Hello! I'm 27 and looking to try and get into cycling. I was hoping to get something like a mountain bike for some trails around here but also take it on the pavement trails as well.(So something that'd do okay with either) I'm 6'2 or so in size, I found a guy selling a nice bike near me but the size was S so I decided to hold off there. Open to any thoughts on brands/styles and such, I was hoping to find a nice used for 400-700, but I'd be open to a new one in that range if it would hold up well for a while.
I think the shop I just went to showed me a black hard tail for right at 700, I was wondering if maybe they'd have a slightly better one from last year for the same price and if that'd be worth pursuing?
Find someone who knows bicycles well and ask them to help you find a decent bike at a reasonable price. Ask for help from a local bike club. Try this one: Home - The Greenville Spinners Bicycle Club It shows up if you google on Greenville SC bike clubs. You want the advice of a recreational rider, not a racer. There's a big difference. They can make sure the bike fits and has decent components if you are considering a used bike. It's a much better way to go than new for the same amount of money. It turns out that many brands that might be familiar to your parents are now all made by the same company (Pacific Cycle). What's more important is how good the bike is rather than the name on the frame.
The reason I suggest asking the help of a knowledgeable rider is that the pricing on used bikes can be crazy. I have a 1996 Trek 930 mountain bike that I bought for $20 last Fall at Goodwill. It was in very good shape and hadn't been ridden much. This past weekend I saw a Peugeot 10 speed road bike at a similar store for $250. There's no way I would have paid more than $50 for it, given the age and condition of the bike. Unfortunately, some sucker will see the name and probably buy it.
I found a great size Scott Scale 970 29er (i'm a large frame) at a local bike shop for 800, how does that sound, I was alternatively comparing to Cannondale SL2 29er for 950 or Hardtail for 700. Then the Novera Ponderosa for 900(after rebate). Are air shocks worth the 100/150? Or should I just upgrade the Scott later?
Unless I was looking to do hard core mountain biking, bombing down hills etc, I would avoid the full suspension models. Hard tails are fine unless you are doing serious mountain biking.
I only mention it because if you want to ride hard in the dirt, you would probably have asked in the Mountain Biking forum.
For tooling around in the dirt, and get decent performance on pavement, stick with a hard tail.
A new bike from a bike shop in that price range will typically hold up real well for most riders. I have a Giant Sedona DX comfort bike that is 10 years old, and has several thousand miles under my 300+ pound body, and it is still going strong. It cost me just under $400... So, I would go to a few bike shops and see what they suggest in your price range.