I'm looking at some bikes which I like, knowing that in a few weeks I'll (finally) get to bring one home. I still like the Specialized HardRock, but that's way too much for what I do. The Trek 7300 (or possibly T80) is more like what I'll need for transportation.
However, the Trek bikes both have 700Cx35mm tires. This concerns me slightly, as I'm a bigger guy with some weight to lose and I'm afraid I'm going to mess something up due to my weight. Would it be a better idea to swap those out for 38mms or just stick with 26"?
How do 700C's handle in the winter? I'm going to be car-free year-round, with little public transportation available. I can get rides when needed and I can schedule a ride on our paratransit "busses" 24 hours in advance, but I'd rather not. Most of the time it's pretty clear, and we only rarely get snow -- and then it's not more than a few inches deep. Most of the time it's just ice patches, which I'll be buying studded tires for.
I'm finding contradictory reports regarding the Xtracycle in winter; some things say it's impossible, some say it's better than a "regular" bike, and still come say it's only better than a "regular" bike with some load. Normally I won't be carrying a heavy load, so how much ballast will I need to keep things stable? I'm also a little concerned with some hills we have around here... they're not steep for the most part, just kind of long. There's one I have to go up no matter which way I leave my apartment to get to either the store or the university.
So many choices, so many things I want, so many questions... *sigh*
EDIT: Another possibility I'm looking at is getting the 7300 or T80 and panniers in the next few weeks, and a low-end/used hardtail and rack for winter riding. That would probably be the best of both worlds, but it might mean no Xtracycle because I couldn't afford both it and quality panniers. Also, I wouldn't be able to get the hardtail until January, meaning I'll be using the hybrid for November, December, and likely half of January unless I can get an awesome deal at the university's surplus auction.