I am interested in purchasing a bike to ride on bike paths and to the grocery store occasionally. I anticipate riding once per week, about 10-15 miles max. I have found three bikes I like and think will suit me the Giant Simple 7, the Trek 7000 WSD and the Townie. Does anyone have any idea which one has the better reputatation for reliability, comfort, etc? I have never purchased a new bike, my previous bike was a single speed 40's JC Higgins that was falling apart. I would like something a little more reliable, comfortable and will last a while. I refuse to go to Walmart and buy something that will break in 6 months. Any help? I believe they are all in the same price range and have similar features....
They all should perform and last well. You might want to also try the Giant Suede and Trek Pure as they are similar geometry to the Townie. I've ridden these (but not the Townie since they aren't sold here). Also have ridden the Giant Simple 7. Loved them all. Currently ride the Giant Suede (7 speed) and love it still after 2 years.
After two test rides, I was sold on the Townie. But it was a bit too much for my cheap self . I won a 2006 Giant Suede DX on eBay, and when it gets back from its checkup at the LBS, I'll put it through its paces. However, in the short time I spent with both bikes, it seems to me you would probably be happy with either if you like the 'flat-foot' style. Both have quality frames and components and seem to be built well, though I think the Giant derailleurs are of slightly higher quality than the Townie's. When I was test riding the Townie, I shifted through the gears too fast and the chain came off the cogs on the pedal (not sure what they're called). But I think that was my mistake, more than the bike's.
The Townie looks a bit more stylish partially due to the brake and shifter cables running through the frame. It looks cleaner. But again, either one will be a winner IMHO.