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  1. #1
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    Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Disc vs Cannondale Synapse vs Trek Emonda SLR 6 Disc

    Trying to decide on a new bike to buy this Fall. My main riding goals are to train hard and to be a top finisher in each of the centuries I plan on doing. I'd like to eventually participate in some of the gran fondo type rides and to be competitive not only in my age group, but overall. I feel that my bike needs to be comfortable for long rides yet not so relaxed that it would hinder me from getting a Strava KOM on a wicked descent or from riding the group off my wheel on a long fast flat. I do plan on staying with compact cranks and most likely a 30-ish tooth cassette. I have big hills that get 18% and over, I have bad knees and back, I like the easy gearing.

    I'm currently on a 2003 Cannondale R2000, sporting a CAAD 7 frame, Ultegra 9-speed, and Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels. It's been a great bike and I don't plan on getting rid of it, but I do want a newer bike. I live in a very hilly area and between myself and water/food/tools put about 200 lbs on any bike I ride, and would feel more comfortable with disc brakes. Also, I really want a nice set of carbon wheels and feel that carbon rims with disc brakes will end up lasting longer and performing better. These bikes don't seem all that different from each other when I look at the geometries. I was surprised to find that the typical Trek H2 geometry is only slightly more aggressive than the Synapse. I'm trying to schedule time off work so I can get in a good test ride on each of these, but finding the time and the bikes is proving difficult.

    Bike: reach, stack, chainstay (58cm frame)

    SuperSix: 39.9, 58.4, 40.5
    Emonda: 39.1, 59.6, 41.1
    Synapse: 39.3, 61.0, 41.0

    My CAAD 7 is almost identical to the SuperSix geometry, and I've been pretty fine with that. I have maybe 15mm of spacers under my stem, but will likely lower it slightly over time as I get stronger and ride more. I'm still working on dialing in my fit, as it's not quite right yet.

    My price range is up to mid $4k range. I don't mind going a little lower or higher if the feel or spec of the bike warrants it. The bike that has most caught my eye is the SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Disc Ultegra. It's priced well because of the cheap wheels. I do plan on making other cycling purchases over the coming months as I save the money- smart trainer at Christmas(Kickr or similar), power meter at start of Spring (maybe Pioneer, but definitely a 2-sided power meter), and new wheelset (Enve 3.4 Disc w/ Onyx road hubs) at start of Summer. The total bike package with the accessories and upgrades will be the most expensive thing I've ever bought except for my house, which is why I'm not trying to buy the best off-the-shelf bike to start. I like that the SuperSix comes with cheap wheels, since I plan on replacing them anyways.

    Any suggestions?
    Last edited by TDFbound; 07-11-2017 at 09:17 AM.

  2. #2
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    Dude you weight 200lbs. Do you think you can feel the difference of 0.6 pounds (hi-mod vs. non hi-mod)? I'd opt for the non hi-mod version. Plus it's cheaper.

    Wheels: Do yourself a favor and turn away from Edge wheels....err... oh wait they're now Mavic wheels. Instead, try Shimano C35 or C40 wheels - solid wheels at the price point.

  3. #3
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    Haha yeah, I don't think that half a pound of saved weight in the frame will make much of a difference. I suppose I am more concerned about the non hi-mod having a more dull ride or flexing more. I am not a huge guy or extra strong, but I have had a few bad experiences with frame or wheel flex on a few bikes before and don't want to deal with it on a new bike.

  4. #4
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    I'd try to ride allot them and pick the most comfortable. I'm new to the road. I have a set of carbon wheels for my ride but have used the Bontrsger AL most of the 800 miles I'm at since late April. My times are no different. I'd say go with better bike and ride a few thousand miles...get a feel for the bike and THEN go carbon wheelset.

  5. #5
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    This is definitely a personal preference kind of thing, so test rides will be key. That being said, I really like what the new Synapse (released earlier this week) brings to the table. It seems like it might check a number of your boxes and provide you with the best of both worlds. Take a look:

    Synapse Cannondale Bicycles

    New 2018 Cannondale Synapse launched: first ride (video) - Cycling Weekly

    Edit:

    I think my overall preference (for myself, but it sounds like we have similar riding interests) is the Domane SL line. I see great value there and don't feel like I am giving anything up by going that route (plus they have a number of rim and disc brake options for pretty much every price point). The Isospeed might be a nice addition given your back issues, etc.
    Last edited by Rashadabd; 07-13-2017 at 04:41 AM.
    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

  6. #6
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    I didn't get past the first paragraph cuz your description and goals seem wildly divergent. You want to haul 200lbs around with a compact crankset and 30t cassette but want to set KOMs and hang with the "fast group"? Maybe your area is less competitive than mine but that would never happen in Hawaii or Colorado.

