just another gosling
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
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Never ridden a CAAD10, but my CAAD9 would be a POS for long distance riding. My aluminum Nashbar frame is vastly better, though a bit heavier. No comparison with carbon.
You don't really need a long ride. Position is the critical long ride thing, and as long as the frame is the right size and top tube length is appropriate for your body, everything else can be dialed. So top tube length is a possible way to choose between frames of the same nominal size. Get the LBS to put the bike up on a trainer and dial in the stem length and saddle position for you before you take the bike out.
What you want to see on a test ride is how smooth is it and how does it steer when pushed. You should be able to feel both of those things on city streets. You want a smooth feel to the bumps and yet have the bike wow you with its acceleration when you put power to the pedals, in and out of the saddle. IMO you want as neutral a steering feel as you can get. The bike shouldn't dive by itself or have to be pushed into the correct line. When the bike goes over, it should follow the line by itself.
As valygrl says, many shops will let you go for a long ride. I rode a mountain century with a friend who was test riding a bike. He was impressed with the bike but didn't buy it.