I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself to the forum. I have been lurking for the past several days and thought it was finally time to step out of the wood work and say hi.
First off I am extremely impressed with these forums. Especially, the Clydesdale and Athena group. I have been reading and reading and am amazed at the tons of support and encouragement you all have shown your fellow clydes/athenas! Unfortunately (as many of you well know) that is not what us larger cyclist encounter in the real world on a regular basis. Its good to know we have a place we can go to get the encouragement and friendship we need to keep doing something we love. It is this encouragement that has inspired me to get serious about cycling. I have always loved it, but a combination of issues have made me hesitant to do it consistently. One of those issues was being fitted to the wrong bike 8 years ago. A 2003 Trek Navigator 200. This is a good bike. Don't get me wrong. Its just not for me. I need something with more speed. So, with that being said...here is my question.
Can someone help me choose which bike to get? I am looking to get something that is a good all around bike. I plan on using it for running errands (grocery shopping) as well as commuting and trails. Right now I try and ride about 10-20 miles at a time. Usually about every other day. Eventually I would like to get into good enough shape to do some touring. The touring idea is kind of a pipe dream and if I have to buy a separate bike for that down the road, that is fine. Right now I am interested in the Trek 7.3 FX and really like what I have heard. One of my main concerns though is that I am a big girl. I spoke to a sales associate at the Trek store down the street from where I live and he said that there was no weight restrictions with the FX bikes and he said it should be fine with grocery panniers. I don't want to do what I did last time and buy the first bike I try and end up with buyers remorse. Does anyone have any other models they would like to suggest? Are there any features, besides wheels with high spoke count I should be looking for?