Please help on new bike purchase
I have a lot of questions. In the age of the internet, I was hoping to better optimize my choices. Looking to spend $500 all together. I'm 6'2" ca 190# if that fits the equation, I currently have a 26" bike (perhaps a but too tall, though after 4+ years I've grown accustomed to the size), and I really don't think I want to do much more than 15 miles on it at a shot. My riding is mostly street, lots of curb hopping, though I do like to do trail rides (50-60 miles) on the weekends, time permitting. I sometimes do forest trails, though 99% would be bike paths and roadways (with the occasional field tour). That aside, I have some questions.
What would be a good brand/model to research? Where would you recommend that I purchase? I recognize that I'd probably need to spend a bit more at a B&M, but was thinking that I could scare up an EBay deal or maybe order direct from the mfr. I'm decent mechanically, and though I know I can put it together I think I'd prefer to have a shop do that and tune it. How much would I expect to pay if I go that route to the shop? I live in the Saint Louis area, in case that's pertinent. Is this the best time to buy? I figure it's Summer, and I could have the bike for some long fall rides while avoiding the higher costs of Spring demand, though I suppose back to school would be a factor. I can live with finishing the season out with my soon to be dead bike if buying in Winter would represent a significant savings and allow me to increase quality. Still, I'd love to buy today but want to research things a bit first.
I guess that's where I'm at. Thanks in advance for any help.