About 10 years ago I did a lot of mountain biking, at that time I had a Gary Fisher Big Sur. Since then the majority of my bike riding has been on a paved bike trail. I am getting the urge to do more off-roading, currently I have a hybrid that definitely won't do. So I'm considering in getting a mountain bike but what do I get, hard tail, full suspension, 29er and there so many new component manufacturers and types of shifters and derailleurs. Years ago the major component manufacturer was just Shimano and they only really have three categories and now there is SRAM. I'm one to be constantly shifting so the rear derailleur is the most important.
I'm considering a 29er as I like the bigger wheels for when I'm on a paved bike path. I'm looking at Trek, Gary Fisher, Giant, Specialized and Cannondale, and I like to spend under 1000.00 what manufacture is the best bang for the buck?
I'm not afraid to do some aggressive riding, but none of the crazy life-threatening stuff I used to do 10 years ago, I'm 40 now!