The bike I had been using as my commuter and dirt road touring (usually day trips, some overnighters) bike got ripped off. Nothing new there. Anyway, it was a Kona Dew Plus hybrid fully rigid, 700X35 tires. Most of the miles were in town, which it was (still is, for the bastard who stole it) excellent for. Dirt road riding was OK, except for rutted and washboarded stretches, which is not unusual where I ride. On those stretches, it could get pretty squirrly, especially on downhills. Worse, it could get pretty jarring on the hands/wrists/arms.
So I'm looking for a new ride. Here's what I want in a bike:
1) Commuting is 90% of my riding - I ride most days, year-round (this is in Montana, so ~6 months of snow and ice or crappiness) - so this is the priority. I don't think I need suspension or fatty tires for town riding. Use studded tires in the winter.
2) Something that handles better on washboarded and rutted roads, and dampens the jarring, especially that from washboarding. Man, that really starts to suck after 20 miles or so...
Thinking of the Kona Splice 29er. I think it would be a good commuter, and would be more sure-footed and more comfortable on rough roads.
1) Any opinions on this bike for my intended use? Maybe I should just stick with a hybrid, one that can accept fatter tires to reduce jarring and handle better?
2) Considering replacing the front suspension fork on the 29er with a rigid fork (my LBS will swap them out for no extra cost - which is reasonable, because the suspension is worth more). The thinking is that it would shave off almost 3 lbs on a 30 lb bike, and be compatible with a wider variety of front racks (I don't have any now, but an thinking of getting some). Does this make sense? FYI, the shocks can be locked out.
3) Does this thread belong in another forum? Newb here.