My name is Dan, friends call me Big D, and I just joined the group and posted a thread to the Moutain Biking forum (that post is copied below). Anyway, I recieved a message suggesting that I introduce myself in this forum. So, here it goes. I live in Reston, VA. Among other activities, I kayak, I snowboard, I play ice hockey, I hike, I camp, and I mountain bike. I got married last year. I work in Washington, DC in the Publishing industry.
I read a lot of threads before I joined, and the loads of information I found and the friendly format is why I decided to join myself.
So, I'm looking forward to a great spring and summer of riding with and without my wife this year, and I'm sure I'll be around this list for a long time.
Below is my original post to the Mountain Biking Forum:
I discovered this forum while researching various Mountain Bikes in preparation for making a purchase soon. I did some searches, read a lot of threads, and it seems to me that this forum is a very good resource with a friendly atmosphere. So, I decided to join and ask for some advice relating directly to my situation.
First, a little background, I ride a KHS hardtail. I can't remember the model name, but it has a cromolly frame and XT components. I recently had my bike in the shop for a "tune-up" and the shop mechanic said it was a "sweet ride." I have no complaints myself, so I think I'm OK on my bike for a while. Besides, until recently, I haven't been able to get any riding time in anyway (it had been almost 2 years since I did any real riding).
The reason I haven't been able to ride for a while and the reason for my post revolves around my recent marriage. During the last couple of years, all the planning, the traveling, the visiting, the house re-modeling, etc., ate up most of my free time so I haven't done any riding. I plan to get back into the mud heavily this year and my wife is going to get into it too. So, I need to get a bike for her.
She is age 24, 5'7" tall, and 130lbs. She hasn't done any riding since college, and never did any real mountain biking, but she is pretty aggressive when it comes to sports, or anything else for that matter. So, I don't want to get her something that she will out grow too quickly. For example, I introduced her to snowboarding this past season and set her up with an entry-level board, but she needed a real board before the end of the season.
So, I've been budgeting to spend about $450-$550 US. We've looked at some bikes and concentrated mainly on the Giant Yukon and the K2 Zed 3.0, because they were both comfortable for her and she likes both bikes. I'm leaning toward the Giant because, since the components are all pretty much the same, the Giant is a few bucks less, I've read nothing but favorable comments in this forum about Giant and the Yukon, and because of Giant's overall reputation. Also, the shop where I'd buy the Giant is closer to our home and it is a full-service shop with lifetime adjustments, good customer service, etc.
The problem is, just when I was ready to make a decision, I discovered another shop that is having a sale and puts the following bikes into my price range ($550 or less):
I haven't researched any of these other bikes (except the Yukon and the Zed) and that's where I'd appreciate some help. We're going to go to this new shop this weekend and test out a few of these other bikes, but I'd like to know what the members of this forum thinks about the choices above.