Hello fellow folding fans!
I have been riding my Dahon Helios for the last 3 years now - before this I had not touched a bike since my BMX days as a teen. In this time, I have discovered my enjoyment of road cycling - having converted my Helios to a very custom road bike config. My current setup if you are curious - and a BF post with more details:
I think the time is right for me to investigate a full-size bike - I have become a much stronger rider and having moved out of the city there is room for a full-size bike now. I have concerns that sooner or later I am going to wear out my folding bike - which incidentally I virtually never fold... and I would prefer not to find myself ripping off the handlepost while sprinting through an intersection or something equally catastrophic.
Where I could use some help is that, I have never ridden a full-size bike before. Never. In determining which models to look at, I would like a sense of how stiff or harsh my bike likely is in comparison to full-size bikes. e.g. I don't know if my ride is equivalent to a "plush" full-size or a very rigid race frame. Obviously my bike must have some flex, but it does ride quite harshly with its little wheels, steel fork, etc. I have to lift off the saddle for some of the least road imperfections otherwise it can be quite pounding. It can feel like freakin' Paris-Roubaix along the edges of the rougher roads.
What I am hoping to get out of a full-size bike:
- more gears (currently only 10, sometimes the jumps are too wide - not ideal)
- more compliance over road imperfections (asphalt joins etc)
- more security/rigidity in the front-end (handlebars etc)
- faster & lighter
I tend to ride for at least one to two hours by myself and generally try to ride as balls-out fast as I can. You won't find me posting anything to the "pootling" thread.
My LBS was of little help suggesting where I might start, since admittedly my ride is a little... different. Hoping that some of you who have experience on folders and full-size bikes might give me the benefit of your experience. Right now I am considering something like a Felt F75, Cannondale CAAD9 or Six Carbon Six or Cervelo S1...