Introduction and buying advice


New Member
Aug 12, 2018
Hello to all from presently dreary and humid,southern New Jersey, USA.

I wasn't sure exactly where to post my introduction and some personal background (I apologize if I overlooked that) as well as ask for advice on a road bike purchase. Below is some personal data that hopefully assists you in helping me make my best informed purchase. If I have missed something you feel is important, don' be bashful. I apologize for droning on about myself! I thank you for your anticipated commentary!

I am 52 years old, 5'8", 190 lbs, and have been weight lifting (30-60 min.) then 30 minutes of some type of cardio (usually eliptical) with a sustained heart rate average of 150 bpm's, 4 - 5 days per week for the last 20 years. So I feel I am in excellent muscular shape, but maybe not so great a capacity for entering the road bike "routine". I have never used steroids to become bulky, but I would describe myself as stocky (21% body fat last confirmed about 2 years ago) and not, nor never was, very flexible. I have a thoracic aortic aneurysm that is not large enough, and has not changed in size (3.5 cm) for 3 years, that is monitored by a cardiologist yearly. My current bike is a $300 Trek Hybrid MB so I believe any road bike will be night and day feeling!!! I desire to eventually ride 30 miles per ride on typically (hopefully 3x per week), mostly flat and not well maintained roadways that southern NJ typically offers.

My budget and the bike I will be purchasing is a 2018 Cannondale Synapse 105 SE. My question is the following; is the carbon fiber version worth the additional $400 over the alloy? Am I correct in stating that this CF version Synapse is entry level carbon and inferior in thickness and strength to a higher price-point Cannondale CF?

Thanks again and I look forward to your interaction and knowledge!


Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
NE Indiana
Well the AL version is about 21.6 pounds, which seems heavy to me considering I have a steel bike that weighs less than that. The carbon fibre version weighs 18.7 pounds. Only you can tell yourself if saving 4 pounds is worth the $400, that's a $100 a pound.

The Specialized Tarmac SL4 Elite is a great buy at around $2,100 but it comes with Ultegra for only $100 more than the Cannondale! Specialized doesn't publish their weights but I would safely bet it weighs between 17 to 18 pounds max. In this case spending the additional $500 over the AL Cannondale, or $100 over the CF Cannondale is worth it due to the Ultegra components.

Now for the odd duck out I forgot to mention. The Giant Defy Advanced 3, it's $1,700 and weighs 20 pounds, but it comes with Tiagra...which isn't a bad group in fact Shimano trickles down their stuff from DA all the way down to Tiagra, so Tiagra is actually about a 4 maybe 5 year old DA internal workings, so it will be an excellent group. And there is a dirty little secret, when the original cables need to be replaced buy Shimano DA9000 cables, it will make that Tiagra stuff feel like Ultegra!
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Well-Known Member
Jun 14, 2015
I have an aluminum synapse with tiagra components. At 6'4" with a 61 cm frame, it weighs over 21 pounds. I weigh only 165 pounds, ride in hilly areas often and have no problem with a bike that weighs this much, I highly doubt this weight will mean anything for a stocky bodybuilder type. Also, you will be riding in mostly flat terrain where weight doesn't mean much. Not to mention, an alloy bike is more durable, especially on rough roads. I wouldn't recommend a carbon frame for a first road bike.

Get the alloy one and save the 400 for other things bike related that you will surely need. BTW, my Alloy Synapse is a very comfortable ride. It rolls over rough roads like their nothing.