Okay so I live in a small community and I'd love to get a bike a can cruise downtown in but I want to be able to hop curbs if needed. I was thinking a road bike but then when I thought about all the curbs I hop and grass/dirt I go over I don't think it would stand a chance. I guess I'm looking a kinda a road bike but a mtb mix. I have around $750 to spend on a bike. Any suggestions?
Sounds like a low end cyclocross bike with Sora shifters. These can take tires from 28 to 42 mm wide. so start with something in the middle like 35 mm. You can then decide whether you need to go fatter or thinner depending how much you slow down and unweight when you hop the curbs. Specialized Tricross, Kona Jake and Bikesdirect have models in this price range, but ask in your local bike shop. People talk down Sora shifters on these forums, but all Shimano shifters work well if adjusted right - Sora are not suitable for riding fast in a close pack of riders, but I think they would be fine for the sort of riding you describe. A touring bike would also take the fatter tires but I think they come at a higher price.
If you look closely at the brake levers, you'll notice the more expensive one has a little black lever behind it. Those are brifters.
The sora (cheaper) shifters only have one lever to downshift, and there's a tiny little button on the top that lets you upshift. It works fine, but the problem is that the little button is nearly impossible to reach when you're holding the handlebars by the drops.
The brifters can be reached if you're in the drops or on the hoods, so it's much more versatile. Plus, they're more durable than the sora components anyway.
My friends mom just got a bike with the more expensive shifters...I'll check her bike out tomorrow. So the cyclocross seems the way to go. If you could point my in any direction to learn a little more about them that would be great.
Well around 4-5 days would be the normal. Riding around 15 miles I guess...but with cardio who knows the distance. I live in alabama soo I have roads, and all the terrain you can think of besides snow. sand/dirt/gravel/grass I'd be hitting pretty much all of those besides sand.
15 miles isn't bad, a mountain bike is doable at those distances but a road bicycle would probably be better. A CX sounds like a good fit for you, since they can handle the tough terrain while also being nimble on roads.
A lighter mountain bike without shocks and with slick tires could do the job just as well. Knobbies are a no at those distances.
A hybrid wouldn't really be that good, since it's really more of a road bike with flat bars. They're fine for the road but not as sturdy as a CX on rough terrain.
CX sounds like the best fit for you, but they are pricey. If you don't think you'll be doing more than 15 miles, and durability is the main thing, then a mountain bike might be better since they're cheaper and are still rideable at those distances. The problem is that most mountain bikes have shocks, which do take away from riding power. They are heavy though.
Not quite sure, I'm not much of a mountain bike person. You might want to head over to the MTB section for more recommendations. Thing is, most new mountain bikes have shocks, which you really don't need. I have an older '90s steel mountain bike that I've turned into a commuter, it has a rigid fork and I don't have to worry about curb hopping.
Where I live downtown has alot of room to ride in but curb hoping tends to help you go around traffic. I'd love to just get a road bike but I think I'd bash it to pieces going over the curbs. Thanks for the help though.