I want to purchase a new hybrid for exercise and weight loss. I will primarily ride on roads, sidewalks, and paved trails, but I want to have the option to ride on dirt and gravel trails too. I'm not into mountain biking in the woods or jumping things except for maybe a curb now and then and my rides will generally be around an hour. I have numerous bike shops locally which carry: Giant, Specialized, Trek, Kona, Marin, GT, Fuji, Jamis, and a few others. I haven't test ridden anything yet, but based on a few weeks of Internet research I've narrowed my top choices down to the Giant Escape, Giant Escape City, Giant Roam, Giant Cypress, and Giant Sedona (not sure if the Sedona is carried here). The Giant dealer here has been very nice and helpful in the past and they have options in my $400-500 budget. Is there any reason to go with 26 tires over 700 tires and how bad will I miss a suspension on dirt/gravel? I'm leaning toward the Escape City assuming I'm comfortable on it, but I like the way the Sedona is set up in the following video:
Any advice is appreciated.