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Following on from my post the other day re pedals (very helpful advice thanks!) I spent the morning at bike shop trying out the entry level bikes. It's between a Trek Lexa and a Bianchi Dama Sora (the Bianchi is more beautiful in my view but I'm sure there are other things I should be taking into account - both felt good to ride, the Bianchi marginally better but slightly more expensive too...). Any opinions? I think they both had 16 or 18 gears, is this enough to get me up steep hills??!
Also, we only have a narrow passage at side of the house for storage and it already has 4 bikes including 2 kids bikes in it. Looking at ways of protecting my new purchase.... seen on amazon this 'gravity' stand for 2 bikes which leans against wall and you can put one bike up high on, the other hangs at bottom. Failing that a bike 'cover' tarpaulin like thing. Any views - or might there be another solution?