I've been trying to find a decent balance between a bike I can ride off road around where I live and one that I can take on a 6 month long trip down to south America (from LA). I like the Cannondale Scalpel 2000 and think it would be great for riding around where I live but I'd also like to take it on this trip with a Bob trailer. Many people have told me to get a touring bike but I like riding mountain bikes. The thing I love about the Scalpel is the lock off suspension but I'm concerned because I've heard some of the Cannondale parts would be difficult to get in semi-remote area's. Anybody have any suggestions for other Mountain bikes I should check out.