I'm new to the forums and came here hopping to get some help.
I'm very confused on what kind of bike type and size is right for me, mountain?, road?, hybrid? comfort? It seems that I want features from each category.
The main reason for buying the bike is becasue I'm overweight, so I want a fun way to excersice and loose weight. I'm 35 years old, 5'11.5" tall that weight 218 pounds. I want a comfortable, solid bike that I can run very fast when riding on roads or any hard surface trails. I also want to ride offroads, NOT extreme-hardcore-suicide-down the hill-trails, but small to medium bump and pot holes semi loose to compacted dirt trails with some grass, mud and sand here and there. There are also many hills here, so I'm going to be running those often, either on roads or offroads. I like to ride in a upright possition, but tend to lean forward when I want to go faster or when the wind hit me hard.
At the beginning I plan to ride the bike from 6 to 12 miles daily and 20 to 30 miles on weekends (again road and offroad combined), but I know that I will want to ride longer and farther as my physical condition gets better. Also as many times as possible for utilitarian tasks like going to the grocery and video stores (that luckily are close to me).
Technical charasteristics that I will like to see on the bike are lightweight (everybody wants that!), very good transmission components with rapid fire shifters, as many speeds as possible (remember the hills) and suspension on the fork and seat post. Budget is $1,150, little bit more if I know that I will get better components.
I was thinking on the Cannondale Comfort 1000 headshock, but I don't know if that kind of bikes will be good in the future to ride longer and farther. Actually I was told that comfort bikes are marketing hype that are good at nothing. Other problem is that local byke shops in my area brings only mountain or road bikes, so I can not test drive those bikes to check if they are right for me before spending my 1,000 bucks.
LBS are a little bit elitist here. In the first store that I visited the clerk interrumps our coversation each time that an athletic shaved legs guy shows up and I have to wait until he finished to continue with me. At the end he looks to me like saying "go get a Huffy at Walmart". They don't even know how the SRAM dual drive hub and crank system works on models that bring that option, and I visited 3 shops that call themself pro's and it was a fustraiting experience.
Last but not less important question, Is this a good period to buy a bicycle? Because It seem that manufacturers change models in this period of time. Should I wait until october or november for the new models? Saving money with old models is not my concern but to get the better and newest components for my money.
I will really appretiate all your comments!