NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS!
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: From Sarasota, FL sitting in front of a computer spewing random thoughts!
Bikes: Intense Uzzi SL, Masi Speciale, Trek 3700 Nashbar Single Speed, Old Cilo Road frame
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Right now with the technology available in suspension design, there really isn't a BAD suspension bike. All the major manufacturer's have pretty much dialed in their designs. Some are better than others for certain characteristics, but for a relative novice who just wants to hit the dirt, there isn't a bad choice.
Go test ride as many as you can and buy the one that fits the best.
My preference are bikes that have a 4-bar Horst link type design. Think of a Specialized FSR design.
Iron Horse's DW link is very impressive, as is the new line-up from Giant.
Really, there is no "best", but currently (and luckily) there are very few "BAD" designs available.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
"Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger