I am looking to get back into riding again after a few decades and I know nothing about brands other than to avoid cheap wally bikes. I am 45, and 250 lbs and climbing, and getting calf injuries from jogging and walking.
And I just quit smoking, so, jogging an 11 minute mile was for me a major triumph, but then I got the calf injuries, and my shins don't feel so great, and that is why I am thinking about a bike.
So, I know right now I probably want a comfort bike, just to get me back into riding, without having to scrunch over or fit my butt on a tiny seat, which will make me hate being on the bike, defeating the purpose.
I went to the LBS and he told me his best seller is the Raleigh Route 3.0, and it does feel fairly comfortable on my little test ride.
$385 + tax, as opposed to a couple other bikes I have seen on Craigslist, like a Trek Navigator, but I wanna buy from a local owner operated business if possible, unless I can get a major steal on a used bike.
So, is this a good bike, I had a Raleigh as a teen ager, and it was alright, but that was 20+ years ago, or should I be looking at another model?
I looked at a lot of different brands... and test rode a lot of them.... much to my surprise, i ended up with a brand I never even considered but it just fit and felt so good! So I would test ride as many brands as you can...
Also... those "comfy" seats are comfy but only for a short distance... Once you start riding longer distances you will want a "tiny" seat! I know from personal experience! LOL
Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
Any bike will get you back into shape if yiou ride it.
MY opinion, I'd go with the 3.5 or 4.5 cause they don't have suspension seatposts and forks. as heavier riders, it's a waste and more likely uncomfortle while the seatpost bottoms out on the bumps. Plus as you develope, you will apreciate the rigidity of the non suspension. I've taken my mtb on paved trail for funzies while the wife rides her roadie. At speed of 19+, the front end tends to float around on the suspension forks. That's my experience but I sure wouldn't want that on every ride.
The 3.0 looks to be similar to the 3.5 you mention, but honelsty, I'd go with the next level up (4.5). A grade higher and 8 speed might be much easier to find replacment parts as far as rear hubs/wheels etc.
Oh yeah, on less expensive bikes, I don't have much faith in rear wheel durability as a heavier rider. I fth e shop does a good job adjusting the wheel after a few hundred miles, the hybrid wheel could last a good while. If not, could break spokes fairly quickly.