What bike for charity bike ride.
Next year I want to complete an east - west England bike ride, this is about 175 miles in length. I hope to undertake this challenge next September and therefore will be doing many long training runs next year. Currently I only have a mountain bike and I am having some money for Christmas for a new bike - however I don`t really know much about bikes. I was thinking that a hybrid bike would best suit my needs as I live near to a canal path and would like to go off road now and again. I can also get a bike on my works cycle to work scheme so I am looking at bikes for £400-£600 as I will get 30+% of these prices. This is where I have my dilemma as I have visited a number of bikes shops in the area which all have different makes and models of bikes. I have seen a Diamondback Contra 2011 version for £450 which looks good and seems to have some upgraded components e.g. Gearset: Shimano Deore chainset, front and rear derailleurs and shifters, Brakeset: Shimano BL-M445 hydraulic disc brakes with 160mm rotors. I have also seen a Trek 7.2FX disc for £475 or a Specialized Sirrus Sport for £500 - both of these are obviously a better make but don't seem to have the better components like the Diamondback ? I am unsure what the best buy is, I can go for higher spec components on the Specilaized or Trek the prices rapidly rise. I was hoping someone can advise me on the best bike or maybe know of another bike / model that would better suit me needs? Thanks Simon