I'm 35 and haven't ridden a bike in earnest since I was about 16, but want to get serious about my fitness (I've had to stop running due to some knee problems). One of my best friends is a serious MTBer, and has convinced me to join him. I'm planning on making my purchase within a few days time.
Based on his reccomendations and my research, I've kinda zeroed in on a Gary Fisher Hardtail - specifically the Tassajara. I originally looked at cheaper models like the Wahoo or Pirahna, but my buddy says they have mostly entry level parts that I'll need to upgrade pretty quickly, and that I'm best to get a bike that I can grow into.
So here's my question:
The Tassajara comes with or without disc brakes, and the difference is $180. That seems like a lot to me, especially since I'm fairly budget concious and because the bike shop owner says he's pretty ambivalent about the advantages of disc brakes.
What does everyone here think? Would I regret not getting the discs, especially since I'm purposely trying to get a bike I can grow into and enjoy for many years? On the other side, I'm not very mechanical at all, and I know disc brakes require more maintenance.
I'm really quite confused. Any guideance from knowledgabe and experienced riders would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks a lot!