Hey everyone, I'm new here, and I figured that a big place like this would be the best place to ask this question.
I'm getting a new bike soon, and I'm trying to decide what kind of bike would best fit my bill. I cover about 40-45 kilometers per week in commuting around city roads (and sometimes in the grass and over construction sites to save time), and in the Summer I have a road trip planned with my friends to bike around 500 km's upstate over a week's time.
Basically, I've only ever owned mountain bikes in the past. They're comfy and I work well with them. I don't really enjoy road bikes so much, in my experience with riding them, given the uncomfortable posture (which I'm sure will kill my back come Summer time!). I read about hybrid bikes but haven't heard good things about them, so I'm interested in getting a mountain bike and possibly putting thin tires on them. It would enable me to still have a cool, rugged bike that can comfortably handle commute.
However, the problem is my price range is pretty much 400$. Suspension isn't necessary, but a suspended front fork would be nice. Is there anything in my price range, and what do you guys recommend? Should I settle for the Mountain Bike or a Hybrid? Should I bother replacing the tires? Do I look for certain components?
I must admit that I've only ever owned bargain-bin bicycles, and that I'm new to getting a nice bike for once that I will be able to rely on for a long time.