Sizing help please - Synapse / SuperSix

by Crell   July 27, 2013  

Hello all, I've been riding my Wilier Mortirolo since 2008 and fancy a bit of an upgrade.

I've been looking at various bikes, but there are some good deals around on the two Cannondales above. I'm 5' 10" and do more club rides and distance rather than racing. My question is whether I would be better with the 54 or 56 frames on either bike?

My Wilier is a 54 and it feels OK to me, though maybe a little cramped on the drops.

Any owners out there with some real world comparisons?

Thanks,

21 user comments

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Hello mate, I'm the same height as you and ride a Synapse in a 54. It's very comfortable but I often wonder if I could do with a 56 as it feels a little cramped sometimes, and I use a 120mm stem. I would get a fitting if I were you, as I found I come right in the middle of the 54 and the 56. Your inside leg and reach measurements will have a big impact on your choice, and as most retailers will do a fitting session free as part of your purchase it will be well worth it.

Great choice of bike by the way, whichever one you choose.

posted by Tigerwests [4 posts]
27th July 2013 - 23:21

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I was used to an extremely aggressive position, so the Synapse I originally owned was simply too relaxed for me to enjoy.
I love my CAAD10, same geo as the supersix. Longer stems are crucial: you can get a bike that fits but doesn't scrunch you. My 56cm synapse had a stock 70mm stem! I customed my CAAD10 to a 105mm stem. The difference is astronomical.

other than that, above post is informative.

[custom] '12 Cannondale CAAD10 - Rival

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posted by badkneestom [127 posts]
28th July 2013 - 3:49

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Thanks both, my Mortirolo has a 120 stem, though I can't track down the geo for that bike to compare it directly to both the 'dales. My bigger problem is the Synapse DA is a 54 and the SS Ultegra DI2 is a 56, and of the two I think I prefer the idea of the Synapse for 100+ milers.

posted by Crell [7 posts]
28th July 2013 - 15:03

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We are all different, in body proportions, flexibility and preferences. A bikefit at a decent shop will be far better than asking strangers on the internet.

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posted by Simon E [1902 posts]
28th July 2013 - 16:38

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Simon E wrote:
We are all different, in body proportions, flexibility and preferences. A bikefit at a decent shop will be far better than asking strangers on the internet.

I don't disagree with what you suggest but it's about 70 mins for me to get to my nearest Cannondale dealer, so asking for an opinion on a bike forum seems a fairly sensible first step. That's kinda the purpose of forums like this.

posted by Crell [7 posts]
28th July 2013 - 19:31

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Crell wrote:
I don't disagree with what you suggest but it's about 70 mins for me to get to my nearest Cannondale dealer, so asking for an opinion on a bike forum seems a fairly sensible first step. That's kinda the purpose of forums like this.

An hour or so travel for a £1,500 bike is negligible. It's not lie a pair of gloves you can post back if they don't fit.

Asking strangers' opinions is not a proxy for getting professional advice and the right bike. You're choosing between two very similar sizes, which really requires you to try one or both for size. Even with the best intentions any opinions wouldn't really be helpful.

Sorry it's not the answer you wanted. Here's another: I'd say 54cm.

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posted by Simon E [1902 posts]
28th July 2013 - 20:53

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I'm 6'1" and most sizing guides suggested I should be on a 58cm, but I have relatively long legs and short arms, so I went for a 56cm SuperSix. I've ended up with a 130mm stem on it after a proper bike fit (perhaps my arms are longer than I thought), but I much prefer that to a larger frame with a short stem. I would discourage you from thinking that it's all about height - different people of the same height might need different frame sizes due to having different proportions.

posted by lc1981 [47 posts]
28th July 2013 - 21:30

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Simon E, I understand that you're keen I visit a shop and try the bikes for size. Note the words "first step" in my prior post. Having said that, I might just gamble it... maybe the 56 Devil (only joking) . I'll be mail ordering the bike anyway as that's the only way I can get the deal, so don't really want to waste any local shops time. Please, no more on the "visit a shop" angle, but again if there are any synapse or Super Six owners who were teetering between the 54 or 56 I'd be interested to hear your stories (however subjective and pointless others might think them).

IC1981 - With your proportions I'd have thought you'd have gone up to the 58 and dropped the stem to a 90 or 80 - exactly what you didn't like. I tend to also prefer a smaller frame on any bike I have (mostly mountain and BMX, though it would appear I followed the same trait on the Wilier). Interesting, I'm mentally swinging to the 54.

posted by Crell [7 posts]
28th July 2013 - 21:55

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Also important to note that a 54cm Wilier might not be the same size as a 54cm Cannondale. You'd have to compare the geometry charts. I seem to remember reading when I was looking into it that Cannondales tend to be a bit bigger for any given frame size than most brands.

posted by lc1981 [47 posts]
28th July 2013 - 22:04

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I would recommend you get the Size My Bike Lite app (http://www.sizemybike.com). The "lite" one is free on Apple App store (not sure about Android..).

After inputting your measurements (which you should do with a tape measure etc directly into the app, don't approximate what you think you measure!) you can get an idea of what the ideal geometry is for you (note the "get an idea" as your personal preferences may vary slightly, but you can use saddle setback and stem length to modify your position after you have your ideal frame size. ie: my saddle is farther forward and my stem shorter because it's how I'm more comfortable).

Then, compare your "ideal" geometry to what the manufacturers offer. Most publish their geometry on their site for all to see.

