I have to travel medium distances on country highways with high speeds and narrow shoulders and need a sturdy inexpensive bicycle that works well off-road and on. I also plan to attach a large basket. A friend of mine recommended Schwinn but they look difficult to maintain and fairly expensive. Amazon makes you surf based on brands and the ad copy doesn't give any good information. Can someone give some recommendations please?
To combine both comments and give you some advice in one go:
- Go to a bike shop in your area and get some advice on a bicycle, give them your price range, usually you get good advice, and it won't be much more expensive than the cheapest one you can find online.
- Check out the answers to this question about equipment for commuters.
- I'd go for a mountain bike with wider road tires, or maybe road tires with some extra knobs on sides of the running area to provide grip when off-road, but the optimum depends on the road/off-road balance.
- If the roads are indeed narrow and traffic is fast, then you really shouldn't get any excess weight on your handlebars such as a basket. This makes steering much slower and inaccurate. Get a rear-rack and some panniers.
- An internally geared hub lowers maintenance, but especially the cheaper ones are much less sturdy, and depending on how hilly your commute is and the amount of money you are willing to spend they might not have enough gear range.
- If you are mostly on-road don't get suspension. It adds weight and reduces durability and cycling efficiency.