Having fun reading these forums for the first time, picking up tips. I'm taking more interest in bike parts today, because it's time to overhaul my daily commuter. Been commuting on my sturdy Trek 820 for exactly 10 years to the month, all stock. Nothing hard - I always live near to work in small towns. Currently in Denver. (I only ride my local neighborhood, so it's still a "small town" in that sense. ) She'll be my reliable ride for many years to come, whenever I have to contend with potholes, curbs and gravel.
Moving to a new job in Hilo, Hawaii - not sure how the biking will be there, other than "wet". Been looking at getting a more "efficient" road alternative to the much-abused and beloved Trek. The Novara Buzz is close to what I've been envisioning, but I also liked the Fuji Absolute I test-rode today. Basically I want a mountain bike frame that can take abuse, but lighter, no suspension, with just 3 speeds, and straight handlebar. The Buzz is as close to that configuration as I can find, though I liked the feel of the Fuji. The main difference between them is the Buzz has disk brakes. Will disk brakes be a plus/minus for me in always-rainy Hilo? My decision may come down to that.