I can't state just how much I like my Sync. I've been riding for 20 years near enough now, and have owned a number of nice bikes in that time. OK so my Sync has a pretty high end build on it, but it really is the best bike I've ridden! A bold statement I know, but one I'll happily stand by.
OK, that's very subjective, and if you're after a long, slack thrash bike you'll be disappointed. The Sync is a trail bike for those that just like riding, but it's one that instills confidence despite its relatively short/upright dimensions (it's still longer and slacker than bikes we were riding 10-15 years ago mind), but is also incredibly fun to ride. You often read in magazines about bikes being "lively" or having "pop" and think it's a load of marketing bollox... Well have a test ride on a Sync, you'll understand what they mean!
The late Steve Worland summed the bike up superbly in issue 84 of Singletrack Mag. By the time I read this I'd already decided I was going to have one, but was waiting to put the order in. Reading his review again, I can only say just how spot on it was (but then he always was!), the bike is exactly as described.
The Sync is one of those bikes you either know you want, and want badly, or it will totally pass you by. Had they made it in steel, or ally, I'd probably have still got one, the fact it's Ti was almost by the by for me. And yes, the FF29 is close, and a great frame in it's own right, but it was the 7mm shorter stays, a degree off the head angle, the bolt through back end, the larger tyre clearance etc. that meant for me there was no option but to get a Sync. In fact, I've ridden (and owned a couple of) Ti bikes in the past that were, to put it mildly, a big let down, normally being ridiculously flexy. There's none of that with the Sync, it's as stiff as it needs to be (and then a bit more), but it's also incredibly comfortable. Ok it's no full sus bike, it is still a hardtail, but it just doesn't beat you up in the way most hardtails do over a long ride. It does that rare thing of managing to be stiff, fast and responsive, yet also take the sting out of the trails.
My girlfriend took it out a couple of times, and she's quite nervous on a bike. It was also a bit big for her, even with a 70mm stem on (she's 5ft8 roughly but with long legs). Despite this, after about 15 minutes she was grinning from ear to ear, and doing things she wouldn't normally have done! After 2 rides, she wanted to order one for herself, only the expense and the fact the small is 650b (she's convinced by 29er wheels incidentally, as am I) stopped her doing so, and she's just got a small sized FF29 as an interim (until they make a 29er Sync in small and she has the money to pay for it!).
As for the build... Well build one up as you like, but I'd say with rigids or 100mm forks and singlespeed, you'll be missing a hell of a lot of the frame's potential. It definitely feels right with a 120mm fork (I'm running a Revelation RCT3 currently, the X-Fusion Slide's are also fantastic), wide bars, and 2x10 for me. I ride it faster everywhere than I was doing my previous 26" full sus bike, up or down! it just instills confidence everywhere, but without being slow or lazy.
Can you tell I like this bike?
My only criticism of it, and it is a small one, is the internal cable routing isn't as neat as it could be, and means that (like on most carbon road bikes) you need to spend money on PTFE coated inner gear wires and pre-lubed outer to keep the shift action light and precise. But that's a small price to pay to be fair!
If you're anywhere near Worcester, and want to try out a medium, you're more than welcome to come and give mine a go (as soon as I've fixed the brake lever!), but be warned... Try it, and you'll buy one!