    Ignoring your goals I'd say get the Synapse. You won't notice the extra weight, you can probably get your handlebar low enough (especially if you ditch the tall headset cover), and it should be more comfortable.

  7. #7
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    The one that comes with the best bike fitting.

    The Synapse has been raced by the best pros in the world in big races. I doubt you would benefit from more aggressive like you seem to think unless you want to be one of those guys who has an aggressive looking bike and get by with just never using the drops.

  8. #8
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    I agree with Keoki that there is no reason to get the Hi-Mod frame. It is not stiffer than the standard mod frame, only very slightly lighter. I have a 2014 Synapse carbon standard mod, and it is plenty stiff - way stiffer than the noodly carbon frames of yesteryear.

    If you are going to be climbing 18% grades with bad knees, you will want at least a 11-32T cassette and a 34/50 compact crankset. The Supersix Evo you linked is only a 11-28T and 36/52 semi-compact.

    Best thing to do is test ride them all and get the one you like the feel and fit the best.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
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    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  9. #9
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    I hope a test ride confirms that the bikes ride the same. I would love to save $1000 on the non-hi-mod frame and spend it on a power meter instead. For gearing, I definitely want a compact crank and a 30 tooth cassette, not sure if I need a 32 or not. I don't want the gear jumps to be too large and end up hunting for the right gear on normal roads.

    As for position on the bike, I think an "aggressively" set up Synapse would be about the same as my current bike, which has the same geometry of the SuperSix. I do wish I could get lower though when sitting on the front or trying to catch back up to the group after a mechanical problem or nature break- I find myself with resting my forearms on the tops of the bar by the hoods and just barely getting a pinky finger around the top of the hoods to hold on for these longer seated efforts- times like that I want a much longer and lower bike, but worry how I would feel after an 8 hour recreational ride.

  10. #10
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    Unfortunately, most of the 30T cassettes I've seen are 12-30T. If you want that small 11, you will probably have to go with a 11-28T or 11-32T. The 32T will require a mid-cage derailleur if your bike comes with a short-cage. This all is speaking of Shimano. I'm not absolutely sure about SRAM.

    If you want a low position to hammer with the groups, but a higher position for longer rides, you can always flip the stem in between rides.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
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    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  11. #11
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    I am not sure what size you ride, but in my size (51cm), the difference in headtube length between the Evo and the new Synapse is only about 12mm or 1.2cm. So, if you are riding with any spacers at all (which most people are), it's really easy to just remove one or two and achieve a very similar position as far as being "lower" on the front end. Like others have said, pros race the Synapse (and Domane). Even if you are not, that's really not a huge difference. My guess is you will be absolutely fine with either bike so long as you continue to work on your fitness, fit, and bike handling. That's where the magic really happens. I have found that we spend too much time overemphasizing the bike when it's the fit, skills, and the engine that really matter most if you want to be fast. I highly recommend just following the advice to test ride the bikes that interest you and get the one you like best for whatever reason. I hope you enjoy whichever bike you end up with.
    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    If you want a low position to hammer with the groups, but a higher position for longer rides, you can always flip the stem in between rides.
    Or use the drops or take advantage of the fact that elbows bend.
    It just amazes me how many people who 'need' an aggressive bike set up don't touch the drops and seemingly don't realize their elbows mend.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Or use the drops or take advantage of the fact that elbows bend.
    It just amazes me how many people who 'need' an aggressive bike set up don't touch the drops and seemingly don't realize their elbows mend.
    Yep, hard to argue with this. Another thing we overlook IMO.
    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

  14. #14
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    Lol i use the drops plenty. I am in the drops for every pull at the front, any descent, any moderate effort while solo, and even in long steady climbs as long as the gradient is less than about 9% or so. The problem for me is that to get my torso bent over enough for long sweeping descents or for high intensity steady efforts on the flats, I end up relying on tricep strength to support my weight instead of the bone structure of my arms. It's like shooting offhand versus using a bench vise. By putting my hands on the hoods and resting my wrists on the top of the bars behind them, I can actually relax a bit while putting in a good 10-25 minute effort.

    I have scheduled some test rides this weekend, weather permitting. Right now though I am leaning towards the Synapse Carbon Dura-Ace. That bike with a power meter and a wheel upgrade should be a pretty sweet ride. Next year I can pay to replace my old CAAD7 as a crash replacement and pick a hi-mod frame for a SuperSix or Synapse again if it seems to work for race efforts too.

  15. #15
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    Well, I decided on a bike. I'll be ordering a Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc Ultegra SE. My main reason for this is that it comes with not only Cannondale's new carbon cockpit pieces, but a rear derailleur capable of up to a 34-tooth cassette, which it comes equipped with. I'll buy an 11-30 I think to use for my normal riding, but having an 11-34 available for the more wicked rides will be a life saver. Anybody ever tried to ride up Brasstown Bald? I haven't yet, but I've walked up it and watched the pro's ride it, and I damn sure don't want to attempt it with my 12-27.

