I am planning on getting the wife a new hybrid today. The local shop has Giants for around $350-420. Another shop further away, but still reasonable has Schwinns on a huge sale $150-250 off, putting them $100 cheaper than the Giants. I am new to cycling as well (just picked up a Cypress DX). She will be mainly using it to go on short around town rides with the kids, or occasional trail/path rides with me. So the question is: Is there a significant difference between the two that the untrained user will notice? Base MSRP for both are similar. And unfortunately the shops are in the opposite direction, and about 200 miles apart, so no easy comparison shopping.