I'm new to this but want to make sure I get a bike that I can't really outgrow in the next 5 years (grad school will mean I'll be way broke so no new replacement if I choose wrong) assuming some light upgrading is feasible.
So my options are a "new" '03 Haro ICS 5.0 with LX and XT component mix, feels lighter than the trek by a solid several pounds and its got a Duke XC fork for $900.00 or a new '05 Trek 6700 with the standard component set off the website (not the disk option though) for $800.00. All my research pointed to the Trek and I went to my closest LBS and - no Treks but of course they were more than happy to steer me to a (surprisingly fitting small framed) and well marked down '03 Haro, I have to say I was a bit impressed both with the lightness and the component set, seems to fit well too though a realy small bit high in the stand over - not high enough to be uncomfortable just not low enough to pick the bike up the 3 inches or so I read on some sites about sizing (call it 1 inch from the delicates).
I then went and found a Trek dealer in town with an 05 6700 brand spanking new on the floor and it is PURTY in the new blue but when I picked up this bike that I had read about being a very nice and light, even raceable frame I was like, Wow thats way heavier than the Haro. I can't find much reviews on the HARO though. 6700 I read a but-load of positive reviews for though.
I want this light high-end component Haro XC racebike at several hundred less than the sticker but Please advise me, I bow to the wisdom of everyone here's greater experience.