With my second broken rear axle in two years, which I believe is largely my fault, and not being able to ride the last few days for not having the part, I am going crazy. I have been thinking about buying a second bike, and I've decided to go ahead with it now.
But I want a bike with only one derailleur - in the back. I've been using a mountain bike on only the middle chainring, and it has worked well enough. Only occassionally do I wish I had more speed - I don't try to break any land speed records, and I have to be careful anyway because I have to contend with some rough roads. I've never needed the small chainring on the bike I've been using. So a freewheel with a nice range of gear ratios would be fantastic.
I want a bike that will last a long time. I want a bike that can be relatively fast and that will work for longer rides. I want a bike that will be durable enough that accidentally hitting a pothole won't be disastrous. I would prefer a bike with 26" rims so I can use tires I already have, especailly my studded. I want a bike that places function first - and out of fear of theft, something that won't be overly attrative to hooligans. I want a bike made in the USA or more locally as much as possible. I want a bike that will be relatively low-maintenance and easy to work on.
I am thinking that something along the lines of a hybrid or touring bike may be best. I'm not looking for a road bike. The bike must have only one derailleur. The specs in the previous paragraph are of secondary importance. I realize that I am asking for an awful lot, but if anyone can mention some possible candidates that might come close to what I'm looking for, I'd be greatly appreciative!