Just got back from a demo-day in the park where I rode a carbon fiber Cannondale Synapse....DuraAce, zoot wheels, cf everything, etc. My first time on a cf bike. Rode aluminum once...it went "clunk" where my steel went "twang" and I didn't care for it. Ahhhh, but the carbon fiber........................
The Synapse I was told by the rep is somewhere between a Roubaix for comfort and a Tarmac for performance. OK. It hefted, admittedly without bottles or saddle pack, like a handful of summer breeze.
I'll skip my experiences on my 10 miler up a few hills and over every bump I could find. My impressions: the light weight (and perhaps the geometry plus my enthusiasm and the fact that I'd ridden my '93 RockHopper down to the demo) gave me the impression of really quick acceleration seated or standing. I was disappointed over the road buzz; I think my steel Romulus is more comfortable there. For that matter, I like my Ergo shifters better than STI...I have small hands and the thumb trigger and shorter lever throw and the shape of the hoods feels better. The Fizik Aliante (?) saddle, at least for a brief ride, felt good.
Wish I'd had a Pilot 5.2 or a Roubaix Elite for comparison...maybe their slightly more laid back build would
have suggested more comfort. The Cannondale Synapse is a fun little hot rod that would be fun to ride in a group with quick accelerations & short sharp climbs. For a longish weekend ride......I'll stick with what I have. Wagathon's take on the Pilot 5.2 was most interesting as he rode it up and over some mountains and froze his tail off in the process.....more the kind of bike I would consider at my "sensible" age.
Altogether, I returned home, jumped on 2 of my 3 steel bikes and felt no reason to feel seriously short-changed by my lack of being on the cutting edge. Still, I would like to comparison ride an Ultegra Pilot or Roubaix beside a, say, De Rosa Neo Primato......that would be a fun aftenoon!