Hello, I am looking for advice into buying a new bike, around entry level for commuting. I live in Toronto and plan to commute through the winter, so I could use some advice and whatnot on the pros and shortfalls of the bikes I am considering buying.
I already have a thread in the commuting forum for some more background if necessary.
Help noob chose a commuting bike
The bikes that I considering are the following:
The Kona Dew, at 450 the least expensive and one I really enjoyed riding.
The Kona Dew Plus, which I think is basically the same with a few better components and disc brakes. Are disc brakes that important in snow riding? I have only ever ridden bikes on hot tropical weather before, never in snow, and always with old style brakes, so I am not sure if the 100 bucks difference would be worth having? Also, I hear that it is more difficult to add stuff like fenders and rack to a bike with disc brakes, is this true?
Jamis Coda 08. test rode this one in two sizes, 16 and 19.5'' I think the 17.5 would be best but the 19.5 would be good enough, and really enjoyed riding this bike as well. 25 bucks more expensive than the Kona Dew plus, and no disc brakes.
Jamis Coda Sport 08. I haven't test rode this one. The store did have it in 17.5'' and I am trying it today. It goes for $675 and this would be the top of my range, spending-wise, for just the bike. Maybe stretching it a bit, I would have to really like this bike a lot more than the others to buy this one.
I also tried the KHS Urban-Xpress and KHS Urban X, the Kona Smoke and the Trek 7100. The last 2 had grip change gear system which I didn't like so I am no longer considering. The Urban Xpress was nice, but at the same price as the Jamis Cona, I think I'd go for the latter. And I have yet to try any Specialized or Giant bike in this range.
Now the main questions would be, would the disc braking of the Dew plus really make a difference for the winter? Would the thinner tires of the Cona's make it more of a pain to handle in the snow? And also, any advice suggestion provided would be greatly appreciated.