First off(my first post as well), a little about me. I'm 5'6" stocky build. Somewhat athletic. I use to ride BMX bikes in the 80's and even tried a few competitions as a young kid(to many mogul face plants stopped that lol). I'm now going to be 33 in a few weeks, and haven't rode much in the last 10 years or so. I have 2 crappy Mountain bikes 7-10 years old(one of which is the wife's that I use) that are from the big box stores(Next brand). Both have Full suspension, weigh a ton, blah, blah. I feel I would be in to riding more if I bought a nicer quality bike better fitted to me. Frame size etc.. A 17.5" (43cm?) seems to be a good fit for me. It maybe slightly high for me while resting my feet on the ground, but not to bad. 17.5" seems to vary from one manufacturer to the other as far as fit goes I noticed.
I'm looking to mainly ride on paved surfaces, but I do want to be able to go on packed dirt etc if needed. As the wife and I do take weekend trips out to the country(back home/where I grew up), and other outings that would require being on packed dirt or even some gravel roads possibly.
My budget is around $400-600. Used is fine with me. The Cannondale(below) is past what I'd like to be in price range, but if it is truly a good deal the wife(boss) might let that slide, as well as me. She is big in to getting quality gear etc (more than me), so it's not as much of a persuasion as it might be for others. Last year she went to a local shoe store just to get fitted for running shoes even.
The first bike is an 09' Cannondale Street 1 Cross bike. I can get for $699. The other bike is an 11' Trek FX 7.2 for $500. I rode both bikes(Cannondale for good 15 min), and seem to like them both. Though, the Cannondale Street 1 I really liked the handling and the suspension lockout, not to mention how light it was, and still made in the USA even. Not really a fan of the paint job, but that's of lesser concern.
The other bike I am interested in is the Trek DS 8.2 or 8.3. The Kaitai seems interesting as well. After riding the Cannondale for a while, I really liked having the suspension lockout. I believe the DS 8.2 does not have that though.
Trying to research the Cannondale Street 1 bike seems to come up blank, so am wondering how good of a bike it is?
Link to Cannondale: http://www.eriksbikeshop.com/09-Stre...3C5285/Product
The trek I looked at is a current model(11'), so it really shouldn't need a link. The Trek is also at a small local bike shop that my family has purchased bikes at in (many) years past, so i like to support them if possible, but they do not carry the DS series. Friday, we will go to another LBS and see what they have for selection and price.
Thanks for any help, opinions etc