I just joined the forum after doing a bunch of research here looking for a new bike. I hadn't ridden more than a few miles over the last 12 years or so, and recently discovered a few of the new crank forward designs and thought I could get back into it with something like that. I used to love riding my old Schwinn mountain bike, but now find it very uncomfortable. I am trying to loose some weight as well and could really use the exercise.
My wife wasn't too keen on my original idea of buying a Rans Citi for around a grand (especially since I have ridden my old bike so infrequently), and bought me a Trek Pure for fathers day.
As much as I loved the looks and specs of the Rans Citi, the Pure is a great bike. I really like the looks of it (I got the gold colored one) and it is quite comfortable.
Over the last few weeks I have ridden a townie, Fuji Saratoga, Giant Suede, and the Trek Pure; while all were very similar and very nice, I think the Saratoga might have been the most comfortable but I just didn't like the lines of it. The Pure is a very close second in comfort (it could have been just as good, but the Saratoga was my first test ride and my first impression of the CF design was a great one!) with the others right behind it. The Pure definitely felt the lightest of all the bikes I tried.
I've only ridden about 10 miles since Sunday (which is probably double my total for the last dozen years) but I am very happy about the decision. My main use will be for exercise and riding around the neighborhood with my 6 and 8 year olds.
If anyone is considering one of the crank forward designs, I couldn't give them a better recommendation. It is just fun to ride again. I seriously feel like I am a kid again when I ride it around.