I am making the transition from mini mx (50s) to mountain bikes. I will be going off to college this fall (UC Merced) and I want to get a mountain bike and start riding the whole summer. I have read a couple magazines and man it just looks like an awesome sport.
Could you please help me get my first mountain bike?
-what are the top 5 forks/shocks?
-what are the top 5 brands?
-is it better to build one from ground up or start with a stock bike and upgrade it in future.
-where can I find places to ride
I am located near Sacramento, California.
Also, what additional Items should I get?
With graduation coming up and my job, I have around $1000 to spend right now and maybe $1500 after graduation, but would like to hear some budget bikes, basically the best bang for your buck. I will be upgrading my bike throughout the summer too. Thank you for all your help.