As a result of asking this question - Fracture in folding frame - safe to ride? - I've decided to look into getting a new bike.
As stated in my previous question I cycle quite a lot, but I know next to nothing about bike engineering. So I need a reasonably good bike, but I don't have the knowledge to make a good choice about what the best model might be.
I use the bike wholly on relatively short journeys on city streets, so some sort of hybrid commuter/road bike would seem to be ideal. A moment's research demonstrates that every reputable bike company makes one of these, often in a wide array of varieties.
My budget is only about £400 (that's ~$600). Having looked at the options in that range from just two manufacturers, I'm thoroughly confused.
Aside from the obvious (a strong, light frame etc.), I'm looking for a bike that:
- Doesn't have an insane array of gears, and can control gears from the handlebars.
- Can easily mount mudguards and panniers.
- Has easily-changed brake blocks that I can do myself.
- Eagle-eyed users will spot that my existing bike from that question is a folding bike: this is no longer an issue. I don't need a folder any more.
But to be honest, I don't even know how I can tell from the manufacturers details whether any given model will do what I want.
So: what should I be looking for when choosing a good bike model? I am not asking for a model recommendation (given that it's opinion-based) - just information on what I need to be looking for/asking about to guide my own choice.