Hi all! Hoping you might have some insight into my bike shopping.
I recently started working full-time about 2 miles away from home and thought it'd be a great opportunity to bike to work! I pulled my old bike out of the garage and had some issues, so I've been borrowing my mom's bike until I figured out what to do with mine (repair/replace). Hers is just an old Huffy from Kmart or somewhere, but it's been getting me to and from just fine, though I feel it is too big for me, and perhaps a little inefficient, as it is a mountain bike. (I'm riding paved roads in the suburbs.)
My dad came across Critical Cycles, and thought the dutch step-through would be a great option. After all the research I've been trying to do, it does look like a good value. It looks a little less "cool" than other options I've considered, but if it's the best quality for the money, that can be overlooked, haha.
I initially found good reviews for bikesdirect.com, and browsed their selection. The Gravity Dutch (in lime green?!) pulled me in, as it seems to be the style I'm looking for with that cool factor thrown in. However I didn't find much about it Googling other than a few Yahoo answers or so. Link: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._dutch_xii.htm
I also tried out a Northrock CL5 at Costco and it was comfortable.
I'd like to keep it at about $300 or less. As I said, my commute is a little less than 2 miles one way (which I know is next to nothing haha), and I ride around town every now and then as well. It won't see super heavy use, and it's all on paved roads, so nothing too rough, but I'd like a bike that will last me and allow me to ride longer distances as I build up to it. I'm just looking for something that isn't total garbage, and that is comfortable and efficient.
I haven't seen anything on Craigslist in the weeks I've been checking. I plan to stop at some LBSs and see if any offer older models or used, but not sure there yet.
I'm really open to anything you might have to suggest. Thank you for your advice!