I've got three legs of a possible long commute - all between 30 and 40 miles. Having done part of it yesterday on my Dawes Sardar it's confirmed what I thought I knew - a bike with 26" wheels, compact geometry, bar-end shifters and whose frame is about two sizes too small isn't the right one! Thinking with a completely blank sheet of paper I've come up with the following set of ideal factors: Steel frame and forks - titanium would be lovely but this is a workhorse, not a thoroughbred Flat bars with bar ends - most of the ride is in the city, and I prefer a slightly more upright position to see more easily. I don't know anything about flat bar shifters. I might be persuadable that drop bars are OK, but the bar-end shifters are a distraction I can do without at traffic lights. 700c wheels, with a hub dynamo on the front that I can shift to my fast bike and the tandem for night riding. Which in turn means that it would need to take 25mm and 28mm tyres, as well as whatever size is ideal for commuting (perhaps up to 32mm?) Frame designed with clearance for mudguards and bosses for racks - yesterday's experience with a rackpack and saddlebag confirms that being able to carry panniers is better if I have anything to carry, so that the weight sits lower. And given the multiple sites I will sometimes have to carry things. Money isn't a huge constraint, but I don't want to spend megabucks on something I'm going to get over-protective of. Unfortunately our cycle to work scheme is a strict once-a-year affair just before Christmas. Any suggestions? My knowledge goes as far as the Dawes and Edinburgh bikes ranges. I'm not particularly mechanically adept, and prefer riding to fiddling, otherwise I'd be tempted to look for a second-hand frame to build up.