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Cycling induced anoesis
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I think your intended uses are very much aligned with the CX bike category.

As far as choices, there are a few.. Specialized Tricross, Kona Jake/ Jake the snake.. Trek offers their line. Nothing against Giant and I may have missed something, but the TCX 1 seems a tad pricey for the specs.

Other than that, pretty much standard advice - visit shops, discuss your intended uses/ goals, price range. Get sized/ fitted and head out (on the roads) for test rides.

Along with drivetrain choices, in your price range you'll also have a choice of disc and canti brakes. IMO there are advantages and disadvantages to both, so (as with most things) research, ride and fall on one side or the other.
 
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