A coworker of mine just bought a recumbent bike to ride to work. He showed it to me, and I'm hooked! I've always wanted to commute to work without a car, and now I have proof that it's possible (This coworker lives less than a block from me). He says the trip is 12 miles one way and takes him, who is not in shape at all - just like myself - about an hour. He's hoping to cut that down to about 30 minutes when he gets into better shape. There are paved bike trails nearly the entire way from here to our place of employment. Along the river, no less! Talk about a stress reducer. So, I see a number of benefits: 1, less gas & less wear and tear on my car, as I might only drive it a couple of times per month, 2, save money, 3, get in shape. So, I'm in the market. I want a nice bike with an electric assist. Why the assist? Well, most of the time I won't use it, but I want to be able to. There are a couple of hills that my coworker says are "not bad", but they take him a bit of time and effort to get over. I'd like a little boost getting over them. Also, if I'm just tired, or if the weather turns nasty during my ride, I'd like to be able to scoot home faster and easier on occasion. The problem? I don't know a darn thing about bikes. Let alone recumbents. I know there are some crazy bike people here, so I ask of you: Assimilate me! Bring me into your collective and make me a crazy bike person, too. Here's what I want in my bike: - A nice, comfortable seat. - Room for a water bottle or two AND a backpack of some sort (perhaps on the back of the seat?) that I could put a few books and my lunch into. - Something that is meant to be ridden "long" distances. I consider 24 miles of bike riding in one day a very long distance. I want to get in shape, but at the same time I don't want to have to pedal my ass off and arrive to work a sweaty mess. So, at that, I need some great gearing. Something that can go nice and low for climbing hills, yet also nice and high for fast cruising. - Electric assist with considerable range. Some days I might want to pedal very little. I'd like to be able to run a minimum of 20 "real life" miles on a charge. Mostly, it will just be used for helping me over hills, but if I want to get home fast with little effort one day I'd like to be able to just hit it and go. Oh, and I prefer the assist to be chain driven. Someone said something about friction driven assists that put a rubber wheel on your wheel. These don't sound appealing or even very effective to me. - Mirrors, fenders, and actual lights would be nice. At the least I should be able to add these later. I don't want nor need a windshield of any sort. First, what kind of money am I looking at? Second, are there any issues with buying used? I'd like to save as much money as possible. I can always upgrade later on if I really enjoy riding to work. Lastly, what else do I need to know? I'm sure I'm missing a lot. What should I look for, what brands are good, what should I do or not do, etc. Thank you for your input!!