I am a newbie to the forums and good bikes in general so please excuse my lack of knowledge in certain areas as well as length of post. I'm currently riding a pacific junker as my commuter, not the actual name of the bike but a good description of what it is Needless to say the bike is long overdue for a replacement, every component is worn out.
My commute is about 8 miles each way. It feels like I am riding at a slight incline albeit very slowly for about 50% of the time. There are a lot of potholes but I manage to go around most of them half the time. There are two major hills, 20% grade that I usually walk and take a break on. The goal during the commute is not to sweat too much so I'm not drenched when I finish. I usually carry 10lbs on me or more in my bike messenger bag.
I have been looking for a bike for a while now, there is not much for sale in my area (western MA) that either fit me or are a good price. Craigslist, pawn shop, ebay is where I've looked so far, I haven't gone to a LBS yet nearest one is 15 miles away but will soon.
I'm not sure where to put my focus on in the search, 10spd, road bike, commuter, hybird?
I'm not opposed to something classic like a 70's peugeot or schwinn le-tour or something more modern. I definitely want something lighter weight maybe 25lbs or less as well as a bike that I can use for longer trips.
My budget is not large, I'm not looking to spend more than $150 on a bike, don't need anything new. There have been plenty of deals in that range, but they so far been either the wrong size or too far away. It seems to me I can get a nice bike in that price or am I being a dreamer?
Now I went to the local pawn shop and they had the two bikes in the title. Both about the same price $130 ish.
The smith and wesson looks pretty nice they go for $1200 new so I would assume it's a good bike. This model appeared to be about 10 years old, I did not get the full name or see any good reviews that would pertain to non police use. The components looked quality shimano etc, and the bike seemed lightweight. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to test it out as it had flat tires and was buried in the back. Frame wise it's 22" which is the size I need.
The other bike was a mongoose 735 dynametric (american tradition) not sure if that was part of the name. This looked like a hybird bike to me road/mountain but it had road wheels on it, the components looked quality and the bike itself was lighter than the smith and wesson. Unfortunately I also didn't get a chance to test it out as it had flat tires and was buried in the back. Were these entry level bikes back in the day, is it a good one to consider?
Look forward to hearing some opinions/suggestions