New Rider...New Bike? Suggestions for under $600
I have recently been borrowing my brother's Trek 4500 to go riding through street and off-road trails with a few of my friends. However, now that the weather is getting better, it's getting tuffer to find a decent bike to borrow. Therefor, I am now in the market for a new or used bike. I have heard that I shuld by a new bike and find a local bike shop rather than going through the internet, but since I have already been fitted for a 19.5in or a large, I don't think it makes a diference. I plan on riding trails from time to time, but am certain that I wll use the bike for transportation and local area fun rides. I am into fitness so I know that the bike will get good use. Personally, I think a hardatil is the best choice.
At first, I visited my local bike shop (http://highgearcyclery.com/index.cfm
) and was planning on spending about $300 on a Trek, however I was told that spending a bit more money would get me a much better bike. I began thinking along those lines after a friend of mine had problems with his Trek 3700 on a beginner trail.
The bike the store recomennded was the Cannondale F300 (http://highgearcyclery.com/itemdetai...gId=39&id=3298
) They said that it would be a better buy and be much more reliable and comfortable. I liked the idea of buying a better bike and decided to make the price of the Cannondale the highest price I was willing to pay at $549.99. Now I have been researching and found other bikes within the price range that have been recomended throught Bikeforums.net, I would appreciate any suggestions that could help my purchasing process.
The Specialized Rockhopper http://highgearcyclery.com/itemdetai...gId=39&id=3341
2006 Iron Horse Maverick Team Mountain Bike http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=3050
Iron Horse Maverick SE Mountain Bike http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=3050
Trek 4300 http://highgearcyclery.com/itemdetai...gId=39&id=3361
I would have to say that the decision is between the F300 and the rockhopper, but am open to any other suggestions. I understand the components aren't the best, but I am looking for the best deal.