I used to hit trails pretty regularly, nothing too hardcore,just fun riding around my house and the occasional trip out of state. I now live in downtown chicago and don't have as easy access to trails. My questions are:
A. does anybody also live in chicago and know where the closest trails are?
B. I have a specialized hardrock. I put road tires on it, but it is uncomfortable to ride on the paved paths around here for long distance. Does anyone have a recomendation for a bike that will function on the paved paths and then also be able to take some trails too? My current living situation won't allow for two bikes. Like I said, I never do any hardcore trail riding.
Palos Forest Preserve on the South side is supposidly the best in the area. I have never been there, but from what I hear it is the best in single track in the Chicago area. Check out cambr.org for more info on Chicago area riding.
As far as a bike suggestion goes, I'm not too knowledgeable in that area. But as MattE30 has said, Palos is the closest area to you that has actual singletrack trails. I've been there and it's well maintained with markers all over to keep you notified on which trail you're riding. It's actually pretty easy to attain a decent speed. You don't need a "hardcore" bike either as the speed you ride dictates the difficulty of the trail.