Considering buying a bike, recommendations please!
I am seriously considering buying a bike this week but found it quite difficult to choose one with the excessive amount of options available, so any specific recommendations will be very appreciated. I've put some points to help clarify my needs and expectations:
have never owned a bike since high school (late 90s!)
temporary living in London, will be leaving to Middle East in 8-12 months.
will use it for fitness+recreational rides on my free time.
would like to use it in both roads and parks.
will take it with me if I liked cycling, otherwise will sell it here before leaving (easy selling brands/models?).
flexible budget, can pay more if this would decrease selling loss margin later on.
Dont mind used bike if this is better for my situation (any advice?).
First, determine the type of terrain you'll mostly be cycling upon. If you're going to be cycling primarily on flat smooth surfaces, then I would suggest that you start out with a nice single speed. They're both inexpensive and require less maintenance. Once you've acquired your new single speed, you can then join www.lfgss.com and expand your social life!
A Home Built All Rounder, Bianchi 928, Specialized Langster, Dahon Folder
I live in flatland and have a single speed that I do love for it's simplicity. While I have the option I do not ride it as a 'fixed gear'. I say this to point out there is a difference. With a single speed you can coast, with a fixed gear you can do a lot of interesting things but coasting is not one of them.
Go visit a couple of bike shops. Take some test rides, see what's available and what attracts you. Bike shops are generally fairly friendly places.
London isn't necessarily known for spacious flats and other than your desire to do a bit of park riding (I'm reading that as on groomed trails and not blazing new ones), I think a folder would be a smart choice.
As to the myriad of options available, if you just look at what the stockists have and not at online sources, that will narrow down the field considerably .