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  1. #1
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    '12 CAAD10-5 vs. '11 Carbon 5 Synapse?

    I'm looking for input on the following choice... I have a deposit on a 2012 CAAD10-5 BBQ or I can get a new 2011 Synapse Carbon 5 105. The awesome thing is the Synapse Carbon is going for a pretty good price I think (?) ~1,900.

    The CAAD10-5 is a 56, and I'm not sure if I'm a 56 or 54 in Cannondale (fitting to be done at purchase). The Synapse is a 54cm. I really don't know much about the Synapse but I have read only glowing reviews about the CAAD10 and I really like the matte black.

    Also, the store selling the CAAD can't do weekend fittings (and they charge $195 for a retül fitting) so I'd have to leave work early and trek out to their shop on a weekday. The store selling the synapse is closer and does weekend fittings for free with purchase (but I'm not sure what method they use. He did say they try to use all original parts as much as they can)

    Please share any thoughts, thanks!

    Ps - as some of you may know from my recent postings, I'm a noob
    Last edited by JayR; 08-15-2012 at 02:54 PM.

  2. #2
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    Either bike shop can and should determine for you, prior to selling you the bike, if it will fit you or not (the after purchase fitting just dials that in) - this will remove the size question. So, all things being equal, I'd take the Carbon Synapse. Plush ride, endurance geometry and good power transfer...whats not to love.

    That said...have you actually ridden these bikes? In the end buy the one you feel most comfortable on.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyleyinSTL View Post
    Either bike shop can and should determine for you, prior to selling you the bike, if it will fit you or not (the after purchase fitting just dials that in) - this will remove the size question. So, all things being equal, I'd take the Carbon Synapse. Plush ride, endurance geometry and good power transfer...whats not to love.

    That said...have you actually ridden these bikes? In the end buy the one you feel most comfortable on.
    Thanks Ryley. Any suggestions/opinions about the models themselves (all else being equal)? For ex, is the frame of the Synase better/worse for some things vs the CAAD10?

  4. #4
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    They are 2 different bikes for 2 different purposes and riders.

    CAAD10 is more agressive, for a racer or weekend warrior. racing geometry . still a comfortable bike for the the competitive rider.

    Carbon Synapse-more relaxed geometry, more comfortable than the CAAD10, taller headtube. still a good bike for weekend riding and maybe some beginner racing.

    you have to tell us what you want the bike for and what kind of rider you are.

    also, 54 or 56 is based on your measurements. long or short torso, long or short legs and long or short arms. i agrree with RyleyinSTL, the Bike Shop can tell what size will fit you bettter, if they cannot, get your money and run. find a shop that can take care of you.

    $195 for a retül fitting is a really good deal and the way i would go if i was getting a fitting. it really is a great system.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloci1 View Post
    They are 2 different bikes for 2 different purposes and riders.

    CAAD10 is more agressive, for a racer or weekend warrior. racing geometry . still a comfortable bike for the the competitive rider.

    Carbon Synapse-more relaxed geometry, more comfortable than the CAAD10, taller headtube. still a good bike for weekend riding and maybe some beginner racing.

    you have to tell us what you want the bike for and what kind of rider you are.

    also, 54 or 56 is based on your measurements. long or short torso, long or short legs and long or short arms. i agrree with RyleyinSTL, the Bike Shop can tell what size will fit you bettter, if they cannot, get your money and run. find a shop that can take care of you.

    $195 for a retül fitting is a really good deal and the way i would go if i was getting a fitting. it really is a great system.
    Ok thanks for some key differentiating points on the two bikes, especially regarding the riding position and geo. My intended use for now is fitness and getting used to road biking - it just looks pretty nifty and the bikes look sweet! That being said, if I take to things I tend to want to get more into it, so it's pretty likely i may also want to ride for speed. Not considering racing per se but maybe aggressive riding. And phew! I wasn't sure what a good value for retül fitting is so now I'm encouraged. These bikes are at two different LBSs so I guess I'll check out e CAAD first and if I like it, I'll go for it (& the retül). If I'm 50-50, I'll head over to the Synapse store.

