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  1. #1
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    Synapse 2014 - Size advice 54 vs 56

    Hello,

    this is my first thread cause I need Yours advice about new 2014 Synapse fitting . I hesitate between 54 and 56 frame size. This will be my first road bike. (And I am rather looking looking for bit more aggressive competitive position on the bike)

    I am 5'11" tall (180cm) and my inseam is around 32" (~81cm). Unfortunately I do not have any chance to get these bikes for a test ride so I must rely on others opinions.

    frame 54 has toptube 54,2cm, stack 57cm and reach: 37,8cm
    56: toptube 56,1cm, stack 59cm and reach 38,6cm

    Thanks for Your advice

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonamed View Post
    Hello,

    this is my first thread cause I need Yours advice about new 2014 Synapse fitting . I hesitate between 54 and 56 frame size. This will be my first road bike. (And I am rather looking looking for bit more aggressive competitive position on the bike)

    I am 5'11" tall (180cm) and my inseam is around 32" (~81cm). Unfortunately I do not have any chance to get these bikes for a test ride so I must rely on others opinions.

    frame 54 has toptube 54,2cm, stack 57cm and reach: 37,8cm
    56: toptube 56,1cm, stack 59cm and reach 38,6cm

    Thanks for Your advice
    I'm the same height and inseam as you and I ride a 56 in the SuperSix Evo.

    However, I have an few questions. First, are you providing your pants inseam or have you actually measured it. That would make a huge difference.

    Second, the Synapse is Cannondale's more relaxed fit, or endurance fit bike. For an aggressive position on the bike, you should be looking at the CAAD10 (an outstanding aluminum bike) or the SuperSix, if we're staying in the Cannondale line.

    Third, you imply that you are buying this bike sight unseen while being unsure of what size you need. No offense, but that is a bad idea. If you absolutely cannot get to a bike shop for a test ride and some sort of fitting, at least go to the Competetive Cyclist website and use their fitting tool. That would be much, much better than buying without trying. That will almost certainly lead to disappointment with your purchase.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Also if you are buying online, you will not get a warranty.

    I ride a 2012 synapse and for a more aggressive position you can downsize for frame.......The 2012 has a MUCH bigger head tube compared to the 2014, so take what you want form it. If you're looking to get into competition, the caad10 is an awesome bike and the caad8 is a great beginner friendly, race proven machine as well. (the caad8 is a little more relaxed, but still plenty of go)

    I am 6'2" and I fit on a 58 as I should fit on a bike. I could easily fit on a 56 with the 2012 head tube size with only minor adjustments.

  4. #4
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    I'd suggest the 56 at your height, but as the others have mentioned, I'd also suggest the Supersix instead of the Synapse since you mention wanting an "aggressive competitive position."

    FWIW, I'm about 6'1" and I ride a 58 Synapse ('11 hi-mod)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeepsouth View Post
    However, I have an few questions. First, are you providing your pants inseam or have you actually measured it. That would make a huge difference.
    This is my measured inseam (32")

    Well... according to Cannondales Synapse Geometry . Looks like Synapse for 2014 has a bit different geometry in comparison to '12, '13 '11 .

    Size 56 in 2014 Synapse has pretty tall headtube - 18,5cm and 'taller' stack although reach is the same as in previous models. Then I guess my position will be much more 'relaxed' with the 'all new synapse' ? ;)

    Synapse 2014 - Size advice 54 vs 56-frame_size.jpg
    Last edited by nonamed; 01-06-2014 at 02:41 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonamed View Post
    This is my measured inseam (32")

    Well... according to Cannondales Synapse Geometry . Looks like Synapse for 2014 has a bit different geometry in comparison to '12, '13 '11 .

