Home

Hello

I'm hoping that the collective wisdom of the road.cc members might be able to advise me.

I'm looking to upgrade my 8yr old Cannondale Supersix 105 (NB - I've upgraded several bits over the years - carbon stem, carbon handlebars, nice wheels, saddle, cassettes, deraillers etc)  and so it's a machine I love very much.  However, my commuter bike has breathed it's last breath and so I thought my Supersix could take over that job and I'd get myself a new bike for my long weekend rides (80-100k generally).  I'm cycling London-Paris in July this year and so I thought I would treat myself for that.   I'm a Cannondale devotee and so I'm looking to get the Cannondale Synapse but I'm really struggling to decide which model. 

The 2018 model seems to come with quite a few nice improvements which keep some of the sportiness of the SuperSix but with the comfort of the Synapse so I've pretty much decided to buy the 2018 range. 

My key questions are:

  1. Is hi-mod worth the extra £900?  If yes, I'll get the SYNAPSE HI-MOD DISC DURA-ACE (http://www.cannondale.com/en/Europe/Bike/ProductDetail?Id=955e361c-57b8-...)
  2. If not, then is Dura Ace worth the extra £1000 or shall I stick to Ultegra?  (Hi-mod Ultegra Di2 isn't an option as not being made this year)
  3. Any thoughts on whether I should get a bargain on a 2017 model and then upgrade stuff?  My instict is no as I want the extra spirit from the 2018 model and 300g frame weight loss is impressive (albeit insignificant compared to me as a 6 foot woman!) 

NB - I'm pretty much decided that Di2 is not something I want to invest £1000 in right now.  I'd rather get a better frame.  Is this a massive mistake?!

Thanks in advance for your advice!

17 comments

Avatar
peted76 [1034 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

Get the best frame you can afford and upgrade the parts along the way.

Whether the best frame will make you an extra £900 faster is debatable, but if you can afford it, get it, it's only money and you only live once.

However a consideration for you.

I'm a big fan of Ultegra so no issues with that over Dura Ace, however I do believe that you should go and feel the difference between the hydro Di2 levers and the hydro mechanical (non di2 levers) as they 'feel' a world apart. If I'd actually hands on felt the levers before I purchased my mechanical Ultegra Hydro, I'd have found the extra cash for Di2 Ultegra ones.

Avatar
Canyon48 [881 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
peted76 wrote:

Get the best frame you can afford and upgrade the parts along the way.

Whether the best frame will make you an extra £900 faster is debatable, but if you can afford it, get it, it's only money and you only live once.

However a consideration for you.

I'm a big fan of Ultegra so no issues with that over Dura Ace, however I do believe that you should go and feel the difference between the hydro Di2 levers and the hydro mechanical (non di2 levers) as they 'feel' a world apart. If I'd actually hands on felt the levers before I purchased my mechanical Ultegra Hydro, I'd have found the extra cash for Di2 Ultegra ones.

Wot 'e sed! (Pete speaks lots of sense, it's not the first time I've seconded his opinion on bike choice!)

@Peted76 I upgraded from RS685 and Ultegra 6800 to full Ultegra R8020 hydro. I've never tried the R8070 hydro Di2, what the significant difference (I'm assuming the levers feel much smaller and more racey, like the 105 mechanical I had previously?).

Avatar
NicholasM [9 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes

Di2 would be a noticeable improvement over mechanical shifting, but I really doubt if anyone could tell the difference between a standard and Hi-mod frame without being told which is which first. And probably not even after that. There's just nothing wrong with the standard frame. If it was my money, I would go for a 2018 bike with Di2 Ultegra  1

Avatar
maviczap [175 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

Di2 is worth the extra money, I've got ultegra mechanical on one bike and Di2 on two other bikes.

If I'm honest I can't tell the difference between 105 (5800) and ultegra (6800) mechanical, but ultegra Di2 is so slick it's noticeable.

I've bought almost all my Di2 second hand, it works flawlessly.

Apart from weight, I can't see any advantage to buying Dura Ace Di2

Avatar
rando [19 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
peted76 wrote:

Get the best frame you can afford and upgrade the parts along the way.

Whether the best frame will make you an extra £900 faster is debatable, but if you can afford it, get it, it's only money and you only live once.

 

I see this quote alot about buying the best frame you afford and I am having the same dilema as the OP (also considering Trek SL & SLR frameset). If the only real difference between the hi-mod to normal frame is the weight then surely for bigger riders like me at 82kg the few hundred grams saved in frameweight is so minor its not worth the extra.  But if someone can say the ride is so much better in terms of power transfer or compliance with the more expensive & lighter frame then I would spend the extra money and get cheaper components.

