Hey Gang - I would like to introduce myself:
About 10 years ago I lived in Western, PA and was an avid trail rider. My bike at that time was a Specialized Rockhopper. Fast forward to today and my life has changed quite a bit. I now live in Kunming, China and I have put on a lot of weight. I am now just over 3 bills.
I started working out again and getting in shape a couple of months back but I have been derailed by gout. I never had it before but I have now had two shots of it in just a couple of months. After discussing it the Doc says it is most likely due to the workouts I am doing and that I need to find a low impact exercise. Immediately I went back to my old love of cycling.
I started research to find a bike. After a lot of reading and internet searching I narrowed it down to two choices: Specialized Rockhopper or a Trek Marlin 7. Being in China, my options are somewhat limited but it is a growing sport here. I checked taobao - a website that is half eBay half Amazon. I was able to find both of my choices but I really wanted to be able to test ride them. As luck would have it there is both a Trek dealer and Specialized dealer in town.
At the Specialized shop the choices were limited and price were about 50% over USA retail. I went over to the Trek shop expecting the same thing but I was surprised to find that they had a good shop with good choices and the prices were amazing. Less than USA retail prices.
I bought a Trek Marlin 7 - 17.5 29er. I test rode it and fell in love immediately.
After the final adjustments and fitting as well as strapping on the water bottle and a bontrager trip 1, my first ride was to ride it home. 7.5 km.
Can't wait to be active here and add to this thread and the forums in general.
Here is a pic of my new gal.