Newbie Clyde and Athena need input
My husband and I are planning to buy our first bikes in more than 15 years. The husband is an uberclyde at just under 300 with an ideal weight of 205. I am a formally thin chick, but just meet Athena guidelines now.
The primary thing I have learned on these forums is to pick the bike that you love and that makes you want to ride. With that in mind, we googled and then test road bikes yesterday. I would love your thoughts on where we stand right now because we know nothing about bikes.
We each have a 500.00 budget. For both of us comfort is king.
* I am woefully out of shape. Even a teeny chick I was what is referred to as skinny fat, 112 pounds of skin and bones and no muscle at all.
* Plan to ride bike paths, quiet streets and maybe some main road stuff along waterways. I want the bike for fun, but also for exercise and would like to have the ability to take 20-30 miles trips. I will totally be the lady with the basket on front at the farmers' market.
*I looked primarily at electra townies and trek pures, with a few others thrown into the mix. I know I don't want a road, MT bike or a bent.
* I like the flat foot feature a lot. Even as a kid I didn't like the feeling of not being able to touch the ground easily. I am unsure if I feel this is a requirement, but it is important.
* I liked the crank style bars ok, but loved the cruiser bars. I don't like coaster brakes (I get joy out of peddling backwards) and would have to add a second brake to a coaster, which I would rather skip. However, the coaster bike looks make my heart sing, esp. the Electra amsterdam and gypsy. My dream bike is the amsterdam 8 speed, but it is double my budget. No bend in the budget, we are old graduate students.
* I am really struggling with the 3 versus 7 speed. The area I live in now is pretty flat, but I am from the adirondacks and will be returning to the area in a year. Buying a second bike next fall might be an option, but unsure at this time. I don't plan on needing to be speedy for group rides or anything, but don't want to struggle up every hill I meet. Being so out of shape is also a factor.
* This may sound silly, but I really prefer a bike with a chain guard. Are these an easy add-on after purchase?
*Trek makes a cruiser style with 7 speeds, but unable to test ride it in my region and that makes me wary of ordering.
* Overweight, but with very strong legs. Think ex-footballer type. Stocky and barrel-chested.
*Leaning towards a trek sport because he finds the comfort bikes to be well, comfortable.
* Will prob. end up using bike for far more exercise related riding than joy riding. Would like to take frequent trips of 10-25 miles.
* Plans to use it to commute 2 miles each way, at least once a day. Would like to attempt winter commuting.
Sorry this is so incredibly long. Any info or advice would be greatly appreciated.