Now that I'm done with school, working retail, and got myself moved back home due to rent going up, I've been able to get back into a routine of working out on the bike and doing some free weights; and in that time, I've said all the money I was given for graduation as well as what I imagine is the last birthday I'll receive money for and have a sizeable chunk (believe it's about $1100). Since I started riding earlier this year, my goal has been to train to be able to do a half-century ride, and that means I need a legitimate bike, which is something I know fuck-all about. My knowledge of bikes is: I can ride one, has two wheels, the stronger my legs are = more riding, and bike chains are a pain in the ass at the most inconvenient times.
Basically, I'm looking for something that's around the $500-700 range that I can then use the rest of the coin for some riding gear (comfortable shorts, most likely a new seat I imagine, etc) and won't shit out after like a year of riding. I'm not gonna be the most hardcore rider and will probably do more with it as a stationary than anything, but the point still stands. I've seen half a dozen different brand names dropped like GMC, Vilano, Schwinn (actual Schwinn, not the faux-Walmart ones), Specialized, etc... but they don't mean anything to me as an outsider.
Any particular brands I should be looking at?
What are the features that might drive up cost and I'll try to be tricked into by salesmen?
Does it basically just boil down to "Go to a store and try some"?
Regardless of brand, you def want to ride a few.
My rb is a Specislized allez, which I like a lot and it rite at 710
But there are tons of good bikes for the money which chris probably will link for you.
Specialized, scott, giant, cannondale, trek... To name a few.
Edit: the allez is actually 679 rite now from landrys.
How tall are you?