Ive decided to go ahead and buy a real mountain bike and keep my Mongoose for a spare backup. I will go to my LBS in the next week to get the process going. I would like to know everyones opinion on what to get or ask for, or at least a good starting point.
I am willing to spend $1000.00 max. Ild like to get as close to this figure as possible so as to get the most quality for the money. From what Ive read a StumpJumper may be what Im leaning toward. I dont know though... I need a bike that can handle very rough trails at fast paced riding and hold up to alot of hard jumps and whatever else is out there. I need one thats got a real nice granny gear or 2. I also would like to go very fast on flat surfaces (gravel,pavement) when that type of trail is avalible. I am 5'4" and weigh 150-160lbs.
Im also leaning on getting a steel frame as i dont like the fact aluminum can break without warning. A few extra pounds dont matter to me if its safer in the long run.