hey, i'm just getting back into mountain biking, and i've gone out to some east spots in western mass like agawam and chicopee state park and my friends using an old cannondale mountain from like 89 with no suspension. THe guys who have been taking me are more into going up to bachelor st. and some other tougher trails in amherst/ greenfield area so i need a better bike to be able to ride those trails and not slow them down or get off my bike and walk in the really tough spots. i'm a road biker so i'm in shape, and i'm not scared of the terrain really. i've already got a lot of hobbies that cost a lot of money, road cycling and a music studio soo i wanna spend like $500 but get the best deal i can. used is fine. any advice? i'm guessing i should stick to hardtails with front suspension for my pricerange. i've looked at low range giant, scott and trek bikes but i know theres no name companies like KHS and IronHorse through mailorder that i might get better components for a lower price.