I finally have sold off other bikes to make room for (and get the cash for!) a commuter bike. I'm moving to a city that is notorious for snow, rain, and foul conditions (Buffalo, NY), and would like to find a bike that I can ride to and from school. I've directed most of my search toward CX bikes, as they seem like they'd make wonderful commuters. I'd like to spend less than $1000, and would also like 105 or sram apex drive train or above. Lastly, I am fairly comfortable in buying a bike online, as I have a good sense of what frame geometry and sizing I need to feel good.
Right now, I've been vacillating between a few different bikes...
bikesdirect has some nice aluminum frame/carbon fork, disc brake bikes that are within my price range. I figure disc brakes may be the way to go, given the weather I anticipate riding in. This Fantom Cross Sram is one I was looking at in particular ($900 shipped)- Save up to 60% off Avid Disc Brake SRAM Apex Cyclocross | Cross Bikes - Motobecane Fantom Cross
But Nashbar also has a sweet sale today (21% off bikes), and I had my eye on their CX bike ($650 shipped)... This is probably heavier than the BD bike above, but it is steel which I find appealing. Seems like a steal for 105 components and a solid steel frame. The cantilever brakes are a downside, but that said, people have been riding canti's for years before the disc brake surge and seemed to manage just fine. Nashbar Steel Cyclocross Bike - Overweight Code F Restricted
I also have been looking at the Surly's (cross check and straggler), and some Raleighs (Roper, Sojourn), but I think they're just out of my price range.
Can anyone shed share some insight on which bike might be a better choice?