aka Phil Jungels
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North Aurora, IL
Bikes: 08 Specialized Crosstrail Sport, 05 Sirrus Comp
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I think that the best advice I can offer is:
Go to a few (as many as possible) local bike shops, and tell them what, and how, you plan to use the new bike - also tell them about what you think is wrong with your present bike. Ask for as many opinions as possible, and ride every one you can. Get a LOT of opinions, from dealers, and even try different sizes of the same bike. Just make sure they are set up the same, same saddle height, same air press in the tires, same handlebar angles, etc......
Once you get a type narrowed down, one of those types (the ones you have already ridden) should jump out at you. You will know which one is right, as you will start to compare all others to it.
p.s. the FX series is a nice bike, with bigger tires, that should help you for what you want. If you have no physical problems, a non suspended fork is a really good thing. Just get up on your pedals when riding over the rough stuff, to "lighten" the load on the wheels.
Come back often, and we will keep trying to confuse you even more - but there will be real experiences burried in there....