I'm posting this here instead of the general forum b/c folks seem a bit more knowledgeable here about technical details...
I know people say there's no such thing as a single bike that's good for everything, but I think if you're not racing, a touring bike (like a Trek 520, for example) comes pretty close. You can:
- haul stuff for a commute
- get around on rough city streets, including hills
- use it for short weekend rides
- tour, of course
Would anyone say that a touring bike is tremendously ill-fitted for any of the uses above? Again, racing is a special case, so let's not consider it for now.