Pictured above is the bike model I am buying – a 2012 Cannondale Synapse 5 Carbon 105. The differences between my new bike and the above is that mine came with Shimano hubs and wheels and not the 2012 specified Mavic brand and Tektro brakes not Shimano. I requested a wider range rear sprocket cassette (11-32 instead of 11-28) so I can have more choice at the low end for hills which also means change the rear derailleur cage from the short to the longer cage – also made need a longer chain. The white handlebar tape is somewhat soiled from over a year of test rides so the shop offered to re-wrap in black tape at no charge.
This all came about because my girlfriend Kathy, an avid cyclist, recently got a great deal on a Trek Madone 4.5 C WSD that had been a rental and test bike at a Trek shop in Colorado. They offered it to her at half of list price – an offer she couldn’t refuse. My current road bike, a Motobecane Grand Jubilee circa 1976, is somewhat of a truck in comparison with her Trek. Keeping up with Kathy on the hills was impossible given my current physical condition and lack of a comparable low gear. Since Kathy and I are considering riding in next year’s Seattle-to-Portland classic bike ride, something needed to be done.
I did get my bike overhauled to put it back on the road but learned that a previous repair on the crank axle might put its continued use in jeopardy without replacing key components. The thought of spending what might be a substantial amount to upgrade my older steel frame, made the idea of buying a new more advanced bike more attractive. This is the time of year when the arrival of next year’s models puts many current models on sale, so it seemed like a good time to buy – before my size was no longer available.
I was left choosing between a Cannondale Synapse 5, a Scott CR-1 Team Compact, or perhaps a Trek Madone or Domane in the 4 series – all carbon frames with similar Shimano components. Any of those would be a great improvement if comfort and performance over my older bike. I will still be keeping the older bike since it can take fenders and a rack for doing bike touring – perhaps I’ll get the bottom bracket and crankset replaced in the future and, perhaps, a triple ring crankset will fit, adding the needed lower gear ratios.
Look for future posts as Kathy and I start riding together.