Originally Posted by RicardoJM
Roll your own
. Grab a craigslist/garage sale bike with mounting bosses for the rack and fenders. Slap a rack on it and start riding. 22 miles is a distance and after doing it a few times, you will end up with a much better idea of what you want the commuter bike to be. Then swap out/add over time. For me, thumbshifters, fenders, rack, bullet proof tires and big granny gear are important mods that I've made just for commuting. Working on bikes is way easier than the work we do on the rigs.
There are quality differences in components, but even the low level setups will provide thousands of mile of use. Most issues with brakes, shifting are due to lack of cleaning and adjusting. Earlier this year one of the neighborhood kids asked me to look at his shifting - rear cable was loose. I also adjusted his brakes, lubed the chain for him. He was really excited and before the evening was done three other kids brought their stuff in for tuning. Ooops - off topic - but the point is - it doesn't take much to have a fine running bicycle.
Hmm...Perhaps my perception of components has been colored by my MTB background. On the MTBs, I had brand new, fresh from the shop, but low end components jump gears, etc...So, on my latest bike, I bought one step below top of the line and couldn't be happier.
I don't know how to tune a bike, I've always just taken it to a shop. Guess I better get a book and figure out how to do it. I disagree that working on bikes is easier than cars. But, thats a matter of perspective.
I was going to ask about building a bike. I've always felt that you can't build a bike for less than you can buy it, simply because the components always seem to be marked up (forks, brakes, cables, etc...).
Good advice, and if you see one, let me know.