I am completely new to cycling (well.. I used to ride a mountain bike as a kid over 10 years ago) and am looking at buying a commuter bike but can't decide!!!
I live in Perth, Australia (ie only two weather conditions: sunny/rainy)
I am female (women's bike preferred but not necessary, but it does mean I'd like a pretty bike)
I don't like hunching on a bike (prefer to sit upright - thinking a hybrid road bike)
I plan on using it for mostly home-work commuting, which is 10km on a bike path and maybe another 1km on the road
I don't want drop bars
I want to ride fast (not too fast), comfortably
My budget is up to $500 (AUD).
So far I've been to only a couple of bike shops and my top choices thusfar are a $500 Apollo Altura or a $400 Giant Elwood.
Can anyone help me decide between those two (I can't really tell the difference)? Or suggest any other bikes that'd be good?
Also what tends to be better as a brand? Apollo or Giant?