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  1. #1
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    Felt f3C or Cannondale Synapse (Ultegra Model)

    My neighbor was asking for advice about the two bikes in the subject line. He is about 6'1 and about 175 lbs. So I think he will be riding a 58cm. He wanted to upgrade bikes and told me that he wanted something that would be available in town and he wanted a Carbon ride. He said he wanted something that would be racey enough to ride hard and fast with the local club rides but comfortable and stable enough to ride on centuries and in the mountains. I looked at both websites and recommended the Cannondale because I thought it would do everything he was asking for and most importantly be more comfortable for the long rides than the Felt because the Felt is a Monocoque frame. I know I would not buy a monocoque except for racing or short hard training rides because I am only 5'6" and I think the monocoque frame would fatigue me more than the Synapse. Is my logic correct or does it depend more on how the carbon is laid even if a monocoque or that since he is bigger, it might not effect him the same way as me? Just interested in your thoughts on this subject.

  2. #2
    Steaming piles of opinion
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    I agree with your recommendation, if not necessarily with how you got there.

    I liked the Synapse a lot when I had one over a weekend, for the 'fast but comfortable' combination you describe. I don't have saddle time on the Felt, but I was a bit put off by some of the equipment combinations they seemed to use to get to their price points. Might not be an issue now, or for that particular model, and of course opinions vary.

    I don't think the question of monocoque in itself is the deciding factor. I'd say that overall a mono structure could allow a designer to acheive a higher stiffness-to-weight ratio, but it's not necessarily the case that it's always used in that manner. That advantage could as easily be used simply to save weight, but maintain the same stiffness, instead of keeping the same weight but increasing stiffness.

    If one is more comfortable, I'd be more likely to attribute it to subtle differences in geometry and componentry than to construction methods (and usually even materials.)
    A good habit is as hard to break as a bad one..

  3. #3
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    I have not ridden a Felt, but I have test ridden a LOT of other Carbon bikes recently in addition to owning an '01 Trek 5200 OCLV for the past 5 years.

    I've ridden: Pinarello F-413 Carbo, Orbea Opal, Scott CR-1, new '05 Trek 5.9SL Madone, Specialized Roubaix Comp, Cannondale Synapse. Of all the bikes I rode, I keep coming back to the Synapse for it's VERY nice combination of ride quality, comfort and exceptional spec's. Cannondale really put their hearts into the Synapse (and so it would seem the Six13 is equally loved, but that's another story. I have not ridden that. It's a combination of AL/Carbon)

    The Synapse is the bike that I have in my head regarding your exact considerations. Fast, but comfortable over longer group rides, centuries etc. That's a hard thing to determine on the short 10-15 mile test rides I've been taking. I am seduced by the quickness, and agility of the Trek 5.9SL Madone, but that darned Cannondale keeps speaking to me about overall comfort and stability at the end of a long ride.

    I test rode Both the Ultegra Synapse, and also the Synapse Carbon 1 (Dura-Ace) The Ultegra Synapse was equally wonderful. In fact, it has an Dura-ace rear derailleur. I prefered the Dura-Ace Synapse, but because of the higher spec'd Mavic Ksyriun SSC SL wheels and I loved the FSA K-Wing Carbon handlebar that comes on the Synapse cCarbon 1. Instant love. All in all however, the Synapse 2 (Ultegra) rode just the same. Felt as good, stiff bottom bracket with no flex (I am 193lbs), but comfy. The Ultegra spec'd Synapse is a great bike in my experience. Hope this helps.

    PS: The Blue/White color scheme Looks AWESOME in person too. I also saw the black/charcoal) I think they call is BBQ finish. It is nice if you like understated bikes. The color was a bit too boring to my eyes, but some people love it. No right or wrong there. I just thought the Blue/White bike had more "Wow" Factor to it.
    Last edited by trek5200cs; 05-19-2006 at 09:20 AM.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Thanks,

    I was just kind of shocked when he pulled out the bike this morning, actually was the low end model f5c not the even the f3c which at least is primarly Dura Ace and Easton or American Classic 420 (I think) wheel set for only a grand more than the f5c, which is primiarly 105 with a wheel set I don't even remember the name of. (Sure was a heavy bike too for being carbon.) I just thought the vastly improved wheel set and the Dura Ace with FSA Cranks on the f3c would be a huge improvement I think and well within his orignial budget and only a grand more. He wold probably spend about twice that just to upgrade to those components along....Then he said well, I guess I'll probably have to get some better wheels .. I said, ."Well yeah, that would be a good place to start." :-)

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