I live in Portland, Oregon and I need a bike to ride to work. It's about five miles, with one steep but not long hill. I used to have a track bike with a freewheel that was really nice for Salem, which was a flat commute. Sadly stolen. I loved how fast it accelerated, it helped a bunch in traffic. Hills were killers on my knees, ouch.
Was thinking about maybe two or three gears. But as a cassette in back would make it less snappy off the line, I was imagining a front derailleur only. Is that implausible? Maybe having a chain tensioner at all would kill any snap. Do they make a Hammerschmidt for road bikes? Are there any frames designed for this?
Frame something closer to a racing geometry than a touring geometry, since I won't be taking many long rides, if any.
Also, weight, like to keep it not much over 20lbs. So, not a hybrid frame.
Disc brakes I am in love with from years of mountain biking, and would help control and maintain stopping power in this rainy climate; I don't know how heavy the road discs are however.
So.. a track bike with disc brakes and a front derailleur? Start with a cyclocross? Is there the perfect bike out there already made? Am I nuts? Any ideas?
Edit, to respond to comments:
What I mean by "snappy" - I found that using a super tight chain on a single back ring lets me apply speed faster than one where i have to take up slack first - i can make quicker adjustments to unaware cars. It's the same reason that I like disc brakes, more control.
Sorry if my experiences and desires bother some of you, that wasn't my intent. I follow all the bike laws and ride politely.
@mattnz Thanks for that suggestion, I will look at internal hubs again. A few years ago I looked at Rohloff's but I decided they weren't a good choice, mostly due to weight and ease of maintenance, but it appears that they have updated their lines quite a bit. I think SRAM has one too. Still be heavy I think which would add to angular momentum. There are also the Schlumpf Speed Drive planetary front cranksets.