Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: 2010 Gary Fisher Marlin disc
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Im actually looking at new bikes too the Cannondale F7, Trek 4300 disc, Gary Fisher Wahoo disc and Fuji Nevada 1.0 in particular. Those are all in the 600-650 range at msrp.
You might wanna check out Trek (4500/6000), Gary Fisher (Marlin disc), Fuji (Tahoe) or Specialized (Rockhopper disc) too. They are going to be more in the 700-800 range and are going to be more comparable to the F5.
Some of it might depend on what kind of riding you plan on doing too. Are you gonna do serious trail riding or just occasional? If youre not doing hardcore trails, all the ones Im looking at have 80-100mm travel with lockout (nice if youre doing road riding) and disc brakes and should handle a fair amount of abuse. To go up to the F5 or comparable ones, youre gonna get better components one a similar frame. I have an older Wahoo right now that has held up well for 10 years with probably 75% road/path riding and 25% off road so Im looking for a similar setup again.
Plus if you go with one of the cheaper ones it gives you a little more for upgrades like seats, pedals and grips if you dont like the stock ones.
As far as your size and inseam the bikes all come with different frame sizes so I would say go to a bike shop and see which one fits you the best. Im guessing probably 20-21"??
Hope that helps and good luck.