New to riding-can you help me choose a bike?
I'm a 5'2" female interested in getting a relatively decent bike for mostly weekend riding on trails near my home in Arlington, VA. At first I thought I'd just get a Schwinn at Target, then decided it was better to find something a little more reliable. I looked at Treks the other night--7100 and 7200. But I am a little wary of paying $320 or $400 at this point. I think I want a mountain bike or a hybrid. The paths I will be riding are paved, but I might want to ride it to work occasionally.
I looked on Craig's List and responded to an ad about a Trek--turns out it was way too big (I need a 15" frame). The guy ended up saying he could sell me a 2003 Bridgestone mountain bike for $250, inlcuding a helmet and a u-lock. I really don't know anything about Bridgestone. Is that a decent price? I've noticed that some sellers try to pawn off year-old Treks on Craigs List for the same price I'd pay for a current model in the store.
I'm not opposed to a used bike, though I'm a little wary of going that path if I don't know anything about the seller. Any pointers for me? I feel really lost!! Can you help?