I'm in the market for a $400-600 bike to commute to work (short- 2 or 3 miles) and ride around in an urban setting. I'd like something that's quick but can still handle potholes, sidewalks, etc. Does anyone have an opinion on 29ers in this setting? Are they quick enough? Specifically I've been looking at the Marin Muirwoods 29er. From what I've read it's definitely burly enough to handle the potholes, I'm just a little worried that it will be sluggish. Does anyone have experience with this bike? Is the cromoly frame much heavier than an aluminum equivalent?
The other option is to go with some sort of 700c hybrid. The Marin San Rafael looks pretty nice. It seems like this would be lighter and quicker than the Muirwoods 29er, but at the expense of comfort. Which would you get?
Both bikes have mounts for fenders, but is it difficult to find a 29er fender? Will a fender fit as well on the 29er as on the hybrid?
Please help! I've been going over this endlessly for days now. Also, I'm open to suggestions of other brands/models that I should be looking at. Thanks in advance.