Last year I started working for an organization more than 10 km away from home. After asking my local dealer about the hybrid bike I had bought second-hand a decade earlier and being told it wasn't worth 100 CAD, I decided it was time for me to buy a new bike.
After much research, I settled on the first proposal from the dealer, a Marin Fairfax SC1. With a 489 USD MSRP, the model is inexpensive, but Wirecutter's review of performance hybrid bicycles convinced me it was a great choice.
The SC1 is a clear upgrade over my previous hybrid. For commuting, the worst problem was the quick release wheels and seatpost. I managed to get these replaced with attachments needing a hexagonal key for 15 CAD (not quite secure, but getting true protection was not affordable). I got Evo mudguards which cover plenty from the local dealer for 32 CAD and a new kickstand since this bike won't fit the usual model attached on the wheel's axis.
After a few months of usage, I was about to write I couldn't find any flaw in the SC1 when the rear brakes degraded. The same local dealer who had sold me the bike told me the brake pads needed replacing. I didn't get new pads yet, but the pads do look used, and I'm a little annoyed to be told I should replace these after less than 5 months of non-continuous usage, with well under a megameter traveled. In the end, the 1 weak point mentioned by the Wirecutter, brakes, which I thought wouldn't really matter, seems to constitute a significant con indeed.
But I remain very satisfied, and I must thank Wirecutter for its incredibly comprehensive and high quality guide.