I love Raleigh so I’ll start there. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on craigslist, that will likely be the cheapest option and you never know if you might find a gem. This is the 2010 version of my ride: http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/road/one-way/ It’s a great bike (about $700)…
Thank you for the advice – the Raleigh and Globe bikes are a price I can live with and embody just the kind of design I love! I was flipping through a book earlier today of the 100 best product designs, and Raleigh was in it. I love the idea of panniers, and all I need is another excuse to knit. In fact, here is a pattern I’ve had on my Ravelry favorites for months. With so many choices out there, I really need someone to simply tell me what to buy!
Definitely don’t get a fixed gear, and for your purposes, probably not a single speed either. You’ll want something that you can use for commuting, e.g. something you can put a rack on to carry your goods (some bike frames are not ideal for toting things). You can get at bike for much less than the $700 range that will suit your purposes. My Cannondale was under $500, The Minute Waltz’s single speed was $500 from a local bike shop, and the other bike he made me was under $200. You can get a new bike that you know no one has fiddled with (which can sometimes mean they’ve welded parts together in an attempt to fix them without knowing what they’re doing, throwing off alignment and things like that) for under $500 that will last years. OR The Minute Waltz and I can get our act together and work on building your dream bike 🙂 Either way, if you’re going new or used, try to support your local bike shop!
Sound advice – maybe after a few years of riding I can earn a fixed gear or single speed! A dream bike would make me so happy – it’s all I want for Christmas. I want streamers hanging off the handles!