Inexpensive road or road style bike
Have a question for you folks who've been doing this a lot longer than I and know more bikes. I am gathering info for the spring when I buy a bike. I already know hybrid bikes and what is available and will be looking at them in a few months. My thoughts have strictly been hybrid because I think that's what I want but also because of budget. There's lots of availability from $300 Diamondbacks to pretty nice $600 jobs from all manufacturers.
I think I'd like to at least look at some more road kind of bikes just so I know what is out there. I don't really see anything in the same budget range of the hybrids. The maximum I would probably be comfortable with would be $600 which gets me a pretty nice hybrid. Any road bike or cross style bike I've looked up information on the net seems to be $900 and up.
I really have no idea what I would want gearing wise. My thoughts of hybrid stems from I have huge hills on the road and don't ride on the road with my current junk mountain bike. I would like to try riding on the road this year on something more capable (can't stand up or put any torque on the pedals of my current bike, it flexes too much or is too worn and the chain jumps around.) I am thinking I would want a triple in the front whether I would go with a hybrid or something closer to a road bike, which I think means a cross bike?
Anyone have suggestions to start looking at info on? As I said, I've been looking up hybrid bikes since I started riding the end of summer and know what I would want in a hybrid. There are so much more road style bikes out there that it is overwhelming and I don't know where or if even possible to start with a budget that I have.
I don't have local bike shops around, I'm in the middle of nowhere. I pretty much have bike shops all around within a radius of an hour drive that as far as I know would limit me to Cannondale, Giant, Fuji, Trek, and maybe Specialized (I might have a shop nearby within an hour with Specialized, not sure.) Those are pretty much the main bike manufacturers that I know of anyways. Giant would be the obvious choice by LBS because it is close to work where all others are half hour to an hour drive away in the opposite direction from home and stopping after work would be nice if I needed anything. Also have a Fuji shop by work, but I'm not too keen on that shop at all (really not too keen on the Giant either because of the kinds of people who live in this area including the local business folks, but he has been there for 40+ years.)