I'm pretty new to MTB - started riding in the spring on an older rigid bike. I'm riding mainly XC trails, once or twice a week on average. The old bike isn't cutting it any longer, so it's time for something new. I figure I'll get a XC bike now, and if I keep going and end up doing some serious DH, then I'll get another bike in a year or two.
I was hoping to spend around $1000 CAD - I want 4" front suspension & hydraulic disc brakes. But with the season coming to an end, I'm not finding a lot of bikes in that range left in the stores. There seem to be more options in the $1200-1400 range (sale price). I'm looking at these 3:
Kona Caldera $1149
Devinci Phantom $1399
Rocky Mountain Vertex 30 $1425
I'm also considering some cheaper options:
Kona Cinder Cone $899
Brodie Omega $571 - with this one, I would upgrade the brakes to hydraulic disc and maybe upgrade the crankset, too. that would put the total around $1000.
I haven't tested the Caldera or the Vertex, but obviously will before I buy. All bikes are 14" frame except the Vertex which is 16". Sat on the 16" Vertex today (okay, I'm a wimp & didn't want to test it in the pouring rain since I didn't bring any rain gear) - it felt fine & LBS guy said it fit, but I haven't ridden it yet to really know. I'm a 5'3" woman.
Looking for any advice. I've searched this forum & others for any info I can get on these models, but I haven't found that much. Thanks everyone!!! Can't wait to get a new bike and break it in over the wet, muddy Vancouver winter.