Just for a starter I'm pasting my intro to the forum so you know where I'm coming from:
I just left Key West FL after 6 awesome years. The job went away so I transferred within my company to Germany. Since I can no longer boat/kayak/fish/dive, I'm going to get back into mountain biking. I live in a great spot for it. It has been over 10yrs since I left north ID and is also when my mountain biking came to an end. I had a decent Cannondale and loved it. A lot has changed since then so I'm in the process of researching the gear right now. In fact, it took a little while of searching to find a decent US-based forum, but think I've now found the spot! I'll definitely be visiting this site a lot in the near future.
Given where I'm living now and don't speak German plus with the very poor exchange rate my options are limited to buying on base or ordering online. I have a US address here so shipping rates aren't a concern. The only concern is sizing, but I'm 6'0" w/ 32" inseam so figure a 18" is about what I need.
I don't want to spend over $1200, obviously the less the better.
The limiter is choices and is where y'all can really help me out.
The base can get: Cannondale F3 and Rush; Trek 6500 Disc and Fuel EX5.5; DiamondBack Recoil Comp MD. That's pretty much it for '08 on base in men's mtb. Prices are all MSRP.
Online: I've seen deals on IronHorse, K2, Motobecane, etc. but wary of them. The Moto's seem to be '03 frames or frame technology? I've spent the last 2.5hrs scouring the 'net for info on motobecane alone since the pricing seemed too good. Plus many other nights looking and reading up in general to get back into it...but still need some direction. I saw some bad things said about them on here as well as good and a lot of good things from users on mtbr.com forums.
I don't really think I need full sus right now since I'm just getting back into it but not positive about that either.
I was comparing the -
-Moto Fantom Elite at $998 http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...om_elite08.htm
-Moto Fly pro at $995
-Trek 6500 Disc at $925 http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...6_series/6500/
-Moto Fantom Comp at $799
All that said, I was wondering which of those choices you guys would pick, or if other, then what. I'm at disadvantage that even if I buy here I'm going to have to order site-unseen.