My wife and I are looking into getting bikes. We just had a nice bike trail open up in our neighborhood, and there's no excuse to not take advantage of it.
While my wife plans to stay on the asphalt, I'm the type of guy that sees something interesting and has to jump it; at least I did when I was 14 years old. In my mind, things haven't changed much in the past 22 years. I still reminisce about that rush of jumping "Devil's Pit," a 4 foot-high ramp in front of a 6-foot long ditch (Hey, I was 14, I know it ain't that extreme, okay? ). Well, til this day, "Devil's Pit" remains, and once again, I plan on slaying the Devil, but only this time it'll be about 70 more lbs of me.
I'm looking for a bike that I can ride on the asphalt with my wife, and then impress her when the time arises. I like dirt trails that have some roots, but more importantly, I want something that can withstand some jumping of dirt ramps, holes, and other obstacles, sort of like BMX-ish ramps. I'm also looking for something in the $400-$600 range.
I'm not going to hide it; I am a GT fanboy. I have my heart set on a GT bike, so recommending a Mongoose, Schwinn, Diamondback, etc. is just going to go in one ear and out the other.
I've been seriously looking into a GT Avalanche 1.0, 2.0, or 3.0. I've read the specs and reviews on each, but if I can get away with a bike that's fairly light and will withstand the abuse, and has parts which will handle some abuse, I don't need the "top model." Would there be a different GT out there that I should be looking at for what I plan on doing with this bike?