Join Date: Jul 2011
Bikes: Santa Cruz Blur TR, Cannondale Quick CX dropbar conversion & others
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I'm very familiar with the Cannondales, but unfortunately not the others. (If you put in links I'll take a quick look.)
Cannondale has a number of bikes that are closely related. For now let's just talk about the Quick, Quick CX and the Flash 29er. (Yep, a mountainbike!)
The Quick is a flatbar road bike. The series has v-brakes / rim brakes, rigid forks, and narrow chainstay & fork (which limits tire width). The Quick should be used on the road, just like a normal (dropbar) road bike. The wheels, fork, frame, etc aren't intended for offroad use or even jumping up & down curbs and sidewalks.
The Quick CX is a true hybrid. The low end ones have v-brakes and rigid fork, the more expensive discs and suspension forks. I believe that all of them with suspension forks have lockout, which is important for pedaling efficiency climbing a hill or sprinting. They have fair narrow frames and can only fit 35-40mm (1.3-1.5") tires. A Quick CX is durable enough to handle urban terrain such as curbs and potholes.
The Flash 29er is a 29" MTB. It has disc brakes and suspension fork, and a wide frame/fork that can take big 29x2.3" knobby tires. It can also mount 32-40mm hybrid tires for better on-road use. It is very durable and could handle just about anything you would encounter on or off road.
In general terms, the Quick is going to be the lightest and the Flash 29er the heaviest. The Quick shouldn't do any offroad more than a gravel road, the Quick CX can do on/offroad equally, and the 29er is best offroad but can get the job done on road if you don't mind being slower/working harder, or installing hybrid tires.
I assume you're going to be urban riding since you are in Washington DC. I would suggest the Quick CX.