I live in California and am sick and $%^&^%$ tired of paying $2 for a gallon of gas, and have decided to buy a bike. I grew up biking a lot, but when I got my driver's license 8 years ago that all stopped. Anyway, I was looking at different shops today. I will mainly be using the bike to commute from work and to just ride around town. So, the salesguy suggested (and I agreed) that a "hybrid" bike would be best. This shop only had Giant bicycles. I took a lower end model for a test ride, wasn't bad.
I was wondering if anybody on these boards might recommend a good, reputable company that makes quality bikes and is good value for the money I am going to spend (hopefully only $250-380). I grew up with Schwinn, I know they used to make a good bike.
Also, is it important to buy really good components if I only am going to be commuting (probably not every day either). Seems to me that the prices of bikes are really tied to the quality of components. I don't want to spend a lot of money, but I also don't want a piece of junk that will break in 2 months.
Thanks a lot!