Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Gainesville,FL / USA
Bikes: Gary Fisher Marlin // Jamis Ventura Sport // GT Timberline
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Personally .... and don't take this to hold too much water because you can get better advice from a whole lot of people around here .... but personally, I'd go ahead and get the Mountaineer for what it sounds like you're doing.
I also come from a shoddy-bike lineage. Huffys, Magnas, etc .... but I have a GT (a pretty nice bike, actually, for the money) that is nearing the end of its service because I'm trying to buy a new mtb, but I used it mostly just to just get around town and then occasionally hit some light-to-moderate trails. With a tire change before the trails, it handled fine. It wasn't a hot-rod bike or anything. It was cheap(-er) and reliable, and I was able to put trinkets on it like computers and that kind of thing. I think that for the money, you will get much more out of the Mountaineer.
Norco makes solid bikes, it would be pretty hard to go wrong ... and if a component breaks after time (that's where the price margin hides, is in the components) then it's usually easy to replace.
So yeah. My suggestion would be to buy the Mountaineer and go ahead and add a computer, semislicks, more comfy seat, whatever you want. I think that that would be the more rewarding path than your alternative.
But that's just me.