  6. #6
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    In general terms it's true that the CAAD is a race bike and the Synapse is an endurance bike. However....it's very unlikely that the difference in geometry between the 2 would make much of a difference for your average speed in a race, especially for us regular non pro folks.

    That said the Synapse geometry will provide you with a more comfortable riding position and offer much greater vertical compliance (smoother ride) than the CAAD bike...making long weekend rides much more pleasant.

    Something to think about.... defiantly ride both bikes a few miles on shitty roads before you buy.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyleyinSTL View Post
    In general terms it's true that the CAAD is a race bike and the Synapse is an endurance bike. However....it's very unlikely that the difference in geometry between the 2 would make much of a difference for your average speed in a race, especially for us regular non pro folks.

    That said the Synapse geometry will provide you with a more comfortable riding position and offer much greater vertical compliance (smoother ride) than the CAAD bike...making long weekend rides much more pleasant.

    Something to think about.... defiantly ride both bikes a few miles on shitty roads before you buy.
    Ok, those are good points. I notice on this forum that CAADs are highly recommended, but synapses not so much. Is it that everyone here prefers aggressive racing bikes, or the extra stiffness...or are the CAADs just over-hyped??

  8. #8
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    CAAD10 is an excellent aluminum race bike with a dependable reputation and really no competition at it's level. As such CAADs are often compared along side a Carbon bikes in the same price range.

    The Synapse, like the CAAD 10, is an excellent bike with a great reputation. However it has much more competition because of the market shift toward carbon bikes.

    Trying to compere the two is tricky because they are both trying to cater to different buyers and the 2 unique frame materials have different ride characteristics.

    IMO - if you plan to race every weekend then you should get a race bike, if not, then I feel an "endurance" geometry is the way to go for most people.

    Ride both and you will get the idea...

  9. #9
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    I have a CAAD 10-5 and use it for just about everything. All around it's a great bike for most rides in the sub 100 mile category. I did want something for winter and am going to try my hand at cyclocross this year so I picked up a leftover CAADx cyclocross rig. I think if your looking for a long distance bike get a CAADX.....I compared it to my wifes Synapse and it's actually more comfortable. The upside is the thing climbs like a mule...not like her Synapse which seems a little lazy to me. For as different as the X and the 10-5 are they really ride amazingly similar.

  10. #10
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    As everyone else has said you need to ride both bikes for as long as you can (most shops should let you take a 20-30 minute ride) to determine which bike you prefer.
    Although the Synapse has a more 'relaxed' geometry that may or may not be best for you. I have lower back issues (L3, L4, L5) and I actually found the CAAD geometry more comfortable (go figure!)
    Also, if the Synapse is ~1900 it's probably around ~500 more than the CAAD and since you are a noob that can help with the helmet / shorts / jerseys / whatever that you'll probably need to get.
    Finally, if after riding both bikes you're still conflicted, which shop do you like better? Is one of them closer with a more friendly atmosphere and offer better service (ask their service department how long they will need your bike for a simple adjustment and do they have a policy of how long they will do this for free. Some shops offer one year or lifetime simple adjustments...) Do they have organized club rides that you can join in? You're not only buying a new bike but starting a relationship with the bike shop and for a noob that can be very important. At the shops I go to I know the owners on a first name basis and they promote a warm and friendly atmosphere and pride themselves on how they treat their customers (even noob's!) and they take the time to make sure you are happy with your purchases. Not surprisingly that's where I spend most of my time / money...

  11. #11
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    The first Cannondale road bike I tested was a leftover caad8 from 2010 and I liked it, this was after test riding many Bianchis, Masis and Specialized cycles. I liked the caad 8 so much I tried all of Cannondale's other models. The supersixes were out of my price range so I narrowed it down to a synapse and a 2010 caad9. The synapse I liked but liked the 9 better and absolutely love the supersix with rival/force. The two bikes that were in my price range were the 8 and the synapse. I was not content with buying a bike that was not one or two on my favorite ride list. So I bit the bullet and bought the supersix standard mod and have no regrets. I ultimately made my choice by buying the bike I liked best, and at the same time found out I am a fan of sram. Enjoy choice.

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