Newbie here, please be gentle. Here's the deal. I'm looking to buy a new bike after owning a mountain bike for 18 years. I really haven't done any riding in about 5 years, but I just had major knee reconstructive surgery (hoops injury) and I'm looking to get back on the bike since I can't really run anymore. I'm now 34, with kids, and I'm having a heck of a time trying to decide if I should buy a hybrid or a mountain bike now. Now, I know that you're thinking, "what type of riding will you be doing?" Answer: I want to be able to hit the local bike paths(mostly flat stuff) while tugging the kids in the trailer, but also want to have the ability to hit some real trails when I'm feeling up to it. But, I also want something that will do decent on pavement. No, I don't want two bikes.
I've hit about three local bike shops and was far from impressed with any of the suggestions that I received. It seemed that at all three shops that they weren't listening to my needs and just trying to sell me what they had in stock......bullshyte! I got pissed off at all three shops and just left. So I now come to you all for some real answers. I'm looking to spend around $600, give or take a couple of hundred depending on the options. I'm assuming that I can get something very decent for that dollar amount. I would classify myself as an intermediate rider overall. Anything from casual to agressive riding. I'm not scared of the mud. I don't see myself ever riding over 15 miles in a single session of riding. I do not want any grip shifting at all. Definitely want a rapid fire shifter. I don't know much about disk brakes, so maybe you could give me some advice on that. Lastly, I want a hardtail for sure. No full suspension needed here.
So, Im trying to decide if I should go with a hybrid or a mountain bike. From all of the reading that I've done, it seems that the hybrids are pretty much just road bikes and that they can do about nothing off of a groomed trail. Is this correct? Even on a higher end hybrid? I've also read that many peeps nowadays are buying a mountain bike, but buying a set of slicks or semi-slicks and changing as needed. This seems like a decent option too. Based on what I've given you here, what do you suggest? Thanks in advance for your replies. Peace.