Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Bikes: 2012 Cannondale Syanpse 5 105
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I can't comment on the bikes since I know very little.
With that said it's also important to get a good fit for your bike as well. Not only size of the bike, but the adjustments they make to it when you purchase one. Some of these you can get done after a LBS for a nominal fee. It's definitely worth it. At 5 miles a poorly fitting bike might make you dread biking and give you less incentive to bike in. That doesn't mean you have to drop $3000 on a bike to enjoy riding though either.
Hopefully you have a friend that knows something about cycling. If not, go to a LBS and test ride a lot of their equipment. See if they'll work with you, a few around Albuquerque sell used bikes that are pretty good deals. If you do like commuting you'll end up spending a lot more than you think. At least most people I know have. I've bought a tail light and headlight to blink when riding even during the day ($35), a rack ($30), a pannier ($75), a helmet ($30), a good lock ($45), a reflective vest for when I wear dark colors to work ($30), a bottle cage ($5), a bottle ($10), spare tubes ($10) and probably other assorted gear. You don't need most of the things I've bought but I'd consider a good lock (don't want your wheel stolen leaving you stranded), a helmet, lights and a vest to be essential for bike commuters so that's at least another $100 on top of what you are thinking.
Then again when I was in Taiwan last month people were riding around without any of those. To each their own.
EDIT: Besides tubes there's also things like gear to help change flats. At 5 miles you may be able to get someone to come and pick you up. It's also good to have rain gear and fenders too if you are a commuter. Not essential though. I have some rain gear, but no fenders....yet anyway.
Last edited by NMBuff; 07-05-12 at 01:03 AM.