Well the weather here in the Toronto area has finally broken enough where I could get my new bike out for its inaugural ride:
I rode out of the back of our complex at 7:30AM and decided to do a short sprint around the bend into the neighbourhood behind us. Now I have heard some call the Synapse "sluggish" when it is stomped on but I found that, even at my 210lbs, this bike seemed to just take off. I was feeling very good about this as it was not what I expected. Another rather immeidate impression was the comfort of this bike. The roads up here in the GTA are hardly in ideal condition yet but this bike did not even beat me up a little bit. The ride qwas incredibly smooth, easily the most comfoirtable aluminum bike I have ever ridden. I did begin to notice that I really do need that fitting for which i am scheduled on the 26th, as i was a bit stretched out in the cockpit. After going through that neighbourhood, the next portion of the ride was on the local MUP, which was quite deserted at this time of morning (it won't be in a couple of months though). It was here that I noticed the only shortcoming of the bike....the stock Shimano RS10 wheels. I have heard them described as "noodly" by some and that seems to be an apt description. I am no expert at high quality wheels but I am certain that the stock Bontrager Select wheels that came on my old LeMond could kick the tail out of these. An eventual upgrade is a virual certainty.
This is also my first time owning a compact double, after running triples for years. I must say that I was a bit apprehensive but now I am sure I made the right decision in ditching the triple. Although I did not find the "sweet spot" with my cadence yet, I am sure that given time, I will. The 105 shifters were flawless, as they were on my LeMond, so there were no surprises there. I was surprised at the range of usable gears I now had on only 2 chainrings, and the 11-28 rear cogs seem to be enough for any riding I will be doing.
I do not have any really subnstantial hills on my ride to work but I did have to cross a hwy overpass....hardly a climbing test but it was a climb nonetheless. Now...I am noone climber, in fact I SUCK at hills....really and truly SUCK! but I was able to fly over this one, such as it was, without even going to the small ring. I don't know about you lightweights but ast my 210lbs I was feeling pretty darned good right now. I will, likely, have to swap out the saddle for the Fizik saddle on my backup bike and losesome of the aesthetics (oh well, comfort trumps looks everytime) and I am also likely to be switching over to Look Keo pedals from my SPD pedals when i get my fitting done.
OIverall my first impression of my new ride is ovewrwhelmingly favourable. The comfort IS what it is cracked up to be. The sluggishness about which I had read from some sources was non-existent for me. I have become a fan ofcompact doubles. The one drawback was the cheap Shimano wheels. I would think that, for $1500.00, the wheels could be of higher quality. I suppose many bike manufacturers go this route these days (wheels were on reason I decided against Giant bikes at this price range).
Finally I must say that, after finally getting a chance to ride this bike that there is no buyer's remorse whatsoever. I am extremely happy and can only imagine being moreso once I get fitted on it. I am now one proud Cannondale Synapse rider.