I personally like the Schwinn better for somebody just getting started. I've ridden GT triple triangles for years and I love how stiff and efficient the frames are but I wouldn't call them the most comfortable. My aggressive XC GT Backwoods handles a lot of rough stuff really well but it also beats the living tar out of me. Replacing/upgrading parts down the road with the 27-speed Deore drivetrain on the Schwinn would also make more sense. The disc brakes would be a bonus if you're going to be out riding in less than ideal conditions though. I live in a desert where it's usually dusty and dry. Disc brakes do better but the performance difference isn't as pronounced as it would be in where there's more of the wet stuff to ride through.