Alright - here's the deal
I am getting back into mountain biking after losing 90 pounds. I used to ride quite a bit 8-10 years ago, and now that I am getting a bit older (I am 33) I want to get a bike that I can use to ride on the weekends on some light singletrack, maybe some road riding as well, as I am trying to get my girlfriend into it as well.
Let me preface this by saying that I read the threads on "hard tail vs. f/s." This is not a dupe thread.
My LBS has a great deal on a 2006 Trek Elite 9.8. I like the weight of the carbon frame and I used to ride a hard tail back when I was riding regularly. It is a ridiculously good deal - 45% off the list. I also like the feel of a f/s bike.
Here's a few questions, that maybe a few of you can answer for me.
1. How well does rear and front susp. lock out help pedaling efficiency (e.g. uphill?)
2. If I am going to be riding mostly light singletrack, does it even make sense to consider the f/s bike?
3. The components on the 9.8 are definitely superior to those on the EX 7. How much should that weigh on my decision?
4. Not a huge deal, but the super light carbon frame means that I can take the bike on my shoulder and walk it up to my apartment. The EX 7 is definiely heavier. The weight issue is not for speed on the bike; I am more concerned with having to lug it up with me after each ride (no way am I leaving it in my building's bike room!)
5. Buying the 9.8 would mean getting a bike that, at regular price, I would not be able to afford.
6. Maintainance is much, much easier for the 9.8.
Is anyone here NOT fond of carbon frames (vs. aluminum) and why?
Thanks in advance for chiming in.