Hello all, I just recently discovered your forums while doing research on a bike purchase. I live just over 5 miles from work (moved closer to have the option of ditching my car) and have access to a bike trail (paved) that takes me directly to work. It's been a few years since I've ridden a bike and never replaced my last one after it got stolen. I've settled on a hybrid type so that I would still have the option of dirt/gravel trails as well on the weekends if I so chose. I'm looking at two different options at this point:
Specialized Crosstrail Disc
I'd like to stick to a bike with disc brakes, from what I understand they handle wet/muddy conditions much better than vbrake, and I like the look to be honest. Between those two I know the Specialized has much better components, I am a bit leery of the the lower end parts on the menona, though the price is nicer. So I guess this is more to confirm that the specialized is worth the extra money?
I plan to bike commute as much as possible, rain doesn't bother me at all (I live in the northwest and honestly like the rain) but what kind of things should I do to protect my bike from the elements? It will be parked outside unfortunately on company property, I don't think I'll get permission to keep it inside.