Been looking into getting my first new bike in ten years (last new bike was an '04 Stumpjumper Comp now gathering dust in my bro's apt.) After looking hard at cyclocross bikes done up with flat bars as an all rounder - I really think a mt. bike is gonna give me more usage and satisfaction. Riding will be some (not much) around town and lots of dirt roads and rolling single track in S.E. Mass. I rode fairly hard when I was younger (i.e. 10 years ago) - but lost the urge while living in the city.
Narrowing it down towards the following flavors:
Kona Caldera or Kula
Gary Fisher Big Sur (or Big Sur disc)
Specialized Stumpjumper (Stumpjumper Disc)
Any key differences I may have missed (aside from the price diff.) Any particulars as to the way these manufs. fit that might make a difference? I'm 5'11 180 with a 31" inseam (short legs, longish torso)
Gonna have to sell a mandolin to fund this, so I wanna get it right. Might mention that I find single speed kind of appealing too.