Giant Defy vs Cannondale Synapse – A comprehensive guide

Cycling offersa great form of therapy. Every time you hop on your choice bike and ride it. With an option of the Giant Defy or the Cannondale Synapse, which would be a good fit for you?

In the summertime, I don’t like getting on the stuffy bus or riding the busy subway 15 minutes to work. This is the time when my Cannondale road bike truly comes in handy.

Taking a ride out in the early mornings or evenings through the traffic and across a park or two, I feel so energized and motivated for work.

It’s been a couple of summers now with my bike and I need a change just to switch things up a bit. Giant Defy has been calling out to me but I cannot decide before I compare it against what I already have. So, here we go!

What is the difference between Giant Defy and Cannondale Synapse? 

Giant Defy
Cannondale Synapse
Contact SL Stealth
Cannondale 3 6061 alloy
Shimano Ultegra hydraulic with RT800 Ice Tech rotors
Shimano Ultegra hydro disc
Contact SL
Fabric Scoop Shallow Sport
Shimano Ultegra 34/50
Cannondale 1, BB30
Shimano Ultegra
Shimano Ultegra hydro disc
Gavia Fondo 1 tubeless
Vittoria Rubino Pro Bright
Giant D-Fuse SL, composite
Cannondale 3
Advanced Grade Composite
BallisTec Carbon
Advanced Grade Composite
BallisTec Carbon
Giant SLR-1 Disc tubeless-ready carbon
Fulcrum Racing 600DB

Giant Defy vs Cannondale Synapse – How do they compare? 


Giant Defy’s frame creates a strong and stiff bike much heavier and better than the Cannondale Synapse which is designed lighter for aerodynamic effects.

A headtube measuring 205mm is made into large dimensions to create a stiff and strong junction for top and down tubes on the Giant Defy. This is an advanced carbon frame with a complicated mix of tubing options that are dependent on the job it is designed to do.

This frame is also done in this way to allow for internal cabling that enters through the stem. Striking a middle ground between a road bike and the gravel bike, the Defy has a middle-ground setup.

The head angle rests at 72.5 degrees to maintain the bikes racing speed and work well with the longer wheelbase and lengthy chainstay.

The Cannondale bikes are made of BallisTec carbon which is both lightweight and strong enough to attain high speeds and aerodynamic effects.

You get the SAVE PLUS technology which provides comfort using the vertical compliance created without resulting in extreme stiffness that hinders efficiency and speed.

You will find that without excessive use of force, you can achieve high speeds, aerodynamic performances, and smooth rides around corners.


Giant Defy has the Gavia Fondo 32mm tires which are better than theCannondale’s fitted Vittoria Rubino Pro tires.

The Giant P-R2 tubeless wheels are both reliable and perform effectively. Tires on the bike are enables them to roll fast and offer good traction in corners and descents. 

On either side of the stem, the clamp is the handlebars that are designed to reduce vibration and add to the comfort of this bike.

The saddle is D-shaped and many might find they need to replace it after a while they just can’t get used to it.

Controlling both the Giant Defy and the Cannondale is done efficiently by the use of the Shimano Dura-Ace hydraulic brakes which are reliable in all weather conditions.

However, Cannondale rides on 30mm Vittoria Rubino tires and unlike Defy’s they are not tubeless so riding with a caution against potholes is prudent. 

They have a Fabric Scoop saddle that is long for more room but you may need to move it more to the rear and lower the seat post to position it just above the pedals.

Because the bikes are based on the BB30 bottom bracket, they use the 50/34 tooth crankset and an 11-34t cassette.

The Ride

The Giant Defy runs smoothly downhill which is good enough but you can get further with Cannondale which is reliable in maneuvering corners and getting through tight spots.

The head angle’s degree makes the Defy bike nimble and helps the steering inputs which when combined with the long wheelbase, adds to the balance and speed of response to the bike.

With the Cannondale, the bike is designed to be an all-time comfortable peddling option and uses the Ultegra components at the front and rear ends.

It is super responsive around corners and getting through tight bends is a breeze with the capacity to take sharp turns.It is capable of riding over cobbles and rough roads giving a very quiet and smooth riding experience.

Giant Defy vs Cannondale Synapse – A Comparison Overview 

Giant Defy Review 

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This is a quality road race bike built into a light and stiff carbon frame with a slimmer color scheme. It features the Shimano Ultegra drivetrain providing a wireless capacity to shift and an intuitive control mechanism.

The bike works with hydraulic disc brakes and Ice-Tech rotors that powers it to ascend and descend as good as the other top-quality alternatives.

A disc-designed wheelset is fitted on the bikes  and has ace carbon rims that are tubeless-ready and very resistant to damage and provide a smooth rolling experience.


  • Composed Ride
  • Comfort
  • Versatility


  • Clumsy cable routing
  • Average Saddle

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Cannondale Synapse Review 

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Their sleek and elegant designs make these bikes stand out from the rest. Whether for males or female, they have everything for everyone, and after just one ride, it will be impossible to consider other options.

These bikes are recognized internationally through cyclists who have won world Tour competitions such as the Tour de France on them.

The lightweight build and geometry are designed to enhance your riding potential by being super responsive and powerfully accurate in quick turns.

Cannondale road bikes are considerably shorter in height when put up against other road bikes which means they are ideal for the average-sized individual and not so much a great alternative for the taller people.


  • Lightweight and strong carbon build
  • Big range of and quick shifting between speeds
  • Prioritizes comfort and excellent performance for long races


  • Limited to average-sized cyclists

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Verdict: So, which is better – Giant Defy or Cannondale Synapse?

Cannondale Synapse is far better than the Giant Defy. This is proven by the sleek design and frame that it is built into which is durable, safe, comfortable, and clean without the cables showing. Its ability to maneuver steep climbs, sharp descents on a fast-roll give it a leg up over Giant Defy.


What is the range possible on a Cannondale bike?

This relies heavily on the terrain you are riding over and your style of riding. While on Eco Mode, you may reach 50-60 miles, and while on Turbo, the range may go up to 30 miles. By switching up the modes during your ride, you can maximize your bike’s range.

Why the D-Fuse Seatpost on the Giant Defy?

It was designed in 2014 with comfort in mind. It enables the saddle and more recently, the handlebars as well to flex in a certain direction. This flexing provides up to 12mm of movement at drops that in turn helps to smooth out most road imperfections.