I'm relatively new to mountain biking, and I'd really appreciate some advice.
I've only been interested in riding for the past couple of years. I've not been biking a heck of a lot due to my schedule, but I do go out regularly. During the summer I rode maybe 15 - 25 km a day every day. I may have done maybe 3000 km this season. I'm interested in doing a lot more biking, particularly mountain biking.
I rode on a cheap dual suspension mountain bike (no, the bike doesn't have a name). Now the bike is shot. The frame is bent and the fork is destroyed (after a recent accident with a car). I have a road bike I picked up off the end of someone's drive and rebuilt. It does the job of getting me to school, but doesn't really do the job of taking me on the trails I built with my buddies in the area.
I need a new bike; I want to get one in the spring. Now, I'm poor and can't afford the nicest bike/gear. I'm planning on dropping somewhere around 800 - 1500$ on a bike.
What I'm looking for:
Information. What bike would you recommend for me? I like to ride singletrack trails - cross country riding. I enjoy downhill, but few of the trails I ride are downhill. I don't do much free riding (I ride skinnies and do small jumps). I'm interested in a bike that won't fall apart when I choose to race down my trails at high speed, or fall apart on a landing of a small jump. As well, I want a hardtail bike - not dual suspension. With my budget I can't afford any decent dual susp. - I know enough to know that.
I'm not partial to any particular brand, and I'm not afraid of buying used. I have a bit of mechanical experience as I had to rebuild my bike a number of times.
What would you recommend?
Thanks a lot!