First off, sorry for being yet another person that comes on this helpful board asking "which bike should I buy?". But everyone on this board is so freakin helpful, that I can't help myself.
Here is what I want to do:
**I want to bike on suburban streets, paved bike paths, gravel (limestone I think) paths, dirt paths and maybe if I feel like it some grass (I live in Illinois, so I am not talking the Rocky Mountains here).
**Distance will vary, I would like a bike that I can take a 5 min spin around the block if I just need to pop out of the house for a minute, and a bike that I can take on a bike ride that may last for hours (you know, making a day of it).
**There may be times that I will tow a trailer behind me (one of those little kid trailers, not my kid, but my sisters kid).
**priced no higher than $250 (I could push up to $270). I'm a poor recent college grad.
I spoke with a guy at a local bike shop, and he suggested a comfort bike, a "Trek Navigator 100." I think it is a nice bike, but I wasn't really thinking it would fit what I want. It didn't look like it would really work for me if on a ride I wanted to get a little rough (there was also a little "bell" or something on it, and that kind of turned me off, haha lame I know). I feel like a "Trek 3500" would fit me well. It is a mountain bike (and it is also more in my price range). Would this bike be good for what I want? I know I will not win any speed trials on the road with this bike (or any races for that matter) but thats not what I am wanting it for. I just feel like the 3500 is a tough bike that will do all I want/need it to do.
I also had a question about prices at a bike shop. Are those prices solid, or can they be talked down (like a car)? I noticed the bikes at the shop were marked up $20-$60 more than on the Trek website. Is there anyplace online I can buy a Trek bike online? I have not found anywhere. Usually online stores have cheaper prices.
I have been looking exclusively at Trek bikes because it is a brand that I know is of high quality. I know they are expensive and it limits which of their models I can afford. But having limited knowledge of bikes, I prefer to stay with a brand that I know of and have had some exposure to.
My girlfriend is also wanting to get a bike (for the same reasons) and we figured we would buy the same model bike. But, she wants a pink bike (haha, yes a pink bike) Does anyone know of any brand that makes a pink bike for adults (i've seen many pink bikes for kids)?
[I have posted another post below that I would also need A LOT of help with. Thanks for checking it out.]
Thank you to anyone/everyone that replies to my thread. This forum is so helpful to a newbie like me. I promise that once I become a seasoned bike rider I will help a poor pathetic newbie like myself someday. Again, thanks to everyone!!