Looking for suggestions for an "all purpose" bike for my needs
This is my first post here and I'm hoping to get some advice and opinions.
I'm looking for a nice all purpose bike in the $1000 range. Yes, I'm aware that at that price range there will be compromises of one kind or another, but I really need to stick to that price point.
I currently own a 29er mountain bike (Trek Mamba) and an older Trek 1500 road bike. I'm looking to simplify and just have one bike that will do what I need. Here's the thing, I don't really do mountain bike trail riding per se, and I don't go for long road rides. I don't race, and I wouldn't use it for commuting (I work from home). I'm just a recreational rider that likes to go out for a blast after work or maybe a 30-40+ mile ride on the weekends.
I bought the Mamba thinking that it would lead me to more trail and mountain bike riding, but a recent move has limited my trail choices, and in general I think my riding preferences have changed. I currently use the Mamba to go for cruises and ride gravel trails, but it's awfully slow for a road ride. As for the Trek 1500, I bought it years ago on a whim and got a good deal. I like road riding but I feel like it's not the right bike to take out unless I'm going to gear up and do 30 miles or whatever.
Which leads me to my current search. Given my riding preferences, I'd like to find a bike that will let me do gravel trails and dirt paths and fun cruises, but also something that will be comfortable and fairly agile on a long road ride. I want one bike that I can just grab and go without any plan for where or how far I'll be riding, and hopefully get good performance for any type of riding I might do.
From the bit of browsing I've done online it seems like the Trek Crossrip is the right kind of idea. Are there other alternatives I should consider? Would one of the straight bar fitness/endurance bikes be a better choice?
I would think either bike will do fine. Just get a rigid fork for the Mamba, and some 700x35-40 slicks and have fun. Or get some slightly fatter tires on the Trek (700x25 or 28) and don't worry about getting kitted up. I go on road rides in casual clothes all the time.
If you MUST get a new bike, I'll just make a suggestion. City bike. IGH, steel frame, good tire clearance for 35+ tires. Upright and comfortable position. And you can pick one up for $4-600. Given your criteria, this is the way I'd go.
Or, buying a Surly Long Haul/Disc Trucker or Cross Check frame and transferring parts from your current bikes may do the trick as well.
Something like the cross rip is sold by other brands of bikes , but the brand is the main difference .
the bikes are , for the same money , going to be close to each other ..
handful of factories make dozens of brands these days ..
Trek will be a good bike, the company stands behind what they sell ..
Local shop has sold Trek for a long time .. go test ride the bikes ..
in person, not online..
BTW a straight MTB bar to Figure 8 bend trekking bar conversion is simple ,and requires few extra parts.
It offers me the same function when leaning into headwinds , as Drop Bars , in the drops ,
by reaching to the front of the bend of the bars, and bending my elbows a little.
Though, N+1 is an industry standard solution ..