    Anyways, the Synapse Carbon Ultegra Disc SE ships with some OK aluminum rims with 21mm internal width and 30mm tires on them, which I'm curious to try out. For a wheel upgrade next Spring, I've decided on a set of Boyd carbon rims, most likely their 44mm deep rims, which have a 19mm internal width and should be great with a pair of 25mm Conti GP4000s II tires on them, which should measure closer to 27 or 28mm once inflated.

    This model of Synapse costs $3500, which is $1500 less than the Dura-Ace equipped version (oh how I do love the Dura-Ace group though). My budget for bicycle-related stuff is capped at $5000 until Christmas, so... as much as I do want Dura-Ace parts, the cost savings will allow me to instantly buy and equip a power meter, and still have the budget for a smart trainer like a Wahoo Kickr 2 later this December.

    I feel this will get me the best value for my dollar, especially considering my current level of fitness and that I don't plan on doing any important races in the next couple years. Training my body and fitness is top priority and the sooner I can start training with power on a comfortable bike the better off I will be, I hope. Maybe next Summer when I do my frame crash replacement I'll have decided whether to get a Hi-Mod SuperSix frame or stay with the Synapse and get a Hi-Mod Synapse frame. Only time will tell, I'll worry about that later.

    Given the information here, do you think I am making the right choice?

  16. #16
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    I think you made a good choice. It even comes with the new Ultegra 8000 which allows the 34T and I believe also has the clutch derailleur Shimano's mountain bike drivetrains have had for awhile. This should prevent chain slap and also lessen your chance of chain drops. Though to tell you the truth, I have yet to drop my chain once with my 6800 groupo in 3500 miles.

    As far as the wheels and tires, I would just ride them. 30mm tires will not be noticeably slower than 25mm tires, but 30mm tires will give you a nicer ride.

    The only thing I would change is to put an 11-34T cassette so I could climb any hill.

    Congrats and happy, safe riding!
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
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    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  17. #17
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    Thanks, now I just have to wait for it to ship to the dealer! I believe it comes with an 11-34 cassette. I couldn't find the specs for the individual cogs on a Shimano 11-34, but a few others I found online had bigger spacing than I would like for the harder gears. I'll probably ride an 11-30 most of the time and put the 11-34 on for the big rides where I need my legs to stay fresh all day. I'll try to post up some pics on a new thread whenever I get it home.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDFbound View Post
    Thanks, now I just have to wait for it to ship to the dealer! I believe it comes with an 11-34 cassette. I couldn't find the specs for the individual cogs on a Shimano 11-34, but a few others I found online had bigger spacing than I would like for the harder gears. I'll probably ride an 11-30 most of the time and put the 11-34 on for the big rides where I need my legs to stay fresh all day. I'll try to post up some pics on a new thread whenever I get it home.
    On the Cannondale site, I saw that it comes with 11-30T.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  19. #19
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    Smart move in my opinion. Congrats, enjoy the bike.
    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

  20. #20
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    Synapse Carbon Disc Ultegra SE Cannondale Bicycles

    11-34 Lol it even has gumwall tires

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDFbound View Post
    11-34
    Where are you riding that you need a 34/34t?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keoki View Post
    Where are you riding that you need a 34/34t?
    Western NC, Upstate SC, and NE Georgia. I have multiple roads within 5 miles of my house that kick up to 18% and more, the steepest I've ridden yet has been 26%. Plenty of sections with sustained grades of 12% or more. I've got a hard time recovering after spending 15 minutes pounding up a hill at 4.5 mph at 45 rpm with a 175+ heart rate. I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure if I could get my cadence up to around 70 or more for the same speed, my heart rate would drop and I wouldn't get as blown up by the end of the climb. I avoid these nasty climbs most of the time, but it would be nice to have a good gear for them for the times I can't avoid it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDFbound View Post
    Synapse Carbon Disc Ultegra SE Cannondale Bicycles

    11-34 Lol it even has gumwall tires

    Oh never mind! For some reason, my mind transferred the tire info 700x30c as a 30T cassette. Brain fart!
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  24. #24
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    Based on your weight you may want to think about an electric bike that has a turbo motor so you can get those KOM's

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaggrin View Post
    Based on your weight you may want to think about an electric bike that has a turbo motor so you can get those KOM's
    Lol why do you say that? I may be bigger than a lot of riders but that also means I put out more power than a lot of riders. I can tuck really small when pulling at the front of a pace line and ride a good number of people right off the back. Also helps me scream down the descents, but I'm still no match for a good tandem!

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