Replacing a 15 year old GT Timberline and getting back into biking after much time off. I think I will primarily split time between pulling two kids in a Trek GoBug trailer around town and quicker on road fitness jaunts to get in shape. I would love to discover some hard pack trails as well but currently don't know of many. My budget is around $850 or less. Most important to me are:
robustness. I am 195 pounds. 6' tall
To date have preferred the Cannondale Quick CX3 and have ridden it. But it looks as if the Specialized Crosstrail Sport Disc and Trek DS 8.4 may both have Better all around specs.
Best prices I have for each.
For basically what amounts to a recreational rider in reality, should I worry about Acera vs. Alivio vs. Deore? I'm kind of hung up on that thinking it will make a difference. But extra cost comes with it. Doesn't help that the Cannondale I rode had Acera and didn't shift well but could have been slapped together to get on the floor and not tuned great either.
Also looking for pros and cons on hydraulic vs. mechanical discs for maintenance etc. the Cannondale had mechanical and even on a full strength lever pull, the stopping distance was NOT impressive. But again perhaps not set up properly by mechanic who built the bike.
Thanks in advance!