Buying a new bike... Trek 7100? Navigator 2.0? 4300?
I am not new to biking, however my last bike was stolen a few years ago and I never replaced it. It was a KHS mountain bike and I don't remember the model. Nevertheless, it is time for me to get back into biking since I miss it so much!
I live in northern NJ and will mostly be riding on the street and some light trail riding. I want to keep the budget around the $400 range. I will probably ride some dirt roads and packed trails occasionally. I was looking at the Trek 7100 hybrid because of the comfort and smoothness on the road. However I am worried that I will be too limited with it. For example, what if I am doing some exploring and come across a dirt trail. Will I be able to traverse it with ease? Any thoughts? I rode it yesterday and really liked the smooth ride. Plus it is a sweet looking bike! At the LBS that I rode the 7100 at, they have a Navigator 2.0 that they are building for me to see. The guy who helped me thinks that a comfort bike is the way to go, but just the idea of a "comfort bike" is putting me off.
I really like the Trek 4300 as well and am thinking about that. For someone like me who is going to do recreational riding just to get in shape and enjoy herself on the road, is it necessary to have a rugged mountain bike like the Trek 4300?
My wife has a 7100 and really likes it. I have a 7200 and it has been great. Personally I think the 7200 is worth the extra $$$ for the better gearing and components. Both bikes do well on packed or dirt trails.