Greetings from Portland, Oregon. I just found this site today and would value your feedback. I'm a 51-year-old man looking for the right bike. I've been to several local bike shops and have test-ridden Trek, Specialized and Bianchi but the truth is, I'm confused which to get. I want a bike that's nimble and reasonably fast to ride around the neighborhood and on short commutes but I'd also like to work up to long-distance rides such as Seattle to Portland (just for the challenge, not to win). I'd like to be able to ride in wet weather, too, so I'm thinking disc brakes may be in order, although I'm open to other opinions on that. One other thing before we talk money: I'm not very mechanically inclined so whatever I get has to be reliable and not require tinkering expertise I don't have. My budget is (preferably) under $800. Hybrid or road bike for my situation? Do you have any specific recommendation of a bike that would fill my need?
Tested: Trek 7100 and 7300, Specialized Sirrus Elite, Bianchi Boardwalk and Stradus.