Which of these would you recommend for local trail ripping?
I am at a bit of a crossroads (no pun intended) and am hoping to get some help here.
I live in Northern California (the Bay Area, Berkeley/ Oakland specifically).
I am an avid roadie and am looking to take advantage of some of the trails in our area.
I am seriously in the market for a new bike and I've narrowed it down to a few (all complete bikes, based on specs, price and very limited test rides).
Santa Cruz Heckler
2012 Cannondale Flash Alloy 29er 3
I know these are all very different bikes… I am trying to narrow this down based on the terrain and which bike would be most suitable for the riding in this area.
Other than riding around the block near a bike shop/ parking lot, there is no way for me to really test 'em all out to compare in real life situations.
Basically, I just want to have a lot of fun ripping around.
One thing I was considering is that I will probably be actually riding the bike to the trails (as opposed to driving to the trail w/ bike in vehicle)… like up Old Tunnel road and all of that. Not sure if it would really matter, but the Honzo is a 1-9 (no front derailleur) and is also like 33 pounds. Seems like it would be a lot of fun in the dirt though!
So yah, a full suspension AM, a steel hard tail kinda dirt jumpin' 29'er or a XC 29er… what do you guys/ gals think?