Looking for reviews of a particular bike recently, and came across this:
"I own a bike shop that was a Ridley dealer up to this season. We still are a dealer, we just didn't order any bikes for the year. I really like the Noah bikes, although they really are a touch on the heavy side. I'd also point out that those aerodynamic features only provide a benefit over the 20-24mph mark. So, should you find yourself riding solo a lot, that's a techy advantage you may not ever notice. Okay, let me rephrase that. Even if you ride 25mph every day, you won't notice that feature.
One thing about your post that sticks out is - test rides. As a shop owner and avid rider, I would never in a Brazillion years suggest anyone buy a bike of this caliber based on test ride impressions. Terrible idea. Just to pick on you, how do you know the Onix didn't ride smoother because it had 10psi lower pressure in the tires vs the Ridley? What if the Onix had 3mm more foam in the seat? What if the roads you traveled on the Ridley were bumpier? What if the Onix had softer bar tape? What makes you think the carbon wheels made a difference? If it wasn't PSI related, it could have merely been an issue with wheel type, spoke tension, or maybe your sit bones were just not able to judge the vibrations accurately.
To be brutally honest, every bike in this category of rides will perform flawlessly, and just as a racing bike should. You could ride a Felt AR1, Ridley Noah, Cervelo R5, Look 695, Colnago c50 or a dozen other bikes and guess what...they'll all ride damn near the same. If you can feel a difference and can attribute that to just the frame, you're an amazing individual.
Now, this is not to say any bike should be YOUR bike. These bikes will all likely fit differently. So, fit should always drive your decision.
For what it's worth, in my experience over 25 years in the bike business is this - only a teeny, tiny, minuscule percentage of bike buyers accurately pinpoint a bike's real attributes on a test ride, but almost all of them THINK they do."