For instance, on a BMC I'm a 58cm, but on a Ridley I'm a 57cm. Had I ordered a 58cm Ridley, I'd be buggered with a frame that's too big...

posted by Hector Ch [52 posts]
29th July 2013 - 11:48

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Hi, I'm new here. I'd like some advice, but if it's not what I want to hear, then please don't post again. I'd much rather hear from people who may or may not be a similar height, and may be completely different in torso/limb length/flexibility/injuries/riding styles etc, to see what they bought, even though none of us has any idea what the other looks like.

Sorry if this seems overly sarcastic, but a long-time forum member offered decent advice, which IS kinda the purpose of forums like this. Being psychic with regarding to your physique, well, that isn't. We aren't cliquey here, it's very friendly and helpful, but we can only work with what we've got.

It's good that you don't want to waste a shop's time when you know you're not going to buy from them, perhaps a trip out for a third party bike fitting is in order? That way you pay for the service and not feel guilty. You could even be up front with the shop and offer them a few quid or a tray of nice doughnuts or something for their time.

If this really isn't an option, perhaps join a local club where you can ask the opinion of someone who can see what you look like on a bike? Alternatively, compare the geometry charts of the mortirolo and the Cannondales to work out what your position would be on each. (I'm assuming you're comfortable on the Mortirolo - if that isn't the case then all bets are off I'm afraid) I find the easiest way to do this is using Microsoft Visio to plot the angles and tube lengths, overlaying the different frames to give you an at-a-glance view. If you can obtain stack and reach figures for each then the hard work's done for you anyway. Best of luck with it.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2929 posts]
29th July 2013 - 15:57

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@notfastenough: Can't say I agree 100% with your second paragraph, it doesn't seem sarcastic, it seems "cliquey" in itself as in "old guard" vs "new guard". In regard to the not so good advice; welcome to the internet... An unfortunate drawback.

I do agree with the professional fit. If you can cough up for it make sure you find a shop with a good reputation, otherwise it's a crap shoot with LBSes & bike fitters (read Steve Hoggs comments about the basket case setups he inherits from some profession fitters).

Or, if you have the means, this system is supposed to be halfway decent: https://www.retul.com/find-a-fitter/#/United%20Kingdom

posted by Hector Ch [52 posts]
30th July 2013 - 7:17

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Not at all, I'd quite happily call out a long-time member for being uppity to a new user. If you disagree with my waffle, that's fine.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2929 posts]
30th July 2013 - 11:31

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If it helps I ride a 54cm caad10, 5'11, 83cm inseam.

130mm stem
20mm offset layback seatpost

Fits like a glove, if I were to buy the 56cm frame I would just purchase a shorter stem or get a straight up seatpost.

Either bike could be made to fit, 54cm will be lighter if that helps make a decision.

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
30th July 2013 - 11:39

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notfastenough wrote:
Not at all, I'd quite happily call out a long-time member for being uppity to a new user. If you disagree with my waffle, that's fine.

Don't get me wrong, I agree with everything but 1 sentence in the 2nd paragraph Smile Or maybe I read it the wrong way...

Everything else you wrote is dead-on in my opinion. Bike fit can easily be attained through taking measurement and plugging in some variables, resulting in a "you need about this size frame" response. Setups should then be modified (if necessary) to take into account any problems or preferences the rider has. That's why I recommended the Size My Bike Lite app, it will do this for you, for free (ok, you have to have an iPhone or Android phone).

Relying on someone else over the internet to tell you what you need based on their being slightly the same size (and could be of a totally different morphology) is a bit daft.

Cheers,
Hector

posted by Hector Ch [52 posts]
30th July 2013 - 13:50

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Yes, but he is talking about frame size and not the full fit of the bike. He is not asking how many cm's of fore his saddle should have and what measurement from the bb to the saddle, he just wants to know which size frame to buy Smile

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
30th July 2013 - 16:49

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Yes, but you are generalising, he has specified the frames he is looking at.

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
30th July 2013 - 17:45

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I have to disagree with you. Frame size is the most important aspect of bike fit. A buyer should know what his optimum frame measurements are (not "size name" like 54, 55, L or XL etc) before buying any bicycle/frame, as the geometry of the "size names" can vary widely from manufacturer to manufacturer.

If you don't believe me, research Lemond bicycle geometry, where it's different and why. Or simply compare geometries between the major frame makers. I think you'll see they can vary greatly.

Not to mention some unscrupulous LBSes will fork off what they have in stock, even if it's too big or too small for the buyer, simply to liquidate stock ?

Go armed with info on what you need and don't rely on what someone thinks you need or wants to sell you.

posted by Hector Ch [52 posts]
30th July 2013 - 17:48

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And he says:

"My question is whether I would be better with the 54 or 56 frames on either bike?

My Wilier is a 54 and it feels OK to me, though maybe a little cramped on the drops."

So, is it better that he knows his frame measurement requirements, or that he make an expensive guess between the Cannondale sizes between the two frame types based on someone else's opinion ?

If you look at the Geo of the bikes he's considering, you might see there is a difference in the frame size "names" and their actual size.

posted by Hector Ch [52 posts]
30th July 2013 - 18:00

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Comfort: Synapse 56cm

More racy: Supersix 54cm (less head tube length)

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
30th July 2013 - 18:59

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I've got a 'normal' torso/arms and *really* short legs. I have a 52cm SuperSix and a 54cm Synapse - which sort of fits Hector's post.

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posted by Greg Potts [5 posts]
28th November 2013 - 11:15

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