Greetings everyone. I'm new to this forum.
I live (Sunnyvale) and work (Palo Alto) in Silicon Valley. I've decided to start commuting to work. From my house the trip is 10 miles each way with about 80% of the trip on dirt/gravel back roads. My budget is $1,000 max. I've been researching online and there are so many options out there today. It can be overwhelming. What are some important factors I should pay attention to? Some of the bikes I've looked at are:
Cannondale Quick Speed 2
Cannondale Bad Boy 4
Trek X-Caliber 7
Specialized Sirrus Elite
I used to ride a lot in the 1990's (still have my Cannondale R1000 I bought in '98) but not much since then. I noticed most of the big bike companies now make urban/city/lifestyle/commuter bikes. I'm trying to determine if these are a good fit for me or should I get a more traditional mountain bike? I would like to take the bike on an occasional trail ride as well.