Sadly, I just broke the frame of my Downtube 9 NS. I have some decent components on it (Dura Ace crankset, Ultegra shifter), although the wheels are crappy Quando hubs - so a wheel upgrade wouldn't hurt.
At this point, I'm looking to buy a new good steel frame since I don't want to deal with more frame breakage.
Where can I find a good steel no-suspension folding frame? Or does it make more sense to just buy a complete Bike Friday or the like?
purpose: train to bike commuting 6 miles on the bike per day
riding experience: been a car-free bike commuter for 5 years
budget: hopefully $800 or less, if that's realistic
First, the base of the stem broke right below the hinge - took me a while to notice though because I could just fold down the hinge and tighten the bolt, and it was okay for a while - then it would come loose again.
Then recently, a crack formed at the top of the seat tube just above the seat stay. It's barely hanging on now, but it will break through any minute. The seatpost rattles when I'm not sitting on it.
Makes sense that those are the places it fails - they're the bottoms of two long unsupported levers.