That is my question. Male, 55, 200lbs, still riding Reynolds 531 & Campy NR on the road (retro grouch goes without saying), is looking to buy 1st mountain bike so as to get dirty besides sweaty. The more I lurk here the more I get confused - but you folks sure are a wealth of knowlege and a load of laughs - and I would appreciate your advice.
In a nutshell, my LBS of choice sells Specialized, Jamis, & Giant. I don't know squat, but I want a hard tail, and am leaning toward an 09 Rockhopper Pro Disc, or for nearly the same money, an 08 Stumpjumper Comp. Which would you recommend for this old creaky dude?
I know you will advise taking a test ride, sound advice for sure, which ordinarily I would do, except being a dull noob I probably wouldn't be able to appreciate the differences, and here in Vermont we're neck deep in mud season. The LBS won't, understandably, let the bikes out in the muck. I don't want to wait long, there is only one Stumpjumper in my size. Your thoughts? Thanks in advance.