I live 4 miles away from work and thought a bicycle ride everyday could do me some good. I'm 28 years old, in decent shape, but could be better. But I also wanted to commute to feel less dependent on gas and a 2 ton oily hunk of metal.
I got a Schwinn Tourist hybrid a couple years ago at Target and now I'm putting it to use. I had to get a stem riser to make it comfortable to ride at my seat height. I've been commuting the past 2 weeks and I'm enjoying it, even in 96 degree heat.
I'm beginning to notice a few things I don't like about the Schwinn though. It feels a like a great bike and it's wonderful on smooth asphalt, but about 5% of my commute is on smooth asphalt. The rest is on cracked concrete and tons of pot holes. Lots of hills and curbs. Running 85psi in the 700x28c tires with the rigid aluminum frame is kinda miserable. I try to watch out for bumps, but not as much as I watch out for traffic. So it seems like the second I look up from the road to check for traffic, a pothole appears and I smack into it. BIG jolt to my shoulders, neck, and butt. There's one place where I can just about go the speed limit (30mph), and I did one day. Pretty fun, but hitting bumps at that speed felt down right dangerous. Seems like the bike could have jerked itself out of my hands (I don't go that fast anymore).
I've been looking into the Trek FX and DS series. I'm wondering if a front shock and bigger tires might do me some good, even though I LOVE the smooth skinnies on the 5% of my ride that is on smooth asphalt.
Here's a pic. Love how it looks, but it's beating me up a little. I may need to just man up and cope.