A while ago, I posted a question asking for input on a new bike purchase. I'm happy to say that I've purchased a 2012 carbon fibre Cannondale Synapse 6 Apex. Sadly due to family and work commitments, it took almost 3 months to do the shopping and test riding, buy the bike and do the fitting, but it is a beauty.
Thanks to all of you who provided feedback to my initial question, it was a great help. The feedback especially pushed me to get out and test ride a lot of bikes (or at least it seemed that way given there are only 2 shops where I live) which was tough with my schedule, but I bought the last bike I tested and it was pretty clear that was the one for me. Besides the Synapse, I tested: Devinci Silverstone, Trek Madone 4.?, Specialized Roubaix Elite Apex, Giant Defy, Cannondale Caad10-5 and something aluminum by Specialized. Everything I tried was about 10 lbs lighter than my previous bike, so it was quite a revelation! The CAAD-10 is really fast, a great climber but a fairly aggressive position and a bit of a harsh ride for my liking. The Specialized Roubaix was pretty sweet as well, and I almost went with it, but the price and service at the shop selling Cannondale was better, and they seemed like pretty similar bikes with the same components.
In the end I felt that the Synapse was the best fit and ride (very smooth), and the shop were really patient with me over the protracted purchase and fitting process, and they gave me a good price. Getting the Apex group with the compact 34X32 drivetrain will really help on the hills, although I am sure there will be days that I'll miss my old 30X34 gearing on my triple. The colour (Black with metallic grey) is pretty good, and will go well with the PdC kit. I'm not sold on the look of the white Apex components, but they seem to work well, and the shop swapped the white brake hoods for black ones. (I would have uploaded a pic, but could not figure out how).
Now I just need to save some $$ for a Garmin GPS-enabled bike computer (I teach Geography and Earth Science so this is the kind of technogeekery I can really get behind) and make some time to ride before we get snow... Thanks again.