Hi. I've been mulling over the purchase of an urban (ie. hybrid) bike on the second hand market for a few weeks now. I'm turning to experts now (aka bike enthusiasts) to help me give me some guidance - info. The bike should be light, because I have to haul it up the stairs at the end of a trip when I am most tired. But it should be comfortable going over rough bumpy city streets and not real expensive (ie. over $500). It's mostly for riding in the city, to work or along bike paths (sometimes up steep streets). But on the occasion, I may want to use it for touring in the country areas (ie. longer distance riding). I can only get one bike, so is there a bike that has all these capabilities? I can't try them out, so any info would be appreciated. Here are some models that seem like good possibilities:
- GIANT Cypress DX: (it has front shocks but is a bit too heavy though)
- GIANT Cypress DX or Trek 7000 WDS for women: (these models look identical and are very similar. But they don't have front fork shocks. I know this will impact the comfort, but does it have a significant impact on the weight? What about the lack of a top bar, does that significantly reduce the weight as well?)
- GIANT Farrago DS (aluminum frame): This has both front and rear shocks so it should be super comfortable, but it might be even heavier than the DX model because of the rear spring)
- GIANT Cypress EX: This is supposed to have a lighter frame I think, than the DX. Except it appears to be more of a "cruiser" style, due to some sort of unusual 7-speed gearing system. Does this mean it does climb hills very easily, with only 7 speeds?
- SCHWINN Circuit XT: I like this for its lightness and good quality parts. But its built more like a racer with mountain bike handlebars. So without the upturned handlebars, thin tires and the lack of suspension, its probably not going to be comfortable riding in the city. Also, it's an 18" frame, but it seems too small for me (maybe its the way it was adjusted, i dont know).
I am 5'6. What size frame should I look for?
Anything else I should be looking out for that might be more suited to my needs and budget, than the bikes mentioned?