Newbie here, and needing some advice on choosing my first bike.
I will be mainly doing on-road biking, like just driving around the community, short distances perhaps to the grocery store/park/bike trails/short <10 miles trips, mainly on-road.
I was thinking of getting a hybrid bike, budget is <$400.
1) Would a hybrid bike be the right bike for me? From what I read, this would be a good fit for me as I like to ride upright ( so no road bikes, besides my budget probably wouldn't get me any road bike)
2) With durability/comfort (i'd like it to last me 4-5 years and should be comfortable to ride), performance (speed, brakes) in mind in that order, would it matter if I went with a Mongoose vs a Trek. There is a significant difference in price.
The Mongoose I was looking at (http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=3060) is the Mongoose Crossway 250 Comfort bike for $229. vs the Trek 7000/7100 at another local bike store (http://bikemart.com/itemlist.cfm?category=175).
3) would having 700c tires give me better speed ?
I'm in (almost) the same boat you are, so I will try my best to address your questions:
1. I think a hybrid bike would be perfect you to actually.
2. Both the Mongoose and Trek seem to be pretty much the same. I own a Fuji Absolute 4.0 (click to view) and it is perfect for what I do. I commute, shop, exercise, ect.
3. 700c tires wouldn't necessarily give you more speed I don't think, they may be more smooth? You wouldn't need to swap the tires out for just going around town anyways. The stock tires on any of the bikes you mentioned, and my Fuji, are perfect for all around everything. I can ride trails or I can ride the local streets.
I may be biased, but I recommend the Fuji, it MSRP's for $360 and you can mount a rack and fenders if you need to. I have put a rack and panniers on mine and it is awesome for hauling stuff. My only warning is for the panniers (the bags you put on the rack), make sure to spend good money on them! I bought mine for $10 off of ebay and the zipper on the top bag, the most important one (to me) broke after less then a week of use. Buy from a name brand with good reviews.
Here is a photo of my Fuji with my rack installed so you can have something for comparison:
Between Crystal River and Hernando, Florida, 6 miles west of the Withlacoochee Trail
I've had several since 1999 but have settled on my beloved 2001 Litespeed Tuscany and my latest, a 2013 Cannondale CAAD 10.
I'm guessing you're new to cycling and you may not know your bike size. I'd suggest visiting a few bike shops and looking around, asking questions, and test riding what looks good. They can tell you what size bike you'll need.
Mongoose (like Schwinn and a few others) used to be very good bike. Many of these brands are now sold at x-mart, so that should tell you what the quality is like compared to the old days. Their "higher quality" bikes are sold and some bike shops and online.
I'd recommend the Specialized Crossroads over the Trek (at Richardson Bike Mart), but either should give you good service for many years.
I have a Trek 7.2 FX in addition to my road bike. I put some Continental 4 Season road tires on it which made it much faster. I have been very happy with it and have done several metric centuries on it without any discomfort. I also put a set of Look clipless pedals on it, which I also recommend.
Guys, thanks for your responses.
I went out to 3 LBS's around me, tried various bikes: Motobecane Cafe Sprint, Cafe Noir, Vent Noir, Schwinn Ultra Sport, Mongoose Comfort 450, GT Zum 5.0 etc.
I went with an open mind (to any type of bike Comfort/Hybrid/Road), even tried some out of my budget just to get an idea of what the higher end feels like and what I am foregoing with my budget.
Turns out I really felt comfortable (upright position, bike feel) in the Schwinn Ultra Sport and the Mongoose Comfort 450. They both were in the same LBS. They were both very quick bikes. Ultra Sport they had was a 2007 model at $500 while the 450 was 2008 at $400.
The one I originally started out looking at (mongoose 250) was for $229 but they didn't have it in stock, i confirmed with the LBS that they are both identical (450 and 250) except that the 450 is heavier since it has the front shocks and slightly higher end components.
I felt the slightly more effort that I had to put in with the mongoose vs the schwinn due to the shock. I also test drove/compared two rides on the mongoose 450, once with the shock engaged and once with it locked out. I liked it better with the lockout.
So with that in mind, I went ahead and ordered the 250 (they will do a fitting once they get it) since they were also running a special in-store which would lower the price of the 250 further down to $195!
Btw, my wife also bought a 2008 Schwinn Sierra GS after test driving a couple step-through bikes.
There aren't a whole lot of options for step-through bikes anywhere.
Cant wait until the bikes get here.
ALso went ahead and ordered the Hollywood Racks E3 Express 3-Bike Trunk Mount Rack from Amazon.