It seems there was some downtime and my previous thread was lost. Oh well...I made a new, more informed n00b thread.
First off a little background. I'm a 31 yr old Police Officer here looking for new ways to work out and stay fit (working out at the gym can become quite boring at times). I'm 5'11" 220 lbs with a stocky muscular build so I guess that makes me a Clydesdale. My goal is 200-210 lbs. My last bicycle purchase was a new '94 Schwinn Hurricane mt bike. It's outdated...and slow. After some research I've sort of decided on a fitness/hybrid in the $500-$800 range. I figured if I like what I'm doing then I can always buy another bike to add to the family (pure road or offroad...cyclocross or whatever).
Last week I test rode a Trek 7.3FX and 7.6FX. This got me thinking I wanted a 7.5FX. I was somewhat set on my decision until today...
I had the day off today and all I did was go to local bike shops. I think I went to 5 of them. Everything from larger shops with big city feel to small ma n pa shops. It was rainy and cold today so I wasn't able to get any test rides in. Here's my new short list of bikes I'm considering. If we get some good weather I'd like to test ride some of these. I'd like your thoughts on these...
-07 Specialized Sirrus Sport http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=22268
-07 Marin Lucas Valley http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2...as_valley.html
-07 Raleigh Route 66 http://www.raleighusa.com/items.asp?deptid=5&itemid=304
-06 Bianchi Strada http://www.bianchiusa.com/06_strada.html
I never thought I'd be intereted in the Bianchi (being basically a road bike with hybrid/fitness bike flatbars), but it's caught my eye. The local shop has a brand new '06 leftover. He said he'd sell it for 20% off which seems like a great deal. Basically it's a new twist on the hybrid fitness bikes I've been looking at. It's chromoly instead of aluminum, but the bike felt very light still. The salesman was trying to explain that the chromoly is stronger and will handle road vibration better than aluminum. It seems like a quality bike and the flatbar is adjustable. One thing I'm not sure about is the grip style shifters, but I haven't rode it yet.
I didn't look at the Marin or Raleigh too much due to time constraints. It looks like the Marin is more like the Bianchi. The Sirrus Sport seems like a high quality bike which is very similar to the Trek 7.5FX.
Anymore help would be appreciated. What do you recommend and why. Thanks.