Hi, I've read a lot of forum posts about bike selection on bikeforums.net, and was helping you very good people could help me out: I'm stuck in analysis paralysis!
I've done a lot of research and settled on a list of bikes I think are "interesting" for my short commute to work (about 8 miles round trip) and my aspirations to bike around in a 10 mile radius from my house for some exercise, and as a way to cut the number of short car trips I take for things like lunch. And as a bike capable of taking the occasional longer ride when I get more fit (hopefully).
I'm 31, 5'10", 210. Since I'm not a great athlete in any sense of the word I don't want to overspend. I've set a hard limit of $700 for a bike and I would really prefer to not spend more than $550 for the base bike, since I realize I'll need some extras. My only bike at present is a 15 year old giant MTB (inherited from a friend) which is falling apart... to the point where it is unrideable. Hence my desire for a new bike soon. I also might be able to get the MTB fixed if the right answer is to wait for the '08 models or end of season sales or whatever.
Here are my ideas:
- Trek 7.3 FX (wish it wasn't an aluminum fork); but I rode the 7.3 a little and it seemed fast. Need to do a longer test ride. My local shop is a huge Trek dealer and has these in stock last time I checked. 7.5 seems to be out of my budget.
- Bianchi Bergamo. I'm having trouble finding an SF Bay Area bike shop which has this in stock in my size (and very few carry it at all).
- Jamis Coda/Coda Sport. I like the idea of a steel bike since my MTB is steel, and the ride should be nice. But every shop in the Bay Area I called is out of my size, and the shops I spoke to said that Coda and Coda Sport are in very short supply: "Our Jamis Rep said we'd get some more in a two weeks. But then, he says a lot of things..."
Mostly I'm feeling discouraged: I got pretty interested in the Jamis only to discover that I can't actually put my hands on one to try it. I'm also a little concerned as some of my friends have warned me that the straight handlebars of hybrids (even though that is what I am used to from the MTB) will not be a good thing on longer rides. So, I'm feeling a bit stuck. What should I do? Please help!