I am a first time mountain bike buyer who probably rides trails vs pavement 70-30% of the time. I have narrowed down my selection of bikes to the following 2. The Kona Blast and the Cannondale F-7. I wanted lockout suspension for times when I do have to ride on smooth surfaces. Also I wanted disc brakes on a hard tail. Can anyone make a suggestion against which is a better brand? Or at this level are the comparable. My friend also told me to look at Specialized as well. Can anyone make any suggestions?