I need a commuter bike.  Any recommendations or bike buying strategies?  My needs include:

  • Sub $1,000 (new)
  • Somewhat comfortable
  • Excellent hill climbing gears
  • Excellent brakes.
  • All weather (Redmond is wet)
  • On road mainly, but some gravel or packed dirt trail

In preparation for purchasing a more family friendly vehicle, I recently sold my truck and in the meantime, (blush), have been riding my wife's 80's era 12-speed to work. It's called a Miyata Nimbus, if you can believe it?  I only live 3 miles from work but the morning approach is a long, grueling hill climb from downtown Redmond to Microsoft Main Campus.  Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated.  Donations doubly so :-)