Member Question: Cannondale Synapse or Specialized Dolce?

author : FitWerx
comments : 2

Member question from tor7

I'm looking to purchase my first road bike and have narrowed it down to either the Cannondale Synapse or Specialized Dolce. I'm about 5' 8" and would like a reasonable comfy but race-ready bike. I'm not sure if one of these models is better, both are from 2009 aluminum/carbon combinations. My budget is about $1500. I realize this is a difficult question but any thoughts as to which of these two bikes is better for a woman? If you have experience with other bikes in this category I'm open to suggestion.

 

Answer
The most important factor when deciding between different bike models is which bike fits you best. At 5' 8", and assuming these are good fitting bike options, let’s assume you end up on a size 54. In this size, both of these options have similar geometry, so if you fit on one of them you will likely fit on the other with minimal changes.

 

Both of these models have moderate geometry that includes a taller head tube, longer wheelbase and more trail than their more aggressive and quicker handling race bike cousins. This geometry better accommodates a more upright riding position that we find is more suited to a larger population of riders, and in particular newer and less experienced cyclists.


Outside of fit, both should have similar ride quality for Aluminum bikes with carbon forks and back ends at this price point. They won’t ride as smoothly or be as vertically compliant as most steel, titanium, or all carbon bikes, but they will offer better ride quality than full aluminum bikes which they compete with at this price point. Aluminum is generally the harshest riding frame material, so the carbon fork and stays improve vertical compliance and also reduce road vibration.


Our experience is that women-specific geometry is helpful to some woman, but not necessarily more helpful to all women from a positioning standpoint. Generally speaking, the more useful features tend to be the shorter reach handlebars and shift levers that work well for smaller hands. The Specialized Dolce comes equipped with short reach handlebars, which position the hoods closer to the rider than standard reach bars. This may or may not make it fit better for you, but if shortening the reach of the bike is important than the Dolce may be a good option. The Cannondale Synapse Feminine model also has this short reach bar feature with the same benefit. If this feature is important and provides a better fit then I’d recommend the Feminine version of this bike as the standard Cannondale Synapse versions do not have the short reach bars.

  

The ride quality of each bike is likely similar, so both should work well for you as long as they fit you well.

 

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date: May 25, 2009

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FitWerx

Fit Werx offers the most scientific and complete bicycle fitting services in New England, the Northeast and beyond. Regardless of where you are from (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Australia, Macau...) a Fit Werx' bike fit is guaranteed to be worth the trip.

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avatarFitWerx

Fit Werx offers the most scientific and complete bicycle fitting services in New England, the Northeast and beyond. Regardless of where you are from (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Australia, Macau...) a Fit Werx' bike fit is guaranteed to be worth the trip.

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