I'm a newbie here -- I've not ridden a bike since my teens (gettin' close to 30 now), but am hoping to change that in the not too distant future. I started doing some research online, and hybrids seem like a pretty good entry point. They're a less intimidating investment than a road bike, and I tend to find a slightly more upright seating position more comfortable anyhoo.
I hit up my local bike shop today with some questions. My main concern is that I'm a big guy (~300 lbs), and I want to make sure that whatever I end up buying isn't going to be buckling under the pressure after a year. The clerk I spoke with said that an aluminum frame should be fine for me (I had mentioned that I figured steel was the way to go), and that making sure I get something with double wall alloy rims would be a help if I was concerned about durability.
His recommendations, of the brands they sell, were either:
Raleigh's Detour series (http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/hybrid/detour-45-11/)
Norco's Indie series (http://www.norco.com/bikes/urban/per...urban/indie-3/)
Granted, I'm going to check in with some of the other shops in my area to get a feel for what they have, and I'll definitely try giving a few test rides before making any decisions, but I wondered if you folks had any opinions/insights to offer. Most of the specs are greek to me, so it's hard to get an idea of the comparative benefits of one bike over another in the abstract.