Last Friday my old commuter bike was stolen, and I now need to purchase another if I intend to keep up my habit of biking to and from work. And I do intend to keep it up! I love it!
I'm fortunate to live close enough to two branches of Performance Bike. I went into one a bit grudgingly this past Sunday, still missing (I will always miss it) my old bike and thinking to myself, well, I'll never be able to afford another bike like that. My old bike was a Trek OCLV 9700 carbon fiber mountain bike I got for a steal on Craigslist a few years ago. It was old but I took excellent care of it, and it was light enough that I could carry it up to my 3rd floor apartment in bad weather if necessary.
The person at Performance was incredibly nice and listened to what I wanted, and guided me over to some Diamondback hybrid/road bikes. I've always been leery of road bikes because of the dropbars, but imagine my surprise when I discovered that they make flatbar road bikes! I tested out the 2014 Diamondback Insight 1, the 15" model. (I'm a woman and only 5'1".) It was so much faster than my mountain bike and even fit me better, and I had to force myself to not immediately take it home, having fallen in love with it. It has a $450 pricetag and I've never spent that much on a bike before, but I figured if I was going to I'd better do some research first.
The person at Performance also suggested the Fuji Absolute, but I was short on time and didn't get a chance to try out any of those. Having looked up both the Diamondback Insight and the Fuji Absolute models on the Performance website, though, I can see that the Fujis tend to run a little cheaper, and there's even a women's model called the Stagger. I'm hoping to be able to find a Stagger (or the normal Absolute with a good standover height for hobbits) today to test-ride.
So here's my question: provided each of these bikes gives me a similar good-feeling ride, which should I go for? Which would YOU go for? Which is better? My commute is not a very long one, maybe 4.5 miles each way that are all pavement and some moderate hills. I also like to ride for fun on the weekends or in the evenings if I can, and if I have a bike that doesn't just lumber along I have all ideas I'll be out on it even more!
Here are the two bikes I'm debating. Please also feel free to make alternate suggestions:
There's also just the typical Fuji Absolute 2.3, the S/M of which would probably fit me:
Thanks so much!