current situation: i have recently started riding quite a bit, mostly in a bid to lose weight. Nowadays i ride about 25-30km(18ish miles) at a time 3 or 4 times a week. i am not trying for speed, but i am also not just cruising and looking at scenery. I ride on streets and paved paths in the park right now, so i have to be agile to avoid people and cars. and potholes. My problem is i am riding a 15 year old CCM(made in Canada!) cheapo walmart type mountain bike. rims are bent, brakes dont work well, really really knobby tires, etc. etc. I think since i am starting to ride quite a bit i am looking into a new bike.
I am at a loss of what type of bike i should be looking at. My budget is sub $500, and preferably closer to 400 or less. While i am currently staying mostly on paved surfaces, i want to be able to ride unpaved trails on occasion in the future. My main goal right now is long rides at a decent pace to lose weight(i average around 12-13mph when i ride my current old bike). My only real must have is it should be geared and not single speed.
I went to one of the bike stores, and they said my best bet was kind of a starter 'mountain bike', of which their stock included:
trek 3 series(cant remember which exact model)
my initial thoughts when looking at these were they were a bit too mountainy..front shocks, fairly aggressive tires(but they still looked a bit smoother than the wicked things on my current bike). I didn't give any of the above a test ride yet.
I have been looking on the various large manufacturers sites, and, to my untrained eye it looks like i am sitting in between sort of cruiser and mountain bike although it seems the lines with the manufacturers are blurred and none use the same nomenclature.
Some of the others that have piqued my interest:
Giant Cypress R
To me it seems the cruisers may not take the trail if i want them to(think minor hills, but tree roots and small jumps) but the mountain bike may not serve me well with road riding. I am leaning towards getting the a mountain bike and living with the decision.
I think it may come down to when i get a chance to ride a couple and see.