I'm in the market for a new bike. The leading contender right now is the Civia Bryant
, but I want to make sure I'm not missing any good alternatives.
The main use for the bike will be a ~6 mile (one-way) commute to work, maybe 3-4 times a week basically anytime the temperature is above freezing. I'm in Chicago. The commute is totally flat. Sometimes I take the lake path and there is a mean headwind going home. Occasionally I'd like to take it on a longer ~20 mile ride, but that's only a few times a year.
Right now I ride a single-speed - a Kona Paddy Wagon. I love it - especially the "bulletproof" build, the steel frame for the potholes, and the low maintenance of no derailleur.
I'm looking for a change primarily because the single gear on the Kona is a little hard on my knees with the stop/start of riding in traffic. I also think a few gears might be nice on days with a tough headwind.
I'm pretty sure I only want a steel frame because of rough roads. I'm also pretty sure I only want an internally geared hub. I think I could take or leave disc brakes, but they come with the Bryant. They would probably be nice in the rain. The belt drive sounds cool, but it isn't make-or-break.
The only other important thing about my riding "style," I think, is that I like to ride in a pretty upright position because I am usually in traffic and feel safer "up" rather than "in the drops." I have cyclocross levers installed on the "flats" of my Kona so that I can ride partially upright and hit the brakes fast when necessary. I notice that the Bryant only has road-style brakes, but I figure it will probably be a pretty simple modification to add the top levers too (right?). Maybe I will change out the whole handlebar configuration.
I'm a little worried about the Bryant's weight - I've seen stuff on the web saying it is around 30 lbs. I think the Kona is around 25lbs. Not sure if this will make a big difference.
So - any thoughts? Any other bikes I should be thinking about? Thanks