Thanks everyone. After riding many different bikes over the weekend and really enjoyed the following:
Cannondale (Adventure or Weekend Warrior) w/Armadillo tires
Kona Dew Deluxe
We both felt most comfortable and had the most fun on the bikes with upright bars and wider seats due to our wrist and shoulder problems (though my husband really likes Cannondale Road Warrior ). At 50+, I felt like a kid again (whhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! ). When I think about how I felt, I want to go out and ride, and ride, and ride. That seems to indicate that the upright geometry is right for me. But..... which type of tire is best for our all-around goals? We know we do not want a cruiser or recumbant. What we want is something between a cruiser and a mountain bike.
We know we want a bike for everything from relaxing jaunts around the neighborhood (when time is limited) to longer rides for miles, including neighborhood hills when our leg muscles are stronger (where'd they go???), everything from easy recreation to longer fitness rides, but no mountain biking (and probably very little off-road unless we come upon a trail while riding on a road). We live in the foothills with inclines of various degrees but also flat streets. There are local bike trails and streets with bike lanes. Basically, we want an all-round bike with an upright position.
Would any or all of the above bikes be suitable for hilly areas?
I am so overwhelmed with the choices and afraid of making the wrong one. I'm afraid if I get fatter tires I'll wish later they were thinner so I could go faster. Yet, speed is not one of our priorities (at least not at this time). I'm afraid if we get thinner tires we'll wish we got fatter tires.
Tho' the salepeople at every LBS said we could swap out a flat road-bike type bar for an upright bar with an adjustable stem if necessary (plus a wider comfortable seat), I wonder if this is commonly done or if it is better to buy a bike that comes with those items instead.
I just want to stress that we want to do a lot more than just ride around the neighborhood, but are not concerned about speed as much as efficiency and riding for fun and fitness.
If anyone has any comments on the above bikes I'd love to hear 'em.