I'm hoping to start commuting to the UW in Seattle, and I'm in the market for a decent road bike. What would be a good bike to start out with? I want something of decent quality that could last many years, but preferably $700 or below. What would you all recommend?
Welcome to the forums DawgDrool, where would you be commuting from (distance)? Plan on riding your bike outside of school? What do you see yourself doing with your bike in the future or is it going to be strictly for commuting? Are you accounting for riding essentials outside of this $700 budget like a helmet, bike lock and lights or do you already have these items? Its always useful and helpful to stop in at one of the bike shops around your area and get an idea of what is available to you, maybe field some of your questions to them if you want another opinion.
Fixies are easy to maintain but lack gears and can be difficult for hilly areas. I own a Felt Z85(entry level race bike) a couple model years old and i picked mine uo for about 700. Great bike for me, but every ones different. Any weight preference on your bike, you might say no at first but you'l realize that lugging around a heavy 35+ pound bike everywhere you ride can be a bicth. Glad your getting into cycling a bit, answer some of these questions so we can get a better feel for you. Cheers!
Get a bike that can take at least 25mm wide tires (or bigger) and have full fenders.
If it was me buying, I'd look for a nice used bike because you could get an excellent machine for $700.
Some suggestions: Specialized Tricross, Surly Pacer or CrossCheck, Soma Smoothie or Soma ES, ...Jamis have some very nice bikes too,...Kona Jake The Snake - Many of these are 'Cyclecross' bikes, but work great as road/commuter bikes. All of these are great bikes and all would take tens of thousands of miles to wear out (allowing of course for normal wear and parts replacement).