I need bike recommendations.
I’ve been commuting for about 8 months, about 15 miles a day, all city streets. I also run errands with my children (so I tow up to 100 pounds in a trailer), ride in local alleycats, and ride occasionally for a 40-50 mile ride on weekends. I’m looking to replace my current bike (satisfactory, but it somehow is always annoying me) with a bike (or maybe 2 bikes). I’m a relaxed position rider; my grip on my bars is about 4 inches higher than the seat, and that suits me.
I need a really big bike—my current bike is 25-inch (63 cm) top tube, 26.5-inch seat tube; the seat tube can be shorter but the top tube is as short as I want it.
I’d like to spend less than $500, and I intend to buy a used bike. I’m happy to get “this frame, these wheels” recommendations.
I want indexed shifting, and prefer flat bars.
First bike: a bad-weather/ride with kids bike. I want fenders, gearing that goes down to 34 front/28 rear, at least 35mm tires (40mm would be better), a rear rack, and no worries that the bike will be harmed by getting wet and dirty. I’m open to an IGH. I’d like to stay in the 30 pounds or less range if possible; my current bike, without fenders and rack, is 33 pounds.
Second bike: a good-weather/longer ride bike. I’d be open to drop bars, although I’d still prefer flats (which I’d customize to what my current bike has). I’d like something with a 63-64 cm top tube, still fairly relaxed geometry, and strong enough to tow the children if possible. (The other bike would probably be the main towing bike, though).
One of my major questions is how flexy a bike my size will be, so any specifics on that will be appreciated.
Here's my current commuter: