Any of you MTB guru's have any opinions on REI's 'Novara' MTB bicycles?
I've been looking at hardtail MTBs, planning to get one in the fall, and happened on this at the local REI store (REI Ponderosa):
Gave it a short test ride in the parking lot and it seems like its a rebranded 'Giant' hardtail - frame fit, geometry, and sizing, all say 'Giant'. Fits me nice, components look comparable to Giant's Performance hardtail series at a little bit better price than the LBS. The local REI has great service, as does the local LBS that sells Giant bikes.
I've been borrowing a MTB bike over the last year and a hardatail MTB seems to fit what I want to ride - fire roads and easy single track in the Southern California mountains, maybe use it as an alternate commuter during the week (you 'crazies' can have the full-suspensions and single-track 'gonzo' downhills! I'll kill myself on that stuff!).