A few years back I bought my first and current trike, the Cruiser. Since then I was blessed with meeting a beautiful woman who also shares my triking passion. She wants one, badly, but her finances are not exactly perfect right now (we're young, 22, and she's in grad school full time). I'm in a much more secure financial situation, being done with school and working full time in a restaurant management position.
My question is: what is the difference between a Tour II 8 speed and a 24 speed? I'm not a bicycle repairman, I don't know all the technical jargon involved with this. It's still winter so we're planning for some springtime rides. We live in Connecticut, our local roads are generally flat with small inclines here and there; no major hills or anything that we've encountered thus far. When riding my Cruiser, I find myself not even using most of my gears. I know this is going to sound like a really newbie way of explaining my gear use, but I typically stay in 2nd gear on the left shifter and 1st-7th gear on the right shifter. I very rarely ever switch to first or third on my left.
Our goal is to start commuting to and from work which is only about 5 miles both ways, generally flat terrain. A couple days a week we plan on doing some day-rides of about 50 miles or so. Our ultimate goal is to do some touring, hundreds to perhaps a thousand miles one day.
So, what would work best? What's the difference? Our first year anniversary is coming up later this month and I wouldn't mind surprising her with a trike. I would prefer to save a few hundred if all the extra gears won't be all that useful.
Thank you much!