First non-road bike, need advice
I'm looking to pick up a decent bike to do some mountain biking this summer, nothing too technical (no big drops, but probably plenty of roots/rocks/etc.) and have been looking on my local craigslist to try to find a good value. This bike popped up on there and I wanted to get some expert advice about whether or not it would be worth the money. Here's the listing:
A pic is attached. The bike is about 10 years old, but the guy selling it said that its too tall for him so he has ridden it very little and never offroad (judging by the stem he installed this seems likely). He has the original stem (which I would quickly reinstall) and the bike is probably a good fit for me, size-wise--I'm 6'4 and about 230. I'm concerned that it doesn't have front shocks...should I be? Do I even need them? I notice in the "post pics of your bike" threads that most of you have front shocks of some sort, but a few don't.
He said that he was offered and accepted $395, but the guy backed out, so he would extend that price to me. Its been posted for awhile, so I can probably get him to go a little lower than that, hopefully. New Super Grizzlies are almost $4k, but I'm not sure that's a good comparison since they seem to have become a different animal altogether (disc brakes, shocks, etc.) Anway, is this bike a good value? I was initially excited about it but then realized that my LBS's nearby have a number of entrly-level bikes for about $350, so now I'm not so sure. What do you guys think? If I go look at it, what should I look out for? Since its 10 years old, will the components be much different than modern ones? Like I said, I know a little about road bikes and almost nothing about MTB, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.