Hi All; I'm a newbie on the Forum and a renewbie to cycling. ;-) I haven't ridden in nearly 25 years (Yikes, I'm older than I thought.). Until recently, I did little to NO exercise. I revamped my diet back in February and within a month, my energy level soared. I joined a gym and go 3-4 times a week. I love it and I need more exercise and have really wanted to cycle again. I plan to ride for fun, exercise and transportation. I would like to get to where I can ride to and from the gym (20 hilly miles). I also want to be able to load it up if I decide I want to do a weekend tour. After poking around online and going to 2 LBS's, I am considering:
TREK 7.4 FX WSD @$739.00
TREK 7.5 FX WSD @$999.00
CANNONDALE Quick SL 3 @$849.00
What other bicycles would you recommend in this type/price range? I want a woman specific design, upgraded forks and a wide gear range for hills. I will not spend over $1,000.00. Remember, I'm going to have to buy a helmet, mirrors, bottles/cages, car bike rack, lock, maybe panniers, etc. on top of the bike. . Like most folks, I'd prefer to spend as little as I can. But if I can get a LOT more bike for a little more money, I could probably be convinced to spend closer to that top number. I appreciate your thoughts and ideas on bikes you think will work well for me.