Has been green lit. I repeat, we are a go.
Last year, after much prodding from my wife to exercise, and gaining 20+ pounds due to a work change, I decided to pick up a bike again. I went the sensible route, bought a used bike to see if I liked riding, and it was a success. But I bought the wrong bike; it was absolutely the right bike, in that it got me riding again, and I thought a hybrid would be a good bike to ride on our paved and unpaved trails. Turns out, it's not really good for either, but I did improve the pavement performance quite a lot by swapping tires (now it is unrideable off road). I've had a long list of replacement bikes in mind, and have narrowed the list down to a few bikes. Budget is $2,200 out the door.
What I originally started looking for was a road bike, without race geometry, so the Cannondale Synapse (alloy) came to mind. But, at 250+ pounds still, I'm not thrilled with tires in the 25mm size (and I think 23 is just absurd). I would hope the carbon fork and carbon stays would soak up enough of the vibrations to not make me miss my 35mm tires. But then I started looking for something Synapse like, but with wider tires, and I started looking at the CAADX, carbon fork, 35mm tires, should ride very nice. Of course, then something jumped off the interwebs and invaded my mind, the Surly Straggler. I've had a soft spot for Surly for a while, and the only reason the Cross Check wasn't already on the short list was the bar end shifters; they don't really fit my riding style. The Straggler is close in geometry to the Cross Check, but with disc brakes, and brifters. Trek Domane and Madone are still on the list, but barely and only because of the duo-trap sensors and availability of factory triples (yes I use my little ring). So...
Which one gets your vote and why? How much comfort would I lose going from 35mm tire to 25, and how much would I regain with carbon's ability to absorb vibrations.
Surly Cross Check (converted to brifters)