Strengths: Comfortable eye-catching frame, SRAM Red (Black Ed.) grouppo, great handling and satisfactory acceleration and climbing.
Weaknesses: Not as fast or responsive to sudden output as a SuperSix or CAAD 10. No choice of seatposts.
Having logged many happy miles on the "non-hi-mod" carbon version of this bicycle, I can compare the two framesets. Both frames do exactly what Cannondale claims: both pacify road chatter and make big hits less catastrophic to control (without resorting to "implants" like that other fine company). This is the perfect performance road bike for long, speedy club rides or serious training. The high-modulus carbon frame, however, does feel marginally sweeter. I tested the two bikes on the same Rails-to-Trails paved route, and felt less beaten up and a bit quicker on the more costly carbon. There is simply no comparison as to all-day comfort between the Synapse and high-end alloy or race-oriented carbon frames. I ran Mavic Ksyrium SL Premiums and Conti Grand Prix 4000S tires on both bikes.