I think I want a hybrid. I'm, 5ft 6 inch, maybe 7. I've been riding a borrowed mongoose mountain bike for a few weeks, and while it's nice for riding around neighborhoods, when I go to Venice Beach or Santa Monica beach it doesn't work too well. And it's not just me, because my dad also tried the bike with it, and I was ahead of him by almost a mile on a rented Schwinn.
I bought a used bike today, but returned it because the gear..thing on the rear wheel wasn't working (I think the guys at the shop said it was not the original. The shifters on the handles said SRAM, but the thing itself had no logo) Whatever it was, the chain seemed to "skip" or "slip" at gears 5-7. So now we're wary of cheap, used bikes (it was 80 dollars)
My dad says he'll buy me a brand new bike in a couple of weeks. I liked the Schwinn I rented at Santa Monica. We can spend about 200 or more dollars. What are some good brands that are well built and will work both around the neighborhood (lots of hills) and the smooth, paved bike lanes of Santa Monica beach?