the big thing is fit. Gotta have it. The next most important issue is comfort. Try a few bikes. I would also look at Bianchi, Speicalized,and Trek. There are many good brands. A lot of bikes are aluminum and come out of just a couple factories regardless of the name. At this price range they tend to ride a little harsh. I like steel better. I haven't ridden the new Bianchi Volpe, but it looks nice.