I am trying to find the perfect bike for short commute and riding around the City (Atlanta). At first I thought Cyclocross, then realized I probably just need a road bike with 28mm min. tires. For Trek that narrows down to the Pilot, Portland or XO. But no one carries them all or in a size to try. I don't want to pick one, blow a decent chunk of $$ only to find out it isn't what I wanted. Issue unknown is obviously "feel" of a bike and height. I already know I dont want flat bars, a super aggressive ride height etc.. This is now to that end decision.
1) Recommendations if I am on the money that 28's are a good tiresize for potholes, cracks, etc.. Or 32's?
2) What is the best way to figure out which is the right one for me without being able to ride them back to back?
I expect to ride a good bit with this bike and do some longer tours too. Hence why I dont just want a beater either.