    Size 56 in 2014 Synapse has pretty tall headtube - 18,5cm and 'taller' stack although reach is the same as in previous models. Then I guess my position will be much more 'relaxed' with the 'all new synapse' ? ;)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sounds like the 56 would be ok, but you should be fitted or use an online Fit Calculator as originally suggested. The online calculator only takes a few minutes, but you will need someone to help with the measuring process. Time and effort well spent.

    You mentioned in your original post that you wanted an "aggressive" position on the bike. Are you sure the Synapse is the bike you want? There are more aggressive bikes in the Cannondale line at prices right in line with the Synapse prices.

  7. #7
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    I am pretty much the same size as you and ride a 54cm. I rode 2 different brands before in a 56, but my Cannondale has an offset seatpost.

  8. #8
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    1.80 in a 54? I'm 1.73 and I'm riding a 2014 in 54cm, for sure a 56cm.

  9. #9
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    I'd find it surprising that, at 180cm with a relatively short inseam (meaning you might have a longer torso), you'd need a 54, I'd probably steer you toward a 56... But...

    I'm 1.78 and on a 56... Evo though, not a Synapse. But I can ride a 54 fine too (I had a 54 SuperSix for a while) but I prefer the slightly longer cockpit and the look of less headset spacers. On a Synapse, I would have to slam the stem pretty much against the headset bearing but it can be done, even the Cannondale team were able to get fitted low and long on the Synapse for the spring classics, some needed more severely angled stems than normal though (and Sagan gets custom sized frames, Evo or Synapse).

    There's a lot more to finding the perfect fit than just height and inseam though. Flexibility, fitness, arm length and personal preferences all need to be taken into account. And note that you don't have to use the tall LED equipped headset spacer, the Synapses have a 5mm top cap to get lower. Even though the Synapse is marketed as a more comfy, endurance bike, you can get a racy position on it...

    If you don't have experience on a road bike, you should definitely try to get fitted by a knowledgable fitter. Doesn't matter if they don't have a Synapse, you just need to find the range of numbers to look for, then get the proper sized Synapse. Getting fitted by people on a web forum is not the best option.

    DAN GEROUS

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  10. #10
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    Just for comparison sake, I'm 6'1 with a 33.5 inch inseam. I work at a shop that sells Cannonales and we do bike sizing and fittings as well. I had one of my fellow workers do my sizing. And here is what I would ride if I was buying a Cannondale.

    On the Evo I ride a 56cm, on the Synapse (2014) I would ride a 58cm. The Evo has a longer top tube than the Synapse.
    You can't fix stupid.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by frdfandc View Post
    Just for comparison sake, I'm 6'1 with a 33.5 inch inseam. I work at a shop that sells Cannonales and we do bike sizing and fittings as well. I had one of my fellow workers do my sizing. And here is what I would ride if I was buying a Cannondale.

    On the Evo I ride a 56cm, on the Synapse (2014) I would ride a 58cm. The Evo has a longer top tube than the Synapse.
    And horizontal top tube length is the most critical measurement on frame IMO.

    DAN GEROUS

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous View Post
    Even though the Synapse is marketed as a more comfy, endurance bike, you can get a racy position on it...

    If you don't have experience on a road bike, you should definitely try to get fitted by a knowledgable fitter. Doesn't matter if they don't have a Synapse, you just need to find the range of numbers to look for, then get the proper sized Synapse. Getting fitted by people on a web forum is not the best option.
    This is exactly why I am leaning toward Synapse rather than racy EVO . I would like a bike which will allow me to make long trips without backache due to too low position but also be ready for 'more' aggresive position on shorter trips.

    I realize that I definietly should get fitted in LBS. My main aim of this thread was to get to know Yours experiences about getting fit and what size do You ride with similar (more or less) height and inseam. Looks like most of You would choose 56.. However I am still looking here in Poland for some Cannondales dealer which will help me being fitted. Unfortunately 2014 collection isn't yet available in stores, they may only indent the bike if I make decision which one in what size I need...

