My wife and I, 53 and 52 respectively, both out of shape, overweight, myself considerably, decided we better do something before one of our health's failed, so we decided to take up biking. We've done some reading on the web, visited several local bike shops and took a couple relatively short bike rides to determine fit. AS of now, we're thinking she's a 15" roughly and I'm a 19" bike, if that makes sense.
We live in Northeast Georgia near Athens and it's a hilly area, so both local bike shops recommended more than an 8 speed bike to accommodate hills and the medium sized, but narrower tires of the hybrid for being 95-98% on the road and 2-5 percent on mild paths. Our joints issues are not going to allow us onto the mountain bike trails at this point and maybe never.
We found two bike shops, one with Raleigh bikes and one with Specialized bikes that we think can do the job for us. We plan to add fenders, a rack, lights, mirror and a tire repair kit to the bikes we buy, with most of the install work being done by the shop we buy the bikes from.
The two bikes we're looking at are a Raleigh Detour and a Specialized Crossroad Sport, current models. Neither shop has both size bikes in stock at this time of year and neither is offering any discount off of MSRP, though both are offering lifetime service and a 10% discount off of accessory stuff bought at their shop. The Specialized dealer is the same age we are and seems to understand our issues and what we're looking for better than the Raleigh dealer, who is younger and comes across as more elitist, if that makes sense.
I've looked at both bikes brands on their respective websites and can't tell much difference in the components they use. The Raleigh is $509.99 and the Specialized is $500.00. Sales tax is 7% in the county the Raleigh bike is in and 6% in the county the Specialized bike is in.
Here are links to the two bikes:
Would you be kind enough to comment on the components and relative reputations of the two bikes or something other than the LBS is nicer to help me make a decision? Near as I can tell, the two bikes are pretty much the same bike components wise, but I am not familiar with the components.