I need some guidance please - I'm new to biking and want to make an educated purchase. I live in northern New Jersey(not far from Teaneck) plan to ride locally and to NYC (Central/Prospect Parks, Riverside Drive, Westside Hyway). Will ride 2-4 times a week. Week day mornings before work and weekends. Looking for a hybrid(?) because I'd like to do light trial riding also. Want to spend no more than $1,200. Looked at a Cannondale Road Warrior last year but purchase wasn't made. What type of bike (road, mountain, other), brands and models should I be looking at?
Look at TREK - especially the 7.3 FX Hybrid. Quality all the way around. Weighs 20lbs. Excellent rider. Made of aluminum. Prices go from about $350 to about $700 depending on the gears etc. I got the 24 speed and a few accessories (carrier and small seat pouch) and mine was $680.00. Hope that helps.
The Cannondale Road Warrior that you looked at and apparently liked is a nice bike. You don't necessarily need fenders if you aren't going to ride in all kinds of weather, as you would if you decided to commute every day, rain or shine.
I would look at a cyclocross bike as an option since you'll get the option of doing trail riding but also have the option of putting slimmer tires on it for use on the road, plus get a more aero fit than you would on a hybrid with flat handle bars that keeps you in an upright position.