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  1. #31
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    Jun 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    Are you familiar with SRAM road shifters? They are different than Shimano in the way the work. Not everyone likes them. APEX is low end in the SRAM line, quality wise. Definitely not 105 level. I rode with Apex for two years on a Salsa Fargo. I sold the Fargo because it was just too expensive to switch everything over to 105. I get along great with SRAM MTB stuff, but not their road stuff. Just me, though. Some folks love the SRAM road stuff. Not knocking it. Just saying you might want to try before you buy if you haven't ridden with the SRAM double tap road stuff.
    to be entirely honest with you, I was not even considering this particular bike. It is too large to start with and at this price point makes very little sense to me.

    I went to a very large and reputable Trek and Cannondale dealer. I had a very long conversation with a gentleman there. They have quite a few bikes in my size from previous year and can get anything 2018 very quickly. After considering everything I had to say, they offered me a couple of very doable options with disks and Tiagra. One option is last year's Cannondale Synapse Disk. It basically ticks all the boxes, except the 105, and is priced very comfortably at $1300. Brand new 2018 is the same components, but $1600. There are a few differences, 2017 is 12-30 (2018 is 11-34 ), and 2017 uses 700X25 tires (2018's tires are 700X28). It looks like endurance bikes across the Trek, Cannondale, Specialized are really moving away from 700X25 tires, especially in their Disk models.
    Or, altenatively, if I am willing to go up to $2000, there is Synapse Disk 105 (mechanical disks) or new Trek Domane Disk Tiagra (hydrolics). It's the basically the choice: better breaks or better gears.
    I am still, obviously, undecided...
    Last edited by Lady Hamilton; 03-13-2018 at 04:59 PM.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    1,108
    The SRAM double tap is different from Shimano in that you do both the down shift to an easier gear and up shift to a harder gear with the small lever under the large brake lever. Push the lever in half way and you go to a higher gear. Push it in all the way to drop down in gearing. With Shimano, of course, the two shiftings are done on separate levers.

    My problem was SRAM road shifters was getting that lever pushed all the way in when I needed to drop down in gear, as when tacking a big hill. Had to reach in too far for me to do it, easily. Had to loosen my grip on the hoods (and I don't have petite hands) to get it done. Very awkward. Then, if I failed to push the lever in all the way or released it before the shift was complete (the Apex was very slow), I'd end up shifting up a gear, instead of dropping down a gear. ARRGGHH! That, of course, stopped my climb in its tracks. It also made my Salsa Fargo worthless for trail riding where shifting needs to be even faster and the timing more critical. Was a total disaster for techy trail work, even though Salsa advertises the Fargo as a drop bar mountain bike. Not for this gal!

    Also, I wore out the Apex shifter on the right side in one season. My bike shop took care to it for me, but even repaired, they couldn't keep it shifting, right. Lots of trips back to the shop. This same shop now refuses to stock any bikes with Apex because other customers were having the same problems. When they do stock SRAM road group, now, their minimum is Rival.

    I found down shifting on the Shimano by pushing the brake lever in to be much easier and much faster and much more comfortable, all with my hands firmly on the hoods. I have used 105 for some moderately techy trail work and while not as good as MTB trigger shifters, of course, it does work.

    Again, I love SRAM MTB shifters - use them on several bikes - but SRAM road shifting doesn't work for me. Does work for other folks, just not for me. Hope I haven't offended any SRAM road fans. You'll have to try it and decide for yourself. You may like it, you may not. Not putting it down. I just couldn't manage it, well. Bad choice for me.

    If anyone does go SRAM road, though, I'd highly recommend stepping up to Rival.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 03-13-2018 at 05:27 PM.

