My bike was stolen! Oh well, moving on, time to get a new bike.
Despite my love of cycling, I just don't know details on what parts make a great bike. I am considering buying a new one from my favorite local dealer, and considering a new Surly Pacer for $1000 and free service. But I'm aware that I can get way more bang for my buck buying a used bike, if I know what I'm looking for. I'm seeking help from an individual or from the group to help me find good deals on Craigslist or possibly eBay.
I would like to do more than just ask for free help. In exchange, I'll gladly pay a gratuity, amount negotiable. If instead I'm allowed to seek the help of the group, I'll gladly donate the gratuity to a good cause of the group's choice, and will happily provide confirmation of the deed. So long as I don't violate the rules of the forum in doing so.
If you can help me scan for good deals, or even suggest what I should counter-offer, I'll go and look at the bikes and take them to an LBS for evaluation (and in doing so, support the LBS economy!)
My intended use: heavy San Francisco and Bay Area commuting, and training for charity rides like AIDS Lifecycle (and again your assistance is ultimately doing good works!). I considered cyclocross but was advised to stick with the hybrids, so I'm posting here. My last bike was a Specialized Sirrus Comp, which worked for 5 years, but had flaws that drove me insane, namely gears that could never be properly turned, and a carbon fork that wasn't true, therefore guaranteeing a frequent scraping of breaks against front wheel. So, in a sense, I'm relieved that I'm finally forced to replace it.
Thanks for reading.