    I will ask my girfriend to help me measuring my body with Bike Fit Calculator from competitivecyclist. Maybe it will also help me a bit and I will know much more what size should I be looking for... Gonna update soon the results...

    Quote Originally Posted by frdfandc View Post
    On the Evo I ride a 56cm, on the Synapse (2014) I would ride a 58cm. The Evo has a longer top tube than the Synapse.
    According to Cannodales spec. new Synapse (2014) in size 56 has pretty the same lenght of toptube like EVO :/

    Synapse 2014 - Size advice 54 vs 56-frame_size.jpg




    Thank You all
    Last edited by nonamed; 01-07-2014 at 08:50 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by frdfandc View Post
    Just for comparison sake, I'm 6'1 with a 33.5 inch inseam. I work at a shop that sells Cannonales and we do bike sizing and fittings as well. I had one of my fellow workers do my sizing. And here is what I would ride if I was buying a Cannondale.

    On the Evo I ride a 56cm, on the Synapse (2014) I would ride a 58cm. The Evo has a longer top tube than the Synapse.
    I am 6ft 1" with a 34" inseam. my CAAD 10 is a 58cm, and my Synapse Carbon 6 is a 56cm... have to chuckle.

  14. #14
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    I made body mesaurements and the results seems to be pretty weird... Top tube results 58-58,4cm...

    Synapse 2014 - Size advice 54 vs 56-wymiary.jpg

  15. #15
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    I'm 6' exactly, with long legs and arms.
    I fit a standard 58 cm Evo/CAAD10 exactly. They have the 175mm cranks and the 11 cm stem that puts me in my preferred position with the stem slammed on the (tall) headset lid.
    Due to stack I'm ok on a 56 Synapse '14 with a 12 cm stem instead of the standard 10 cm. The crank arms would be a wee bit short though, as they were on this trip last summer. I'd also like to drop the bars more than the clever light diode spacer allows. A -17 degree stem would do the trick too:



    (Vince77, you da man!)
    Last edited by kbwh; 01-12-2014 at 12:11 PM.
    They do anything just to win a salami in ridiculous races. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me. It was the illest of times, it was the dopest of times. And we looked damn good. Actually the autobus broke down somewhere on the Mortirolo.

  16. #16
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    anyone else would comment on my measurements ? :/

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonamed View Post
    This is exactly why I am leaning toward Synapse rather than racy EVO . I would like a bike which will allow me to make long trips without backache due to too low position but also be ready for 'more' aggresive position on shorter trips.

    I realize that I definietly should get fitted in LBS. My main aim of this thread was to get to know Yours experiences about getting fit and what size do You ride with similar (more or less) height and inseam. Looks like most of You would choose 56.. However I am still looking here in Poland for some Cannondales dealer which will help me being fitted. Unfortunately 2014 collection isn't yet available in stores, they may only indent the bike if I make decision which one in what size

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thank You all
    I think the 56 would be a better fit for you - yes the Synapse is a more endurance oriented bike and the head tube is longer and the stack is higher than a race bike but with an inverted stem and a change from compact to regular drop bars you shouldn't have any problems getting into a racy position. I think there is much more risk that you will have problems on your longer rides with neck and back aches than that you wouldn't be able to set the bike up to get low enough for your short racy rides if you go that route.

    I don't think you need to have the bike in stock at the shop that would fit you to get a real good idea of the fit - you have all the geometry from the Cannondale web page that a good fitter should be able to set you up on anything similar using and with the use of a stem calculator and some different stems be able to tell you if a 54 or 56 would be better in the 2014 Synapse.

    Just flipping the 100mm 6 degree stem from up to down and taking out the 5x5mm spacers it comes with will reduce the stack by 4.4cm, and increase the reach by 1.4cm. What you won't be able to tell from a fit without some saddle time (weeks) is how your body reacts to the geometry, although a couple hour test ride will give you a pretty good idea about the fit (30 minutes isn't enough IMHO).
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