire pressure set correctly) the 25c's might offer a slightly more comfortable ride.

    I have the RS-10 wheelset on my Tarmac and they're closing in on 5k miles with nary a problem. IMO the Mavics with generic hubs are comparable, so I view the wheelsets on both bikes as a wash.

    There will be more info available on the C'dale simply because it's been around awhile. This is the first year for the Secteur (it replaces the Sequoia), thus little or no info available. There is a thread going in the bikes forum where a member mentions their riding impressions, so you may want to check that out.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabsabre
    I'm looking at getting into road cycling at a recreational level (20-30 mile weekend rides, the occasional 100k-100mile charity ride) so I was looking at various "endurance road" bikes and have narrowed my search down to 2: Cannondale's Synapse 5 and Specialized'd Secteur Elite. I haven't been able to find just a ton of info on the Secteur, other than it's basically an aluminum version of the Roubaix. I'm wanting a compact crank as well.

    Ultimately, it'll come down to what feels more comfortable when I ride but assuming that comfort is the same, which of these will be better suited for the long haul? They both offer a mix of 105 components with the main differences appearing to be in rims/wheels (RS10 and Vittoria for cdale, Mavic CXP-22 and Specialized for the Secteur) and crank (FSA Gossamer for cdale, Shimano FC-R600 for the spesh).

    They'll both be priced within $50 of each other, and both are available at a LBS that I feel comfortable with. I do like the blue paintjob on the Synapse 5 better, though I'd probably try and find some matching blue handlebar tape, but I'd like to hear some pros/cons if there's anything else I should know. I've been able to find some reviews that mention the Synapse has nice power transfer (not as nice as the CADD9 obviously) for a "comfort" bike and that's something I may not fully realize on a brief test ride so I'm hoping to get that sort of feedback from this forum.

    Appreciate any feedback, etc..
    I can attest to the FSA crank, used to have an 08 Tarmac Elite and after 2 weeks of problems with it, my shop swapped it to a 105 and I never had any problems afterward.

    I don't know anything about the Sectuer but according to Specialized's site, its just an aluminum version of the Roubaix, geometry is the same. I just got the 2010 Roubaix Comp about 3 weeks ago with all 105 on it and it rides and shifts great. After my experience with the FSA crankset, I promised myself I would never buy another bike that came with the Gossamer crankset, it was awful. Cannondale does make a good bike and have to admit they have some great looking paint schemes. However, the paint scheme on the Roubaix Comp that I got is pretty sweet looking.

  4. #4
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    I'm trying to decide between the exact same two. I'm leaning towards the Sectuer, keep us updated on your decision. Thanks.

  5. #5
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by hontors
    I'm trying to decide between the exact same two. I'm leaning towards the Sectuer, keep us updated on your decision. Thanks.
    If you haven't already done so, you might want to do a search on Secteur, because there have been a couple of posts related to them recently.

  6. #6
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    fit first......

    but my vote is for the specialized... i loved the way it rode ...

    either way u can't go wrong with either bike as long as it hits u

  7. #7
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    Anyone have any updates on the Sectuer? Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    I've owned both a Cannondale Synapse and a Specialized Roubiax, though they were carbon versions. Overall, I liked the Synapse better, though they were both very nice. I'm assuming the aluminum versions of these bikes would be similar to each other as well. In the end, I'd probably base my selection on which dealer was most willing to cater to my requests for swapping out components. Many dealers will swap out stems, wheels, tires, etc to make a customer happy. Getting the right stem length and angle is especially important. Tires aren't that big of a deal, as they are a consumeable item anyway. But with the bad press that the FSA crank has gotten here, hopefully the dealer would be willing to upgrade the crank for you. I think either bike will be a great bike for a newbie, so make you decision, pull the trigger and "head out on the highway"!

  9. #9
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    2009 secteur

    After doing a lot of research I picked the Secteur. I bought the Secteur because of the aluminum frame and the mounts for panniers. This bike is to be used as my touring bike. I love this frame. I cannot speak to the components as I immediately changed all components to Ultegra 6600. I wanted quicker and more defined shifting, so that is why I changed them out. I love the geometry of this bike. I have already put hundreds of miles on it. The longest ride being 90 miles. There have been no problems with the bike. I own a Roubaix pro and the geometry is almost identical. Though the Secteur is heavier then the Roubaix, it does not feel it. It feels stiff and reacts to every push of the pedals. I would definitely buy this bike again.

  10. #10
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    I ordered the Sectuer Elite Compact this afternoon. Looking forward to picking it up!!

  11. #11
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    good choice, that cannondale is a nice bike though...

    the A1 has an interesting history, lbs tried to get me to buy it on the Allez Elite instead of the E-5 i wound up getting a couple years ago. i kept asking the cat, yo, what is the difference, what is the difference, and he kept hemming and hawwing...so finally i said f uck you and found another lbs. and man, i love that frame with the columbus tubing. the new e is meant to be even faster....

    if i were gonna use ultegra to upgrade a new specialized frame, on the one hand it would probably be a new E5, not an A1. on the other, you probably cant go wrong with new specialized technology on an intermediate level aluminum frame...i think the 010 specialized line has a lot of variety and value, with the compact 105 you got yourself a nice ride there son. enjoy let us know how it works out

  12. #12
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    After test riding many of the endurance type bikes, I finally bought the Secteur Comp. I tried the elite and the comp, and after riding the comp, I could not go back to the elite. Big difference in the ride (at least I thought so) AND the LBS gave me a deal on the Comp i couldn't refuse.
    I LOVE the bike and am looking forward to many miles...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by thew60
    After test riding many of the endurance type bikes, I finally bought the Secteur Comp. I tried the elite and the comp, and after riding the comp, I could not go back to the elite. Big difference in the ride (at least I thought so) AND the LBS gave me a deal on the Comp i couldn't refuse.
    I LOVE the bike and am looking forward to many miles...
    Congrats on the new bike!

    Ride often and ride safe, but remember, until we see pics....

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