I'm a roadie looking to get into mountain biking (or at least a little off road action since we don't have mountains in WI). When it comes to buying a road bike, I know what to look for and I know what works for me. Most importantly, I know my skill level and what price range that translates to.
I have no experience with mountain bikes and don't really know where to start. Talking with friend and reading forums has me torn between a few first bike philosophies.
1) Buy cheep, wait until you know more, then splurge
2) Buy a good platform (i.e. frame) now with plans on upgrading
3) Unlike with road bikes, unless you get crazy and buy supper high end, its hard to get to much bike
I have a fair amount of money to throw around, so I can splurge now, but don't know if it will be worth it. What do you all think? Is it easy to buy to much bike for a beginner?
My practical side is looking at: Giant Rainier, Specialized Rockhopper, Gary Fisher Tassajara
My non-practical side is looking at: Specialized Stumpjumper, Gary Fisher Big Sur
My super non-practial side is looking at Gary Figher Ferrous 29er, because I love steel and the roadie in me wants a 29er