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Cannondale Synapse vs CAAD8

WhatNowWhatNow Posts: 4
edited June 2016 in Road buying advice

I am about to buy either a:
1. ($1350 CDN) 2015 Cannondale Synapse 105 with a 58cm frame (may be a size too big but haven't tested it yet)
Or a
2. ($1500 CDN) 2014 Synapse 105 that seems unreasonably priced but is my size at 56cm.

So, my question is, as a 5'11" guy with a 32'' inseam, could I make the 58cm option work and save money while getting a newer model or will I feel a big enough difference on the older, more expensive 56cm frame to justify the $150 difference. This will be my first road bike so it will be hard to judge which fits best after a short test ride so I want advice from experienced riders, like you. Cheers!

EDIT: How does the CAAD8 manage on rough roads? Is 105 noticeably better than Tiagra for beginners?


  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    A bike that is slightly too small can easily be made to fit with minor adjustment, like a 20mm longer stem, different seat post, etc. A bike that is too big will, IME, always feel too big. Forget the finance side and buy the right sized bike. If that means missing a 'bargain' then so be it. Plenty of bikes out there and, despite what all the makers say, they are not massively different performance wise.

    You sound like a 56 but could be a 58 depending on exactly how your 5'11" is made up (longer/shorter legs, torso, arms, etc.).
  • WhatNowWhatNow Posts: 4
    Thanks. I agree that a 56 is probably a perfect size for me but I could potentially fit a 58. I guess the only way to know is to try both out. I have read on this forum that Cannondales tend to fit big. Do you know if this is generally the case?
  • I'm 6'1 and ride a 56 Cannondale CAAD10. I'd echo above advice better to size down than size up.
  • dyrlacdyrlac Posts: 751
    If you think it "may" be a size too big now, I guarantee it is too big; and the resentment will grow and grow because your inseam sure won't. FWIW, I'm 5'7" with a 30" inseam, and my 54cm 2013 CAADX is too big. I accumulated the better part of 5,000 miles on it, but once I got bikes that fit, it got relegated to the shed wall and hasn't had a serious run out since last summer. Seriously, do not buy the bigger bike; wait if you must.
  • WhatNowWhatNow Posts: 4
    Is there a big difference between Tiagra and 105? I wouldn't be doing any serious racing, just fun ones and I may join a laid back club. How quickly do you think I would feel the need to upgrade from Tiagra to 105? 2 or 3 seasons, maybe? I am just graduating high school so I plan to really dive into the sport and I in the long run I can see myself getting into serious racing and duathlons but for know I am just looking for a good bike to develop on. Also, how does the CAAD8 hold up on gravel roads and poorly maintained roads. I am only leaning towards an endurance because I know that I will have to travel across the occasional gravel road since I live in the country side. However, the CAAD may be better suited to me if it can cross the occasional bumpy road for no more than 2-6 km at a time.
  • bmxboy10bmxboy10 Posts: 1,958
    I don't recommend pulling off anything especially a bike
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