I ran a bike shop almost 30 years ago (Schwinn, Trek) and did most of the mechanic work so am no newbe to bikes. That said, I ride what are now considered "vintage" bikes and have little experience building or maintaining anything less than 15 years old. I also have not really bothered to keep up with all the latest, greatest widgets and dodads, model lines ups ect..
A co-worker who has some experience riding recently asked me for advice on a commute bike for under $500. His commute will be similar to mine. About 13 miles, almost all up or down hill, all weather, day and night, rural roads.
I ride an 18sp 82' Miyata Streetrunner frankenbikefenderbeast in bad weather that suits me to a tee but it is very old school. This guy is probably looking for something a bit more modern with indexed shifting ect...
Any recommendations on a new model or something to look for used but recent?