The past month or two I've been getting in to mountain biking and biking in general, just been hitting some local trails nearby, just pedal'n around and attempting small jumps. Now, the bike I've been using is an old, beat up generic mountain bike that doesn't switch gears well, tires are worn, and it is too big for me. I've been looking at purchasing a nice beginner mountain bike that will do well on trails and also be able to do jumps well, and a *little* downhill. *I want to do everything * (not as well as one that is specifically designed to, but I'm not hitting any extreme jumps, just little ones). Now, since I am a beginner, I was hoping you veterans might be able to give me some nice choices in the $400-$500 price range. I've poked around, and I've come across the Gary Fisher Marlin/Wahoo, a Mongoose Fireball, and some others, but I really have no idea what I'm looking at.
Thanks in advance,