  3. #33
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    Jun 2013
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    62
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    I thought the Synapse would be a good bike for your purposes. Unless you want something that is a little more multi-surface than that. I love Cannondale. I had a 2008 Synapse, but the design was drastically different back then. It was a traditional diamond frameset, and did not have the high stack you'd expect to find. The new design and carbon lay-ups make for sense. That bike had too much flex, also. (I have a bigger bike, and larger frame sets tend to flex more. Plus, I'm taller, and probably prefer a stiffer bike just because I have more mass. I need the power transfer. Small frame sets are inherently stiff, yet smaller riders tend to look for a little more flex for shock absorption. That is why the Ruby and Silque are so nice. They have added flex in the suspension systems. Though I've no idea if the Synapse has that now).
    It seems that the new trend for many companies is to turn their endurance bikes into a multi-purpose machine. Effectively, my original idea of purchasing a road bike and throwing 70030 tires has already been successfully adopted for 2018 by the companies themselves. )
    Interestingly, Cannondale's version is the most affordable with similar specs. $500 more affordable.

  4. #34
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    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    Lady Hamilton, I would always go with the extra gearing over the brakes. If you are not going to be riding in the rain all of the time or you will mostly be on pavement, I am not sure you would need discs. Just my personal preference. I have had discs only on a mountain bike and I found them exceedingly difficult to get used to and forget about it if you crash or the brakes even just need work; even my mechanically inclined husband who works on all of our bikes needed to bring the discs to a shop for work.
    I have 11-32 on my Silque and 11-34 on my Guru. If you can get a lower gear, go for it, especially if you live in a hilly area. When I teach a basic bike workshop, the mantra is "the most important gear on your bike is the lowest one." It does not mean you are tough to climb in a hard gear where you have to mash the pedals.
    North Woods, now I know how I got that woman's bike in a lower gear! Thanks for the primer. I would always be misshifting.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  5. #35
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    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    I agree on the gearing. The gearing a lot of manufacturers spec on their road bikes is too high for this old gal and I'm no beginner. Sometimes I see bikes with gear specs so high that it makes me wonder what the manufacturer was thinking. My road riding is in rolling hill country. None of the hills are nasty steep, but they come one after another with only a few flat spots in between. At the end of a long ride, it takes its toll. Flat this country is not. From experience, an 11-32 on the rear with a 50/34 up from is my cut off point on a roadie. Anything higher is a no go. Much prefer an 11-34 on the rear and these are becoming more common and available with the new 11 speed stuff.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 03-14-2018 at 08:00 AM.

  6. #36
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    Jun 2013
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    62
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    Lady Hamilton, I would always go with the extra gearing over the brakes. If you are not going to be riding in the rain all of the time or you will mostly be on pavement, I am not sure you would need discs. Just my personal preference. I have had discs only on a mountain bike and I found them exceedingly difficult to get used to and forget about it if you crash or the brakes even just need work; even my mechanically inclined husband who works on all of our bikes needed to bring the discs to a shop for work.
    I have 11-32 on my Silque and 11-34 on my Guru. If you can get a lower gear, go for it, especially if you live in a hilly area. When I teach a basic bike workshop, the mantra is "the most important gear on your bike is the lowest one." It does not mean you are tough to climb in a hard gear where you have to mash the pedals.
    North Woods, now I know how I got that woman's bike in a lower gear! Thanks for the primer. I would always be misshifting.
    We have some hills, and some very high hills (included in many charity rides). My commute is flat.
    I have also realized that 11-34 is more important than having hydrolics.

    I have lots of learning to do.
    Why do you think Synapse on Tiagra has 11-34 and Synapse on 105 has 11-32. Is it because it is a newer Tiagra and older 105?
    Or is it a mistake in specs?
    I am looking at brand new 2018 bikes on the official Cannondale website?

  7. #37
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    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    I've been looking at 11 speed Shimano cassettes in 11-34 and for some reason, you can get 11-34 in Tiagra or Ultegra, right now, but nothing, so far, listed for 105. You can mix and match Shimano 11 speed stuff, so you could use Tiagra or, if you have the money, Ultegra.

