Just window shopping at the moment, but with my student loan being higher for some reason this year, and my tuition fees being covered by another loan. It means I think I'll have about 500 to spare to spend on a new bike

Mainly concerned with getting the right type of bike.

I ride a 22mile there and back commute over tarmac, paved sections, and a lot of dusty gravel trails (kinda like the covering you get on running tracks), with some rougher gravelly trail shoved in where the nice fine dusty coating has worn/washed away.

Currently riding on a 700cx38 tyre with the hybrid I have. But I find myself yearning for more speed

Looked at road bikes but im more than a clydesdale (280ish lbs not weighed myself in the last 2 weeks), and im concerned with 25mmish tyres on a road bike I'll end up with pinchflats, or punctures on the rougher gravel sections.

Would Cyclocross bikes be more suited to me? what exactly do they offer above road bikes?

Come september I'll be moving to the City and so my commute will shorten to about 10 miles there and back purely over tarmac, but with some potholes to contend with.

So folks... start suggesting bike types and bike manufacturers for me to have a looksie at lol. Not saying I'll buy a bike, but as I say... I'm just window shopping at the moment, and it'll be months before I can afford to buy one anyway

One thing to keep in your consideration is that I will probably be making trips to the parents regularly when I move in sept so the 22mile there and back commute will still be around, and that commute involves some LONG hill sections and some short steep sections also.