Originally Posted by shane
I am a fairly new rider and have been looking for a good all around bike. I am 6' tall, 200 lbs and 33 years old. I want to ride on the nearby mountain trails as well as the rails to trails with my wife and kids. I have researched and test road the following bikes:
Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disk $699.00
Specialized Stumpjumper Disk $1999.00
Cannondale Prophet 600 $1599.00
Do you think I would really benefit from the FS for $1000.00 more? What bike do you suggest? I have LBS's that sell Cannondale, Specialized, Trek, and Giant. Thanks.
I think you should consider buying a used bike, through Craig's List or mtbr classifieds. You can get a very nice hardtail or fs bike for much less. Then, if you decide you don't want said bike (let's say you buy FS, and decide you'd rather go hardtail, or the other way around) you can sell it for pretty much the same price you bought it for. There are many people selling their bikes on-line, and it should be easy to find what you want. For the cost of the Prophet, you could get a used high end bike.
I bought a used high-end hardtail for $900 last year. If I had bought the same bike, same parts new: frame, $750, fork $450, CK headset $115, wheelset $250, etc.. Not one of the used parts has any significant wear, and the guy I bought it from was efficient, packed well, and a gentleman to work with.
If you have a LBS you'd like to support, then simply take it there for service. They will make more money from that then selling you a new bike at marginal profit and then supplying you with free tune-ups. And you will have cash left over that you can save and get another used bike of a different style, be it DH, road, whatever.