I've been riding my 37-pound department-store full-suspension mountain bike for around 10 years, with most of the 2000 km put on it in the past couple years. In this time, it's been showing signs that it doesn't suit the roads and gravel trails that I spend most of my time on.
The tires still have the sprues at the edges, I've nearly maxed out the pre-load on the rear suspension, and I leave the front derailleur on the biggest sprocket, and find myself looking for higher rear gears. To help the matter, the bottom bracket needs replacement and the grip shift housings are beginning to crack.
From what I've read, a hybrid like the Giant Roam 2 or the Trek DS 8.2 would suit my riding and sub-$700 budget. However, a co-worker advised that either a mountain bike or a road bike would be better, since a hybrid bike would be compromised in every environment. Part of me wonders if this is just stigma about hybrid bikes being for middle-aged people (like my dad, who has a rigid hybrid). Do hybrids have a niche, and do I inhabit this niche?