A commute bike needs to be jump-on-and-ride-able. Low maintenance. This is less true for me because I'm ok maintaining bikes and happy to do it. But for a new cyclist who's not up for oiling and cleaning a chain, checking chain wear, replacing chains every few hundred miles, replacing sprockets and chainrings: less maintenance is better.
I've just seen this new Avanti.
Avanti Inc 3
As in, I've seen it on the website. I haven't seen one or ridden one.
But it looks so perfect. It's got everything. And apart from pumping the tyres up now and then (get a track pump) and checking the tyres for shards as often as you can be bothered (every day if you never want a puncture) there's nothing to maintain on this bike at all. New brake blocks every two years? But that's it.
James Bowthorpe rode his belt-drive Santos round the world and never changed the belt.
Disc brakes mean clean wheel-rims that don't wear out. If this sounds trivial to you, I promise it's not. It's fantastic. Rim-braking brakes are one of the most disgusting, messy parts of a bike. Horrible grey gunk builds up on the pads and forks and rim. Fixing a puncture = getting covered in crap.
Hub gears need maintaining every 5000km or so. But with the new Alfines that just means an oil change. Personally, I don't plan to do squat to mine for a few years yet. Then I'll think about changing the oil, which I expect to be a 20-minute job.
So there you go. I've no reason to big-up the Avanti. I'm sure there are others out there but this is the first I saw. There's probably even a drop-bar version somewhere.