Dedicated road biker here. I'm interested in getting a cheap MTB so that I can bomb around roads and trails for two months in the winter snow. It would be strictly a winter bike for the days/weeks when I can't take the road bike out, though I wouldn't rule out the occasional summer jaunt on a trail.
I don't know a thing about MTBs, so I was hoping for some advice. I understand the arguments against department store bikes, but I was wondering if any of these might suit my purposes anyway?
SuperCycle Outcast, $139 (reg. $349)
Supercycle Vortex, $159 (reg. $399)
I'd be able to go over the department store bikes to make sure everything's tight, because I know that assembly is a problem with them. But would you dissuade me from getting one, anyway? If so, what would be my best option for a $200 or under MTB on Craigslist or from a local eBay seller?