I had my mountain bike stolen along with my daughter's road and mountain bikes. After a bit of a search and a meaningless report to the police, I'm ready to replace them. While she's an easy buy, I'm not so much.
My previous bike was a Cannondale P-Bone suspended mid level bike. It served me well and I'd probably keep it until it dissolved had it not been stolen. I figure to use this loss as an opportunity to improve my situation some.
1. When I got the Cannondale I thought I was going mostly offroading. That turned out not to be true because I kept crashing and getting hurt. So I rode it mostly as an urban assault vehicle / commuter and lite trail / XC bike. The worst the new bike will ever see is a drop off of a fairly low curb. I didn't like the Cannondale's high mass. Since I figure that mass is a factor of strength and I don't need much frame strength anymore, I'd like a much lighter bike (lighter duty, you see) but still have it reasonable for my 'touring' around on lite duty XC trails / forest roads. Ideally I'd like a bike no more than about 21 lbs or 9.5 kg.
2. If the front suspension on the Cannondale did me any good, I couldn't notice it. It wasn't a real suspension but just a sponge of some sort. I think I'd be happier with a real suspension which involves coil springs and dampning if this is reasonable given my mass considerations. If I need to stick to the sponges, I guess I will.
3. What good does a lockout on the front suspension do? I've seen them on even fairly cheap mtn bikes and don't get it.
4. I don't see any value in full suspension bikes for my purposes even if I can lock out the rear. Do you agree?
5. I'm somewhat price insensitive, but a visit over the the weight weenies board to find a light bike scared me a bit when I see what those guys shell outf for their bikes. OTOH, they are looking for 8 kg where I am not going for that light.
6. I'd prefer used because I figure that even though I'm a bit price insensitive (I'll pay for what I want if I get all worked up) I figure I can get better for the buck used than new. Also a few nicks on the paint will make me feel better after I add my own.
7. I'm frame material agnostic. My Cannnondale was Al and very harsh riding. My friend says Ti is the way to go. My road bike (not stolen!!) is Al and I'm happy with it but it's easy riding (not Cannondale). I'm also brand agnostic.