Newbie returning to biking - need hybrid advice
Hi, I apologize in advance for the wall of text, but I'm trying to give as much detail as possible so you all can help me!
I'm a 21 year old college student looking to get back into biking after many years off. I used to love tearing up the trails on my kids Trek mountain bike, but about 8 years and 14 inches later, I need some new wheels.
I'm 6'2", mostly leg, and I'm on a "little-as-possible" college budget. I'm attracted to hybrids because while I'll mostly be commuting/riding recreationally on paved roads, I would really love to get back on the trails. Right now seems like an odd time to buy a bike, what with winter coming. I've been looking at/drooling over the Trek DS 8.x series and contemplating buying one in the spring, but I've also been scouring my local craigslist for something to hold me over until then.
In addition to general bike buying advice, I'd like to hear your opinions on this bike: http://newyork.craigslist.org/wch/bik/4150034868.html
I'm guessing it's a late 90s/early 2000s model. I believe Raleigh built the 2005 model with front suspension rather than the solid fork. Is this bike worth the price? Could it possibly be used for something bumpier than paved trails even without shocks? I've seen a lot of people on these forums cautioning people to stay away from shocks unless absolutely needed because they slow you down, but I'm not really concerned about that. I've only ever had experience with mountain bikes and I'll enjoy the workout anyway. Any advice you all could give me would be wonderful!
Thanks so much and let me know if you need any more information from me!