Im a new member (more of a lurker really) who will be joining the hybrid community soon. I hadnt really ridden in over a decade but during this deployment i picked up a bike that would make a wally world bike feel awesome. It was however enough to get my out of catching a ride to work and get me hooked on riding. Ive decided when i get back i want to make biking part of my (and my family's) life.
My big question is, should I:
1) buy cheaper (say a Giant Escape 3 vs a Escape 1) and grab a nice seat and bar ends etc
2) buy nicer but hold off on accesories
3) try to find a cheap bike on craigslist and build a frankenbike (im an aircraft mechanic and good with my hands/anything mechanical)
Any suggestions are appreciated!
Trying to keep it $500ish so currently eyeballing Giant Escapes, Trek 7's, Jamis Coda, and Cannondale Quick. Didnt care for the Specialized Sirrus astheticly. Owners feel free to weigh in on bikes!