Alright, firstly my apologies to anyone who is annoyed by the possibility of oft-repeated-beat-to-**** questions in this post, and sorry again for waking up anyone who was asleep in this thread.
I'm looking to get into commuting by cycle, from my house in Ditmas Park through prospect park into and into downtown BK, about 5 miles one way. I commuted year-round by motorcycle for a little over a year before some a--holes stole that bike, so I'm looking to upgrade to a more mature form of transportation with the insurance check. If any of you know motos, I rode a supermoto style bike, essentially a dirtbike with slicks and lights. It was great for being light, maneuverable, cheap, reliable, sturdy and fun. I'm essentially looking to find a style of bicycle that mirrors this. I'd like to hit a few dirt sections of the park in the morning, bash curbs, rumble through potholes, and still make the trip in a decent time.
Now I really have had to start my learning from square one here, and am trying to narrow down what kinds of bicycles I should be looking at. So far I've gone from eyeing 29" commuter setups, to cross bikes and a few styles in between. The ability to handle an occasional offroad thrashing, carry luggage, and ride year-round are all paramount. A straight MTB seems not quite right for keeping up speed on the flats and the luggage/ergonomics I would like, but maybe I'm wrong.
My budget would be around $500-$600 max for the bike, leaving a couple hundred spare for accessories and the like. I have pretty decent mechanical ability, and access to some fabrication machines, so building and modifying components doesnt scare me. I would love to do a build from a frame up, but would rather get riding sooner by buying a rig, and it seems less expensive to buy a built bike anyways. Currently I'm scanning around on Craigslist for used bikes that fit the bill.
Examples of bikes that have intrigued me so far include:
Wow old thread you bumped there, alfisto! But wait for others in this forum who know way more than I do about these entry level bikes. I know your commuting route well as I used to have an office on Ditmas Avenue and E4th, right under he Dentist on that corner.
On the thread topic, if you guys are still riding, I would definitely be interested in riding with you guys. BUT, I am not sure I can keep up with 16 to 20 miles per hour as a steady pace for long rides. Never tried, though, so I am not sure I am an idea riding partner for guys and gals at your level.