Please recommend the best folder for me
I've just graduated from high school and just got my first job at a Hollister clothing store at a mall about six miles away from me. I was thinking about biking to work everyday, and when I did a little bit of research, I happened to take a liking to the concept of folding bikes. (for my other intended uses for a bike, go down to "Purposes")
17 years old, 5 feet and 4 inches tall (may still have room to grow taller), 135 lbs.
I'd like to use the bike for going through streets/suburbs/urban areas/residential areas to work, getting around campus in the fall, long distance cycling for exercise and fitness, racing my friends sometimes, and going uphill and downhill occasionally (however, most of the time I'll be on flat land). I'll also want to be able to carry it with me on public transportation, such as the vta lightrail. Also, it doesn't rain here often, but it does sometimes, so I wouldn't want a bike that gets damaged from rain.
I'm perfectly fine with getting a singlespeed; I'm up to the challenge. I've seen pictures of the A-bike, and I must say, I wouldn't like to ride a bike that runs on shopping cart wheels. They're too small! I've also seen pictures of the mobiky "genius", and I think that the wheels on that one are also too small. So I wouldn't prefer extremely small wheels. On the other hand, I wouldn't want huge 700c wheels either.
Even though I'm new, I'm definitely willing to learn whatever I could, should, and need to, so I'm completely open and willing to getting a bike where it is "complicated" and requires knowledge and skill to maintain and use. (I'm a diy freak; I've soldered myself a headphone amplifier before, drilled and soldered headphones, built computers and modified them, installed linux and rockbox on my ipod, etc. so I'm willing to get hardcore if I need to) I'd also like for the bike itself to be able to last a long time, for several years.
I'd like ito able to get spare parts for the bike without too much difficulty. this includes extra tires and other stuff I don't know about because I'm new, haha. Therefore, I don't want to get a bike where I can only get tires custom-made from the original manufacturer; this would make it too expensive in the long run. There must be aftermarket parts available for it.
My spending limit is $150 to ~$500-$600. ... Depending on what I hear from you guys.
Thanks so very much in advance for all your help! I'd greatly appreciate it.
EDIT: By the way, I live in the silicon valley in Northern California in the United States.