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I rode over to my dad's place today and he for whatever reason he took my bike out for a spin around the block while I was making myself a sandwich in the kitchen. FWIW, I have a Marin Point Reyes 29er.

He commented that it was a great ride, but it the forward position is uncomfortable. He asked if I could turn the bars around on the bike; by that he meant turning the stem around so that it hangs over the top tube instead of the tire. I'm thinking that this won't work and may be outright dangerous since I have not seen a bike made this way. Probably the bar will hit the legs when turning.

So what I'm looking for, I'm guessing is some type of hybrid? I've seen bikes where the rider is almost completely upright, but I don't know what to look for when looking for such a bike. I've seen ones where the bars are still horizontal like mountain bike but have more rise from the stem and ones where the bars swoop around on the sides. Which will give a more upright/comfortable ride? I'm guessing the latter.

Pointing me in a direction or specific models would help...

I think he's just going to be putzing around the neighborhood and the park so some kind of rack will be useful too. Maybe a basket of some sort that hangs off the back or over the front.

The problem I have is that I'm probably not going to be able to bring him into a LBS or even Sport Authority because he'll faint if he sees how much those bikes cost. He is accustomed to seeing $100-150 specials at x-mart stores.

Is $300-400 a realistic budget? I don't know that I want to buy something with Deore for a bike like this. I think Acera or Alivio should be fine but I have no idea what I'm looking or at the moment.
 
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