I just moved from 35 miles away from work (all highway) to 11 miles away from work (all side roads)
I'm going to try to start commuting via bicycle. I just received a bonus from work which will fund said venture. I will be perusing these forums a bit for bike suggestions, but if anyone actually reads these introductions, I'll state here -
I looked at the Schwinn Super Sport DBX and I think it looks fantastic, but I just can't justify the price tag. I am looking for a road bike with dropped handlebars and disc brakes.... I probably can be convinved to switch to v-brakes but I do like the idea of the discs. So if you know of any bikes that are like the DBX but cost less, than please suggest!
My other thought is to go with a much cheaper bike (under 500) to make sure I'll actually use it, and if I really get into it, then I can buy a second, more expensive bike for doing things that don't involve commuting and leaving my bike outside for 8+ hours a day (The workplace won't let me take it inside)
I'm not too terribly worried about theft as I am a white collar worker and the bike rack is right next to the smoking area so there are people around all day (I don't know why they'd put biking next to smoking, but it's not my call......) and, the smoking area is nowhere near a busy street.
Anyway, my initial goal here is to get suggestions for a bike. I'm trying to convince myself that I don't need to go mainstream (Trek, Cannondale, Schwinn, Masi, etc) but I certainly would be more comfortable on something I recognize.
Between Lecanto and Hernando Florida, 6 miles due west of the Withlacoochee Trail
I've had several since 1999 but have settled on my beloved 2001 Litespeed Tuscany and 2011 Felt Z4. :-)
+1 on looking in the commuting forum.
If you want drop handle bars and disc brakes, look at touring bikes.
Giant offered the OCR Touring bike with disc brakes in 2004/2005 but I don't see it on their website in the 2006 models. Maybe your LBS has a leftover or can order one for you.
My commuter is a cyclocross bike with drop bars and cantilever brakes.
You can see pictures in my signature.
I cant see the need for discs. The disc on the back can create problems for mounting a rack, which is much more important for commuting. Many CX bikes have the sporty geometry and drop bars of road bikes, but also provide for mounting rack and fenders with slightly wider tires.
If you dont mind spending $1500, the trek portland has discs, rack support, drop bars, et cetera. This is not, however, a bike one should purchase for 11 mile commutes alone. If you have no other road bike and want to commute AND take it out on weekend rides, look into the Portland. It hasnt recieved friendly reception here due to its inflated price tag, squeemish fenders, and disc brakes. I agree with the previous posts, discs are not necessary on a road bike. They are, however, handy for highly urban areas and frequent wet conditions.
you will find no shortage of opinions on these forums, good luck sorting it all out.