Deciding between two Trek bikes for someone who's never rode a bike before. Need your help, hivemind!
I asked this question
a while ago, which was super-helpful at the time. My birthday just came and went on Tuesday, and I got surprised with the awesomest gift ever: a bike! Well, the promise of one anyway. We went to our LBS
and I explained that apart from riding a tricycle, I'm clueless about what I need. The guy we spoke to was really helpful, told me how the brakes work, how you usually get on/off a bike, and helped me figure out what sort of bike I need (comfort, with the potential of doing commuting, mostly on roads but I'd like the option to go on rougher ground when needed, low-step design so I can wear skirts). His suggestion was to go for a Trek, specifically he recommended the Navigator 2.0
-- which seems like a nice relatively lightweight sturdy bike with fat tires (and pretty decently priced!). He suggested also the Electra Townies if I wanted a flat foot design, but seeing them in person kind of set me against them (though I still like the Amsterdams).
After flipping through the brochure I also got interested in their Hybrids, specifically the 7100
. At another branch of this store, we spotted a 7200 and I have a date to try it and the Navigator out on Saturday. But my concern is since I don't know how to ride a bike that I won't really get which is better, or better suited for me. I know the hybrids are better for going faster because they have thinner tires (and I think a little bigger?). Beyond that though, I don't know. I do know I like the look of the hybrid bikes better, they are more aesthetically pleasing to me. But the Navigators aren't ugly, so even if I wind up with that I won't be that sad, because hey, it's a bike! And I'm really excited to have a bike.
So my question is: which bike is probably better for me? Hybrid or Navigator? Of course I know I'll have to ride it/test it to know what works for me, but if you own one of them and love them, I want to hear why it was the best for you. Or if you're a bike expert, I want to know your take! I'll be asking the people at the bike shop more in depth on Saturday, but I'm just trying to do my research while I'm at it. Our limit is around $500-- the Navi's around $330, the 7100's $420, and the 7200's $450. Between the two hybrids, I'd probably just pay the extra $30, but that's a big difference between hybrid and Navigator, so I don't know if you get what you pay for on this sort of thing.
I also don't really know the benefit of going for the 7100 vs the 7200 vs the other models they have-- when I asked the people at the shops, they basically just said the difference was different components. Since I'm not a bike jock I have no idea what makes one component awesome, y'know? Will I really miss the top of the line bike derailleur? Or can I get the cheaper model and still feel pretty happy with the type of bike?
Some pertinent details: 25, girl, 5'10" so I'm looking at the 16/16.5" models, trying to minimize back pain, and somewhat of a bony butt (so i don't know if the saddles are going to be an issue?).
Other questions that may be dumb, but I'm asking 'em:
1) Are prices at bike shops firm? Ours are below the suggested price but I don't know if you're supposed to haggle or something.
2) I like the hybrids in the light peach/green colors, but the 7200 I spotted was black. There's one more branch I'm going to check out, but is it expected that the bike you buy is the one they have in the shop? This is pure aesthetic reasoning here--I dunno whether it's common practice to ask to order a bike color when they already have a model in the shop.
Thanks all! Can't wait to be on two wheels!