I went to two local bike shops today. I told them I wanted a bike for riding mostly country roads with potholes and gravel shoulders. My wife and I like to ride our cheap mountain bikes on country rides, but they're just too heavy for longer distances so we thought maybe that the hybrid or fitness type bike would be comfortable for our purposes.
I test rode two bikes today. The Giant FCR 3 http://www.giant-bicycle.com/us/030....sp?model=11329 I think it was around $500. It was amazingly light compared to my crappy Mongoose mountain bike, and just as comfortable with its upright seat position. It has 32 spoke wheels and its tires are 700 x 28c and 650 x 25c (I don't even know what that means). But the tires looked like they could handle country and gravel roads pretty well.
The other one was the Raleigh Passage 3.0 http://www.raleighusa.com/items.asp?deptid=7&itemid=272
The guy at the LBS said it was considered a hybrid. It was also really comfortable, and a little less expensive than the Giant at $400. He also had racks in stock that would fit it.
We're just planning on doing some short trips of 50 miles or less in each direction to camp out at some local lakes. We'd just need to bring a tent and a little bit of food so just one rack on the back of the bike would be good. Also, one local lake has a nice bike trail that I'd like to ride on, and I'm hoping these style of bikes could handle it better than the standard road bikes.
Any thoughts on these? Maybe at some point if we can get enough time off work we'd like to try a week long tour (maybe over the 4th of July week). Also, I've actually mapped out a trip to a lake in our area using exclusively country roads that's right at 45 miles, and that would be the first "tour" we'll try.
I don't really like the feel of standard road bikes as much as mountain or hybrid. I just like sitting more upright.
Thanks a lot.