hello all -
i am in great need of your input. I am in search of a new bike (im well.. a newb) and i have went to a few local LBS's and heard a few differing opinions. I should preface all this by saying that i am goign to be riding primarily on the asphalt. But becuase there are some trails in my backyards i wanted to be able to go riding on them (they are nothing more than old horse trails that are hard pan and dirt (no rocks and almost no dirt to speak of). Here is what the local shops said:
1. Go with a mtn bike (like the trek 4500 or 4300, mongoose tryax or a GT avalanche 2.0). 2 different shops said taht for my range (which was oringally 300-600) this was the best way to go. Both shops agreed that a hybrid/cross/comfort would be useless for me becuase i could be riding for more than 15-20 miles round trip and at that point those bikes just arent worth it. Plus you can just swtich tired if need be and you will be good to go with more slick tires on.
2. In the last shop i went to, their selection was limited to Specialized bicycles. The salesperson i felt (unlike one of the other shops) was there to relay information more than sell me a bike. he did naturally however, gratitate towards an "expensive" (for my budget) bike - the Specialized Crossroads XC Expert. This is the 06 model that i can get for about 700 dollars. That is obviously more than i had anticiapted but it has the remote turn off valve for the forks, etc. The bike was suite but i want to make sure that before i fork out 700 dollars, its worth the high cost.
Do you guys have any input on this? Do you agree with shop 1 + 2 (and if so what bike in general) or should i look at the Specialized XC Expert and/or Trek 7200FX/7.2FX.