I'm looking at getting a new bike, mainly for road use, but also for park paths/hills and to keep fit. Not a clue what brands are decent and dont want to be taken a ride by sales people (pun unintended!).
I'm looking for one under £250 but can stretch to £350 (MAX) if the extra £100 can be justified (ie. Bargain price, much better components etc).
I'm not really sure the best place to buy from, but I know Evans seem to have a lot within my price range. I'd buy one on ebay as i know i'd get more for my money but im not really confident in buying something used when I don't know much about the thing I'm buying.
I guess my main questions would be:
Type of bike? Would I need hybrid or road.. Are road bikes able to climb steep hills in parks (on tarmac/paths)? I dont think i'd be riding on grass or rough terrain. What's the main difference between hybrids and road bikes?
Brand: I've heard of Trek, Specialized, and Carrera being decent brands, but I don't really know of any others! Which brands should I stay away from and which should I look out for?
Components: for my budget which components would be best? In regards to brakes, disk or V? I've heard bikes around the £250 mark have decent quality v brakes, ones with disk brakes at that price tend to be cheap and nasty, Is this true?
All in all I think I'm looking for £250-350 Mens Hybrid/Road bike with a lightweight frame (32" inside leg I'm guessing 20" frame?)
I'd be really grateful of any good advice, tips, links etc!