My current bike is a Iron Horse Transit 3.0 Adult Flat-Bar Commuter Bike. While it is fast and light, it is not as comfortable and convenient as I like. The main issues are
1) Riding position. The Transit 3.0 Commuter is basically a flat bar road bike. I need a more upright riding position. I thought about changing the bar (31.8 mm) but some options are not cheap (relative to the price of a bike). I have added bar ends and that helped some. However, I am more comfortable with riser bars.
2) Tire width. Currently, it has 700x28 tires. It requires too frequent top off. The carbon fork is too narrow to move up to a wider tire.
So basically I am looking for a hybrid/comfortable bike with 700x35-40 tires.
My budget is flexible but want the best bang for the buck. I have no problem assemble bikes so mail/Internet order is fine.
In terms of quality components, I am not too picky. As a matter of fact, I am kind of impressed by my wife's Schwinn Coronado bought from dept store for $200. If that bike were not discontinued, I would simply get that one. She had it for 3 years and it has been trouble-free. I only need to top off air once a month or so because it has 26x1.95 tires. Every time we try to ride, she would have to wait for me to top off my tires and that is a little inconvenient.
I am just starting to look. Right now, the Giant Cypress seems to be a good fit. There is no LBS nearby, though. The closest is one hour away.
I also looked at bikesdirect but there are so many choices so I am kind of lost.
Thank you in advance for your recommendations/suggestions.