i'm trying to get some feedback about my first bike purchase. the bike will be used to take short rides around my neighborhood; the park, deli, library etc. nothing too long or on unpaved roads. i live in a quiet suburb in queens nyc. so it won't see a lot of harsh, urban riding conditions either.
i got up the courage to go a local bike shop and he showed me two cruiser bikes and told me to pick the comfortable one. i wish i had questions to ask him but i didn't even know what to ask. i guess i was hoping that he heap all this information on me but he didn't do that either. (after reading through the forum i learned that they still make bikes that you have to backpeddle to break; you see how clueless i am about this stuff)
i've been casually looking around the web for about a year now and am interested in the biria and elektra. i've read from this forum that the biria is wonky going downhill and read all these great things about the elektra but mostly from newbies who are probably affiliated with the company. are there other bicycles i should be considering?
does my size even matter when i'm shopping for cruiser bicycles? i'm 5'8" with a 32 inseam and less than 150lbs. and my budget is 500 dollars.
i'll be going to another bike shop this weekend... besides the bike,helmet and locks. are there other supplies i would need?
i guess my problem is that i don't know what questions to ask when i go to the bike shop and that would make me prime target to get ripped off and i'll end up buying stuff i won't need. ALSO, i'm afraid of looking like an idiot. so i'm asking the questions on the forum... maybe i should study a bicycle for dummies-like books?
any input would be GREATLY appreciated. =^.^=
edit: i forgot to add i'm female. if that makes a difference in your opinions. =)