I am looking for a new bike. I own a Giant OCR-2 road bike that I purchased about 3 years ago, but now I am looking for a Hybrid/fitness bike for around $600 (+or-). Just starting to research the subject and would like to buy within the next few weeks. Prior to my OCR-2, I had a Trek 7100 (not sure about the model number, it's been awhile) and it was an "OK" ride. I'm sure things have changed in the last 3 or 4 years since I've done my original "research" for a bike. Any suggestions/comments?
I guess it comes down to a few things that I don't like about my road bike. The first thing is that I would like to ride on surfaces other then pavement. I would like to be able to to go "off-road" (gravel, or old 2 track trails) from time to time. The other thing is that riding a road bike, I am somewhat "hunched over" and over time, this hurts my back (previous back injury).
I've been looking at the Trek DS 8.3 (Gary Fisher Collection), this bike seems to fit my requirements. Any comments on this bike? Of course, before I purchase any bike, I will go to my favorite bike shop and ride a few different one that seem to match the requirements that I am looking for.
If you want a suspension fork and disc brakes, that looks like a reasonable bike. I like the fact that it's 8 speed so if you ever want to change to friction shifting (like Falcon etc.), you can do so with the drivetrain that's already there without changing anything.