As it stands I am leaning towards the non hi mod for Cannnondale or the Trek SL frameset but built with SRAM Etap as oppose to hi-mod or SLR with Di2.

It is such a difficult decision deciding the point at which the frame costs are just not worth the extra. 

 

Avatar
pablo [203 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

I have a Evo Hi-Mod with ultegra di2. I've ridden standard evos and Caads. If you ride the Hi-Mod back to back with a standard Evo their is a difference but..... Probably more to do with differences between finishing kit and wheels Hi-Mod is for the weight weenies I don't see the point an the synapses hi mod. I've said it a few times I'd be more than happy with a caad.
My next bike will probably be an Evo disc (gasp!) And ultegra di2

Avatar
Nick T [1132 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
NicholasM wrote:

Di2 would be a noticeable improvement over mechanical shifting

 

how badly are your bikes set up

Avatar
rjfrussell [467 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

 Hi Mod/ Not Hi Mod-  if you can afford Hi Mod, only you will know how much it will eat away at your soul if you are sat on the non-Hi Mod version.  From a performance perspective, I'd be astonished if it ever makes a meaningful difference, so non-Hi Mod must be better value, on any objective analysis.  I have a 2015 Hi Mod version (obviously) and am testing the new one this week.

 

Within the stock builds, the eTap version looks like better value than the Dura Ace version to me.

 

Or, if you go to a major Cannondale dealer, you can get the Hi Mod as frameset only, and put whatever you like on it. 

Avatar
Anthony.C [257 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

I have had a plain old Supersix  and the previous version of the Supersix hi-mod for a few years  now and I can very definitely feel the difference. I bought the hi-mod as a frameset and originally transferred  everything from the Supersix before I decided to go 11 speed. I always find the Supersix to be a pretty harsh ride and the hi-mod is quite comfortable, especially at the rear. It also handles better. Comfort will be less of a factor with the Synapse though. 

Avatar
peted76 [1034 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
wellsprop wrote:

@Peted76 I upgraded from RS685 and Ultegra 6800 to full Ultegra R8020 hydro. I've never tried the R8070 hydro Di2, what the significant difference (I'm assuming the levers feel much smaller and more racey, like the 105 mechanical I had previously?).

Yes that's it, the Di2 Hydro levers don't look or feel like hydro levers, they look and feel 'normal'ish'.

 

Avatar
peted76 [1034 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
rando wrote:
peted76 wrote:

Get the best frame you can afford and upgrade the parts along the way.

Whether the best frame will make you an extra £900 faster is debatable, but if you can afford it, get it, it's only money and you only live once.

I see this quote alot about buying the best frame you afford and I am having the same dilema as the OP (also considering Trek SL & SLR frameset). If the only real difference between the hi-mod to normal frame is the weight then surely for bigger riders like me at 82kg the few hundred grams saved in frameweight is so minor its not worth the extra.  But if someone can say the ride is so much better in terms of power transfer or compliance with the more expensive & lighter frame then I would spend the extra money and get cheaper components.

As it stands I am leaning towards the non hi mod for Cannnondale or the Trek SL frameset but built with SRAM Etap as oppose to hi-mod or SLR with Di2.

It is such a difficult decision deciding the point at which the frame costs are just not worth the extra. 

When I went from a cheap TCR frame to a 'spensive' TCR frame.. it took me a while to identify the differences. However differences there are. The cheap frame felt solid and lifeless (don't get me wrong I loved that bike and it served me very well) but in comparison to the 'spensive frame, the difference is minor but it is significant I'm not going to bang on about weight and how much better it 'feels' but one thing I can put my hand on is that general road chatter is lessened. Which might not sound much but if you've ever felt your arms or shouders fatigued after a big ride, then that's tangible. I ride mainly 20-30miles rides, and on these rides I notice the bike feels more secure and solid, again in part not doubt due to less road chatter.

If you listen to the marketing, there will be different lay up's of the carbon in the high end frames, which probaly means there are more pieces of carbon to lay out and it takes a bit more time to make a frame..  At the end of the day I still get creamed by people on cheaper bikes than me, in fact the fastest kid in the club rides a sodding Carrera Zelos for half of the year and still smokes everyone up the hills. 

Avatar
missionsystem [68 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

Hi-Mod, Hi-Mod!