  8. #38
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    Jun 2013
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    62
    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    I've been looking at 11 speed Shimano cassettes in 11-34 and for some reason, you can get 11-34 in Tiagra or Ultegra, right now, but nothing, so far, listed for 105. You can mix and match Shimano 11 speed stuff, so you could use Tiagra or, if you have the money, Ultegra.
    Just checked. Hopefully, someone else will find this information useful.
    Trek used 11-32 on both Tiagra and 105 Domane.
    Specialized Ruby (base with Tiagra) uses 11-34, just like Cannondale Synapse. But Specialized Ruby Sport 105 uses 11-32, same for 105 based Dolce.

    It certainly is interesting choice to use 11-34 on a cheaper bike, but I wonder if that is done deliberately.

    So, the question is, is 11-34 Tiagra a better choice than 105 based machine with 11-32?

    This starts to make Cannondale Synapse disk Tiagra a very lucrative option. The gentleman at the store yesterday asked me a ton of questions and he was not convinced I even need 105... He said that the newest Tiagra is plenty of gears for me. But I could definitely use the extra cogs. I have 11-32 on my 5 year-old Vita.

    This is one of the hills featured in many rides. http://www.mapmyride.com/ca/hamilton...route-33307440
    Last edited by Lady Hamilton; 03-14-2018 at 02:00 PM.

  9. #39
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    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    As I mentioned before, the new Tiagra is probably very comparable to the old 105. I rode the new Tiagra for a year and, honestly, couldn't tell any difference between it and 105. I very much doubt you'd notice a difference on a cassette. Might weigh a touch more than 105, but it will make very little difference, otherwise. You'd have to ride a lot of miles to wear out any Shimano cassette. No one beats Shimano when it comes to making gears. The industry leaders. They make gears for all kinds of equipment, not just bicycles.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 03-14-2018 at 06:08 PM.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    Yup, you can always upgrade. I put Di2 shifting on my bike last summer, after my cable broke (2nd time) when I was leading a ride. I had been adamant about not needing it when I bought the bike 3 years ago. Now I don't know why I was so resistant!
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  11. #41
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    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    Sheila, we steel bike lovers aren't the type to care much about overall bike weight. On the plus and fat bikes I ride, the only place I make a conscious effort to reduce weight is in the wheels/rims/tires. That's where I notice a difference.

    Bad news on the Norco Search in steel I was considering. Here it is spring and the new 2018 version on their website is already sold out!!! If I want one, I will have to wait for the release of their 2019 version, later in the year. Just my luck. I find the bike I want and it's not available. The search for a 700x40 gravel bike continues.

  12. #42
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    Jun 2013
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    62
    I will appreciate any info! Thank, Muirenn!

    The state our trails are in right now you would need a bulldozer....

  13. #43
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    Jun 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post

    Bad news on the Norco Search in steel I was considering. Here it is spring and the new 2018 version on their website is already sold out!!! If I want one, I will have to wait for the release of their 2019 version, later in the year. Just my luck. I find the bike I want and it's not available. The search for a 700x40 gravel bike continues.
    How unfortunate (. Is there no dealers in the area, who might have one in stock on premises?

  14. #44
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    Jun 2013
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    62
    Yes, of course.
    Originally, carbon was all I was considering (in my head I already have a very good aluminum bike, so next bike should be an upgrade in every respect).
    I am starting to think that I will spend this season enjoying the bike I have with some upgrades (get a grippier tire, I can go up to 30, possibly even 32 on my Vita with rim breaks) and wait for late summer sales. Specialized goes on sale in July, I believe.
    In October there is always Fall Bike Blowout Sale. If you go prepared (know exactly what you want) you can get a smoking deal on a bike. I have seen those deals already during the Spring Show (as much as 50% off on last year's models) and roughly 20% off pretty much guaranteed, depending on a model. Of course, depending on LBS and brand (rules around MSRP, etc) it is possible to get about 15% off outside of the bike show.
    Last edited by Lady Hamilton; 03-17-2018 at 06:21 AM.

  15. #45
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    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Hamilton View Post
    How unfortunate (. Is there no dealers in the area, who might have one in stock on premises?
    No, not a one left, anywhere with any shop. My bike guy called Norco, direct. Oh, well. Not like I am bike poor, anyway.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 03-17-2018 at 10:20 AM.

 

 

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