I'm excited about purchasing an entry level bike to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors. Currently looking to find a quality entry level bike (new or used) that will be good for city paths and the odd groomed trail, perhaps I'll get brave and communte one day?!
However, a recent visit to my LBS was intimidating as, aside from TONS of selection, the clerk jumped right into doubling my budget with all kinds of added features. (I went in with some birthday cash, looking to spend $500 max.) So I decided to go back home, get online, and do my own research on what I really need, versus all the "bells and whistles".. there is alot of selection out there and I'm having a hard time narrowing it down. Hoping you all might have some good advice to share!?
I don't mind investing in quality, but do not want to overpay for something that I can't appreciate yet as I'm still a rookie. I'm not sure the difference between a CycloCross and a Hybrid, but know that I want basic quality and a comfortable ride. Also, I'm a female but not convinced that I have to ride a female bike? (not a fan of the curvy slope on some of the new "comfort" rides prefer the look of a traditional frame.)
Thanks for any guidance you can provide!