Okay, I am sure there are many forums about this but I am a pretty poor college student that will just be getting a bike to ride to class, work, and trails on the weekend. I really only have about 400 tops to spend on a bike, and that would be putting the entire thing on credit, so I couldnt save up for more before you ask. There is a really expencive bike shop in town with bikes like Raleigh, Schwinn, Marin, GT, and Haro, but almost all of them are out of my price range. There is however a shop that sells discounted bikes (they fix them up and sell them for people, and take a big cut of the price).
Now out of this place they have quite a few hardtail bikes but many of them are brand named. The ones I can afford and I am seriously considering are listed:
HONDA XC 100C (REFURBISHED) for $379, it has an aluminum frame, Deore Shifters, 27 speed, front disk brake, DNM Torch, and some minor paint scratches and stuff, but I could barely tell. It was pretty comfortable riding it around the block.
SMITH & WESSON PERIMETER for $299, it has an aluminum frame, Shimano Alivio, 24 Speed, linear pull, Ret Cappa T6, a luggage rack, and some minor scratches on some black paint. It was comfortable too, cheaper than the honda, but kinda worried about the quality
Last a SMITH & WESSON PERIMETER (REFURBISHED) $399.00 it was pretty much brand new (no scratches or anything), it has an aluminum frame, Sram 3.0, 24 Speed, Linear Pull, RST Cappa, and supposedly a sample (I dont know what that is though, so it doesnt really alter my decision). This was very comfortable but at the absolute max of my price range (meaning no water bottle, or lights or anything for a while)
There are more, they do have a website of some of the stuff they carry: http://www.bicyclesurplus.com/index.php
Anyway I know that doesnt give many of you much to work with since you might hate all of those, but it is either that or I can continue riding my little brother's bike which is one you buy from target with what feels like a wooden seat and the frame is small enough where my feet hit the wheels when I turn or hit bumps. So I am kinda in a hurry, but I wanna make a good decision
Mainly though I am looking for a good bike that will be good on the trails and back roads every weekend and good enough to make the 8+ mile total ride to class and work and back every day