I've been commuting by bike for the last 5 years and absolutely love it. I started off with a hybrid, which I traded in for a touring bike a couple of years ago. I love the bike (brava), but am beginning to feel like something more city friendly would be nice. So, I'm here to see if any of you guys and gals might have any suggestion.
My issues with the brava (and, yes, these are verrrrrrrrry minor, but would be nice to make them non-issues so i am more likely to use my bike for just about everything instead of waiting for a bus on some occasions):
-- must carry lights on me at all times in case i return when dark (pain to carry around, doubt they would last long if left on the bike)
-- sporty drop down handlebars not as convenient as flat handle bars/angled back.
-- gearing is nice, but even in a hilly place like SF not necessary at all -- 8 speed would be plenty, even 3 speed should be good.
-- no racks/fenders.
I'm thinking something like the Trek Belleville coming out soon? Any suggestions? My main requirements -- chainguard, fenders, flat/angledback handlebars. Dynamo lights would be great too.
Now, I have to ask, couldn't you solve all these problems using your current bike?
A dynohub isn't that much, handlebars are easy to replace, and racks/fenders are easy to add on. BTW, too many gears isn't exactly a problem, now is it?
However, if this is simply a case of N+1, I understand. The new Trek Belleville does look like a great bike, my only real issue would be my having to buying a Womens specific design, cause that mixte looks too good to pass up.
You could also look into Globe bikes, they make two attractive options, the live and the haul. they don't look at pretty, and they don't have a dynohub, but they are actually released.
The other option, is you can buy a nice vintage frame, and simply build it up yourself. Soma and Surly both have great offerings, and Velo-Orange should be able to supply you with most of the parts you need.