I'm looking to by a MTB for commuting 25km daily mainly on roads, but 1/2 of it along a very gentle fire trail.
My last 2 bikes have been Marin Eldridge Grades which have been great, but felt too small - 20" I think (I bought them 2nd hand). Buying now, because the last bike went under a Nissan Pulsar (thankfully I went over the car!).
This time I want to get a bigger bike, and have had no luck waiting for something 2nd hand in my size, so I'm looking at buying a new hardtail (or all rigid) MTB. My current thinking is a 22" Kona Hosse (Australian $ 1299) or Hosse Deluxe ($1599), Kona Caldera ($1299), or 23" Giant XTC 3 ($1499). Unortunately, none of the LBS have 22 or 23" frame bikes set up, so I'm going to have to take a punt based on sitting on 20 -21" bikes and extrapolating... (I thought that a Giant Alias ($999) might be ok, but i sat on the 21" today and the forks were half depressed (metaphorically too I'm sure!) with me just riding around the bike store - felt very soft, and VERY small).
Does anyone have any thoughts? I notice the thread below about a 6'1" guy being recommended to look at 21" or below, but as mainly a road commuter this doesn't suit me at all. I'm even tempted to go for a 25" frame, but this would need me dropping back in the quality of bike (eg Giant's best bike made for 25" seems to be the Yukon). I definitely aren't planning on doing anything serious on a trail - it'll be running slicks...
Any help greatly appreciated! (This site has been a real discovery for me! Stumbled across it via Google search for reviews).