i have not biked seriously in almost almost 10 years and recently decided to take it up again. Normally, i would know where to go if i were in my hometown, but i have been living in Paris for 5 years now and don't know much about the new bikes or about bike shops in France.
I am moving to the Cote d'Azur for a new job in a week and have decided that I will commute to work by bike. The ride is about 15 km uphill on smooth pavement and gravel side roads. Downhill on the way back - obviously. Weekends, I intend to explore the coast by bike by going on half-day and full-day trips.
I have a tall and hefty build of 265 lbs (120 kilos), so I would need the bike to be able to withstand the abuse. (I have broken cheap frames in the past...)
As a general idea, I know that I would want slicks, slightly leaning seating position, shox not too necessary... I have looked around by internet and 2 series seem appropriate:
1. Cannondale Bad Boy
2. Specialized Crosstrail
Any suggestions? Other bikes perhaps? I have not tried out the above 2 bikes. Can someone provide me their input please? Do you know if it is possible to try them somewhere in Paris or southern France? Perhaps in Montreal otherwise?
I'm also very well aware that I'd be paying a massive premium for US bikes in France. Would it be worth picking up the bike in Montreal on my next visit there? Would you know of US bike shops that ship to France?
I appreciate all the advice I can get.... I am really looking forward to hitting the road with my new bike!!