In the great search for my bike, I've come across a fork in the road.
I will primarily be using the bike for exercise, little trips to the store and so forth. No commuting to work and I don't forsee it ever being used for touring or longer distance riding. It will be ridden almost exclusively on paved roads/paths though it would be nice if I knew I wanted to take a detour across some gravel, dirt and such I'd feel comfortable doing so. I've test ridden the Scott Sub 10 with the 8-speed Alfine IGH and the Gates Carbon drive and loved it; the range in the gears seems all I'd need and I'm really atrracted to the minimal maintenance of that setup. That bike led me to the bike I'm now conviced I am buying, the Norco Ceres. It's a great bike and comes highly recommended on here and elsewhere, love the steel frame and I can get it for a great price. The belt drive is groovy as sin but not a necessity; just a bonus it's on a bike at this price point. But...
In the last week I've started looking at some cyclocross bikes with disc brakes (loving the Traitor Ruben and Jamis Nova Race) and maybe wondering if they are a better option? Totally different, especially the riding position and they are standard derailleur bikes rather than IGH, but I still like them. Far lighter, built a bit more for speed and the less-upright riding position sure adds to how quickly you can get from A to Z and not needing to navigate traffic or cars means it should be pointed straight ahead almost the entire time. Adding racks, panniers and such is of no interest to me which seems to be a big selling point of the more hybrid/commuter style bikes, including the Ceres. You can put on tires that are wider, more forgiving and versatile than the pizza cutter road bike tires and have plenty of grip and those cyclocross bikes certainly can handle the extra-curricular detours I mention above with ease. (sidenote: cyclocross looks like torture...I'm a fan...)
I guess my question is... for those who pondered the same choice (cyclocross, more road-feeling frame vs a more "traditional" upright riding hybrid bike) for the riding I plan on doing (more for exercise, 95% paved roads), which direction did you go and if you had to do it again, would you do the same or go the other path?
BTW, I didn't realize how fun it is to search around tand talk about bikes...and I'm still a week or so away from owning one! HA!