I need to buy a hybrid bike and need some help, please. I found one on sale and need to make a quick decision.
I will be riding mostly road, but also want to be able to take it on trails. I want it to be reliable, sturdy, and easy to maintain as Iím not mechanically inclined at all. Also, a reasonably lightweight bike is important as Iím short and itís difficult for me to load it on a bike rack. I donít ride often, but want this bike to pretty much last me so I donít need to buy another bike 10 years down the road.
I had a Giant Rincon that I bought around í97 and it was okay. My main complaints were it was too heavy and the brakes werenít great, especially if I took off the front wheel Ė it would then have to be readjusted.
I am looking at a 2005 GT Timberline Small (Comfort Bike) which I can get for around $230. Has a Shimano drivetrain.
Is that a good deal? Is it easier to maintain than the Rincon (brakes are more reliable and I can take off the wheel without problems)? Are there lighter/better bikes around that are in the same price range? Is a Shimano drivetrain good? The bike is new, but the chain makes a little noise in a few gears Ė if it doesnít get worse, I can deal with that, but is that a sign of problems to come? The store manager said at that price, that is a common issue, but I donít remember that with my Rincon Ė is he blowing smoke?
Basically, what am I supposed to look for in a bike (e.g. drivetrain, brakes, gears)?
I am willing to spend a little more if it is worth it, but I was told that I would have to pretty much triple the price to see a difference in quality. Is that right?
Anyway, thanks for any help you can give me!!