I'm interested in getting into bike riding and am in the market to buy a new bike. Well, I say new but I'd be happy with used, but the pickings here seem to be pretty close to nonexistent. I visited several local LBSs today and have come up with several options.
Raleigh Passage 3.0
Raleigh Venture 3.0
Schwinn Sierra GS
Schwinn Voyageur GS
Most of my riding will be on the rough, pot-holy roads of New Orleans, and along paved paths around the lake and in the parks. As my fitness improves I may go on longer rides (50-100 miles) along paved country roads. I may also go on dirt hiking/biking paths in the state parks. I'd like to stay at $300 or less.
As you can probably tell by my list, I keep veering between hybrid and comfort bikes. To help me decide, would you recommend (or recommend I avoid) any of these bikes concerning:
maintentance and repairs
going off road very lightly (dirt paths, leaves, small roots, gravel, etc)
Even though I realize $300 is pretty cheap by the board's standards, I'd like to get a lot of use out of this bike for many years to come so want to make sure that I won't grow out of it if what I listed above is all I intend to do. Thanks for your help!