Avatar
rando [19 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

When I went from a cheap TCR frame to a 'spensive' TCR frame.. it took me a while to identify the differences. However differences there are. The cheap frame felt solid and lifeless (don't get me wrong I loved that bike and it served me very well) but in comparison to the 'spensive frame, the difference is minor but it is significant I'm not going to bang on about weight and how much better it 'feels' but one thing I can put my hand on is that general road chatter is lessened. Which might not sound much but if you've ever felt your arms or shouders fatigued after a big ride, then that's tangible. I ride mainly 20-30miles rides, and on these rides I notice the bike feels more secure and solid, again in part not doubt due to less road chatter.

If you listen to the marketing, there will be different lay up's of the carbon in the high end frames, which probaly means there are more pieces of carbon to lay out and it takes a bit more time to make a frame..  At the end of the day I still get creamed by people on cheaper bikes than me, in fact the fastest kid in the club rides a sodding Carrera Zelos for half of the year and still smokes everyone up the hills. 

[/quote]

 

The less road chatter the better as far as i am concerned - Have 2 big sportives looming this year with 200 miles plus 15K feet climbing ! Comfort will be key on these rides ! Need every bit of help i can get from the bike. I assumed that the hi-mod versions of the frames would be stiffer thus resulting in a slightly harsher ride. I do not give 2 hoots about people whizzing passed me on cheaper or more expensive bikes but just want to get the frameset right for me as it's a one shot chance spending the money.

Avatar
madcarew [637 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

Like Anthony C, I've had and ridden plenty of miles on both the Himod and the standard super6. The supersix non- himod was a 7.9kg bike (with an older version of duraace, the hi mod in day to day trim is about 7kg. In a blind test I would be very hard pushed to tell the difference except goign up a hill (I don't think the weight makes much differenc, but the stiffness seems to transfer better, and down hill the himod is definitely a crisper handling bike, but on my favaourite, very technical 4.5 mile descent, my best time on both bikes is only a handful of seconds apart. Is it worth 900 quid? I don't think so, but satisfaction isn't always measured in dollars or what you have. As for ultegra vs DA, you'd be something of amagician if you could tell the difference in performance between the 2 in mechanical or electric version, but the difference between manual and electrical is night and day for speed and precison of shift, and smoothness under pressure. It's pretty damn impressive. HOwever, I'm someting of a traditionalist, so I would never spend the 1k extra.

Avatar
Sniffer [486 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

I have a 2015 Supersix 'normal' frame and my mate has a similar vintage Hi-Mod.  I have ridden his and I don't think there is a great deal of difference.  I certainly didn't get particularly jealous.

Ultegra in general is the sensible choice.  Very marginal improvements for Dura Ace over a significant spend.

Di2 is something you would notice in.  Whether you want to spend your money on that or not is obviously your choice, but you would notice that you had as it sis different.

Avatar
Nixster [402 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

I have the same vintage Supersix as you and it is presently my winter bike, (not hi-mod and hopefully to be replaced soon with something titanium) as you are considering.  It was replaced in my affections by a hi-mod Supersix  Evo 2 (2016/7 version) which is the current frame design.

In terms of comfort, which I assume is why you're going for the Synapse, the Evo 2 is a big improvement on the Supersix.  It's like going up a tyre size.  In terms of performance, it is just as stiff (the Supersix is very stiff if you ask me) but is more 'lively', with a taut, agile feeling to the frame which makes the Supersix feel, you guessed it, a bit 'wooden' in comparison.  The Evo is a kilo lighter in it's build but that's not a massive effect - having wheels that are up to the frame's ability is however.  Is the hi-mod worth it?  Only you can answer that!

I managed to get my frame second hand and have fitted it with Etap, hand built carbon wheels and a Rotor Power chainset.  I like Etap but I also like mechanical Ultegra when it's working well, I don't see electronic as night and day different to mechanical but that's just me.

So I suggest you don't go Synapse unless you must have discs or the geo works better for you (unlikely as you're already on a Supersix) but instead get a hi-mod Supersix, which will be like the current bike you love but just that bit better in every way that counts.

Oh, and find a way to squeeze 28's (the fork is the problem, I tried plastic spacers in the drop-outs) into the Supersix frame, as a winter bike it will still make you smile while preserving your sensitive parts.

Avatar
MoutonDeMontagne [103 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

^ what he said.

If you already like/love and are comfortable on the supersix geometry, stick with a supersix and go for the hi-mod. I've a 2015 supersix hi-mod and its by far the most comfortable carbon bike I've ridden, despite being the most race focused (its much lesh harsh than the 'sportive frames I had before). I'd imagine, although not ridden one, that the current version with a potential to squeeze in a 28mm tyre is even more refined. I know a few people with a Synapse who find it a little slack in comparison and end up slamming the stem/negative rise and all that. 

As for groupst, I'd probably spend the extra on the hi-mod and stick with Ultegra. 

Happy riding  1