i'm going to buy a new bike (hardtail) but i have to say i'm totally lost.
i'm pretty sure that if i just buy any bike in my price range i'll be happy but i just want to make sure that there's nothing important i should look out for.
i found a good bike shop who stocked marin, specialized and trek bikes. the guy seemed to want to sell me a specialized based on the fact that it had XT gears instead of LX gears for the same price as the marin next to it. now i know that XT are higher up in the range but what is the difference? will i notice any when i test the two bikes?
i don't fancy using clipless or pedals with clips, so what kind of platforms should i look for? or is this a silly request for these kind of bikes.
the two bikes i'm looking at are
marin nail trail
specialized rockhopper a1 pro fs
http://www.specialized.com/SBCBkMode...=mountainbikes (the second asks for region but i think the link still works)