New member here but not new to cycling. I was an avid cyclist back in the early '90's but got away from it for years, mostly due to lame excuses. During those 15-16 years, I managed to put on an extra 50-60 lbs and now I am sick of being this way. So - I got my old Cannondale M500 Mountain Bike down off the hangers, dusted it off and started riding.
I am a big guy, 54 years old, 6'1 and when I started riding again (about a month ago) I was at ~326 lbs (former weight lifter and football player). Already, I'm down to 317 and dropping but I found out quickly that while the M500 fit fine 15 years ago, it is uncomfortable as all get out now, especially with the arthritic knees! So I've been shopping for a new bike.
Currently, I only ride paved roads but did like doing a little mild off the beaten path stuff way back then. I imagine I will still ride roads 90% of the time if not more but I do want the option to go down a decent trail now and then (once I'm back in shape) - no mountains or anything like that, just a gravel road or improved trail (fairly level). So, I think I really need a hybrid with a comfortable seating position, right?
I've narrowed it down to either a Specialized (Crossroads Elite or Expedition Elite), a Trek (7300 or Navigator 3), or a Cannondale (Comfort or Adventure). I hope to decide in a few days and then I'll get to ride a lot longer - my knees just won't take the cramped position on the M500 even though I've got the seat as high as I can along with raising the handlebars higher. Too much weight on my wrists add to the discomfort as well. I know that some of the bikes I listed are not hybrids but given my small amount of 'off-road' riding, I think they would work fine.
So, my son will get the M500 and he's excited about that. But what about me? Which new bike would you get and why? I am leaning the most to the Specialized but given the great service I got from my M500, I really am torn about not buying another Cannondale. And I really do love the Treks!