New to this forum, first post, and relatively new to the sport- though was into BMX as a kid, and definitely not a kid any more. Had a lot of fun the past month reading several MB forums, getting thoughts on perspective bikes for me to get into the sport. Most of the opinions I read felt that there was nothing a department store bike could offer save using it as a wheel chock for your car or airplane. LBS or nothing. Well, I have always felt that same way and have always supported the local stores.
So I walked into a bike shop for the first time in 20 years, and looked things over. Hey- they have disc brakes for bikes now, how cool is that. Long story, prices aren't what I remember them to be either, and I found myself, though not wanting to, looking at some Schwinn at the Cost-Co. Or the Mongoose at the Target. Discs brakes! Aluminum frames! (...so why do they still weigh 45 lbs??).
However, the more I read the more I realized that, buying a low-end Giant or Trek is FAR more beneficial to me both learning the sport and not getting killed in the process. (saw some nice photos recently of a self-destructed Mongoose). Problem was, my LBS didn't have anything around $300- my budget, sort of- so I started, again, looking at those dept store bikes. It'll be OK, it'll stay together, etc... cross fingers...
Anyway, today I bought a used 1999 Cannondale SuperV1000. Dated yes, but great components for it's day (and some of them still today it would seem), and it seems to be a bike with a bit of a cult following, which I love. Got it for less than that brand new shiny Schwinn or Mongoose would have been. Can upgrade to my hearts content and not feel like I'm throwing money away. And I couldn't be happier to join the sport.