I have two TREK hybrids, one is a 7700 and one is a 7500. The 7700 is a 22.5 inch frame, and the 7500 is a 25 inch frame. The 7700 has shift levers, the 7500 has twist-grip shifting. The 7700 is a 29speed, and the 7500 is a 24speed. It seems to me, when I ride them on pavement back roads, the 7700 pedals easier under any conditions.
Both bikes have Bontrager Select Invert Hardcase 700x35C tires.
I am a Clydesdale at 74" and 265lbs, and a novice bicyclist.
I live where I cannot ride my bike to a safe area to ride for exercise. I have to load it up and drive to an area where there is asphalt roads but very little traffic. This is a PIA. I'd like to ride in the ditch, so to speak, a mile or so and then take a dirt road and just keep going and later turn back. But the path to the dirt road is pretty rough, and stickers (Ground bur-nut, caltrop, goat head, bull's head, Texas Sandbur, Mexican Sandbur) and such.
Question One: Can I (should I) put on different tires, on my existing rims, that would prevent punctures? That would work better on off-road and trail type rides in gravel or over crushed rock?
Question Two: Of the two bikes listed above, which would be better suited to off road and trail use?