I'm after a new bike. My current one, which is falling apart, is rubbish. I bought it about 6 years ago from Halfords which I have of course lived to regret. It's time for a new bike.
I mainly want to use the bike for weekend leisure. Mainly along bridal and canal paths so knobbly terrain but not exactly cycling up mountains! I want to attach a child carrier seat to the frame also so I can ride with my daugher. (20mo).
I've done a bit of research but I feel I get stuck right at the begining as I don't know what type of bike would suit me best. Would you say a hardtail, so some suspension, would be ideal, or would a standard hybrid be ok? My worry with the hyrbrid is that the wheels just won't be good enough for the terrain (thinking slippy mud and wet leaves), but then could I just get thicker tred tyres? On the flip side the hardtail would offer more support and comfort, but they are inevitably heavier and you get less for your money.
My budget is around the £300. I'm hoping if I can get an older model I'll be able to get a more pensive bike reduced.
I would go with a hybrid for the sort of terrain you're planning. Cheap bikes with suspension often end up being very heavy and costing a lot to repair, not worth it. You can put better tyres on a hybrid if you want.
Consider a secondhand bike too given your budget - hybrids are common purchases by women on the Cycle to Work scheme and often end up being sold off in good condition at a deep discount after a year or two if they aren't used!