I received my last mountain bike (Diamondback) at the age of 12, and my grandparents paid about $200. My parents were so shocked at how much the bike cost, and said it I would never have to buy another bike again. Well, that bike died over 13 years ago due to constant abuse.
Now I'm 30 and have been putting off a bicycle purchase because I don't know anything about them and would never live down making a bad purchasing decision. I only want to buy 1 bike, but my guess is this community will try to talk me into at least 2.
I want to start riding a bike to work 7 miles each way because the ride is beautiful, it's cheaper than driving, the parking is right at building entrance, and it's good exercise. I also would like to have a trail capable bike for very rare spins through the wilderness. I was thinking I could purchase a mountain bike and fit road tires on it for my daily commute, and knobbys for the dirt.
First, I am 6'2" and 185lbs. What size frame is appropriate for me?
Second, why is my idea to purchase just one bike so terrible? I don't care if it's harder to push a mountain bike on the road because I'm not competing and it's good exercise.
Third, how can I tell how much a used bike is worth? I'd like to buy used because I don't want to spend very much and don't know enough to appreciate the latest in bike tech.
Last, I live in the Pacific Northwest, so half of the days are rainy and cold.
Where do I start?