the starting point
first i need to let everyone know that i am a neophyte in it's most infant state when it comes to cycling. it's always been an interest, but i've never really taken any steps to develop an active interest.
i've finally decided to take my first steps.
i read the FAQ about mountain biking, as well as a few posts here about the basics.
this is what i'm looking to do at the moment:
1. just start riding
2. start riding recreationally to begin on all sorts of surfaces
3. looking for a good way to get daily excercise
i'm looking to start slow, but ultimately the goal is to cycle on an array of trails of varying difficulty. i'm not looking to leap off cliffs or do anything extreme, at least at the moment. i want to start of slowly, and be able to hit harder and more energy consuming trails in future.
from what i gather, i'll need something 18"-20" since i'm 5'9". i'll need a hardtail cycle.
i've been reading that i need to make a purchase that's around the $500 mark for a decent starting bike. ideally, something between $300-$500 is workable, obviously the less expensive the better. since i'll be sticking with this bike for a while, i'll need something that wont be too much of a trouble to upgrade as time and skill dictates.
i've also read that a newbie should NEVER buy their first bike online. instead, they should visit the LBC and, "try before you buy." while i don't object, since money is tight at the moment, how much more of a premium can i be expected to pay? is it frowned upon if i go there and try bikes and then make a cheaper purchase online?
i'm reading the "The "around" $500 MTB thread" at the moment. unfortuntely, i haven't heard of a few of the brands like ironhorse. there's also recommendation that some used bikes can be purchased from eBay. is this a wise move for someone in my shoes?
at the moment, two bikes have been recommened to me. they are the Motobecane 700 HT, and the Raleigh M50 DX. what are the views on both these bikes? any good, or are there better out there, preferably a bit cheaper?
any and all recomendations will be greatly appreciated.
if there's anything i haven't covered, please let me know, and i'll be happy to answer.