I am currently riding on a Western Auto pos, and am seriously looking for a better bike. I have gotten into riding with a couple of friends, and my present bike is just not up to the punishment that I attempt to give it on the local trails.
I have been heavily researching the topic over the past couple of weeks and am looking to spend anywhere from $400-$700. I am presently considering Trek 4500, 6500, Schwinn Moab, Specialized Stumpjumpper, and Cannondale F400.
What is the general sentiment regarding bikes for newbies? Which is the most suitable for a relatively new mtb'er? What other models should I consider? Any bad experiences with any of these bikes?
Any responses would be greatly appreciated.