Ok, so I'll admit outright that I am not "car free." I do have a car, but like MANY, I want to begin using a bike for stuff like going to the super market, and running errands around town. Of all the forums, I trust that you guys will have better answers, and infinitely more experience with my predicament.
I have an old solid frame MTB that I put hybrid tires on that I have been using, but honestly, it's uncomfortable, and the bike isn't even the correct size for me so it hurts my back (I'm primarily a roadie, so I neglect my MTBs). I have decided to sell it, and buy a hybrid for my purposes. I think I have decided on a Giant Cypress DX.
See here's the thing. My best friend is the manager of the LBS. He bought a Giant FCR1 for just above store cost. He'd be willing to sell it to me at the end of the summer for $500. Now, for $500 I am getting a bike with composite fork and seat post, racy wheels, shimano 105 components, etc...and it would only be used by a guy who REALLY knows how to care for a bike. It's an insane deal.
But, my line of thinking is that it's really just a road bike with an upright position. I already have good road bikes and the reason I'd want a hybrid is so that I can have something where I can bump up on a sidewalk, run over grass, or hit a pothole and not have to worry. I really feel like Id be just as limited with the FCR1 as I would with a road bike.
So here comes the Cypress DX. Disk brakes, 700c wheels, and aluminum frame to help handling. As hard as I keep trying to justify the FCR because of the price, I really don't know that it would give me anything I don't already have. My buddy gives me 25% off anything in the store including bikes. This means I could have the Cypress DX for around $350. Not a bad deal.
Can anyone here either confirm that this is a great bike, or recommend against it for use as a commuter and errands runner?
My other important question has to do with theft. I'd love to get a Topeak quick release rack (claps to the seatpost) and panniers to hook to the bike for when I do shopping. But I'm afraid that if I leave the bike locked up outside the grocery store, someone could decide to take my panniers and rack. What do I do about leaving the bike around to protect against theft? I already have a great Kryptonite cable lock that is good and thick by the way.
Thanks in advance for your advice. Please don't hate me because I want to be much less dependent on the car, but am not ready to make the jump to car-free yet.