I'm posting this here because I generally trust the knowledge/advice of people in this forum MORE than the gearhead/week-end warriors who often post in the road biking forum.
A friend of mine asked me to help him get a bike for around town (here in Manhattan.) First he wanted me to build something up for him, but I quickly realized that that was going to take a lot of work for both of us--he'd have to go get himself sized, then tell me that info, I'd have to go find him a frame, components, yadda yadda. Instead, I told him I'd help him find something in town.
By the way, he's in finance and not too worried about price.
I don't really keep up on all of the newest-latest bikes out there, so I want to be prepared and prepare him.
Here are the major constraints as I see it: 1. He's huge. 6'6", 250-lb. Wisconsin fella. 2. He's going to want something quick. He's not going to want to go out comparison shopping a whole lot. 3. Chances are good the bike won't be ridden a LOT, but I don't know for sure. Maintenance shouldn't be too much of a worry; since he's buying new, he'll get the service for free for a year, and he doesn't mind paying for maintenance.
Because of his size, and because it's NYC pothole land, and because he probably won't be doing lots of racing and anything beyond riding around town, and because I just like it more, I'm going to recommend something steel: MTB, hybrid OR roadbike. I tend to recommend road bikes because unless you're off-roading, MTBs just seem like bike SUVs on the streets. And steel just won't cause him any esoteric problems down the road. I was considering also recommending he just get a singlespeed. But do the Pistas and Langsters out there come in ss options?
Just wanted any input from youse about specific brands and/or models out there that make decent steel-framed bikes (NOT made to order.) I know that some of the Lemond bikes are steel, and of good quality, are there any others? Any suggestions as to the most idiot-proof options? Point me in the right direction. (I DON'T necessarily want us pointed in the direction a bike shop salesman-on-commission will point us .