Just ride it.
Searching the ultimate bike
Heard it before right? Well, what if one wants just one bike to go on road, off road, around town and make the occasional long distance trip with reasonable efficiency in all areas?
My dual-suspension Specialized FSR is a great rig in the rough stuff, but once you take it on road, well, you get the picture. My Cannondale road bike was great but rode harshly and the toe overlap plus lack of ability on even mild trails convinced me to sell it.
I am not going to race on or off road and I am not going to need 5 inches of travel either, so a cross bike sounds good, but so does a lighter touring bike. I've decided to go with just one rig that I could "transform" with a change of tires.
What does your experience tell you about such things?
Go for a cross bike. They are indestructable, they are as good off road as they are on road. They're just fine for commuter bikes also. It will never be as fast as your cannondle on road, it will never take the rough stuff like your mountain bike but it is the best of both worlds.
Just ride it.
What's your opinion on the Jamis Aurora versus Jamis Nova?
Well, if it's between the two I'd definately say the Nova, mainly because it's spec'd better. But there are many other choices out there.
I have a dozen bikes. If I could have ONLY one that had to do everything I'd certainly keep the Raleigh Team Cyclocross bike. With a tire change it is an anything bike. Of course I have a triple on it as well because I'm not racing it. But even if I were racing it, I probably would just use the limit screw to lock out the granny in a race.
There is FAR too much stress put on the weight of a cyclocross bike. Unless you're finishing in the front three getting a "lighter" bike is about as smart as painting it a winning color.
Passionate or O-C?
My Bianchi Axis fits the bill; it's a very versatile and capable machine. I really love this bike and will ALWAYS have a cyclocross bike in the stable.