I'm about to start commuting (5 miles each way, mostly suburban side streets) and am looking into what bike to get. First of all I have to say this forum ROCKS! Had I known about it last time I was considering commuting, I probably would have started then..
I've been to the LBS's around here a year ago, and they advised me that I should stick to a hybrid frame for commuting given the "fragility" of road bikes and the fact that I haven't been on a bike in a while (10 years since any regular riding and that was on a toy mountain bike)
On one hand I want to agree with them, and start considering the hybrids i've seen around here, but on the other I'd really like to get into road biking since I know if I do any recreational biking, that's what I'd rather be doing.
I've got a strict mandate from the missus to keep the bike (equipment not included) under $400, but if I'm getting a road bike I think I can push things to $600.
I've been reading the "under $700 road bike" sticky, but pretty much any sub $600 road bike mentioned isn't sold around here unless the LBS has one on clearance from the previous season. used ads haven't turned up much either.
I went to our local big-box sporting goods shop (dick's) and they had a diamondback podium for $550
I haven't heard diamondback thrown around much around here, so I'm guessing they're not so great.
any opinions from owners out there?
the other thing I'm throwing around (more of the hybrid category) is the Kona Dew or Smoke
What I'm really looking for is the best frame for the money since I figure with a good frame I can upgrade my way into a pretty decent bike.