I'm in the market for a new 'do it all' bike (actually - 2 bikes, one for my wife and one for me). I've done a bit of research and was ready to pull the trigger on a Croix de Fer - but then spotted the new Charge Plug range, which to be honest I think I prefer the look of. However they are classed as road bikes so I'm looking for your thoughts on the similarities/ differences between them and the Croix.
The bikes will be used for commuting on road/ canal path, 50-60 mile weekend rides on road and fire trails, and occasionally for light touring (credit-card touring only, 2 rear panniers max!).
I'd be looking at a Plug 3 or 4, http://www.chargebikes.com/plug (the Plug 5 looks nice but is probably out of my price range, and is obviously affected by the SRAM hydraulic brake issues). Is this a sensible alternative to the Croix de Fer? Any thoughts on the maximum possible tire size on the plug (they come with 28c), the brakes (Promax Render R), and the touring potential would be appreciated!
If I get a Plug my wife is likely to go with the Croix de Fer anyway, so we will end up with one in the family! We're not allowed the same bike however, so if I get a Croix she might go for a Salsa Vaya...
Link to the Croix de Fer spec - http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bikes/adventure/multi-sport/croix-de-fer
Heading out later today to try and sit on both and see how they feel. Any thought before then would be welcome!
Thanks for your time.