so i've been lurking for a while, and reading up on past threads, and i'm aware of the general ire that comes from asking the same questions over and over again, especially really generic ones
but more or less, i'm looking to buy a bike (yeah yeah yeah, i know. i've read tons of threads w/ the exact same questions - so i'll try and be more specific) -
i can ride pretty well - i used to race bmx when i was a kid, and then started on the mountain bikes afterwards - but up until recently, it had been about 12 yrs or so since i had ridden. but i've started up, and i've refound my love of biking - and it's call come back pretty quick - however, the technology and such has changed dramatically since i really followed the sport.
as far as what i know i'm looking for in a bike - i'd like something slightly above "entry level" - but i really don't know the stats for components. i like to ride cross country - mostly single track and carriadge trails - i'm not a tech rider, but i do enjoy having some challenges in the trails that i do ride. but i'm not at the level where i'm going jumping off cliffs, or riding on trail-less paths. i'm looking for a hard tail, and i'd also like something w/ disk brakes (i live in nyc, and good braking in all conditions whilst riding through traffic is a good idea). i prefer flat pedals to clipless, and i like a bike w/ geometry that's easy for me to maneuver (if i have to put a foot down for a sharp turn, or balance, i like to be able to do that comfortably). i'm not looking for pro, top of the line - but i'd like something that's going to hold it's own on the trails and will last (i'm not in the market often enough for a bike - it's hard as it is to get out of the city - and bikes here are stolen constantly) so i'm hoping this one will last me for a while, unless all the sudden i earn tons of money and can afford to ride on a weekly basis.
i went in to my lbs, and sort of explained this stuff to the chap working there, and his recommendation based on my experience and price point was the marin hawk hill (doesn't have disk brakes though). he explained that he said the geometry of the bike allowed for a more open cockpit (i have long arms and legs) which would be appropriate for my body and experience. been reading up on the marin's here, and there really isn't that much talk of them.
so i'm hoping to have some of you vets weigh in on all this - i'd like to try as many out as possible (hard to really get the feel of a mountain bike whilst riding around on the nyc streets though).
so any thoughts or suggestions would be useful - i really appreciate yr patience w/ a newbie such as myself - i'm sure these kind of questions get tedious.
also - if any of you live in the nyc area and know of some good trails that one can get to w/ out the use of a car - that would be swell. i love it, but it's just a lot to rent a car/hotel everytime i want to ride on something that isn't pavement.