HYBRIDS -- hype or heavenly?
My LBS is selling Giant and Marin hybrids. Swears by them. I've been riding a 1999 MB (Raleigh) on a short commute (country roads -- plenty o bumps). Like that bike a lot, but... the third gear won't work (okay, I'll take it in), I've got the bug and thinking of upgrading. What's the word on hybrids for someone who doesn't want to race, but just get here and there (sometimes speedily), maybe pack a few groceries, get in shape, skip Exxon/Mobil, etc. etc.
Mft. and Model suggestions?
Time of year to buy suggestions?
Reasonable price? (I'm thinking $500)
I don't want something with the wheels always popping or the bike needing fancy tune-ups.
I want to buy once and have it for oh, a couple decades.