Afternoon all, I'm looking to get back into cycling and have been trying to decide which bike to buy. I think I've now decided on a Cross bike. I won't be commuting as such because it'd be a bit difficult to carry all my tools and equipment on the back lol. However, I'd like to take my son to nursery on the bike some days using a child seat and my daughter to school on others using a tow bar or tag along. Initially this route will be mainly road and I have the option of several routes so will start off with the shortest route (about 12 miles round trip) and then gradually take a longer route. There may also be some off road routes but I'll have to investigate this further. Any off road routes I use will be more dirt track than rocky canyon. I'd also like to go on weekend rides without the kids. Again, roads, dirt tracks and forest trails. Living in the countryside I'm fortunate enough to have plenty of options available to me. So, although initially I'll be mainly on the road, the fact that I'll be going off road in the not too distant future, coupled with the need to attach a child seat or tag along, rules out a road bike. I'd already ruled out a mountain bike. I don't need anything for extreme off roading and I ain't going to be hopping rocks and trunks and stuff. Also, my current (now unused) bike is a mountain bike and the effort required to get it to go anywhere on road is a joke. I used to take my daughter to nursery on it a couple of years ago. So, I was left thinking I'd get a Hybrid. Until I payed a visit to my local independent bike store where I realised that not all Cross bikes cost £2,000+ and that it's possible to attach a child seat to a Cross. I've looked at a few now at a few different retailers. Genesis Croix De Fer (Cro-Mo frame and Disc brakes!), Genesis Vapour, Cube X_Race, Kona Jake the Snake, Pinnacle Expede 1.0, Fuji Cross Comp, Fuji Cross Pro and the Scott CX Comp. It's the last 4 that really appeal. However, both the Fuji's have the front derailleur cable routed along the down tube which would probably cause me problems with mounting a child seat. They both seem to be incredibly well specced bikes for the money although the Pro (£999) has SRAM gearing which I have no experience of. It has double tap shifters too which, although I'd have to get used to, I quite like the idea of. The Comp (£849) also seems well specced for the money. It has a 105 front and an Ultegra rear derailleur. I'm sure 105's are much more than adequate for the usage I'll be doing though. I just can't ignore the cable routing issue though so think I'm probably left with a choice of the Pinnacle (£899) and the Scott (£999). £999 is just about the peak of my budget given that I also want to buy a new set of shoes, a helmet and some sort of tag along from the money I've saved up. Both bikes seem similarly specced. The Pinnacle however has an 8 speed cassette with 3450 chainrings which may give a better range of gears over the Scott's 36/46 chainrings with 9 speed cassette. Overall, the Scott seems slightly better specced and the guy in the bike shop was saying something about the bottom bracket which completely went over my head. Ultimately though, either bike would do more than I will probably ever need it to do. The smaller / larger chainrings on the Pinnacle appeal (please tell me if this is something stupid to be attracted to!), as does the colour and price, however, for some reason my brain is telling me to go for the Scott. One other factor. If I go for the Scott, I'll be able to get it from a local independent shop which is known to be reputable and is reasonably local to me being within 20 miles. The Pinnacle on the other hand would mean sourcing from a national retailer (which I'd imagine is trusted and reputable) but the nearest one is about 50 miles from me. I always prefer buying independent where possible. I'm also thinking for service and aftercare, the more local the better. Should I factor this into my decision or ignore it? Anyway, apologies for the long post. What I'd like to know is, ignoring price (basically, the ceiling on the bike, without accessories, is £1,000), which of the two would you go for and do you have any other recommendations. Oh, I also saw a second hand Trek X0-1 2009 for £850. Stunning bike (and absurdley light!) but it had flat bars (which I know I could change but at a considerable cost) and I think I'd rather get a brand spanking new one.