I know these "which one is better" threads can be a bit repetitive and annoying, so I'll try and approach this a different way.

Between the Norco Ceres and the Civia Hyland, what are advantages/disadvantages you see? I can get the Ceres for $1,199 and the Hyland for $1,100 and I guess I lean more towards the Ceres because of the belt drive and maybe the looks, which I know have nothing to do with the performance though certainly are nice if you're going to be dropping that much on a bike! They're both outstanding bikes and I fell in love with the Alfine hubs at first shift but each offers +/- in my book. The bike will be used primarily for exercise riding roads/paths and some riding around in more urban environments and I'm hoping to ride it a bunch in all but the most nasty of weather. I chose a hybrid (and these 2 for a comparison) mostly for more of the upright riding position and quality of the frames/components; drop bars and road bikes just don't feel that great to me, especially since I'm 6'2 200lb. I'm biting the bullet and buying more upfront than I maybe should, simply because I want something quality that will last and I can rely on to be dependable and consistent.

Here are the main differences between the two that I would love to hear your thoughts on and why one feature is more desirable than another, knowing how I'll be using the bike.

- Steel vs. aluminum frame (will one be more suited for the riding I want to do)
- Belt vs. chain (don't want to start the "belt drives rule/suck" argument, it's more of knowing that the Hyland can never accept a belt drive without cutting the frame and is the added $100 expense of the Ceres worthwhile not only to have a belt-drive from the get-go but knowing that it can take a belt and the Hyland cannot)
- Fenders/rack vs nothing (will it make a big deal to me not having fenders and a rack, knowing that I'm not commuting or touring with the bike)

That's about all I can identify as the bikes are pretty similarly equipped past that and both wonderful bikes for that price; don't think I can go wrong either way. I chuckle how my budget has doubled through the selection process and my wants/needs in a bike have changed after just a handful of test rides, but I guess that's why you test ride...sure would be nice if your budget went DOWN after doing test rides! HA!