I'm from spain and on my early 30s. As a teen i did both some mountain and road bike on my own (never joined a team o group) till they got stollen from my place about ten years ago. I did even climb some isolated TdF summets when i went to watch some stages live there, yo know, previous to the stage stead waitng there still for hours but that was a long long time ago, the times were Indurain reigned.
I don't live by the country so i didn't think about a comeback till two years ago 'cos i was pretty afraid of cars (here bikers aren't considered by drivers any better than bugs) but in the last 3 years i've been renting now and then for 2 and 3 hours walks and i even bought a second-hand crappy hybrid for a couple months when i was abroad. That somehow revived my biking urge. I mainly used it for going to work (a 15 minute walk so if i took the bike it let me 10 minutes extra breakfast time) but i also took it twice for "serius" biking, fist time was shorter but the next week i did 60 miles, after 9 years of no riding at all.
I'm willing to buy a hybrid, i wouldn't buy a road bike due to the lack of versatility, and I'm not sure about a MB because I have a quite dumb obssesion with torque and speed, so due to de extra 2 inches on the wheel, on a hybrid for a same drive I need a higher torque (a feeling I like) and I get more speed.
The only problem is that, not this year, maby not the next one but some time (whenever I get fit, whenever I get the days at work, and whenever i get free time from my couple, lol) i wish to do the St. James Way here in Spain, which is a variable legth trip but the most popular is a 7-day (stages) 755 km (470 Mls) trip, that's whe you start it on the border. I'd love to do a larger one, which is 950 Mls long. The problem as i was trying to say is that it's mostly on gravel/sand paths which eventuallu become mud paths, and i've been told that going uphill on a hybrid bike over sand paths is extremely hard, sometimes impossible, and that scares me some...
Anyway the main ussage would be over an asphalted 37 ring bycicle path that surrounds my city on the weekends and sand/gravel bycicle paths in the area whenever I'm in the mood to drive to them (as there aren't any bycicle paths within my city limits) and 'm not taking it to work cos right now its a 35 minute walk which involves much more execise than a 15 minute ride.
The DS 8.5 thing is that yesterday i went to a store where they had this 8.3 (among others), but the salesman told me the 8.5 was comming in a month (as it'll be my birthday i consider it a nice self-b-day present) but i'm not sure cos i haven't seen many others, and i don't want to buy it just because the guy in the store is willing to get rid of this new expensive toy of his, or something similar so.. here are my questions...
1st -Considering i'm buying a hybrid bike, what other bike models are there in that price-rank that i should/could look into? Or is the DS 8.5 a plain right choice?
2nd-I'm I beeing so stubborn going so straight for a hybrid bike or should i reconsider going for a MB
3rd- Is it that difficult (some people told me even impossible) riding uphill on a hybrid over sand/gravel paths or is it a matter that can be easily solved by choosing the right tyres?
I would really apreciate some hel on these questions, thank you very much.