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  1. #1
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    CAAD9 5 vs. Synapse 5 aluminum

    My wife and I are looking to get road bikes. I'm a mountain biker. I know about mountain bikes, and I know what I like in the mountain bike. However, I know very little, almost nothing about road bikes. I went to my LBS and told him that I'm looking for a bike for training and some longer endurance rides to make me faster on the mountain bike. He told me that of the brands they carry either the caad9 5 or the synapse alu 5 would be the best deals for our budget.

    He was really selling me on the caad9, and said i'd like i better as a racer. But I've seriously never even been on a road bike, and I like the idea of a more comfortable frame.

    But what really is the difference? From what I understand, the synapse is less rigid, has a wider wheel base, and puts you in a more upright position. But what does that really mean in terms of how you feel on the bike and your comfort on a 2-3 hour ride?

    Thank you

  2. #2
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    Can you ask for a test ride between the two and then decide which one fit your riding style. Both are great bikes and it's a tough decision to make.
    My next vehicle would be a zamboni
    2012 Super Six (Chorus 11)
    2011 Super Six Team edition (Super Record 11)
    2009 Super Six HM (Super Record 11)
    2007 Systems Six (Record 10)
    2008 Caad 9 (Centaur 10)
    2004 Caad 7 ( sold )
    2000 Caad 3 ( sold )

  3. #3
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    If you are going to ride hard and fast, and are trying to be a competetive rider, then yes, the CAAD 9 is thee way to go. But if you want a nice riding bike to cover lots of miles and be comfortable and not worry about your average speed as much, go with the Synapse. If you were to average 20mph over 30 miles with the CAAD 9, you'd probably average 19.5mph wit the Synapse, given the same effort. But you'd be a bit more comfortable, especially if the roads are rough. As the above comment stated, ride them both and see which one you like best. Keep in mind if you like the Synapse simply for the higher handlebar position, you could always swap the stem for one with a 17 degree rise, which would give you approx 1.5-2 inches more height at the h-bars. I think most people getting their first road bike are better off with higher bars, until they get used to the position of a road bike. Once they have a few months of riding in, then they can start to lower the bars for a more aero position.

  4. #4
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    I bought my first rode bike last saturday. On two different days I test rode both of the bikes your talking about. I knew immediately that my style favored the CAAD9. The CAAD was faster and it seemed you could go further with less effort. Do what they said and ride them both. Good Luck.

  5. #5
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    thanks for the responses. I am still not sure. I also have a friend who is trying to convince me to just buy a cyclocross bike and a pair of slick tires, because he says if i can only afford one bike, that would be the ultimate do everything bike.

  6. #6
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    Hi dada109,

    I might agree with the cyclocross, but you said that you are a mountain biker, if you have a m/b then you dont need a bike that can go off road. I agree that you need to ride both and see which bike is more comforable (Fits YOU the best). I perfer caad but have been riding a cannondale with this geo set up for a long time and is what im comforble with.

    George

  7. #7
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    I just spent several hours test riding those two exact models in a size 54. I am moving up from an old Trek steel frame. First I rode the Synapse 5 Alloy and was very pleased with the ride quality, and gear ratios on the compact, however, the brakes were only satisfactory. Then I jumped on the CAAD9 5 and immediately noticed a very big difference in weight the CAAD felt easily a good couple of pounds lighter. Next, on the road the frame was much stiffer and snappier, really converting all my energy into forward momentum. The BB30 bottom bracket also provided a firmer platform for standing up during a very steep climb. Also, though the brakes are Tektro on both models they seemed more immediate on the CAAD, maybe because the mounting points are stiffer. Personally I did not feel that ride quality suffered on the CAAD even though it lacks the SAVE seat stays. And the geometry was so similar that I couldn't detect a difference. Maybe if I had spent a season on one then moved to the other but not after maybe forty five minutes on each. My riding is mostly 30 - 50 miles loops which begin and end at my driveway. I might feel differently if I were involved in 80 - 100 miles days but I would make a strong argument for the CAAD mostly for the weight benefit and stiffer platform. And if I had an additional $300 I would have upgraded to the CAAD9 4 with SRAM Rival components. I bought the CAAD9 5.
    Last edited by SportTour; 03-18-2010 at 07:03 AM.

  8. #8
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    I went thru the same choice almost a year ago and bought the Synapse 5 after riding both. I had my heart set on a CAAD 9-5 and when I finally found one in my size and rode it back to back compared to the Synapse 5 I changed my mind and went with the Synapse and have not regretted it.

  9. #9
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    As you can see from the 2 posts above, 2 different people, 2 different preferences... If they both feel great to you, then I say be shallow and pick the bike that looks the coolest to you or has the paint job you like the best... Life is too short to ride an ugly bike or a bike that's the wrong color!

  10. #10
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    ya, i definitely like the blue CAAD9 5, better than the white Synapse 5 (which are the only colors they have at my LBS).

  11. #11
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    If you like speed, go with the CAAD. If you're looking to do long, slow rides then the Synapse might be the way to go. I love the Synapse's appearance and I seriously thought it (Synapse carbon) was going to be my next bike when I was shopping around last year - that's until I rode one right after riding a Madone, a Six and a Supersix. The Synapse didn't have nearly as much balls as the first three bikes (as my LBS guy put it: "the fun factor just isn't the same") but it was extremely comfortable - to the point that I would worry about falling asleep while riding

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