Another "researching a new bike" post -- would welcome your collective insights!
Knowing there are multiple meanings to all of these terms, I'm in the market for a "commuter bike" and am weighing options between a fitness hybrid, a CX bike, or an endurance road bike. I've tested many and my list is down to the following:
Giant Avail 2 (or 1, which is a blast!)
Giant Invite 2
Jamis Coda Comp
Trek 7.4 or 7.5
- Length/Terrain: My commute is 26 miles one way on a mix of urban roads and rails-to-trails (paved) - with an occasional stretch of gravel and some impressive potholes and creative drivers to dodge in the city. I'd also like a bike I can take out for fun (e.g., casual rides to coffee/dinner)/fitness -- ie, something I can lock up outside for some period of time and not panic about it disappearing (well, one can hope!). I plan to keep my MTB for short rides in my neighborhood.
- Frequency: I plan to do the full commute 1-2x/week one way. I can break this up a bit by putting my bike on a bus for part of the way, depending on time of day. I've done the full length on my old Rockhopper MTB -- it's do-able, but slow (~2h), and I'm increasingly envious of all the riders on road bikes whizzing by me.
- Gear/Cargo: I currently plan ahead for my commutes so am carrying at the most a very light messenger bag. I've never used racks before-- but appreciate their utility and would be open to trying them (but am not bent on having one).
- Other: through test rides, I've discovered I appreciate Giant's WSD -- they are some of the only drop-bars that I feel confident with on the hoods (as in, ability to quickly reach the brakes).
Where I'm struggling: want a safe and solid commuter that I can "grow into" a bit... Your thoughts?
Many thanks in advance!!